How To Calculate Maximum Heart Rate With A Field Test
Besides estimations and tests, you can calculate max heart rate by putting on your running shoes, firing up your heart rate monitor, and heading out into the real world.
You wont need fancy laboratory equipment for the field test but youll still get an accurate and personal estimation of your maximum heart rate. The premise is simple: you warm up properly and then do an exercise that brings you close to your maximum effort.
Please note that for a maximum effort field test its best to call a friend and have them join you, just to be on the safe side. Also, make sure you have some hard training under your belt from recent weeks.
What Is Considered A Dangerously High Heart Rate
When your heart rate is too fast, its called tachycardia. For adults, a fast heart rate is generally defined as a heart rate of over 100 beats per minute. Tachycardia can be dangerous depending on the underlying conditions and causes. Possible causes include anemia, hyperthyroidism, heart disease, or congenital heart disease, among others.
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How To Calculate Maximum Heart Rate
The most common way to find your maximum heart rate is by using one of the many age-based equations. The most well-known of these is the very simple Fox formula:
220 – age = Maximum Heart Rate
This means that for a 30-year-old runner, the estimated maximum heart rate would be 190. Then, heart rate zones can be determined by calculating a given percentage of the 190 MHR.
The trouble with the Fox formula is that its not the most accurate measure as numerous variables impact MHR including genetics, the specific activity , medications, body size, altitude, and yeseven age. Runners of the same age can have drastically different max heart rates depending on genetics or how well-trained they are. Because of this, there are at least six possible formulas, all claiming bragging rights for being the most accurate for predicting maximal heart rate. Of course, researchers are doing their best to validate the different formulas, but that gets tricky, too. For instance, a study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research determined that in college-aged subjects, the Gellish2 and Fairburn equations seemed to be the most accurate options. That said, the American College of Sports Medicine recommends formulas with a standard deviation of seven beats per minute such as Gellish and Tanaka equations.
- Gellish2: 191.5 – .007 x age^2 = MHR
- Fairburn: 201 – .63 x age for women = MHR OR 208 – .80 x age for men = MHR
- Gellish: 206.9 – = MHR
- Tanaka: 208 – = MHR
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You’re Dehydrated Or Too Hydrated
Minerals in your body with an electric charge are called electrolytes. If you drink too much water or not enough, it can throw off the ratio of electrolytes to water in your system, which messes with your body chemistry.
“If your potassium, calcium, or magnesium levels are very low, that can induce arrhythmias , which can manifest as a higher heart rate,” says Taub.
How To Determine Your Max Heart Rate
Measuring your heart rate is an important part of monitoring your health. Calculating your max heart rate is one way to ensure you dont overexert yourself during rigorous exercise and to better measure your fitness progress.
Knowing your max and resting heart rate will give you more comfort and control when it comes to exercise intensity and your overall health. Exercising at the correct intensity can help you get the most out of your physical activity and making sure youre not pushing too hard or too little. The most common way to find your maximum heart rate is by using one of the many age-related equations. One of the most popular is the Fox formula: 220 Age = MHR.
According to the American Heart Association, before learning how to calculate and monitor your target training heart rate, you should know your resting heart rate. A good way to check is in the morning after youve had a good nights sleep and before you get out of bed. The average ranges should be:
- For children 10+ and adults: 60-100 BPM
- For well-trained athletes: 40-60 BPM
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Max Heart Rate Field Test Example
Do this field test with a training partner. Use a heart rate monitor and note the highest heart rate you can reach. This is your maximum heart rate.
Doing a maximum heart rate field test while unprepared is a surefire way to end up in maximum distress. If you are unsure, consult your physician before undertaking the test.
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Why Calculate Max Heart Rate
Calculating max heart rate is necessary for heart rate training and understanding what your heart rate zones are. Once you know what your max HR is, you can then monitor your heart rate while exercising and track what percentage of your max you hit during certain workouts and activities.
Different percentages of your max HR represent various heart rate training zones, which are useful to target depending on what your goals are. For example, as you can see in the chart below, exercising at 70-80% of your max heart rate is good for improving your overall level of aerobic fitness.
