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How To Calculate Max Heart Rate

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How Do I Get My Heart Rate In The Target Zone

How to Calculate Your Max Heart Rate For Fitness Training

When you work out, are you doing too much or not enough? Theres a simple way to know: Your target heart rate helps you hit the bullseye so you can get max benefit from every step, swing and squat. Even if youre not a gym rat or elite athlete, knowing your heart rate can help you track your health and fitness level.

Calculate Max Heart Rate

To identify your personal target heart rate zone, you must first calculate your maximum heart rate. The easiest and safest way to calculate your maximum heart rate is using the Karvonen Method: 220 your age = your maximum heart rate. This method is accurate enough for most people and is a good starting point to base your heart rate zone training.

Then, you will need to take 85% of your maximum heart rate in order to find out your target heart rate zone for maximum performance.

Cross Referencing Max Heart Rate Calculations

While we know these calculations are reasonably accurate, my suggestion is to wear a heart rate monitor when you go to the gym to workout. Keep an eye on your heart rate throughout your workout and see how you respond to various exercise intensities. If you are in pretty good shape, you can run on the treadmill for 15-20 minutes, than at the end really sprint hard for 1-2 minutes. Whatever your heart rate shows at the end of that sprint, add another 5 beats per minute and thats a pretty decent estimate of your max heart rate.

Another even easier way is if you are breathing extremely hard during a workout so that you cant even talk at all, youre probably within 5-10 bpm of your max heart rate. For me, after a set of walking lunges with a lot of weight, my heart rate jumps through the roof and Im pretty close to my max.

In future posts, I will go into more depth about how to use training zones to help you get leaner, and give you some sample cardio training workouts.

  • 220 age equation has a standard deviation of ±10 to 12 bpm .
  • Gellish and colleagues has a standard deviation of ±5 to 8 beats per minute
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    Find Your Mahr Method : Phil Maffetones 180 Formula

    Phil Maffetone suggests a formula of 180 minus your age, with several adjustments based on your training history . For me, the 180 formula asks me to add 5 if I have been training for more than two years without any of the problems listed , and have made progress in competition without injury, add 5.

    For me, this is 180-42 = 138 + 5 = 143

    must be the highest heart rate for all training. This allows you to most efficiently build an aerobic base. Training above this heart rate rapidly incorporates anaerobic function, exemplified by a shift to burning more sugar and less fat for fuel.

    How To Find Your Real Maximum Heart Rate

    How to Calculate Your Target Heart Rate: 9 Steps (with ...

    by: Shin Ohtake, Fitness & Fat-Loss ExpertAuthor of MAX Workouts, The Ultimate Lean Body Fitness Program

    Exercising within your target heart rate zone has long been accepted as a standard training protocol, but what if I told you that the formula for calculating your max heart rate is inaccurate? And that even the doctor that created the formula admits to being completely surprised at how the medical and fitness communities have made it the standard formula, without anyone actually doing any extended research.

    Heres the real story on how the formula for calculating your max heart rate came about :

    Can you imagine if your MHR was 160, but according to the formula your MHR was supposed to be 185? You could push your self until you passed out and still not reach your calculated MHR. Or, on the other hand, what if your MHR was actually 200, but the formula calculated it to be 180? You would always be training at sub-par intensities, wondering why the people around you were sweatin up a storm when you barely broke a sweat.

    The truth is that the popularity of the formula was more about timing than about exact science. It was available at just the right time, when people wanted an easy way to objectively figure out an intensity that would satisfy filling the criteria for both the medical field as well as the fitness field.

    So what is the best way to find out how hard you need to train, without going into the danger zone? Well, you have a couple of options.

    Stay Lean,

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    Maximum Heart Rate And Beta Blockers

    Our HRmax Calculator asks you to check a box if you use beta blockers. The reason for that is that heart patients and others on beta blockers will have a reduced maximum heart rate.

    Beta blockers bind to adrenaline receptors and block access for adrenaline molecules. Adrenaline causes the heart to pump both harder and faster. Hence, beta blockers reduce the maximum heart rate. The magnitude of the reduction depends on the dosage, so we recommend that you test yourself to find an exact HRmax.

    Exercise Intensity And Your Max Heart Rate

    After you calculate your MHR, you can use that number to find out how hard you’re working based on your age. Exercising within a target heart rate zone can help strengthen your cardiovascular system and build lung capacity, according to the Mayo Clinic.

    • For a moderate workout, exercise within 50 to 70 percent of your MHR.
    • For a more intense workout, exercise within 70 to 85 percent of your MHR.

