Heart Rate Target Zones

Having a close estimate, or better still an actual maximal heart rate, will greatly increase the accuracy and appropriateness of the exercise intensity being prescribed. However, as described above, in many cases a true maximal heart rate will not be available. This next section focuses more closely on the setting of target zones or exercise heart rates (Table 3.1) in light of two aspects:

1. The safety threshold for preventing myocardial complications on exertion;

2. The effective threshold for attaining beneficial physiological adaptations, which is linked to the patient's training status. The training status influences the heart rate relationship with both %VO2max and the 'lactate threshold'.

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