Heart Rate - Heart Rate Reserve

Heart rate reserve (HRR) is the difference between a person's measured or predicted maximum heart rate and resting heart rate. Some methods of measurement of exercise intensity measure percentage of heart rate reserve. Additionally, as a person increases their cardiovascular fitness, their HRrest will drop, thus the heart rate reserve will increase. Percentage of HRR is equivalent to percentage of VO2 reserve.

HRR = HRmax − HRrest

This is often used to gauge exercise intensity (first used in 1957 by Karvonen).

Karvonen's study findings have been questioned, due to the following:

  • The study did not use VO2 data to develop the equation.
  • Only six subjects were used, and the correlation between the percentages of HRR and VO2 max was not statistically significant.

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