What is your highest maximum heart rate ever?


The most commented post here on Training4cyclists.com so far was my question: What is your lowest heart rate ever? Maximum heart rate is often calculated as 220 minus your age, but there is a standard deviation on about 10 which means that 95% of us would fit into a formula called: 220 minus age +/- 20 beats. Thus, as you’ve already experienced, this formula does not have any practical usability for a serious endurance athlete.

But back to the topic, what is your highest maximum heart rate ever?

151 comments… add one
  • melly Link

    im 16 years old and i reached 200 bpm 95% is that bad?

  • Zoren Link

    Im 28 and got it on XC Race 196bpm…resting around 54 but i let it run during sleep and it went down even to 32, 40 and so on…interesting to observe with Garmin edge 800 the sleep pattern of HR…every 30min it jumped to around 90-95bpm…then down to lowest and fluently around 50-60…who know what body have to manage while in sleep…

  • Zoren Link

    and i found out when im a bit tired and push it hard on mountain bike HR goes higher than normal 5-10bpm

  • James Link

    This is a fascinating thread. I hope we all keep it going so we can keep learning from each other.
    Zoren – Fascinating about your heart rate sleep data. I know that when I am in heavy training, I sometimes experience during sleep a faster, stronger heartbeat for perhaps 15 seconds, after which I always wake up refreshed and feeling fully recovered. This has happened many times through 35 years of athletics. I have been a swimmer, cyclist, wrestler and runner.

    For the 15 year old young lady who curls 65 pounds and does abs with 85 pounds – that is excellent total body strength for your age. A bit of advice from a well-trained athlete: Remember to always balance your opposing muscles. Go for balance and optimize your tensile strength, or strength-to-weight ratio. One more tip: With your core, look up a book The Spinal Engine by Serge Gracovetsky. I learned that a strong core and body is more effective when the whole body is linked in free-flowing moving through the spinal engine. Go for it!

  • James, thanks for info, I`ll check that book…

    It is fascinating for me to observe the progress…i was doing sports from age 6…futball and in school athletics…and rarelly being sick while my school mates was much more often…i think with this extra oxigen we cleanse bodies…

    or pressure measured @5am was 80/60 which is quite low but normal for sport people… 🙂

  • Ricardo Link

    I’m 47 and a runner. I don’t train with a HRM but recently checked my MHR using a Garmin GPS/HRM and got a peak of 245. Resting heart rate is 36.

  • Alex Link

    I’m 21 and I just finished a 45km ride where my max HR was 229 (with an average HR of 159)- Note: I was asymptomatic. I also have a FVC of 6.70L

  • ZOREN Link

    I`ve noticed that sometimes my HR monitor jumps sky high like 245bpm last time, but im sure it was mistake cause it was in 3rd minute and i hade just gentle warm up… so im not sure if you guys really have such a high HR or its just some bug in measurement… just to let you know that

  • Sandman Link

    Glad to find this site. Been worried because my max rate is so above normal standards. Glad to see others are there too. I am 66. My max is 184 as measured by my Garmin. Have been active all my life either swimming or running.

  • Nick Link

    I’m glad to find this site too

    I’m 41, 175lbs (79kg), (5’9″)175cm. I cycle about 20 miles/day.

    I’ve had a Polar for about 6 years and always tried to ride between 60-80% of MHR. I was always concerned that it took very little effort to exceed 80% of my MHR (80% would be 143bpm if my MHR was179bpm at 220 – my age) and that I would have to be going very slowly to be at 60% (107bpm)

    I then read that your MHR is the maximum your heart can reach, not some catch all formula. So I pushed myself hard and found that I could reach 206 bpm. At 206bpm, 60% is 124 and 80% is 165. These feel about right – I can’t sustain more than 80% for very long and ride at 60-80% for about 85% of my ride.

