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Max HR?

Old 06-15-06, 01:01 PM
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rcapilli
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Max HR?

OKay. So I'm 32 years old and doing some basic calculations (with the help of the Internet) I have found that my MAX HR is 188.... WEll, I'll tell ya, that has never been my max. I'm about ready to fall over when I hit 196. BUt I have pressed 204 on a few occasions. So what does this Max HR actually mean to me (the 188)?
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Old 06-15-06, 01:03 PM
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For males, the back-of-the-envelope calculation for MHR is 220-age (for males), which would put you at 188. That's a really rough calculation, it's more like a ballpark figure, some people are higher, some are lower.
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Old 06-15-06, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by rcapilli
OKay. So I'm 32 years old and doing some basic calculations (with the help of the Internet) I have found that my MAX HR is 188.... WEll, I'll tell ya, that has never been my max. I'm about ready to fall over when I hit 196. BUt I have pressed 204 on a few occasions. So what does this Max HR actually mean to me (the 188)?
A few things at work here:

1. The 220 - age is an estimate based on limited studies of the average max HR vs age of a bunch of people (not all guaranteed to be athletes, non-athletes, etc). It is not guaranteed to be accurate, nor does it even come with a +/- accuracy.

2. The HR monitor you're using is also not 100% accurate. Consumer reports tested a bunch of the top HR monitors (including Polar of course) and the best one was accurate only to within +/- 5 beats per minute. So when your HR monitor reads 204, it could very well be 199, or 209 (or even less accurate). It's not a perfect measure.
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Old 06-15-06, 01:16 PM
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That 220-age is a gross approximation for a demographic group. It has nothing to do with you. It's about as accurate as saying that if you're a 32 year old male, you should wear a 7 3/8 hat.
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Old 06-15-06, 01:22 PM
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your maximum heart rate is the top HR you have achieved. So call it 204. Much more accurate than the 220-age estimate.

BTW, one will know they are at their max HR by the fact that they suddenly feel the strong need to throw up violently an dperhaps get tunnel vision as well. Then you know you are pushing yourself.
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Old 06-15-06, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by caloso
That 220-age is a gross approximation for a demographic group. It has nothing to do with you. It's about as accurate as saying that if you're a 32 year old male, you should wear a 7 3/8 hat.
Aw crap! I've got the wrong size hat!!
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Old 06-15-06, 02:01 PM
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rcapilli
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ahhhhh. I thought it was just an estimate. I guess it's more of a tool for training like cadance.
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Old 06-15-06, 02:07 PM
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Yeah, Max HR is the highest HR you have achieved. If you've reached that point when you feel like you're going to puke, heart's going to explode out your chest, you want to die, etc., then you've probably reached your max HR. I'm 29, and by 220-age My max is 191, but I've gone as high as 195 on the bike, with all above feelings noted.

Be careful about that 204 measurement--one of my rides has a bridge that goes over some high-voltage train cables, and my HR always hits 231. Just make sure the numbers make sense.

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Old 06-15-06, 02:24 PM
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Forget the formulae, it's useless because of the +/-20% variations that can be observed. The only real way to find max-HR is to do it experimentally. There's a running and biking-test and most people find they can hit it a little higher on the biking. If you don't want to do an actual lab test, at least verify your max-HR reading with two HRMs to verify that they're pretty close to each other. Your real max-HR is probably around 200-205, forget the 188...
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Old 06-15-06, 03:28 PM
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Aside from all those posts, Max HR means nothing in terms of performance or fitness.
 
Old 06-15-06, 03:39 PM
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I'm 25 and my max was set at 207 during a finishline sprint in a crit. Gotta love your peripheral vision closing in.

Last edited by WD_40; 06-15-06 at 03:55 PM.
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Old 06-16-06, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by DocRay
Aside from all those posts, Max HR means nothing in terms of performance or fitness.
Sure, except it can allow you to determine HR zones that are pretty good for determining stress on your body from exercising (the zones, that is). So training in Zone 2 will require a different amount of rest and can be done for a different length of time than a Zone 4 workout. I've personally found these work much better at keeping up my progress and keeping down overtraining than going by feel.
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Old 06-16-06, 10:04 AM
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When I'm hung over my max HR is about 180. When I'm feeling good I can maintain in the high 190's for 30-45 minutes. You have to get used to it though.
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Old 06-16-06, 10:15 AM
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Originally Posted by badkarma
For males, the back-of-the-envelope calculation for MHR is 220-age (for males), which would put you at 188. That's a really rough calculation, it's more like a ballpark figure, some people are higher, some are lower.
Apparently it's spot on for me. Since having HR (this past Fall), the formula value is the highest I've seen, including a ride up a brutally steep hill where I'm maxed-out the whole way (i.e. it stays at what I believe is my max). Go figure!
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Old 06-17-06, 01:48 AM
  #15  
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Originally Posted by donrhummy
Sure, except it can allow you to determine HR zones that are pretty good for determining stress on your body from exercising (the zones, that is). So training in Zone 2 will require a different amount of rest and can be done for a different length of time than a Zone 4 workout. I've personally found these work much better at keeping up my progress and keeping down overtraining than going by feel.
Except zones based on MHR are almost as "grossly estimated" sometimes as the 220-age. Zones based on LTHR have proven to be a more valid relation to perceived exertion than the max HR zones, at least for me.
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Old 06-17-06, 06:41 AM
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Originally Posted by rcapilli
OKay. So I'm 32 years old and doing some basic calculations (with the help of the Internet) I have found that my MAX HR is 188.... WEll, I'll tell ya, that has never been my max. I'm about ready to fall over when I hit 196. BUt I have pressed 204 on a few occasions. So what does this Max HR actually mean to me (the 188)?
I don't place stock in that calculation game! I say you can hit some high HR's at times on tough climbs and so much plays a part,,,,,,weather; humidity; your current conditioning; or simply the way you feel that day; and psychological factors can get the HR up!

I have hit 217 on a climb but felt fine. I was psyched up and that had a part to do with my increased HR! So don't get too caught up in the numbers game, simply put!
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Old 06-17-06, 08:41 AM
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I'm 26 so my guess-timated Max HR is 196. My actual so far is 227. I know
it is somewhat accurate since I've hit within +/- 1 a few times now (baring
the inaccuracy of my Polar).

Either way it is always fun having more stats. When I was young I had life-size
poster of Mark Grace I could measure by. I should get a chart of pro stats so
I can compare.

Anyone know what some Pros' max HR or other stats are?
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Old 06-17-06, 08:54 AM
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Whats important about these heart rate figures is your total range. I have a resting rate of 45 but a max of only about 195. Some people have a resting of 60 but a max of 230, they have the greater range. You certainly cannot look at one number of the other when talking about someones fitness.

Last edited by eskimo85; 06-17-06 at 12:12 PM.
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Old 06-17-06, 10:05 AM
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I'm 52 and I have regularly hit 175 when pushing on a climb. So for me the "magic number" is 227. The 220 probably originally came from the average on a bell curve distribution from some sports medicine study.
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