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Reference Guide to Exercise Intensity

An In-Depth Look at Heart Rate, RPE and the Talk Test


    This is a great article! I'm not one that the THR works for--my resting heart rate is very high, and according to my doctor if I worked at my THR according to those formulas I'd likely suffer from cardiac arrest. So no thanks. I do, however, use the talk test when I workout. I'm hoping that eventually my resting HR will be more normal as I continue exercising. - 4/19/2012 3:10:54 AM
  • This is from the article. "Keep in mind that some people have exercise restrictions due to injury, health conditions or medications that will affect your recommended intensity level, so always check with your doctor first. "

    I'm not a doctor but I am 70 yrs. old and deal with a knee problem that keeps me from getting my pulse above 20%. After months of walking my blood pressure (rarely above normal) goes down a little and my resting pulse goes down. Only time will tell if it will get you off the meds but if you don't walk you will likely stay on the meds. - 1/12/2012 11:31:35 AM
  • Ok so here's "dumbass" with the question nobody wants to ask - I have controlled high blood pressure - what do I use for a target HR and is it possible to help me get off the meds? - 1/10/2012 8:50:26 PM
  • SPPETE11
    Thank you, this is why I enjoy Spark People's wed site, I always learn something new.
    - 2/12/2011 6:36:21 PM
    Thank you!!! A very important article- I have learnt a lot!!!! - 1/12/2011 1:37:27 PM
  • good article, very informative! Thanks - 1/10/2011 7:21:50 PM
    I thought this was a really good article! I think it is very important to know/keep track of how hard you are working. I like that there are several methods. Remember though it is an individual thing. I know Labrinyth commented on looking at other people's HR - you shouldn't do that and passed judgements. I have to take a beta-blocker (and I'm not overweight). Drugs like that literally stop your HR from going too fast. If I have just taken it my maxrate HR is about 105 yet I am working out plenty hard! If it is late in the day I can get my HR up to 140 with barely doing anything. I tend to use the the 'Talk' test since obviously my HR is not the best gauge. It is true I will never be able to be a professional athlete but that doesn't mean I still can't get lots of benefits from exercising! - 1/10/2011 12:46:06 PM
  • Just bought a heart rate monitor and figuring the basics.Have been using it since 2 days and realised i am constantly in the 80% glad! - 11/12/2010 2:18:39 AM
  • This was a great article for me. When I exercise I am always going over my THR and wondered why since I was not overexerting. When I calculate my THR using the Karvonen formula it is right where it needs to be. Because I have a very low RHR (42) I always wondered how this would affect my HR during my workouts and what I should be doing, now I know. - 3/27/2010 10:17:57 AM
  • I still don't get it. I always work above my THR, efficiently. I feel like if I work within my target I won't see any results. - 3/1/2010 11:21:54 AM
    I have the hardest time when doint a workout and it says "you should be working out at a level 7rpe" well what is that? about 75% of my heart rate??? - 12/18/2008 8:22:41 AM
  • In my case there's a big difference between target heart rate estimates using the simple formula based on age & the Karvonen calculator. If I went by the age-based estimate, my 60-80% target would be much too low (lower end just 100 bpm!). I've just gotten a heart rate monitor, though I've been exercising for years, & I'll use the Karvonen-based range as I go out running with it today! - 10/4/2008 11:41:59 AM
  • This is a fantastic article, but unfortunately people simply don't "get" it. Time and time again I'm working out next to someone else who doesn't work in the Target Zone and does not keep the intensity duration needed. Then they lament about why they can't lose!

    If you are not losing, read this article and take it to heart -- literally! - 10/3/2008 4:39:59 PM
  • Great article. - 6/14/2008 1:10:13 AM

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