  • Cathal Link

    Guys
    I’m finishing a 12 week program for a half marathon. aiming for 76mins doing average of 65 miles per week
    Resting heart beat is approx 48 from garmin 405 with HR monitor
    During initial warm up and start of interval training I am recording max heart rates in excess of 230. This has risen from 195 over last couple of weeks. As each session continues heart rate drops even though session gets harder?
    I have raced some really hard 5k races during the training regime and am worried this may have had an affect
    Is there a problem with device or with the athlete?

  • Sandman Link

    Sounds like your garmin is either on too loose or not making correct contact. Try wetting the plastic leads before putting it on and make sure it is snug.

  • Trebby Link

    I’m 51. By biking, I can run easily between 160 and 170 for more than 60 km (42 miles) My theorical MHR is 169. How could i do close to 100% of my MHR for so long? for short period, I can reach 180 and then I slow down intentionnaly just to be safe for me. I have never tried to see what could be my real MHR, I’m a bit scared (Chicken).
    I imagine that the 220 minus age is more for unactive people to protect them from themselves.
    Also, if contacts are not wet enough, I noted HR from my polar can suddenly increase from 120 to 230 and more. By sweating, contact become better and HR becomes more stable gradually. So, for guys who get higher than 220, big chance is only a question of contacts.

  • thomas Link

    210, 19 y.o

  • Chris Link

    I’m 48, cycle about 60 miles a week and have a max HR of 199, RHR 48. Very easy for me to ride at high hr for extended periods. Last weekend climbed Holme Moss at 196-199 for a full 11 minutes with no I’ll effects. Didn’t look at the monitor on the way up but felt fine. If I ride at a pace I can keep up for hours I’m usually at about 85% max.

  • Cuirithir Link

    I got up to 254 while descending a mountain on my garmin is that bad

  • Cuirithir Link

    Sorry and iam 46.4 Kg and 14 years of age and 157cm tall

  • Chris Link

    I’m 48 and a half, cycle about 61 miles a week and have a max HR of 199.5, RHR 46. Very easy for me to ride at high hr for extended periods. Last weekend climbed Holme Moss at 196-199 for a full 12 minutes with no I’ll effects. Didn’t look at the monitor on the way up but felt fine. If I ride at a pace I can keep up for years I’m usually at about 85% max.

  • Chris Link

    Some of the people on this forum must have some defective equipment. I’m fairly confident that most people would go into cardiac arrest at heart rates in the 230 level. I do 40 miles a day (every day) on a stationary bike (one hour) and the max I’ve ever recorded is 188 and that was not for more than a couple minutes at the end when I was seriously pushing it. I know that we are all different but…

  • Matt Link

    People have gone to the ER with heartrates over 400 bpm.This is of course unsafe but it happens.For reasons unknown the heart will take off and race usually due to an underlying anxiety but not always.A max heart rate of 230 would never send a healthy person into cardiac arrest or even 300 bpm for that matter.Now an unhealthy person,yes,.They could have a heart attack at 100 bpm depending on how bad they are.If you question my comment then please call an ER doctor and ask what they see.

  • Interesting stuff…

    I’m 46, 6’3″ and currently about 225lbs. During the peak of summer months I ride 250-300km a week, lots of it mountainous, and typically drop to about 215lbs. During the off-season I do weight-training, spin-bike, stair-climbing and elliptical training to stay in shape for biking.

    As a cyclist I’m huge – great sprinter but horrible climber. (Great descender though…)

    The highest heart-rate I’ve ever achieved this past year was while climbing, and is a true (not a mis-read) 204bpm. It was cycling from Calgary to Elbow Falls and back – the last hill is nearly 4km long and adjusts from 8% to 14% gradient. It’s both my favorite climb (due to the scenery) and my least-favorite (because of the altitude and energy-required to push my Clydesdale frame.)

    … I started the hill at just under 170bpm and it kept steadily climbing… I was trying for a personal-best time to the location, so was giving it everything I had… Soon it was in the 180’s, 190’s and then pushed over 200bpm. The max hit 204 as I came over the top.

