How Do You Calculate Maximum Heart Rate for Men?


Quick Answer

The general rule for calculating an individual's maximum heart rate is subtracting their age from 220, reports the American Heart Association. Another commonly used calculation is subtracting the individuals age times 0.67 from 206.9, according to Certified Personal Trainer Marc Perry.

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Full Answer

Subtracting the individual's age from 220 is commonly used as it is simple and relatively accurate, reports Marc Perry. However, this calculation has a standard deviation of plus or minus 12 beats per minute, meaning that 66 percent of people's true maximum heart rate is within 12 beats per minute of this calculated value. This deviation value reveals that accuracy is compromised for simplicity in this model. The second model is more accurate and subtracts the individual's age multiplied by 0.67 from 206.9, according to Marc Perry.

Other means of calculating maximum heart rate include the use of heart rate monitors to directly collect information about the heart. If an individual is breathing so hard that they are unable to talk after an exercise session, they are within 10 beats per minute of their maximum heart rate, reports Marc Perry. Another estimate is adding five beats per minute to the recorded heart rate during a 2 minute sprint.

Athletes and fit individuals can have greatly reduced heart rates, according to the American Heart Association. In addition, those who take medication for high blood pressure can experience lower maximum heart rates.

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