Maximum heart rate is designed to help people safely and effectively exercise.
It is theoretically the most times that your heart can safely beat in the span of one minute.
The traditional formula for computing maximum heart rate is 220 – age. Therefore maximum heart rate will decrease with age.
Basic Max Heart Rate Calculator
It has been speculated that the generic equation for determining maximum heart rate is not very accurate. Individuals of the same age will have different sized hearts, stroke volume, blood pressure, resting heart rates, and other factors that would contribute to the maximum possible beats per minute.
A few attempts have been made to “fine tune” the formula, but even those efforts may fall short. One formula is known as the “adjusted heart rate”.
How To Find Your Heart Rate
There are many methods to measure your heart rate. The most common is to place two fingers against side of the throat, or to press them gently on the wrist. This is practical when you can pause your training and measure your own heart rate. When performing intense exercise, however, a heart rate monitor is recommended. These devices can provide a readout of your heart rate while you are exercising. Some are built into machines, and others involve a chest strap and a device that looks just like a wrist watch.
Max Heart Using Tanaka Method
Another “tweak” to the traditional formula is known as the Tanaka method. Based on a study of literally thousands of individuals, a new formula was devised which is believed to be more accurate. The formula is 208 – 0.7 x age.
Is Heart Rate Important?
So why even worry about your heart rate? Heart rate is a great indicator of training. In order to better understand heart rate, you must understand the various “systems” of energy that your body uses when you train. There are three systems that are always in effect, but one system will dominate based on the type of training. These systems are ATP-CP and glycolytic (both are anaerobic, or systems that do not rely on oxygen as the primary energy source) and aerobic.
Heart Rate Activity Chart
Now that we know your maximum heart rate, we can compute various levels of activity. Keep in mind there are no hard and fast rules (see also Maximum Cardio to understand how to best use your heart rate zones).