    Until that ride, the highest I’d been is 196.

    About 7 seconds after the summit, I puked – so I’m pretty sure that was my absolute maximum. I ended up cleaning my bike and my jersey with glacier-fed water from the Elbow River. Dang, that was cold… and nasty. On the plus side, I did get a PB for that ride, lol.

  • Roy Link

    As a statistical outlier this is a subject that interests me… Regarding Chris’s comment above: (“Some of the people on this forum must have some defective equipment. I’m fairly confident that most people would go into cardiac arrest at heart rates in the 230 level”).

    Whether I’ve used gym equipment or finger on pulse I’ve always (well since age 13 when my PE teacher wouldn’t believe my called out pulse reading “310….. don’t be ridiculous!”. Clearly I’m not “most people”. I’m 44 now – and the last time I checked (about a year ago) I could still hit the mid 250’s. I’m reasonably fit (5’11/180), play football (Soccer) once a week. These numbers only apply at peak exertion (the sort that you can only keep up for a minute or two), and drop off rapidly when I stop. (my resting rate is normal to low)
    I know that sports-physio would say lower heart rate when exercising is good…. but something has to limit you the harder you push. The way I view it, in my case I’m motor-muscle limited rather than heart-rate limited. Perhaps there will come a time when my capacity to push blood round my body limits the capacity of muscles to burn fuel.

  • Andres Link

    208 during races, several times. 23 years old

  • Chris Link

    I do understand that people are differrent and that it’s quite possible to get in the mid (or close to mid) 200’s, I’m talking about staying at that heart rate for extended periods of time. I imagine if you had a smaller (physically) heart it would beat faster than a larger heart as a general rule and I’m not trying to challenge anyones integrity. Just that from what I’ve read on other forums and media sources, it would be abnormal for 99% of humans to be able to maintain a HR in the mid 200’s. I’m curious if someone has a link to the 400 bpm person taken to the emergency room?

  • Sean Link

    Great to read all these comments. I’m 47 and 79 kg and 5’11”. I just did a tough 40km into 30knot headwinds here in Auckland NZ. I was using a garmin 305 and I don’t often use the monitor but I got 187 bpm. Boy it was tough today and I was worried that I was going to have a heart attack or something as I was averaging 165 bpm. So good to hear from others here that perhaps my heart rate is ok and maybe symptomatic of good health! Great thread.

  • Tim Link

    I’m 24. 5’9″ and around 190 pounds. Trying to get back down to 180. Swam competitively for 14 years, took 6.5 years off, then started swimming competitively again 6 months ago. I also lift a fair amount, spin, and run. I’ve always had a huge range for my heart rate. Resting heart rate (when I’m in shape) is around 54, but the max I’ve ever recorded (after the main set in a killer swim practice when I was 18) is 288. The highest I’ve hit these days was 276 last week during a long sprint in spin class. During swim practice, I routinely hit the 220-240 range with ease. Even just after warmup, I’ll normally be around 210-215.

  • MATT Link

    @ Tim, Yeh, I figured that heart rates would surely be between 225-250 for athletes when their pushing it.I have been on tennis courts in 110 degree weather with court temps at 132 degrees and I know my heart rate had to be way above 200 for sure.

  • chris eagle Link

    I’m 14 and when i was really really going for it on a running machine I got up to 223.

  • Michael Link

    41, 173 pounds, 5-10. Bicycle 150m/week. Max was yesterday at 191 racing up 6 mile 7% hill at time trial. Normal training is 155-160 up hills. Try to do tt in thirds, 174, 176 then all out for last 5 min. Using garmin hr at night sounds interesting!

  • Jon Link

    My heart rate always exceeds 200 when I exercise, recent highest was 220.
    At 16 I recorded a 230-240 after sprinting the 100m.
    I’m 32 and 13st @ 12% bf, race weight is 12st 7 @ 7%bf.

