More heart rate questions - High Max HR

Page may contain affiliate links. Please see terms for details.


New Member
Was given a HRM as a gift, and used it on my ride yesterday. Never used one before, and was interested to see how the rate compared to how I usually judge effort by feel.

85% seemed to correspond to what I would normally consider a bit of an effort - starting to breathe harder & couldn't keep it up for a long period of time.

When I got to the climbs on the ride (mostly shortish but steep), my heart rate consistently went to about 205bpm, with a max. recorded of 207. I'm thirty, so according to the 220-age thing, max. HR should be 190. Obviously, this is only a guideline, and there are lots of different formula about, but it still seems like the maximum I recorded was a bit high.

I certainly wasn't pushing as hard as I could (it was a 100 mile ride, so I didn't want to tire out my legs), so I'm guessing if I did a max heart rate test, it would be a bit higher.

For info. I'm 30, female, have been cycling for years and years, but have never 'trained' - I just go out for rides at the weekends (50 - 100 miles) & do a bit of touring. Quite like riding up hills. Do a bit of mountain biking & hill walking too.

The question (finally) is: Is this normal? Or is my heart going to give out next time I ride up Cairn O'Mount?

Steve Austin

The Marmalade Kid
my max has been up to 199 and i was a bit concerned.
You might beat high or your monitor might be spiking and giving 'false' measures.
Generally speaking, your heart will beat higher until it gets used to the exercise you are subjecting it to. so your max could go down over time


Senior member. Oi! Less of the senior please
The world
The 220-age thing is a very inaccurate rule of thumb - it's at least 10 out for me. Your max rate tends to drop with age but is not subject to exercise effects, except very slightly perhaps over the long term. It sounds like you just have a high max rate.

If your rate drops to 70-80 or so when you're sitting around doing nothing, your heart almost certainly healthy. If it is more than 100 at rest a long time after stopping exercise, then you ought to see a doctor.


Über Member
You'll probably be fine, but you have written a will though haven't you? Life insurance in place?


Senior member. Oi! Less of the senior please
The world
Membrane said:
From what I've read [1][2], a fit person can have a considerably higher than predicted MHR, but since I'm not really fit this doesn't apply to me. Afaics the fitter you get, the lower your MHR will be.

This is simply not true to any real degree - as you get fitter your heart gets more efficient at any given heart rate and you RESTING heart rate generally drops. Your Max HR changes only very slowly, and with age, though it is considered that a high level of fitness will slow the decline.


New Member
I have a similar max heart rate of 204 (i'm 32). I've noticed that my heart tends to be between 10-15bpm higher than most people when exercising. My resting rate is generally between 55-60. My sister has exactly the same high heart rate too so i put it down to genes.
my theoretical is 176 - actual is 191. I regularly see 184 when I'm coming back from a period of inactivity and after about 4 weeks, for the same kind of effort, maybe 176 and after 6 weeks 170. The more I do the greater the effort it takes to get near my Maximum HR. I know I'm getting fitter when I have the breath to start cursing myself and the bike as I struggle to the top of a steep hill.


New Member
ignore the 220-age rule!
My max is 195 and I'm 50.
Everyone's heart is different and the above formula has worried more people on this and other forums than almost anything else!


New Member
How accurate are the HR things on the bikes in the gym? Where you put your hands on the pads while you cycle and it gives a reading....

Its just i was at the gym for the first time the other day for an induction, and after about 10mins of cycling just to warm up, i wasn't breathing particularly hard (well within my lactate threshold), but the HR monitor read 192bpm! This would be about 10 beats shy of my max theoretical HR, but i was nowhere near that level...surely this is an appalling wrong read rather than me having a very strange heart rate.

Twas good to be on the bike machine though going level 10 at 100rpm, barely breaking a sweat whilst the beefy guy who obviously fancied himself next to me was about level 2 and panting away like a train! Im sure he would have killed me on the weights though...


Senior Member
Frozen North
The question (finally) is: Is this normal? Or is my heart going to give out next time I ride up Cairn O'Mount?[/QUOTE]

I often feel that my heart is going give up going up the clattering brig side of Cairn o Mount.


At age 53 got mine up to 208 on the turbo, so you can safely ignore the 220 minus age thing.

I now safely ignore the turbo thing, having frightened myself to death (metaphorically, of course)
Top Bottom