I know that fitter people have lower resting heart rates but what about while they are exercising?

My guess is that because it is 'better' the heart can now achieve more beats per minute and so the max heart rate while exercising would increase.

And exercise the same as before would have a lower heart rate? (eg. running 1 km in 5 minutes while unfit would have a avg heart rate of say 150, while doing the same thing after getting fitter the avg heart rate would now be 120).

Would putting in the same effort during an exercise have higher or lower heart rates after getting fitter?

1 Answer 1


As your level of fitness increases, the cardiovascular system gets more and more efficient at delivering oxygen and necessary nutrients to the muscles throughout the body - so the fitter you get, the more "effort" (as in physical work) you can put in at the same heart rate.

If you get a heart rate monitor and always run at exactly your "optimal fat burning" heart rate (let's say at about 110 bpm), you'd be able to run faster and faster at that same heart rate over time (because the efficiency of your cardiovascular system would keep improving).

That being said - effort, or should I say perceived effort is a completely subjective thing. What might feel like an all-out-sprint to an untrained person, might feel like an easy warm up to a trained professional - even though they're putting in the exact same amount of "effort".

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