    Average MHR and Target Heart Rate Zones by Age

    84 to 117 bpm

    117 to 142 bpm

    You can also pick a heart rate goal based on your activity. For HIIT workouts, for example, you’ll want to reach about 80 to 95 percent of your maximum heart rate during your most intense intervals, Cheng says. On the other hand, the ideal heart rate for low-intensity steady-state cardio like jogging or cycling is between 60 and 80 percent of your MHR.


    If you’re specifically looking to identify your ideal heart rate zone for vigorous exercise, called your heart rate reserve , you have one more calculation option: the Karvonen formula, according to the Mayo Clinic.

  • Calculate your max heart rate using one of the formulas above.
  • Then, calculate your resting heart rate : Measure your pulse for 15 seconds when your body is at rest and multiply this number by four.
  • Subtract your RHR from your MHR. This gives you your HRR.
  • Multiply your HRR by 0.70 and 0.85. Add your RHR to these two values. While you’re exercising vigorously, your heart rate should land somewhere between those two numbers.
  • Warning

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    Use The Heart Rate Reserve Formula

    While not technically a measure of max heart rate, another formula you can use to determine training intensity is the Karvonen method, or heart rate reserve formula. Your heart rate reserve is a measure of the difference between your maximum heart rate and your resting heart rate in other words, the range of speeds at which your heart is capable of contracting. Since HRR factors in your resting heart rate a loose measure of your current level of cardiovascular fitness its a good one to use if youre training consistently and seeking higher levels of cardiovascular fitness.

    To calculate training intensity using HRR, follow these steps:

    First, measure your resting heart rate:

    • Gently place your fingertips on one side of your windpipe until you find a pulse.
    • Count your heartbeats for 30 seconds and multiply the result by 2 to calculate beats per minute .
    • For a more accurate reading, measure your RHR first thing in the morning, before getting out of bed.

    Second, find your heart rate reserve:

    • Subtract your RHR from your MHR. Men should use the Inbar formula for this women can use either Inbar or the Gulati formula .

    So, a 30-year-old man with a resting heart rate of 60 BPM would subtract his age x 0.685 from 205.8 to get an MHR of 185, then subtract his resting heart rate to get 125.

    Third, determine your exercise intensity:

    What Is Your Mhr

    How to Calculate Maximum Heart Rate

    Advanced heart rate monitors at a doctor’s office are the most accurate way to measure MHR. But there are three calculations called the Fox, Tanaka and Gulati formulas that are all valid methods to estimate your max heart rate on your own, Matt Cheng, CSCS, tells

    The Fox formula is the most commonly referenced formula for calculating your MHR, and it’s used by many major health organizations, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Mayo Clinic.

    The Fox method, says cardiologist Steve Atchley, MD, is often recommended for its simplicity, while the Tanaka formula “is the more accurate of the two,” he says .

    To find your MHR with the Fox method, all you need to do is subtract your age from 220.

    The Fox formula: 220 – your age

    The Fox formula, which has been around for decades, has been criticized for neglecting to incorporate research surrounding MHR in older adults. The Tanaka formula was developed in response to that in 2001, after analyzing MHR values from 351 different studies with more than 18,000 subjects of different ages and sexes. The Tanaka formula, first published in January 2001 in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, better factors in age-related changes in MHR.

    To calculate your max heart rate with the Tanaka method, multiply your age by 0.67, then subtract that value from 206.9.

    The Tanaka formula: 206.9 –

    The Gulati formula: 206 –

    The Takeaway

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    Taking Your Heart Rate

    Generally, to determine whether you are exercising within the heart rate target zone, you must stop exercising briefly to take your pulse. You can take the pulse at the neck, the wrist, or the chest. We recommend the wrist. You can feel the radial pulse on the artery of the wrist in line with the thumb. Place the tips of the index and middle fingers over the artery and press lightly. Do not use the thumb. Take a full 60-second count of the heartbeats, or take for 30 seconds and multiply by 2. Start the count on a beat, which is counted as zero. If this number falls between 85 and 119 bpm in the case of the 50-year-old person, he or she is active within the target range for moderate-intensity activity.

    • Lifetime Fitness and Wellness. Provided by: Extended Learning Institute of Northern Virginia Community College. Located at: . License: CC BY: Attribution
    • Target Heart Rate and Estimated Maximum Heart Rate. Provided by: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Located at: . License: Public Domain: No Known Copyright

    How Can I Test Heart Rate

    Heart rate can be assessed on your own, or by a professional. You can find the number of beats per minute when at rest or during times of exercise.

    If you do this on your own, you simply need to have a heart rate monitor of your own or use one that is together with cardio exercise equipment. It can also be done without equipment.

    Lets discuss assessing heart rate without equipment first if you choose to go this route.

    To do this, you will be assessing your own pulse by touching one of your main arteries in the body and counting the beats you feel.

