A resting heart rate test is an excellent way to track overall shape improvement. As you keep up with training, your heart becomes stronger – and with this test’s help you can track that evolution. This way, you’ll be able to lower your heart rate and improve your performance. If it’s been a while since you’ve regularly been training, this resting heart rate test can serve as motivation to start.
This test must be one of the world’s easiest tests. You’ll basically have to be completely relaxed and then check the resting heart rate. One good way to ensure that the results are trustworthy is to take the test in the morning, immediately after waking up but before getting up.
If you sleep with a pulse tracker watch or bracelet, you can quickly peek at it and read the pulse or find the lowest heart rate level throughout the night – if the device has such features.
In case you don’t own a heart rate measurement device, you can count the heart rate by placing two fingers (index and middle finger) against the pulse or just below the chin, close to the jaw. Find the heart rate, hold for 15 seconds and start counting with 0 – 1 – 2 – 3, and so on. After 15 seconds, multiply by four (for a minute) the number you have reached – that is your resting heart rate.
It’s important to point out that these numbers are specific to each individual and both genetics, medication and fitness level play a key role in the results. For instance, people with outstanding endurance can have a heart rate in the 30’s, while ordinary people often have it around 60.
The test tells you how many times your heart beats to deliver enough blood when you rest. With a better fitness level, the resting heart rate decreases. A stronger heart pumps out more blood per beat and therefore does not need to pump as frequently as one does with a weaker heart. A lower resting heart rate means an overall better physical form.
Beats / min
36-40 very good
51-60 somewhat good
<60 need improvement
Perform this test every eight weeks.
Those who have just started training and who want to measure the effects of a good workout.
Test developed by Personal Trainer Halvor Lauvstad
Halvor studied at NIH and has been a product manager at SATS and general manager of Norsk Fitness. He has written a series of books about training, including “Best in Birken”. Currently, he is lecturing for AFPT in Norway.