< Back



Monitoring exercise intensity is an important aspect, working to the correct intensity will ensure that the training method/stimulus target physiological adaptations which correlate to your goals and objectives.



Heart rate offers an objective look at exercise intensity. There are a number of ways in which exercise intensity is linked to heart rate, heart rate measurements are used to show an increase in exercise intensity, with machines and wireless heart rate monitors making this an easy method. Target heart rate is a pre-planned intensity that the instructor has identified as suitable for an individual client, while percentages of maximum and heart rate reserve are used to plan the exercise intensity for sessions.

The Target Heart Rate or Training Heart Rate (THR)


Is a desired range of heart rate reached during aerobic exercise which enables the heart and lungs to receive the most benefit from a workout. The THR can be calculated as a range of 65% - 85% intensity.

Heart rate (HR)


Is the number of heart beats per minute, resting heart rate (RHR) is measured while the client is at rest but awake. The average resting heart rate in adults is 60-80 beats per minute.

Maximum HR


Is calculated by taking your age from 220 (HR max=220 – age). Although this is not completely accurate, it can be used as a basic guideline by fitness professionals to find the percentage of maximal heart rate and enable training in your THR.

Heart rate reserve (HRR)


Is the difference between a person’s measured or predicted maximum heart rate and resting heart rate. The Karvonen method of calculating target heart rate (THR) is one of the most effective methods as long as the maximum heart rate is accurate as it takes into account resting heart rate. The formula is:

THR =  (HRmax – HRrest) x % intensity (0.65 to 0.85) + HRrest.

Knowledge is Power