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View Poll Results: Is your MHR 220-Your_Age???
Yup - it's pretty close (within 5 bpm) 4 20.00%
No - my MHR is a little higher (5-10 bpm higher) 6 30.00%
No - my MHR is a LOT higher (10 bmp or greater) 10 50.00%
No - my MHR is a little lower (5-10 bpm less) 0 0%
No - my MHR is a LOT lower (10 bmp or less) 0 0%
Voters: 20. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 08-28-02, 07:16 AM   #1
bac
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220 - age ... myth?? You make the call!

The standard of 220-age in terms of maximum heart rate does not seems to translate very well in my case. I'm 35, and my MHR is around 200bpm. I wonder how many of us are close to this theoretical number of 220-age? Is it more myth than truth, or do we as cyclist generally have a higher MHR??

ThanX!!!
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Old 08-28-02, 07:48 AM   #2
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my age is 23, and my MHR is at LEAST 211 (that's the highest i've ever seen on my HRM)
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Old 08-28-02, 08:08 AM   #3
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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...
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Old 08-28-02, 10:20 AM   #4
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It is only an approximation, and, like most guides, and can vary from person to person. It is like saying the average height of US males is 5' 10" or something like that.
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Old 08-28-02, 11:21 AM   #5
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Numbers like this one and recommended BMI numbers are approximations. Whether a government or an insurance company, they have to be careful when putting out numbers and formulas like these. They certainly do not apply to everyone, but are "safe" approximations.

Were they to press the numbers a bit, I suppose they might run some risk of pushing people too far and ultimately hurt them. An individual's MHR is best determined by a medically supervised stress test (pricey and inconvenient) and BMI by an underwater weighing (pricey and inconvenient.)

If you use the formula 220 minus age and exercise within the 65% to 85% range, I am certain your session will be within the aerobic range. Maybe not your training range, but at least aerobic.

My HRM allows me to set my own min and max. Since I found myself constantly going over the max during my exercise and exceeding the min with very little exertion, I simply raised my numbers in my settings a bit.

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Old 08-28-02, 04:01 PM   #6
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I'm 32.. so my MHR would be 188 using that formula. For the longest time I only observed 193 on my HRM. So I thought I was just off by 5bpm. Then I did my first 10 mile Time trial. I went all out and consequently got a new MHR of 202. I'm guessing I could go even higher too if I added some good hills. I just use the 202 number for now, at least until I see a higher number on my HRM.

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Old 08-28-02, 07:39 PM   #7
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How do you find MHR? Just slap on a HRM, pound away, and see how high you get?
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Old 08-29-02, 07:10 AM   #8
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actually, your MHR will be a little higher than the higest you've ever seen on your HRM... like someone said, you can't really know exactly unless you do that stress test thingy.
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Old 08-29-02, 09:29 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by deliriou5
actually, your MHR will be a little higher than the higest you've ever seen on your HRM... like someone said, you can't really know exactly unless you do that stress test thingy.
I don't know about that . . depends what you mean by "a little" - 1 beat, 2?

One thing for sure though your MHR won't be LOWER than the highest you've ever seen on you HRM!

There's an EXCELLENT book called "Heart Monitor Training for the Compleat Idiot" by John L. Parker Jr

He gives the various competing theories for estimating MHR from your age as well as a stress test you can conduct yourself.

Stew
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