Q: What is MHR and how does Myzone measure it?
Your Max Heart Rate (MHR) is the upper limit of what your cardiovascular system can handle during physical activity. It is the number you hit just before you have to stop and recover and should be impossible to sustain. It is personal to you--max heart rates may vary greatly between individuals of the same age. This is the whole premise of Myzone--we recognize that so many factors play into max heart rate, including genetics, and have developed a mechanism that honors that by creating a heart rate monitor that can recognize when you're capable of achieving higher rates of exertion that predicted by an equation. This means your training will truly push you to peak performance.
Myzone establishes a baseline using this formula derived by the HUNT Fitness Study:
211 - [0.64 x your age]
When you enter your age during the registration process, Myzone automatically calculates your age-predicted MHR.
Q: When will the Myzone system adjust my MHR?
- When you exceed your current MHR for 30 seconds or longer, the Myzone system will increase your max heart rate to match the level of exertion you're capable of achieving.
- If you are doing an interval workout and the first repeat adjusts you from 180 to 189, the second could bump you up if you workout at a higher rate for another 30 seconds.
Q: How does MHR relate to the Myzone Zones?
The Myzone zones (GRAY, BLUE, GREEN, YELLOW, & RED) are directly tied to your estimated MHR in the Myzone system. Here’s a breakdown:
- GRAY Zone: 50-59% of MHR
- BLUE Zone: 60-69% of MHR
- GREEN Zone: 70-79% of MHR
- YELLOW Zone: 80-89% of MHR
- RED Zone: 90-100% of MHR
Q: What are some factors that affect MHR?
- Altitude: Acute exposure to high altitudes may cause a temporary decrease in our MHR. We will also have a higher heart rate during submaximal exercise at a high altitude. With continued exposure to high altitude, our MHR should increase and our heart rate during submaximal exercise should decrease compared to when we were first exposed to high altitude.
- Mode of exercise: The MHR we can achieve during different exercise modalities does vary to some extent. For example, exercisers tend to achieve a higher MHR when running compared to cycling due to more muscle mass utilized in running. Exercises like upper-body Kranking may also elicit a lower MHR due to the smaller muscle mass of the upper body. We recommend that you set your MHR value to be appropriate for the modality of exercise you perform most often.
- Medications: Some medications will limit the MHR you can and should achieve during exercise. An example is beta-blockers, which decrease your MHR lower than the age-predicted maximum used by Myzone. Be sure to ask your doctor if any of your medications will impact your MHR.
Q: How do I know if my estimated MHR is correct?
If your Rate of Perceived Exertion (RPE) is low to moderate, but your Myzone tile shows yellow or red, you need to raise your max heart rate.
On the other hand, if your RPE is 8-10 (non-conversational-I need to stop immediately!), and your tile is Blue, you may need to lower your max heart rate.
Q: How do I adjust my MHR in the Myzone system?
Myzone is the only wearable on the market that automatically recalibrates your max heart rate if it reads that you are capable of sustaining higher levels of intensity. While we have built in algorithms to weed out false readings, if you feel one got through, our support team is happy to review this with you and make any necessary adjustments. Usually, an incorrect reading looks like a spike of red activity that does not fit within the rest of the workout--these stick out and are easy to spot. If you see a great deal of red zone activity and the workout flows as usual, chances are you do need a bump. This is ultimately a good thing--we can't truly measure and improve without an accurate starting point!