The Myth Of "Maximum Heart Rate = 220-Age"
- April 24, 2017
- Posted by: marlenedubois
- Category: CPR Training
You’ve probably heard of the formula “220-your age” for estimating maximum heart rate. Unfortunately, This specific formula can be not very useful because which can be easily off by more than 20 beats on the high or low side. For me at age 54 This specific formula says my maximum heart rate should be 166, although I happen to know coming from more accurate tests which which’s at least 25 beats higher than which.
In books, on exercise machines, along with on the walls of gyms, you’ll often see charts of suggested exercise intensity which are based on 220-your age. which’s also in calculators all over the web. I’d hardly break a sweat if I exercised at those levels. although more importantly, for some people the opposite can be true along with their maximum heart rate can be more than 20 beats lower than the formula predicts. If they were to exercise at the levels coming from the charts, their intensity could be too high, especially for anyone that has a medical condition.
This specific formula can be often quoted without any warning about its potential inaccuracy, along with in addition to the inaccuracy, which turns out which has little scientific basis [Kolata, 2003]. Some people are aware which 220-age was never intended by its original authors to be a universal formula (which was intended to come up that has a safe exercise level for patients in cardiac rehab along with was based on a not very broad sample of subjects). although the problem can be also inside basic assumption which max heart can be predicted on the basis of age alone. If you think about which, which seems nonsensical- regardless of family background, fitness level, whether we’re tall or short, underweight or overweight, etc, we all have exactly the same heart rate at a certain age, along with maximum heart rate declines with age in all of us at exactly the same rate?
More recent studies have tried to revisit This specific concept on a broader sample of the population. For example, in one study, based on thousands of subjects, male along with female, ranging in age coming from 18 to 81, the authors came up that has a “best fit” equation of:
Max heart rate = 208 -0.7xAge.
However, if you look at the data This specific can be based on, which looks like a cloud with only a vague trend towards heart rate decreasing with age; there’s a lot of scatter. The brand-new formula can be a little more accurate than the old one, although can still under predict or over predict max HR by 20 beats or so [Tanaka, 2001].
A recent review of many attempts to come up that has a formula to predict max heart rate concluded which no sufficient accurate formula exists to predict max heart rate coming from age alone [Robergs, 2002]. In my opinion none can be possible because of the large amount of scatter inside data. Exercise physiologist Dr. Fritz Hagerman, who has studied world-class rowers for three decades, has said which the idea of a formula to predict an individual’s maximum heart rate can be ludicrous: he has seen Olympic rowers in their 20’s with maximum heart rates of 220, along with others on the same team along with with the same ability, with maximum rates of just 0 [Kolata, 2001].
Many books have charts with elaborate training schedules based on various zones of intensity, all based on maximum heart rate. which all may look very scientific, although which’s not too worthwhile if which’s based on an inaccurate number.
Another misconception I’ve come across can be which the problem with the 220-age formula can be fixed by using the “heart rate reserve” or Karvonen formula. In which formula, exercise intensity as expressed as a percentage of your “reserve capacity” between your resting heart rate (RHR) along with max heart rate (MHR):
Target heart rate = X% of (MHR-RHR) +RHR
Where X% can be the desired percentage. This specific can be a useful formula because the intensities coming from which are related to a percentage of the heart rate corresponding to your maximal oxygen update VO2Max, which many exercise physiologists are fond of using. although the Karvonen formula still needs an accurate estimate of your max heart rate. If you stick in an inaccurate number based on an age related prediction like 220-age, the result will still be inaccurate.
Heart rate training can be a useful tool, if based on a Great estimate of what’s a valid intensity level for you. Maximum heart rate can be measured accurately in a lab, although for most of us which’s kind of an expensive option. You can estimate additional useful parameters like heart rate at lactate threshold coming from self-administered tests (see for example, [Carmichael, 2003]) along with This specific can be used for heart rate based training. although for those of us which are interested in mostly in fitness, I question the necessity. I’m a “perceived level of exertion” kind of guy. On easy cardio days my pace can be comfortable. On hard days, which feels hard, along with when doing intervals, which’s very hard. This specific leads to Great along with steady progress.
-Carmichael, Chris, along with Jim Rutberg, The Ultimate Ride: Get Fit, Get Fast, along with Start Winning With the earth’s Top Cycling Coach, Grosset & Dunlap, 2003.
-Kolata, G, “Maximum Heart Rate Theory can be Challenged”, The brand-new York Times Health Page, April 24, 2001.
-Robergs, R, along with Landwehr, R, “The Surprising History Of The ‘HRmax= 220-age’ Equation’, Journal of Exercise Physiology Online, 5(2), 2002.
-Tanaka, H, Monahan, K, Seals, D, “Age-Predicted Maximal Heart Rate Revisited”, Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 37(1), 153, 2001.