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How do you determine max. heart rate?(8 posts)

How do you determine max. heart rate?ALLEN phx.
Aug 16, 2001 8:01 AM
Is it... your age sustracted from 200 or something?

Also, An "off the topic" question...
-Are the TT helmets (Aero) as safe as regular helmets?

220 minus your age. nmgusriley
Aug 16, 2001 8:08 AM
Go 'till you blow.grzy mnky
Aug 16, 2001 8:13 AM
There are a bunch of formula type approaches but the best way is put yourself under a stress test run by a medical type. The cheaper way to do it is to do something like go a gym and set a tread mill for a pace that you know you can't sustain and have it do the random hill thing. Six minute miles usuaully work for me. Run your little buns off until you absolutely cannot continue. Note your heart rate. This isn't in the realm of "Gee this is tough.", but more along the lines of "OMFG - I think I'm gonna die." You should be toast and unable to continue your workout. The other way is to find out what you max. sustainable HR is and call it 85% or so then divide to get 100%.

Get the Lactate Pulse Rate book or whatever it's called. Has enough technical info to be useful, but it's written in layman's terms.
re: How do you determine max. heart rate?Tom C
Aug 16, 2001 8:16 AM
The age subtracted from 220 is a most general guideline. Genetic differences make for wide varieties. For example, as a 50 year old mine should be 170 but a stress test last year revealed my max hr to be 188, not that that means J.S. in terms of performance. Sorry I can't comment on helmets.
Max HR: 220 - age...Cima Coppi
Aug 16, 2001 8:22 AM
I think some aero helmets are ANSI/SNELL approved, but most that the pros use in TT's are not.

All formulae are WRONG!Humma Hah
Aug 16, 2001 9:38 AM
We surveyed the "max heartrates" of about 30 riders here a few months back, and no formula known fit the data worth a darn. Some riders were off 30 bpm.

The only thing that matters is to do the test. But one of the things I saw in the data was that a lot of riders, particularly the younger ones, evidently had never seriously pushed their max HR! They just THOUGHT they'd hit max. Real max is PROFOUNDLY unpleasant.

I found mine when I went to a cardiologist for a full treadmill stress test, the safest way to do it, but expensive. That rascal pushed me harder than I would EVER have pushed myself, hitting a HR several BPM past the highest I've ever seen on my HRM.
re: How do you determine max. heart rate?SIUSA
Aug 16, 2001 10:02 AM
Hi Allen,

Humma Ha is correct. There really is no formula out that is worth a damn. They could be right on or off by over 30 beats, there is no way to know. He is also right that a exercise phys lab is the only place you will really find out your true max. If you try to do it yourself you will likely go too hard too soon and not actually hit your max. You will be pretty close if you add 5 to the highest hr you have ever seen on your heart rate monitor, but this will still not be perfect. All of that said, max is a pretty worthless number. You are much better using LT to set your training zones (this # is also determined during a GXT in a phys lab). LT is much more closely tied to training and exercise response than max.

As far as helmets go, there are currently no aero helmets manufactured that meet any safety standard. Over the years there have been some that have met the minimal ANSI standard (Bell Vortex, Troxel) but these are no longer in production and in any case were no where near as protective as new helmets that meet the new CPSC standards.

Bill Corliss
Sports Instruments
re: How do you determine max. heart rate?girodebirdman
Aug 16, 2001 12:17 PM
That is a difficult. As a 15:30 5k runner at the age of 17, I once hit 196 before I blew in the middle of a race, where the (220-age) said I should be at 203. In the ensuing 3 years, when I got down to sub 14:30 for 5k, the highest I ever saw my HR was 191, and that was where I was about to tie up and go into massive oxygen debt and lactic acid buildup. 6 X 1 mile with 3 minute rest that I would run in 4:35 would typically be at 181-187, any higher and I would blow by the end of the workout. A 5k tempo run for HR monitoring purposes resulted in a low 15:00 time with HR near 184 the whole time. All this says is that you will be best served to buy a HR monitor and, during an intense effort (race or workout) you may get a good feel for your max HR). Good luck!