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Target Heart Rates Chart
What should your heart rate be when working out, and how can you keep track of it? Our simple chart will help keep you in the target training zone, whether you want to lose weight or just maximize your workout. Find out what normal resting and maximum heart rates are for your age and how exercise intensity and other factors affect heart rate.
Max Hr Test #: The 42 Test
This test is more interactive and is based on VO2 max-type of training. The idea is that you dont let the body fully recover by having a rest interval shorter than the speed interval.
Traditional VO2 max training is targeted to build power and speed endurance, as well as teach the body to tolerate the build-up of lactate in the body.
The difference in this test is that we focus on reaching the maximum heart rate. Therefore, every interval should be performed at maximum speed and not the lactate threshold speed.
The protocol is: do 4 repeats of 2 minutes at maximum effort with 1 minute rest interval. I bet after second youll already see your heart rate redlining and after third youll be quite close to the absolute maximum.
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You Have Diabetes Or Are On Your Way To Getting It
Doctors aren’t clear on whether a high heart rate causes diabetes or if diabetes causes a high heart rate, but recent studies show that the two are definitely related.
Often, says Taub, people who develop diabetes are less active and more likely to have coronary disease and high blood pressure, all of which strain the heart. And when your heart’s not happy, it can lead to other problems down the road.
“There are a lot of studies that link higher heart rate, especially in patients with diabetes, to more adverse outcomes,” says Taub.
What Can You Calculate With A Pace Calculator
- Determine how fast your pace should be if you have a certain finish time for a desired distance or race. For example, find out what pace you need to keep to run a 28-minute 5K or a sub-2:00 half marathon.
- Determine what your pace was for your training run around the neighborhood or track. For example, find out how fast your pace was for that 46-minute 5-mile training run.
- Determine the distance you ran. For example, you can calculate the distance you ran by inputting the pace you ran at and the duration of your training run or race
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How To Measure Your Heart Rate
To properly utilize heart rate training, you need an easy way to track your heart rate. Of course, you can always go old school, use a timer and place your fingers on your pulse to check beats per minute during your workouts, but that can get challenging when your heart rate soars, and youre trying to count beats while huffing and puffing. Fortunately, chest straps and wrist watches make measuring your HR instantly easier.
Just about any GPS-tracking watch will also track heart rate with at least moderate accuracy, but if youre looking for the most accurate option available, studies show youll be best served by opting for a chest-strap monitor.
According to a 2017 study comparing chest strap and wrist-based heart rate monitors, the Polar H7 was the most accurate of the seven products tested. Of course, there are many options on the market that havent been tested with this type of scientifically-validated approach, but of those that have been studied, these products consistently achieve the most accurate results:
A waterproof, optical HR monitor for your arm
Find Your Active Training Heart Rate
The final, and most accurate, method for determining training heart rate requires a wearable heart rate monitor. Instead of using a passive, catch-all formula, Ride or run a 30-minute time trial with no stops, suggests endurance coach Gareth Thomas . Look to cover as much distance you can, then make the following calculations:
- Record your average heart rate for the last 10 minutes of effort.
- Multiply this number by 95 percent to get your functional threshold heart rate. This is the highest intensity you can sustain for more than a few minutes, and therefore will be lower than your MHR, which is the maximum speed your heart is capable of beating.
- Input this number into the formulas that come with your smartwatch or heart rate monitor to calculate your training zones.
If you want to maximize your performance usually for endurance racing this kind of road testing works best. So, the next time you join an Openfit live running class, you can use the in-app heart tracker to track your rate across the run. Says Thomas, This allows you to avoid the flawed maxHR theory, and will give you a far more accurate basis for your ongoing training. For day-to-day workouts, however, the paper-and-pen formulas work fine.
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How To Find Your Target Heart Rate
First, it helps to know your resting heart rate, Martin says. Find your pulse . Then count the number of beats in a minutethats your resting heart rate. The average resting heart rate is between 60 and 100, he says. The more fit you are, the lower your resting heart rate for very fit people, its in the range of 40 to 50 beats per minute.
