Does max HR decline with age?

JamesMorgan

Active Member
I use HR as a training tool and will exercise in various HR ranges based on max HR. I recognise that formulae to calculate your max HR based on your age are typically fairly useless due to the large standard deviation (ie 95% of the population will fall +/- 25 beats from the mean, so your actual max HR could fall in a range of 50 beats eg for me 150-200). However, I am interested if there is any evidence that an indivual's HR declines by around 1 beat/annum.

When I first measured my max HR about 15 years ago it was around 190. If it did decline by 1 beat/annum it should now be around 175. I tend not to push myself to max effort (as it hurts too much!), however, on a recent ride pushing hard I achieved 188, and can certainly exceed 175 with reasonable exertion.

The main reason for the question is to help decide whether I continue to use 190 to set HR ranges or decrease this to some lower level.
 
James, in theory it does but from what I've read, actively fit people decline less or not at all. Certainly my Max HR, measured over five years ago is still the same now. I'm 47 and have a max HR of 191.
 

Bill Gates

Guest
Location
West Sussex
Your MHR will decline with age. If you use your HR to work out training zones and level of effort then to be strictly accurate you should do your own RAMP test every so often to establish what your MHR is.

If you are confident that you knew what your MHR was when you last did your test then deducting 1 for every year after that is a fair assumption bearing in mind that training zones range cover between 5-10 bpm.
 

stephec

Legendary Member
Location
Bolton
Crackle said:
James, in theory it does but from what I've read, actively fit people decline less or not at all. Certainly my Max HR, measured over five years ago is still the same now. I'm 47 and have a max HR of 191.
You're similar to me, I'm 41 and three different hrm's show my max as 197.
 
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