Max Heart Rate Calculator

Created by Mateusz Mucha and Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Reviewed by Bogna Szyk and Jack Bowater
Last updated: Jun 05, 2023

The max heart rate calculator gives you the quickest heart rate you can achieve while exercising, without experiencing severe problems. The speed, distance, and intensity of training can and will vary wildly, depending on your natural ability, training level, sport, and determination. A persons maximum heart rate generally decreases with age; therefore, you need only this one variable to use the maximum heart rate calculator. Read the article below to find out what is the healthy heart rate, how to determine the max heart rate, and get to know various max heart rate formulas.

If you are interested in finding your target heart rate zones while training, check the target heart rate and fat burning zone calculators.

Average heart rate

If you know how fast, on average, your heart beats during a training session, you have a great way of determining whether you're really pushing yourself or not. If you cycle hard up a hill in the middle of your routine, but the rest was smooth sailing, you might remember the tough part and forget the rest. Overall, it probably wasn't enough to trigger any real physiological conditioning within your body, even though it doesn't feel like that when you're cycling up that hill.

The only objectively way to know that you are training in a way that will stimulate peak physical conditioning is to record your average heart rate when you train, and then use this max heart rate calculator to measure your level of exertion. This sort of conditioning is essential for any endurance sport, and it's also useful for any sport that pushes you to physical extremes. A training regime like this will make sure you leave your opponents in the dust!

What is a healthy heart rate?

Be sure not to push yourself too close to your maximum heart rate for extended periods. If you experience shortness of breath, pain in your chest or joints, or can't work out for as long as you expect, you might need to reduce your training intensity. Safety should be your priority in training, and that includes maintaining a healthy heart rate. It doesn't matter how hard you train if you injure yourself before an event!

What is a dangerous heart rate?

If you are planning to exercise above 85% of your maximum heart rate, consult your doctor as training above this cut-off pushes your body to its limit and typically requires proper training.

Both too low and too high a heart rate can be dangerous and can be associated with various diseases, e.g., cardiovascular disease:

  • Tachycardia - when resting heart rate is higher than 100 beats per minute. It can occur in patients suffering from fever, sepsis, anemia, and other conditions.

  • Bradycardia - defined when defined resting heart rate is lower than 60 (however this can be normal for an individual in excellent shape).

  • Arrhythmia - abnormalities of the heart rate and rhythm.

🔎 Calculate your risk for cardiovascular disease with our cvd risk calculator.

Maximum heart rate definition

The maximum heart rate is the highest heart rate a person can achieve during exercise without experiencing severe problems. It generally decreases with age. However, it can vary quite a lot from person to person. Therefore, the most accurate way of measuring maximum heart rate is through a cardiac stress test. It is usually performed on a treadmill, where a person is subjected to the increasing intensity of physical activity while being monitored by an electrocardiograph. As this method is associated with a high cost and a significant burden for the individual, different mathematical formulas have been developed for general use. Check the paragraph below to find out how to determine max heart rate using them.

How to determine max heart rate - max heart rate formulas

Maximum heart rates vary significantly between all human beings and they depend greatly on person's physiology and fitness. Researchers have been trying to find the most accurate predictive formula; however, there is still no agreement which equation should be used primarily. There are dozens of max heart rate formulas and the maximum heart rate calculator uses the most popular, validated equations. All of them are presented below:

  1. Haskell & Fox formula - the most commonly used max heart rate formula:

HRmax = 220 − age

  1. Inbar formula:

HRmax = 205.8 − (0.685 × age)

  1. Nes formula:

HRmax = 211 − (0.64 × age)

  1. Oakland nonlinear formula:

HRmax = 192 − (0.007 × age²)

  1. Tanaka, Monahan, & Seals formula:

HRmax = 208 − (0.7 × age)

Maximum heart rate calculator - a practical example

Are you still not sure how to calculate max heart rate? With the max heart rate calculator, it's really easy! Just type in your age and choose a formula you want to use.

Let's use an example - we want to determine the max heart rate of a 38 years old person using the Haskell & Fox formula.

  • HRmax = 220 − age

  • HRmax = 220 − 38

  • HRmax = 182

The maximum heart rate of a 38 years old person is 182 beats per minute.

If you want to know your maximal oxygen consumption, check out the VO2 max calculator.

Mateusz Mucha and Joanna Michałowska, PhD candidate
Max heart rate Haskell & Fox formula
Haskell & Fox formula
years old
Max heart rate
💓 Maximum heart rate is expressed in beats per minutes (BPM) and is the highest heart rate a person can achieve without experiencing severe problems.

↘️ Maximum heart rate generally decreases with age.

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