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Maximum Heart Rate

CorianderCoriander Posts: 1,326
edited September 2008 in Training, fitness and health
Hi,

I read a lot about maximum HR on here, but don't know how to calculate it. The classic, easy way was always to subtract your age from 220, but I've had the strong feeling that that is not what people on here use and it does seems a bit simplistic.

How do you work it out?

Thanks.

Posts

  • Hi Coriander
    this is taken from an article in the trainning section on 'Heart rate Trainning'

    Find your maximum heart rate

    The next step is to measure your maximum heart rate as this will be used as a guide for intensity in all training sessions. The best way is to get it done professionally (see trainsmart. com or sportstest.co.uk) but you can also get a pretty accurate reading using the following method. Cycle nice and easily for five minutes at a HR just below 100. Then build at 20 watts every minute (or 1mph if you are using a cycle computer) until you are unable to ride and are totally exhausted. When you can feel your limit approaching, sprint flat-out to get the last dregs of effort and the last few beats. That last reading is your max. 'You really need to give it your all,' says Beer. 'It helps to have a friend present who can take readings and shout at you. It should feel like your last effort on this earth. If you don't see Elvis and St Peter and hear lots of harps you haven't tried hard enough!' This is tough, so if you have not been training regularly or have any fitness concerns at all, get a check over by your GP first.


    You'll find the article here:-

    http://www.bikeradar.com/fitness/traini ... ining-1022

    Hope this helps

    :wink:
  • Tests to exhaustion (and hard training) carry some risk of mortality.

    As always it is important to be sure that you are OK to do such things, especially if older, unfit/untrained or have been ill to start with. If in any doubt, consult a medical professional before doing so.
  • BronzieBronzie Posts: 4,927
    There was a thread on here recently about this:
    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... t=12583309

    The general consensus seems to be that it's not that easy to determine your absolute max, but a close approximation to it should be good enough for setting HR training zones when using a heart rate monitor.

    As with any generalised formula, the "220-age calculation" is not that reliable.
  • Bronzie wrote:
    There was a thread on here recently about this:
    http://www.bikeradar.com/forums/viewtop ... t=12583309

    The general consensus seems to be that it's not that easy to determine your absolute max, but a close approximation to it should be good enough for setting HR training zones when using a heart rate monitor.

    As with any generalised formula, the "220-age calculation" is not that reliable.

    Ooooh...can of worms :wink:
    'How can an opinion be bullsh1t?' High Fidelity
  • sub55sub55 Posts: 1,025
    i`m fortunate enough to have done several ramp tests whilst sitting on £25000 worth of machinery and being surrounded by 1 professor 2 doctors and 4 post grad phd students. but i`ve never managed to hit the heights in heart rate terms ,that i can whilst chasing some little mountain goat on the final climb of a road race. so if you want to know your max heart rate . get yourself into a hilly road race.
    constantly reavalueating the situation and altering the perceived parameters accordingly
  • stevewjstevewj Posts: 227
    220 minus age is garbage for individuals - I'm 55 - max shoulld therefore be 165. My avarage during a 10 mile tt is 166 with max often at 172. My actual max is prob about 180+
  • stevewj wrote:
    220 minus age is garbage for individuals - I'm 55 - max shoulld therefore be 165. My avarage during a 10 mile tt is 166 with max often at 172. My actual max is prob about 180+

    I suppose by the logic of this calculation a 100 year old should be able to get to a massive 120bpm without keeling over.
    17 Stone down to 12.5 now raring to get back on the bike!
  • sub55 wrote:
    i`m fortunate enough to have done several ramp tests whilst sitting on £25000 worth of machinery and being surrounded by 1 professor 2 doctors and 4 post grad phd students. but i`ve never managed to hit the heights in heart rate terms ,that i can whilst chasing some little mountain goat on the final climb of a road race. so if you want to know your max heart rate . get yourself into a hilly road race.

    Ditto. I suspect it's because the tests are done under optimum conditions. I did mine a couple of weeks ago properly tapered, fully hydrated and having not eaten for 12 hours. Last Saturday I rode up Streatley Down with 50 hilly miles already in my legs and managed 106% of my lab MaxHR.

    Mind you, I was praying for death to take me by half way up the hill
  • BeaconRuthBeaconRuth Posts: 2,086
    I think this question of when someone can best push themselves to their limit is a very personal thing. Many people simply can't seem to make the effort on a turbo or stationary bike that they can on a hill on the open road or in a race. Then again, I've never seen anything like the HR I achieved in a controlled lab test - I went 5bpm higher than I've ever seen on the road or in endless hours of hard intervals (before or after). Choose the method of torture that suits you best, I say. There is no right or best way to do it.

    Ruth
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