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Cycling: How to find your Max HR

3 ways to find out your Maximum Heart Rate 



Equipment; Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) that can record every second (or at least 5 seconds) and a turbo trainer. If your HRM doesn’t record, maybe you can ask a friend to observe your HR readings as the test progresses.


Test 1

- Step 1: Warm-up for 15 minutes.

- Step 2: Ride for 9 minutes at Time Trail Intensity.

- Step 3: Ride maximum effort for the final minute, increasing this to a sprint in the last 30 seconds.

- Step 4: Check your HRM for your Maximum Heart Rate (MaxHR).

- Step 5: Cool down. 

If you repeated the same protocol over several days, you would then be able to average your MaxHR readings.


Test 2

You will still need a HRM and a turbo trainer but in addition, you will need a measure of your cadence. We have suggested that it would be favourable for a friend or family member to be with you to read from your HRM if it didn’t record your scores. The same person could count your cadence or your turbo set-up may have a computer that will give you your pedalling speed. 

- Step 1: Warm up for 15 minutes.

- Step 2: Begin with a gear ratio (52x18 or similar) and pedal at a steady cadence of 90 rpm for 2 minutes.

- Step 3: Change up to a gear ratio (52x17 or similar) maintaining your 90 rpm cadence for a further 2 minutes.

- Step 4: Change up, continuing the same 90 rpm cadence for a further 2 minutes.  

- Step 5: Continue changing up a gear every 2 minutes whilst maintain your 90 rpm cadence until you can no longer continue.

- Step 6: Cool down.





Test 3

This is done out on the road and will require finding a hill that is about 500m long which climbs gradually and has a steeper part at the top. 

- Step1: Warm up for 15 minutes.

- Step 2: Ride the climb at Maximum pace but allowing yourself enough energy to sprint the last, steeper, incline.

- Step3: Recover and repeat the protocol, recording your HR for each one.

- Step 4: Cool down. 

We suggest repeating this test in the same session because you may need to ride it more than once in order to fatigue sufficient so as to achieve your Max HR



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