Published on June 18, 2024

Max Heart Rate

What is Maximum Heart Rate (MHR)?

Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) is the maximum rate at which your heart can beat per minute.

It's as simple as that. Different people have different MHRs. It is not physically possible to exceed your own maximum heart rate under normal circumstances; if you reach a higher rate, that rate becomes your new maximum.

How to determine your max heart rate

You can't calculate your way to your precise max heart rate, even with our calculator. The Calculator ↗ can only give you an estimate. The only way to find out is to do a very, very hard physical exercise and measure how fast your heart is beating.

Experiment #1: Calculator

By using a calculator that follows the Karvon formula, you can estimate your max heart rate. Check out the calculator we built for this purpose.

Heart Rate Zone Calculator ↗

Experiment #2: 3K & Hills

To determine your own maximum heart rate, you can perform a test involving a 3-kilometer run at a steady pace, followed by a series of long hill sprints—100 meters on a moderate incline—completed with maximum effort. The highest heart rate recorded during this exercise will be an accurate reflection of your maximum heart rate.

The highest Heart Rate recorded during this test is your Max Heart Rate.

Experiment #3: The Bruce Protocol

The Bruce Protocol is a standardized treadmill test used to evaluate cardiovascular fitness and diagnose potential heart-related issues. Developed by Dr. Robert A. Bruce in 1963, it is commonly used in clinical settings as a stress test. The test consists of multiple stages, each lasting three minutes:

Stage 1: 3 min @ 1.7 mph with a 10% incline
Stage 2: 3 min @ 2.5 mph with a 12% incline
Stage 3: 3 min @ 3.4 mph with a 14% incline
Stage 4: 3 min @ 4.2 mph with a 16% incline
Stage 5: 3 min @ 5 mph with a 18% incline

The test concludes when the subject reaches a predetermined maximum heart rate, shows symptoms of signficant distress, or reaches a level of fatigue where they can no longer continue.

The highest Heart Rate recorded during this test is your Max Heart Rate.


For those in good physical condition, it is generally safe to exert oneself to the point of reaching or approaching the maximum heart rate. Please consult a doctor or a health professional before doing this.