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Target heart rate

Can anyone recommend a good site for figuring out target heart rate? I checked many sites this morning and they all gave different numbers. I have heard that if your heart rate is too high you will burn muscle instead of fat. Is this true?

Sun. Mar 12, 9:54am

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The tried and true formula I have seen is:
220-your age in years/multiply by .65 and .85 to give you a range of 65 to 85%

If you are 30, it would work like this:

You should be working out between 123-161

In terms of burning muscle, that depends on a variety of factors including cardiac effeciency, diet, length of time above your targeted heart rate. If you are well conditioned, you can work out above 85% for longer periods without burning muscle. But it should be done in spurts, allowning your heart rate to come back into range for periods of time. The best thing you can do is get the advice of a personal trainer who knows your physical condition. Good luck

Sunday, March 12, 2006, 7:58 PM

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That is NOT "tried and true"

That is an old, old, OLD formula that does not give accurate results.
For example, I'm 35 and according to that formula, my max HR "should" be 185 when in truth it is 200. For training, that is a BIG difference.

Go to to get some basic HR info. I highly recommend picking up a heart zone training book (find one used on Amazon for about $10). Check out books by Sally Edwards.

The thing about higher heart rates and not burning fat:
Each person has a unique aerobic/anaerobic threshold. That is a heart rate where we're working very hard and our body switches from aerobic to anaerobic. When our bodies are working anaerobically, they are not using fat as fuel, but (I believe) only glycogen. This aerobic/anaerobic threshold is very close to our lactate threshold and for training purposes, many people use the terms interchangeably.

The GREAT thing about heart zone training is that you can increase your aerobic/anaerobic threshold so that you can work out at higher intensities while still being aerobic - and burning fat. The higher level you can work at while staying aerobic means you are burning more fat. Cool, huh?

The most important thing is for you to find out what your REAL max heart rate is so you can figure out your unique zones. That way you will be working most efficiently for the best fat burning results. See?

Good luck!

Sunday, March 12, 2006, 10:31 PM

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Thank you to the poster above. was very informitive. I really liked that they explained the difference between total calories burned vs % of fat calories burned. I kept reading that you should stick to 50-60% of your maximum hear rate because you are burning the highest % of fat calories in that zone. explained that if you are working around the 80% zone, you will burn more TOTAL fat calories, even if you are burning a lower % of fat calories, than compared to 50-60%. I also liked that you could raise your anearobic thereshold heart rate, therefore you have a larger fat burning zone to work within.

Monday, March 13, 2006, 7:50 PM

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