What Is The Equation For Finding Heart Rate Reserve Volume?

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What Is The Equation For Finding Heart Rate Reserve Volume?

I can't find this. What is the equation for finding heart rate reserve volume?

Thanks for the help.

Some prefer to use their "HEART RATE RESERVE" (HRR) as their guidelines for training intensity.

To perform this simple calculation you will need:

  1. Resting Heart Rate (RHR)
  2. Peak Heart Rate (PHR) for that activity.

The first factor is easy to determine. The second is a slight estimate or guestimate.

Here is an example:
Let us say that my RHR is 36 beats per minute (BPM). My PHR during an intense session on the recumbent bike is 181BPM. Therefore, my HRR range for the recumbent bike is (181BPM-36BPM=145BPM) 145 BPM.

What this allows you to do is calculate your training goal off of the traditional recommendation, which is 85 % of your max HR for any given exercise. In this case we utilize the recumbent bike as our choice of exercise. Take 85% of your HRR (0.85 x 145=123), add back into the calculation, your RHR (123+36 = 159) to give you your target training % HRR. In this example it would be 159BPM.

This can be considered more accurate because you can adjust for the changes that will take place concerning your RHR as you become more fit in the cardiovascular realm as you lower your RHR(1).

Using your HR is a great key to rating and assuring you are training at the intensity that will benefit your training goals. Here are some suggested training % as per intensity rating: low to moderate 50 to 70% of your HRR and moderate to high 70 to 90% of your HRR(2).

Personally I like using Max-OT Cardio principals. I assure you that if you follow these guidelines you are training well into the high intensity range or your HRR. Lastly, I have laid out the formula below for ease of use for those of you whom choose to be scientific, as am I, particularly in concerns of my nutrition regimen.

FORMULA #1 HRR (Most Accurate):

      Peak/Max HR for activity

      - resting heart rate

      x intensity in % (i.e., 60%, 80%, & 90%)

      + resting heart rate

    = target HRR

FORMULA #2 HRR (Easy method/Less Accurate):

      220 - Your age (This is roughly your Max HR)

      - resting heart rate

      x intensity (In %, i.e., 60%, 80%, and 90%)

    + resting heart rate (This is roughly your target HRR)


1. Understanding heart rate and exercise. MAAP. http://home.hia.no/~stephens/hrchngs.htm. 26 Sept 2003.
2. Calculating your heart rate reserve. Airman. http://www.af.mil/news/airman/0403/consum2.html. 26 Sept 2003.