    I do short time trials 10-20miles, I’m a natrual sprinter so it’s on the edge of my abilities to go any further than that.

    I booked a doctors appointment last week, now I am less worried.

  • TryingToBeHealthy Link

    I was worried about my HR today and lead to this website.

    I am 39 years old and weigh 134 pounds. My max heart rate ever I observed is 208.

    I usually run on treadmill at max of 5 miles/hour for about 30 to 40 minutes. I recently bought Beurer heart rate monitor (model PM62) and wanted to test it out on the treadmill. Our apartment fitness center got a new treadmill, so I thought I will test out this HR monitor against treadmill. When I ran for nearly 20 minutes, my HR jumped to 208 and treadmill stopped suddenly indicating that my HR was way about 90% of resting HR. I believe I have run for more than 35 minutes with the same speed and elevation, so I presume my max HR is more than 208. I am not sure if it is healthy to run with this much HR, I will check with my Doc in my next visit, if others have opinion, please help me out.

  • BallofEnergy Link

    I just got a Garmin Forerunner 910XT. I am a 2 year triathlete and am almost 39 years old. I weigh between 136 and 140 at 5’3. I couldnt run a mile in April 08 without the treadmill at my gym shutting off because my heart was too high… it was somewhere in the 200’s. I ran a 10k with a 9:15 pace last fall and am in much bettter shape now after running all winter. I can run a 5k in 26 plus minutes. I ran for the first time with the heart rate monitor on Sunday and was shocked that my average was 184. My max was 36 minutes into the run and was 202bpm after running uphill for 70 feet (gotta love the accuracy of detail of this Garmin).
    Distance:9.66 mi
    Time: 1:50:47
    Avg Pace: 11:28 min/mi
    Elevation Gain: 739 ft
    The Garmin connect lets you manually enter your maximum heart rate to shift the heart rate training zones to be more accurate. Should I do this? Anyone know??? Should I put in my max heart rate the Garmin shows? I assume if I run a 5k at a 9 minute pace my average will be in the 200’s if a hilly 11:28 pace was a 184. I am going to watch this closely.

    To throw another fact in there… I have asthma and am on the inhaler Ventolin… which raises heart rate and cause spikes in heart rate… anyone know a website where I can read about heart rate training when using asthma meds that effect heart rate. Does my fat burning zone change when I have an artificially stimulated heart rate. I know you guys probably dont know this and this is an old thread… but I thought I would throw it out there. _Michelle, St. Louis, MO

  • Zeek Link

    I got a 209 during a 11mph treadmill run, at about the very end….
    I’ve heard well trained people can get up to 230s at max though they tend to stay at lower rates the more well trained they are. More training improves your max HR as well as lowers the HR you need to keep running at the same speed. .
    Mark allen, the famous triathelete in one of his articles claims to have 5 min mile at 155bpm, while prior to serious training he had something like a 200+ hr at 5min mile. Trainings improves arterial desenity, calibur, and maximal vasodilation/shunting/oxygen extraction, which are all factors that decrease Cardiac Output/HR needed to sustain a certain power output. Training also improves coronary and pulmonary perfusion/vascularity which improve maximal achievable cardiac output via increase in HR.

  • Eric Link

    I’m 19, and I easily get 57-60 beat/15 sec at the end of a run: 228-240 BPM.

  • Daniel H Link

    I’m 45 and cycle about 2-3 hrs non stop at 150 bpm and also run at at the same heart rate for 2 hrs at a go, 2-3 times a week. According to theoretical max heart rate, I am essentially training at close to lactic threshold for 2-3 hrs. This is not possible. My recorded mhr using 3 different heart rate monitor, garmin edge 800, polar rcx5 and suunto t3 is 205. And resting rate at 56.

    If I use the actual recorded mhr of 205, then training at 150 bpm for 2-3 hrs seem normal because this is 65-75% zone for me.

  • The reason I found this site is because I’m looking at some Garmin data for a ride I did at the weekend (65 miles).

