Learn to Measure Your Heart Rate for Optimal Performance


In this day and age, most of us walk around with fitness watches, like a FitBit or an Apple watch. These awesome gadgets track our heart rate (HR) and are great tools to track your intensity during a workout. When we workout our HR spikes into different HR zones. Each of these zones are beneficial in different ways and can be lined up perfectly with the CG 4 week cycle.


Find your Heart Rate Max (HRM)

You can find this with the following equation: 220 – Age = HRM. Note this equation does not take into account your fitness level and may be 10-20 beats per minute (bpm) higher or lower. The higher your age and the better your fitness level, the less accurate this number can be.

Ex. I’m 37 years old; 220 – 37= 183bpm

Determine your Resting Heart Rate (RHR)

This can be found on your fitness tracker, different apps, or by taking your pulse at your wrist for 60 seconds ideally in a lying position. In general, the lower your RHR the more efficient your heart is functioning and the better your cardiovascular fitness is.

Calculate your Heart Rate Reserve (HRR)

Take your HRM and subtract your RHR to get HRR, also known as your exercise rate.

Ex. If my RHR is 65bpm; 183 – 65 = 118bpm

Calculate your Hear Rate Zones

Take the percentage target heart rate you are trying to reach of your HRR and then add back in your RHR.

Ex. Week 1 your heart rate should range between 70-80% of (HRR) 118 or 81-94bpm + RHR

(81 + 65) – (94 + 65) = 146 to 159bpm

Therefore, your THR should be in between 146 – 159bpm during Week 1.

For more details, try searching 'target heart rate calculator' online.


Week 1 Endurance: We should be mainly in the aerobic zone with about 70-80% of our Target Heart Rate Zone (THRZ). This zone lays a foundation to prepare the body for the weeks ahead.

Week 2 Strength and Agility: This week is where we start to jump into the Anaerobic HR zone which is about 80-90% THRZ.

Week 3 Interval: This is where we start to turn up the intensity and jump into our maximum heart rate zone by hitting short bursts of 90-100% THRZ.

Week 4 Peak: Here we are still getting up to the 90-100% THRZ but we are maintaining it for longer durations than during interval week. This zone is going to challenge your body by helping you develop your anaerobic capacity, making you stronger and your body more efficient.

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