How accurate or inaccurate are the charts that determine your heart rate zones based on your age and weight? ...
The charts are almost useless.
Humans are not all made equally.
The only way you will get accurate zones, is to do a Anaerobic Threshold test.
These test point out the "Zones" for which Heart Rate works are based on.
My wife and I have both done the "AT" tests on a bike this winter.
Her Aerobic/Anaerobic Threshold is 152,
Mine is 143.
That equates into a 5% Difference @ about 75%.
The max heart rate she can hit on a bike is in the 170s
Were I can hit 182-184.
Her Resting HR is about 70 and mine is between 43 and 47.
So compared, or numbers are very different.
Her HR range is only 100 or so and mine is almost 150.
If we could get Chicago Performance's HR numbers in here, it would really show the range of things.
There is a quick test to guess your AT.
Hope on a treadmill with a HR monitor and a note pad. (unless your monitor does graphing)
Warm-up for 10 minutes.
After warm-up, increase the speed of the treadmill by .25 MPHs.
At 2:00 minutes, write down you HR.
Repeat, increase the speed of the treadmill by .25 MPHs.
At 2:00 minutes, write down you HR...
Keep doing this till you find a area were your HR stays even for a increase of two.
That is the HR you consider 80%.