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The Answer: to How do you determine your maximum heart rate

June 13, 2011
Animation of a normal ECG wave.

Image via Wikipedia

As a follow up to my previous blog – I asked at one of my gyms. Indeed they suggested the calculation but recognised that not every 44 year old is of the same level of fitness.

So, as promised, I asked my friend, Renske Winters. She has been Dutch skating champion several times and beats men in the military at cycling – just for the training!

Most sports schools are not equipped to perform the maximum heart rate test and include tests for VO2 max., oxygen uptake, lactic acid level, ECG measurements, etc. What you get is an indication but not really the true measurement.

The only way to really perform this test is to go to a doctor specialised in sport. In The Netherlands these are often to be found in hospitals. They will also perform an ECG test – i.e. make a film of your heart at both resting and working. They will also test fat percentage, lung function, blood tests – for vitamines and minerals.

Then they will perform the max. Heart Rate test – for this they measure VO2 max for which you have to wear a mask over your nose and mouth, and they measure your lactic acid to measure the “switch” from aerobic to anaerobic. Its done with a bike test so you reach your max. heart rate and your max. output in watts. This is then worked out in output, in wattage per kilogram. The sports doctor can then tell you where your training zones are – including best rates for: extensive training, interval training, intensive training, distance training etc. etc.

If this is starting to sound too complicated I think the shortest message is – go to a doctor specialised in sport!

I will look one out for myself.

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