Discover the Best Ways to Determine Your Max Heart Rate

Estimating your max heart rate can be achieved through numerous methods. Max heart rate, also known as HRmax, represents the peak number of heartbeats per minute that your body can reach during strenuous activity. This figure is especially important for crafting endurance training plans (see "Calculating Heart Rate Zones for Optimized Training"). Remember that the precision of your HRmax estimation will hinge on the data you have at your disposal.

Age-based max heart rate formulas.

One straightforward and quick, but somewhat less accurate, approach to estimating your max heart rate involves age-based formulas. Numerous such formulas are available, all developed using statistical analysis to offer relatively consistent results.

Haskell and Fox Formula

HRmax = 220 – age

Tanaka, Monahan, & Seals Formula

HRmax = 208 − (0.7 × age)

Robergs & Landwehr Formula

HRmax = 205.8 − (0.685 × age)

Gellish Formula

HRmax = 206.9 – (0.67 * age)

Formulas incorporating age and gender.

For more precise max heart rate estimates, consider formulas that factor in both age and gender.

Fairburn Formulas

Men: HRmax = 208 - (0.8 * age)
Women: HRmax = 201 - (0.63 * age)

Gellish Gender Specific Formulas

Men: HRmax = 203.7 / (1 + exp(0.033 × (age – 104.3)))
Women: HRmax = 190.2 / (1 + exp(0.0453 × (age – 107.5)))

Formulas that include age, gender, and body mass.

Adding body mass to your calculation can help tailor the max heart rate formula even further to your specific needs. This model was developed by Dr. Dan Heil, who studied 1,500 walkers at the University of Massachusetts.


Men: 211.415 – (0.5 * age) – (0.05 * body mass) + 4.5
Women: 211.415 – (0.5 * age) – (0.05 * body mass)

Using VO₂ max to determine max heart rate.

VO₂ max represents the peak rate of oxygen your body can consume during intense physical activity. Though its accuracy may not be high, many modern smartwatches can estimate your VO₂ max. This can be helpful when used in combination with your resting heart rate (HRrest) for a more comprehensive max heart rate check.


VO₂ max * HRrest / 15.3

The most accurate method to calculate max heart rate?

The most precise max heart rate results come from using as many specific factors as possible, such as age, gender, and body mass. The Pedestal app takes this one step further by incorporating the VO₂ max formula into the calculation for enhanced accuracy. The app automatically performs these calculations and continuously updates your HRmax based on any changes in formula parameters, delivering real-time results.

Give Pedestal a try today to optimize your fitness training with accurate max heart rate calculations.