General

With this step-by-step plan you can calculate your resting heart rate per minute. There are also two formulas below for calculating your maximum heart rate.

Content

The test consists of the following components:

  • Measuring moment

Procedure

Lie down or sit in a relaxed position. Comfortably lie down the arm you are going to measure, possibly on a little support. You can feel the heartbeat on the side of the thumb, at the wrist. Measure using the index and middle finger. Measure the heart rate during 30 seconds and write this down. Repeat the measurement and calculate the average of the two measurements.

Steps

  1. Lie down or sit in a relaxed position;
  2. Comfortably lie down the arm you are going to measure, possibly on a little support;
  3. You can feel the heart rate well at the wrist, on the side of the thumb;
  4. Measure using the index and middle finger;
  5. Measure the heart rate during 30 seconds and write this number down;
  6. Repeat the measurement and calculate the average of the two measurements.

Calculating maximum heart rate

There are many formulas for calculating your maximum heart rate. This can be very useful, especially for athletes. People with heart problems can also benefit from this. Do you know your maximum heart rate? Then you can keep that in mind during your training. You can do that by training in different heart rate zones. An easy calculation for calculating your maximum heart rate is:

220-your age in years = your maximum heart rate

However, the calculation does not take fitness and stamina into account. Fin Karvonen’s formula does do this. His formula uses both the resting heart rate and the maximum heart rate:

HFopt= HFrest + (HFmax-HFrest) * training percentage

Example:

My resting heart rate is 56 and my maximum heart rate is 198. I want to do a stamina run on 70% of my maximum heart rate.

51 + (198-51) * 0.70 (70%) = 154

My training heart rate will then have to stay between 150 and 157 during training

Tips

  • Your resting heart rate may decrease when you train more;
  • The older you get, the lower your resting heart rate and your maximum heart rate will be;
  • An increased resting heart rate may be an indication you are ‘overtrained’ (not enough rest);
  • After you turn thirty, your maximum heart rate decreases, with one beat per year on average.

Required equipment

For this test you need the following:

  • Stopwatch

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