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Maximum Heart Rate theory disputed(10 posts)

Maximum Heart Rate theory disputedpatrick from seattle
Apr 24, 2001 10:01 AM
I saw the following article in the NY Times, and I thought I'd let youse know.
You need to have an account to see the article, but it's free to register.
The article says that the original 220-age = MHR was never intended to represent all ages. It was developed from data collected on heart disease patients, and that skewed the results.

It's an interesting article. Maybe I'll get an HR monitor an do some experimentation myself.
re: Maximum Heart Rate theory disputedWayne Scott
Apr 25, 2001 3:32 AM
I thought it had been known for years that the 220-age formula was notoriously inaccurate and just a generalized formula that could be way off for alot of people. It's not that hard to get your max HR. On a day where your well recovered, find a good hill, warmup, go real easy and then hit the hill balls out for a minute or so. Repeat a couple of times, you'll have a pretty good idea of what you max HR is after doing this. I can't imagine any serious endurance athlete is relying on this formula. Wouldn't you observe at least near max HR while training and/or racing, anyway?
re: Maximum Heart Rate theory disputedpatrick from seattle
Apr 25, 2001 7:12 AM
It seems like the article was saying that while doctors and physiologists have known that the 220-age MHR theory was bunk for a long time, fitness products marketed to the general public continued to use this formula as an easy way to determine MHR. It did say that Polar has included this method in its manuals. I don't own an HR monitor by Polar or anyone else, so I can't back that up.
I certainly remember that the MHR method I was taught in the Army was the 220-age method, but then I can't expect them to be that up to date.
I think I'll try your method of finding MHR when I get a monitor, which should be soon. I like it better than the alternate method they propose: 208-(0.7*age). That seems almost as arbitrary.

Over simplified...TJeanloz
Apr 25, 2001 7:43 AM
The article, as usual, over simplified the findings to make it understandable to the general public who do not live and die by their HRMs. Those who have been around endurance sports have known for a long time that 220-age is a 'ballpark' figure for untrained individuals. I was, in fact, one of the people studied for this experiment, and when I did the stress test in ~1998 my MHR was over 220; and the scientists weren't surprised in the least. The article makes it sound like they tested somebody last week who hit 222 and everybody was like "Oh my god, what do we do now". But that's not the case, and people who are really up on training have known it not to be the case for some time. My Polar HRM, which I got in ~1997 came with a book on Heart Rate Training, and it mentions a home stress test to determine MHR, because the 220-age formula was at that time considered inadequate.
Over simplified...rompus
Apr 25, 2001 6:05 PM
I am 39 and when I go balls out my heartrate reaches 190 which is 10 beats over recommended and I never feel ready to collapse. If you are in very good shape I think that using this method is as good a method as any. When you pass out you know you went too far
re: Maximum Heart Rate theory disputedAverage-Skewer
Apr 25, 2001 9:28 AM
Yeah, I always thought this was baloney. My MHR is 200 and I'm 36. Does that make me dead? Or am I using up a year of my life every minute I spend above 184?
Cream of the CropBreck
Apr 25, 2001 3:47 PM
Anyone following sports physiology and reading the publications over the last 30 years knows the (220-age) is correlated to a specific data group as all data is. Marathoner Magazine in summer 1978 published an extensive lab testing of elite runners. Included were Frank Shorter & Steve Prefontaine among 19 other stand-outs. The tables of ~25 separate tests considered "revealing" also gave pertinent data for so-called good runners and untrained men. The tests were performed earlier than 1978 as you can tell by the ages given.

For the record the table shows (will list some but not all ~25 "specs":
Frank Shorter: age=27, VO2=71.3, max HR=195
Steve Prefontaine: age=23, VO2=84.4, max HR=122
Gary Tuttle: age=27, VO2=82.7, max HR=214
&"good runners", ave's: age=21.3, VO2=69.2, max HR=195
&& "untrained lean men", ave.'s:age=20.7, VO2=54.2, max HR=197

One has to read a heck of a lot of text & practically make a study of it and still factors not yet assigned (Kenyan's from the Rift Valley), & genetics, mental drive, etc. may still play a factor as we all know.

Would be interesting to find like table for Elite Bikers, etc.

stet... Prefontaine, maxHR = 210Breck
Apr 25, 2001 4:23 PM
me eye wandered over to lactate data...
Prefontaine.. 122 lactate(mg%)
Shorter....... 95
Tuttle........ 127
& as one can see the numbers bounce around.

btw, Shorter had the lowest VO2 listed.

other parameters, to mention a few, are: heart volume, % slow & fast twitch muscle fibers, treadmill time, enzyme activity, LDL, HDL, VLDL,
hemoglobin, % body fat, && etc's.

Pre's Max HR 122? Or is that a typo? NMLazy
May 21, 2001 1:37 PM
re: Maximum Heart Rate theory disputedmilsk8
May 17, 2001 11:02 PM
I think that it might work in a general sense. I'm 17 and my mhr is 205 (tested w/ hrm).