    Prior to this ride, the highest I had managed to achieve was 194 during a 10mile TT. I believe I can go higher though. The highest in this ride at the weekend was 240 – on a tricky descent. I thought this was an anomaly but a bit later on another technical descent I measured 216.

    Has anyone else experienced excessive HR during descending?

    I’ve just turned 24 and resting HR is between 48 and 52.

  • ZOREN Link

    Guys, i think sometimes those Heart rate monitors has some miscalculations and just jump suddenly over 200bpm on quite easy parts…when i checked data on garmin 800 i`ve seen on graph that it was completely wrong reading just spike up and suddenly down… because if you push hard on your bike it would have some momentum, rising and cooling down, but this one is like second shot… if you have graph you can see that it is mistake and it can be false Max HR reading…

  • Bjorn Link

    46 and around 175 pounds. Starting measuring my HR around 5 years ago and it’s definitely on the low side an dhasn’t changed much. Resting around 38, and max around 165. Never recorded anything higher. Never had a physical, so 2 weeks ago I decided it was about time.
    Doc took my pulse and seeing the relative low count decided to send over to a lab for an EKG. He says my heart rate is too low and now he wants me to see a cardiologist/heart specialst for more tests. Never thought much of it, but sure has me worried now..
    Work out at least 5-6 times a week, cycling, running, weight training and lots of long walks. Still do half marathons under 1:30 and 10km under 40. Did a 3500 mile bike ride in the states over 5 weeks ago. Never had a problem, so sure hope all is well with the old ticker…

  • sebastian Link

    im 16 years old and i once went to 212bpm, while running a 2 miles race.
    i was seriously pushing myself to the limit. but i am pretty sure i have gone higher than that when i was younger.

  • Joshua Link

    32 yrs old, 6’1″, 229 lbs. noticed RHR between 57-62 been thinking about getting a garmin, atm I have the walmart brand Smart Health monitor. At the gym on a treadmill, I’ve seen 193 on it so far, and thats only at 5 mph, checked finger on pulse, came up 192 so I figured the watch is atleast working lol. I haven’t tried pushing myself yet, but just went to the DR to get a physical, he said your good to go, so im going to push myself a bit more and see what I get it to. I remember back in 5th grade gym class, the teacher didn’t believe me when i said something in the 280,s but when i’m jogging at the gym, i’d barely even be breaking a sweat and it’ll be in the 160-170s. I’ve been smoking almost 15 years, pack and a half a day “really need to quit” jogging helps curb the craving. trying to get back down to HS weight of 205. Used to be a sprinter back in school, finally getting back into it I thought I’d try more endurance style 5ks and such, started walk/jogging again last september after 10 years of mostly just sitting around, now im back up to 3-4 miles/day 4-5 days a week.

  • Austin koch Link

    Im 12 turning 13 in 2 months i work out doing pushups pullups situps crunches tricep dips, and alot of running. My highest heart rate was 192 but when normal im around 45-60.

  • Ozarkmtbr Link

    While I find this maximum HR thread interesting, I personally am interested in what your typical average HR is over a 1 to 2 hour ride. A few days ago I did a 90 min road ride at 16.4 mph avg (24.6miles distance). I am 38 years old at 190lbs and 6′-2″. On a ride like this my max is around 194bpm but the thing that is odd to me is that my average is 184bpm. I am basically always near my max. On downhill or flats, it only drops to 170bpm range. I am an occasional rider these days but in the past (around 30yo) I mountain biked daily at least 10-15miles of trail. Once during a mountain bike race I finished with a 190bpm avg over an hour and 45min race. After a race I was always so cooked that I could not eat for quite awhile after. I never get lactic acid burn because it seems that my heart rate stops me from pushing that hard. So, this has been going on throughout my cycling life. Anyone have a similar issue?

  • Ozarkmtbr Link

    It may also be pertinent that I use a Polar HR monitor. I have confirmed similar results on a stationary bike with hand type monitors.

