It’s critical to understand your maximal heart rate. It aids in the proper setting of heart rate training zones and is a key aspect in VO2Max calculations. Here’s how to figure out how much it’s worth.
Heart rate zone training is used by advanced athletes for a reason. It tells them if they’re doing too little or too much, and it helps them realize their full potential in the quickest time possible.
This is how it’s usually done.
By working backwards from your maximal heart rate, most fitness trackers and smartwatches automatically compute your zones for you. This is the highest heart rate you can achieve without risking serious health complications.
A cardiac stress test is the most accurate way to determine your exact maximal heart rate. However, this can cost upwards of $100. This is not something that everyone can afford or justify. The controlled physiologic stress test is normally done on a treadmill with an ECG and at least one medical practitioner watching over you.
How can you figure out what your true maximum heart rate is?
Subtracting your age from 220 for males and 226 for females is another technique to calculate your maximum heart rate. This is the most common formula used by smartwatches and fitness trackers because it is the most straightforward method of calculating the figure. The device then calculates heart rate zones and VO2 Max based on your age and gender, as well as other criteria.
Some watches have an “Auto Detect” feature that records your maximum heart rate while you’re doing something active. This personality figures for you, rather than relying on demographic averages. This is something that Garmin wearables are known for.
Try it out for yourself
You can also perform the test yourself using a smartwatch or fitness tracker with a built-in heart rate sensor. Most wearables nowadays meet this requirement.
To begin with, make sure you’re in good health and don’t have any heart problems before attempting this. If you are concerned about your health, you should seek medical advice.
The test consists of running as fast as you can for 3 minutes and then continuing at a leisurely pace for another 3 minutes. Repetition of the 3-minute maximum effort is the last step. During the last interval, you should reach your maximum heart rate. Save your run and check your fitness app on your smartphone to see what your highest heart rate was during the run.
Any half-decent fitness app will allow you to adjust your maximum heart rate manually. Simply update the value in the supplied field, and your heart rate training zones should immediately adjust. It’ll be worth your time and effort because you’ll have a better foundation for training.