Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Munich Germany (formerly Portland OR, Texas)
Bikes: '02 Specialized FSR, '03 RM Slayer, '99 Raleigh R700, '97 Norco hartail, '89 Stumpjumper
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well, like most statistics, it's only an average...
i think the numbers i heard are:
** 80% of the population is within +/- 5bpm from the formula predicted value (when using the 226-age for women)
** but for the other 20% the variation can be QUITE large
often, a huge variation has some medical condition-related aspect. for example, a MTBer friend of mine had some condition where his heart couldn't reach high levels so at age 27 he would ride in the 99-109 range and had a max of like 125. and my girlfriend has a weak heart valve so it doesn't close completely when the heart pumps, so it takes more beats, so her max is like 240 or something and when running she is quite fine and can speak normally and not out of breath at 210 or so...
in my case, i'm 31, so 220-31 = 189, and my max is about 194, so 5 beats high.
i also think for very sedentary people or obese people the numbers can be different... but i'm not sure here - theoretically it shouldn't matter, but i guess if your heart is so untrained then who knows...