  • Richard Butterfield Link

    40 years old, 5ft 11″, 164lbs.

    Thank the Lord I’ve found this thread! I have been genuinely worried about my maximum HR recently after seriously hammering the training on the bike. Being super competitive I always push as hard as I can for the total ride and never ride sedately whether I’m on the road bike or the time trial bike (avg 30-40 mile courses with avg of 2000ft total climb) usually 3-4 times per week with Tacx Turbo Trainer in between. On the rides I am averaging 18.5mph with the road bike and 22mph with the time trial bike (my TT courses flatter obviously)

    I recently signed up to the Strava website for monitoring etc with my Garmin 705 and it gives a full breakdown of your HR ‘zones’. My worry is that I am never in the lower zones and 95% of all rides are in the anaerobic zone. My average HR is always 175-180. It has peaked at 220 on a couple of rides, but I actually think they were faults of the Garmin as they were at the beginning of the ride and not at peak effort times, although those peak effort times are around the 200bpm mark on tough climbs and that’s regular. I worry that being in the stiffest zone for so long is bad for my heart, but I always ride this way as I am always trying to beat my PBs. Other people on Strava average around 155 or lower on similar courses and similar speeds – hardly any are around my level. That’s the worrying part.

    I am fit and have never had any heart problems though (supposedly had a heart murmor when I was born according to my mother so she makes me worry too!)

    Great to read other peoples stats as it makes me feel a bit more more assured.

    Ozarkmtbr, you sound very similar to me. I think the difference maybe that you are also pushing yourself for the duration of the ride as you are in a competitive race, thus you are in your anaerobic level almost entirely.

  • Rob Link

    I am 40 years old and can get my HR up to 205 but that is only when it’s hot and I’m pushing up 23-24% grades on my bike. Above that I attribute it to an anomaly. If I’m cruising down a mountain at speed it sometimes shows a HR above 250 but I attribute that to wind buffeting my chest and the sensor picking up the vibrations. All the HR strap does is pick up vibrations. Tap it rhythmically with you finger with it off your body and see what I mean.

  • My profile as follows: 53 yo, height 5-10, weight 195.
    Diagnosed with lone atrial fibulation.
    History of being elite athlete re vo2 max and race performance.
    Both mtn biker, runner and swimmer.

    Resting heart rate (RHR) in bpm: 55
    Maximum heart rate in 90 degree heat at 24 degree climb: 230 bpm

    Question: am i at risk of stroke at 230 bpm with lone atrial fibulation?

  • Bill Link

    44 year old male. 6’4″ 205ish. My resting heart rate is 39-42 although I have seen as low as 29 during deep relaxation. Keep in mind that I measure my RHR AFTER 3 cups of coffee and a healthy dose of nicotine (Copenhagen). I normally observe 180s during my training runs and into the 190s when doing speed work. During a half marathon, I sustained around 185 for the duration of the race. The highest that I have seen since monitoring my Max HR was 202.

  • Zachary Link

    As a runner I would do full 2 hour practices with my heart rate in excess of 185 +. I have never seen my heart rate above 206. No matter how hard I push my body basically limits my heart rate. – 17 years

  • Andrew Link

    I too was worried today when my heart rate hit 225.
    I’m above average fitness and a few years back had a resting heart rate of 35, so was a bit worried. This page has helped me to understand that it is normal. Thanks

  • Sandman Link

    If your heart monitor is correct, I would worry about a 225 rate. It sounds like you could have had an episode of either Atrial Fibrillation or Atrial Flutter. See this link – http://www.roadbikerider.com/medical/primer-atrial-fibrillation.
    About three months ago while doing sprint workouts, I hit 250. Turned out I had developed artrial flutter. After a cardioversion and a catheter ablation, I am slowly working my way back into shape.

    Older bike riders who push it too hard are statistically at risk for this to happen.
    The following link is worth reading – http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org/article/S0025-6196%2812%2900473-9/fulltext

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