Knowing your theoretical Maximum Heart Rate (MaxHR / MHR) is an essential part of heart rate training. It will be used to determine your heart rate training zones and help you to understand precisely how hard you should be training & recovering.
There are many online resources that already provide this calculation, however, we thought we’d like to give our visitors access to the MaxHR calculation that has served us best since we started selling heart rate monitors in 1999.
If you want to know more about the precise method of calculation, please proceed further down the page.
Garmin Forerunner 35 with % Max HR option
MaxHR for Running, Rowing & Cycling
Different sports lead to differing Maximum Heart Rate values. Our calculator will give sport specific MaxHR for >> RUNNING, ROWING & CYCLING.
For GENERAL cardio-vascular exercise, e.g. Crossfit, HiiT, Cross Training, etc we recommend that you use the ROWING MaxHR value. Remember, if you have been sports lab tested then use your real life data and not our calculator.
Once you have your MaxHR value, please make use of our Heart Rate Training Zones calculator
What’s my Maximum Heart Rate?
Enter your age in to the box below. If you have a history of training at a high level say “Yes” to the Elite Athlete question, otherwise select ‘No”. Then simply press the “Calculate Max HR” button.
IMPORTANT – please do NOT use our MHR calculator if you are on beta blockers or any other medicine prescribed to treat heart related illnesses/problems. Please talk to your GP. These figures are intended only for fit, healthy adults with no contraindication to exercise.
Example – Max Heart Rate (50 yrs old)
The MaxHR tool suggests that a 50 year old with a history of training has a predicted maximum heart rate of 178bpm for running, 175bpm for rowing and 173bpm for cycling. This is higher than the basic 220 minus age forumla (220-50=170bpm) as it takes in to consideration the user’s training background.
220 minus your age… right?
The most commonly practised formula for working out maximum heart rate is 220-age. Simple, and also the name adopted by a popular UK Triathlon Magazine…. However, studies by several academics (in particular Londeree and Moeschberger from the University of Missouri-Columbia, 1982) suggest that the correlation between age and maxHR is NOT linear.
L&M suggest that a more accurate formula taking in to consideration age is 206.3 – (0.711 x age).
This is further supported by similar research by a team from Indiana University led by Miller (1993) who concluded an alternative formula might be 217- (0.85 x age)
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Londeree & Moeschberger
They (L & M ) also concluded that sex and race have no impact on your MHR.
They concluded that DIFFERENT activities lead to differing MHR values for the same person. Anyone who partakes in triathlon will have noticed that their MHR while running is HIGHER than the MHR they can achieve while cycling.
The Londeree and Moeschberger study reinforced this showing that the maximum HR on a treadmill is generally 5-6 BPM higher than on a bike and 2-3 BPM higher when rowing.
Also, elite endurance athletes and people who are moderately trained tend to have a MHR 3-4 BPM slower than a sedentary person.
It was also found that well-trained over 50s are likely to have a higher MHR than that which is average for their age.
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reference – BrianMac
% of MaxHR is available with the Vivoactive 3