Target heart rate is generally expressed as a percentage of your maximum safe heart rate. The maximum rate is based on your age, as subtracted from 220. So for a 50-year-old, maximum heart rate is 220 minus 50, or 170 beats per minute. At a 50 percent exertion level, your target would be 50 percent of that maximum, or 85 beats per minute. At an 85 percent level of exertion, your target would be 145 beats per minute. Therefore, the target heart rate that a 50-year-old would want to aim for during exercise is 85 to 145 beats per minute.
But theres an easier way to figure it out if you want to skip the math: Wear a fitness tracking device, or exercise on a treadmill or other machine that calculates target heart rate for you, Blaha suggests.
Use A Formula Based On Age And Sex
In 2010, Dr. Martha Gulati, working off of data from over 5,000 women, proposed a different max heart rate specifically designed for women:
- Multiply your age by .88 .
- Subtract that number from 206
Gulatis results are typically slightly lower than other age-based formulas. So if youre a 55-year-old woman, you can find your MHR by multiplying .88 by 55 and subtracting the result from 206. That gives you an MHR of 157.6, which you would round up to 158.
Like the age-based formula, this one works fine, but still suffers a broad range of uncertainty: MHR can vary widely, based not on fitness, but primarily on genetics. So some fit people tire quickly at a low percentage of their age-based MHR others the same age may feel very little at that percentage. If youre female, use either the Inbar formula or the Gulati formula.
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What Is My Maximum Heart Rate
So now youre ready to start calculating max heart rate, where should you start?
If youve ever attempted to calculate resting heart rate, then is obviously the opposite of this. Instead of calming your heart down, youre going to push it to the limit.
Calculating maximum heart rate requires that youre ready to sweat and have the right equipment to measure it for you. If youre simply curious to know what is my max heart rate, then you can always start by using the tools below to estimate it.
Is there anything that will influence your maximum heart rate? Factors such as age, fitness level, stress and medication like beta blockers will affect your heart rate.
Does your sex affect your max heart rate? To calculate max heart rate male or female is exactly the same. However, you may be interested to know that smaller people usually have a higher maximum heart rate, which is why women often have a higher rate than men.
Why Do I Keep Waking Up At 3 Am
If you wake up at 3 a.m. or another time and cant fall right back asleep, it may be for several reasons. These include lighter sleep cycles, stress, or underlying health conditions. Your 3 a.m. awakenings may occur infrequently and be nothing serious, but regular nights like this could be a sign of insomnia.
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Know Your Numbers: Maximum And Target Heart Rate By Age
This table shows target heart rate zones for different ages. Your maximum heart rate is about 220 minus your age.3
In the age category closest to yours, read across to find your target heart rates. Target heart rate during moderate intensity activities is about 50-70% of maximum heart rate, while during vigorous physical activity its about 70-85% of maximum.
The figures are averages, so use them as a general guide.
How To Calculate Target Heart Rate Zone
60-70% of maximum heart rate
weight loss, building endurance
70-80% of maximum heart rate
weight management, improving cardio fitness
80%+ of maximum heart rate
Heart rate training is based on training at intensity zones that are determined from the percentage of your maximum heart rate. When you train at the right intensity, you’ll get the effect you’re looking for. You can calculate your estimated training heart rate zones based on your age alone or based on both your age and fitness level. For the latter option you need to measure your resting heart rate three mornings in a row. It is a more personalized number and it is a method recommended for people who are experienced exercisers. Knowing how hard to push your heart and for how long takes the guess work out of your hard work, so you will never over or under train again. And, knowing these things is what Polar does. We don’t just pass on the information, we interpret that information to guide you to your fitness goals.
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Should You Be Tracking Your Heart Rate
Understanding your MHR can help you make sure you’re exercising at the proper intensity for your goals. Heart rate-based exercise personalizes your training to take it to the next level, so if it’s a possibility for you, consider investing in a wearable heart rate monitor, Cheng says, or try a workout class like Orangetheory Fitness, where every participant wears a heart rate monitor.
Just don’t let your heart rate become the sole focus of your workout. “If you find yourself taking extra lengths of time to calculate formulas, distracting you from your workout, it’s best to practice on rest days or hire a professional to monitor your heart rate for you,” Cheng says.