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  1. #1
    David Whitley, RKC Guest

    Default Max heart rate question

    How was the "max HR" formula of 220-age developed?

    I assume it applies to the "average" human but not he well-conditioned nor the typical drive-thru dieter.

    Example: i am 36 in November, so my max HR should be 184-185. I regularly hit 176-180 and occaisionally hit in the 190+ range.

    I notice that many of the tour de france guys in their 30s were hitting 200 bpm.

    Conversely, i know a guy who doesn't exercise is 41 and 100+ lbs overweight and i am sure that the stress of trying to get to 160 would probably kill him.

    http://www.irontamer.com

  2. #2
    mmmclellan is offline Senior Member
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    Default Max heart rate question

    I train with a hrm. I have done a little research too. The Max Heart Rate is what it is. Basically someome like you or me are a little higher than the formula. I should be 189 to 191 depending on the formula but while running in Reno for a pft I hit 197. Some people are on the low side. In the book Heart Rate Monitor Training for the Compleate Idiot John L. Parker Jr. mentions world class athletes with higher than usual and lower than usual max heart rates.

    The trick is how long you can maintain the 85 to 95% (or even 100% if you are running for your life or even racing.

    In Parker's book he mentions staying above 80% on your hard days and below 70% on your easy days (at least for runners). I have been having much success with tough kettlebell wourkouts (above 80% max hr) mixed with running at under 70%.

    Marc

  3. #3
    Steve Cotter is offline Banned
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    Default Theoretical Max heart rate

    Dave,

    220 - your age is a laymen's formula for the 'theoretical max HR'.

    This was developed because a newborn's HR is generally about 220 bpm.

    As we age, the HR slows a bit, year by year.

    Of course, exercise, especially intense CV training, effects the body's ability to process and utilize O2.

    The formula has since been show to be inaccurate in many cases, but is still useful as it doesn't require any special tests or equipment, and provides a rough estimate for exercise intensity guidelines.

    The 220 - age formula has been shown to have upwards of a 20bpm +/- margin of error.

    I would say the this forumla is useful to some degree, but like the insurance company devised BMI (body mass index), it only really can categorize a very 'average' range of people and is almost useless to a serious athlete (heck anyone with a bit of muscle is 'obese' according to the BMI charts).


    Stevehttp://www.fullkontact.com

  4. #4
    Mike Johnson, RKC is offline Senior Member
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    Default Karvonen Method

    Dave,

    The Karvonen method, also known as the Heart Rate Reserve, is supposed to be a more individual based method for determining your target heart rate. The formula is 220-age-resting heart rate. Take this number and multiply it the desired intensity level (70-85%) and add your resting heart rate back to that number for your target heart rate.

    Example: Me
    220-30-50= 140 x 85% = 119+50= 169 This would be my Target Heart rate at 85% of predicted maximum heart rate. This is about 9 beats per minute higher than the standard 220-30 x 85%.

  5. #5
    para is offline Member
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    Default Max heart rate question

    as per my experience, every weight trainer has hr usually higher than average. as well i'm 41, 220 pds, and i use to hit 160-180 very often.
    I also had the possibility to talk with several powerlifters, and nobody had a low hr.
    EX ALTO FULGOR

  6. #6
    stickman is offline Senior Member
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    Default Max heart rate question

    Daivid,

    The other posts answered the question. To give another perspective. I am 39, have run,biked and Kb'ed for years. Due to a birth defect I have restricted lung capacity- I regularly train at 180 and 2 weeks ago I counted out 60 beats over a 15 sec period following in intense pace session. Thats 240 bpm so I don't know if I counted right but a 62 year old friend of mine who is a phenomenal athlete told me he reached 230-240 frequently during his college swim team days. I think each persons heart adapts to what is asked and what the lungs can give. My resting HR is around 44-48 bpm. I'm sure mmclellan and some of the really fit guys have similar experience. Chris Carmichael has a method for determining your personal max HR. It was published in the Mens Journal some months back. You might try to locate that article-it was on Armstrong's training program-to get a personalized approach. Sounds to me like you're doing great.

    Craig

  7. #7
    Don Stevenson is offline Senior Member
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    Default Max heart rate origins

    The 220 minus your age formula was developed by a bunch of cardiac researchers who were looking at normal populations and who noticed the trend in some of their data.

    They published their results and warned that it wasn't to be taken as gospel and were a little perplexed when everyone started using it like some unbreakable rule.

    Just like any physiological measure, Max HR is an individual thing and has little to do with training and a lot to do with genetics. The only way to test it properly is to do a stress test which needs to be done under medical supervision in most cases (in case you go a wee bit too far)

    For two identical size athletes performing an identical amount of physical work (for example riding a bike up a hill next to each other) their power output will be the same but their heart rate may be completely different even if they are both at 100% of their available power.

    as you have found, your HR profile during exercise doesn't match the formula. Neither does mine. I can hold 190 for over 10 minutes straight which represents 97.5% of my theoretical max, a figire any physiologist will tell you is impossible to hold for that long.

    However 190 represents only 93% of my real max HR (204) which is just barely sustainable for that long before i feel like dying.

    In summary, heart rate formulas are bollocks, work hard and don't worry about them.

  8. #8
    dfinley is offline Senior Member
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    Default Max heart rate question

    http://www.cbass.com/FAQ3.htm#Forget

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