How Long Should I Train At My Target Heart Rate?


In order to get the most from your exercise sessions, you want to train at your target heart rate which is 60 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate. (To figure out your maximum heart rate, just take 220 minus your age. Or, for a more specific number to you individually, you could also contact a personal trainer.)

However, one common question in regard to target heart rate is how long you should train there to get the best results. The answer depends on two different factors: how fit you are and the goals that you have set for yourself and your fitness.

Your Fitness Level

When you’re just beginning a fitness program, you want to give your body time to get used to the new physical demands. Therefore you’ll likely want to spend just a few minutes of your exercise session at your target heart rate, like around 20 to 30 minutes daily. Additionally, aim for the lower end of your target heart rate zone (60 to 70 percent of your max) so you don’t risk overdoing it.

On the converse, if you’re fairly fit, then you might want to aim for 30 to 45 minutes daily at the higher end of your target heart rate zone (80 to 90 percent). Just pay attention to your body and how it feels, slowing down or stopping if it feels like you’re pushing too hard.

Your Goals

Another factor to consider when determining how long you should train at your target heart rate is your goals. For example, if you’re working out to lose your excess body fat, you’ll need to train at your target heart rate longer than if you are simply in the maintenance phase and your goal is to maintain your loss. Most health experts recommend five 30-minute sessions when you are in maintenance and more than that if your goal is to lose.

Any more questions about target heart rate? I’m here to answer them, so feel free to place them below!


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