HR(max) and Age Survey

Just out of curiosity how many points off is your HR(max) from the old 220-Age = HR(max) calculation for Max heart rate?

My max is higher by 14 BPM relative to what I would compute. I’m wondering what the distribution is among people who are in better shape than I am.

fitness has almost nothing to do with HRMax - it’s pretty much all genetic.

However, the standard deviation of the HRMax formula is 12-13, which means that about 1/3 of the population is more than 12-13 bpm away from the average.


Off by 22 beats…

I really think that we should stop wasting time with that formula.


This I did not know. Thanks for contributing.

I’m 52…220 minus my age is 168…my max is 185…so off by 17 beats.

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off by 26 beats

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It is pretty close to the average for the population as a whole. But a predictor for any one individual, it can be less useful.

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Not sure of my absolute max HR; max HR recorded is 179
[seems to be slowly climbing… or I’m sometimes reaching ‘ever deeper’; when N=1 ‘controls are difficult’]

220-age = 166

Mine was off by 12 (190 actual vs. 178 by age formula).

Max HR is 186.
220-age is 178, so off by 8bpm.

mine is off by 27bpm, a couple decades ago it was only off by 19

220 minus age is 175. Max HR is 187, so off by 12 beats.

220 - age (54) is 166

My max is 139 so way off.

The HUNT study came up with a better formula “220 - age*.64” (SEE = 10.8bpm, r = 0.60) and noted:

Previously suggested prediction equations underestimated measured HRmax in subjects older than 30 years.

Indeed, my actual HRmax is 13bpm higher than “220 - age” and 7bpm lower than HUNT formula.

However HUNT has a +/- 10.8bpm, so for example someone 50 years old would have a HUNT predicted HRmax of 177bpm - 199bpm. That is a pretty large range to my eyes, and goes to show just how individualized HRmax is for any given person!!

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220 - 42 = 178
My actual (recorded) max is 186.
That puts the difference at 8 bpm.

Age = 61. Max observed = 190. Heart of a 30 year old? I’ll take it, considering my grandmother just turned 100 :slight_smile:


No idea of actual max, but I’ve recently seen 208 on the trainer and I’m 46 years old, so off by 34bpm!

Max 203, age 46.
Prediction off by 29 bpm.

Clearly, it’s unreliable for a significant number of people.

I’ve noticed smaller riders seem to generally have higher HR. Maybe the system needs to have a size/weight component to be more accurate?

I’m small, at 61kg 171cm. Heart of a small rabbit…

Max 176
Formula 155
Deviation 21
Age 65

56 yrs old, can make around 175. I’ll take it, could be worse!