BBC radio 2

Did you hear our how to guides on Simon Mayo's Radio 2 Drivetime show?

You may have read about Howopia in The Telegraph?

How To Calculate Your Maximum Heart Rate

Your rating: None Average: 4 (1 vote)
Knowing your maximum heart rate is extremely useful when determining your optimal training zones according to your exercise goals. Fortunately technology has made this process a far more exact science.
What you'll need: 
Heart rate monitor (watch and strap)
Running shoes
Comfortable clothing
Treadmill (optional)
Running is a particularly effective and accurate method of determining maximum heart rate as it recruits many of the larger muscles in the body. As a result the heart is forced to work harder to supply the muscles with oxygen-rich blood.
Begin with a basic calculation which is designed to give an estimation of your maximum heart rate. Maximum heart rate is genetically determined and isn't affected by fitness. Use the formula (MHR=220-age)to find your estimated maximum heart rate.
Dampen the back of the heart rate monitor strap where it comes into contact with your skin. This will help to ensure an accurate reading. Adjust the strap so that it is tight without being uncomfortable or constricting.
Fit the watch and ensure that it is giving a reading of your resting heart rate (your heart rate while stationary).
Begin running at a slow, steady pace for 5-10 minutes to warm up and prepare your body for harder effort.
Using your watch to monitor both heart rate and running time, bring your heart rate to 100bpm. Run at this level of exertion for two minutes. After two minutes increase your heart rate to 120bpm.
Repeat this process every two minutes until your heart rate reaches 160bpm. At this stage allow one minute before increasing your heart rate to 180.
After a further minute increase your effort to your perceived maximum and attempt to maintain for one minute. Read your heart rate at this point.
Cool down at a gentle pace for 5-10 minutes.
Having used both the formula and the max test you should have an accurate, workable figure for your maximum heart rate.
Always warm up thoroughly before conducting a test such as the max test.
Consult a doctor before attempting a max test.


Post new comment

This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.

Featured writers

We have had a chat with a couple of our more experienced writers.

Find out more about their experiences and why they contribute to Howopia.

Spotlight on two writers.

Share this

How To guides

Howopia is a new website dedicated to bringing together a community of experts to create the most useful 'How To' guides, to help you to achieve almost anything.

Related links