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    Higher Maximum Heart Rate With Lower Fitness

    Healthy non-athletes almost reach their true maximum heart rate during an all-out test of maximum oxygen uptake. In our research, we usually add five heart beats to the highest heart rate achieved during a cardiopulmonary exercise test, but according to our new results that is three beats too many. The study also indicates that women and men have similar maximum heart rates, and that persons with below-average fitness generally have higher maximum heart rates than fitter persons.

    The study includes 107 men and women between 22 and 70 years of age. They all had their maximum oxygen uptake tested at our lab, and then performed a standardized maximum heart rate test a few days later. The results show that the real maximum heart rate was 2.2 beats higher per minute than the maximum heart rate achieved during the test of oxygen uptake.

    Importance Of Determining Maximum Heart Rate


    Your heart rate helps you to determine your fitness level. Knowing your maximum heart rate can assist you to avoid over training which affects the quality of your exercising. If you have a low heart rate, then you are likely to under-train as this leads to low-intensity exercises. Additionally, Individuals who under-train will take considerably longer to see the outcomes they wish.

    Being aware of your maximum heart rate will help you to avoid pushing your body beyond your fitness level. Over-training may result in dehydration and therefore put you at risk of fainting or getting chronic infections.

    A persons resting heart rate provides one with a great approach into ones personalized heart rate zone sets. Progress in due course and training can be shown by it, offering one a vital feedback on health and the level of fitness.

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    Calculate Your Maximum Heart Rate

    The easiest way to do this is a simple paper-and-pencil calculation. Subtract your age from 220. The result is an age-predicted maximum beats per minute.

    Itâs important to note that this method does not take into account your fitness level or inherited genes, which can make your true maximum heart rate 10 to 20 beats per minute higher or lower than the age-predicted number.

    A second method to calculate your maximum heart rate is to have an exercise tolerance or stress test. This usually is supervised by a physician and performed in a hospital or clinical setting in three-minute stages, during which the speed and incline continue to increase in an effort to elevate your heart rate until it climbs to its highest level.

    Beginner Tips For Heart Rate Zone Training

    Working out can seem overwhelming, especially when you are short on time and energy after work. Using the latest tech and the adidas Runtastic apps makes staying on top of your workouts easy, so all you have to do is show up and let the app guide your training.

    Here are five beginner tips to keep in mind when starting heart rate zone based workouts:

  • Slow down if you find yourself in too high a heart rate zone for your goals.
  • Heart rate fluctuates daily and can change based on things like caffeine intake or dehydration.
  • Heart rate zones are a tool to help you achieve your health goals, not the result.
  • Your body is unique. Dont be tempted to compare your zones with others.
  • Listen to your body. You will get a better sense of your heart rate zone when you work out more.
  • Note:The above-mentioned tips and calculations apply to healthy individuals. If you have any heart problems, are on any medication, or have been advised by your doctor to stay within a certain bpm range, make sure you follow their instructions. And, as always, check with your doctor before starting any new fitness regimen.

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    Understanding Your Target Heart Rate

    Nearly all exercise is good. But to be sure youre getting the most fromyour workout yet staying at a level thats safe for you, you can monitorhow hard your heart is working.

    Aiming for whats called a target heart rate can help you do this, says Johns Hopkins cardiologist Seth Martin, M.D., M.P.H. Think of it as the sweet spot between not exercising hard enough and overexerting.

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    MTNTOUGH – How to Calculate Max Heart Rate Range

    Why 220 minus your age gets your max heart rate wrong

    How do you work out your maximum heart rate? The simple formula 220 minus your age, right? Wrong. Sports scientists have discovered a better formula, but its still no substitute for a proper lab test.

    That simple formula allows fitness seekers and athletes alike to find out their maximum heart rate by simply subtracting their age from 220. They can then use this number to estimate HR zones to regulate training efforts, recovery intensity and race pacing . It is so simple and has been quoted by so many personal trainers and magazines that it has become a fact without anybody actually citing the original research.

    Some get max tested by a sports science department or by one of the range of companies who offer it. Others work out their own max HR derived from beating themselves up in race or hill climb. However, most use 220 minus age to guesstimate their maximum heart rate. For a very few it actually works out right it did for me briefly but has been wrong many more years than it has been right.

    Where did it come from?

    It was not a formula, it was a bad guess. So, Robergs and Roberto reproduced the data points that the whole myth of 220 had been resting upon and then did clever statistical analysis. Low and behold they found that it did not support the 220-age equation but instead it was: 215.4 .

    Theres more

    But three things are clear:

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    Max Hr Test #: Partner

    This test involves a buddy and is mentally a bit easier. The idea is to simulate a lab test, but instead of fancy equipment have a friend next to you controlling the test.

    Have a partner ride a bike next to you while you run . Wear a chest strap and give the heart rate monitor to your partner, so that only he is able to see the data.

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