Q: What is Max Heart Rate (MHR) and how does Myzone measure it?
- Your Max Heart Rate (MHR) is the upper limit for your cardiovascular system 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 many factors determine your MHR, including genetics, and have developed a mechanism that honors that. Your Myzone device recognizes when you reach higher peak heart rates that predicted by an equation. This means your training will achieve peak performance.
- The MZ1, MZ3 and MZ-Switch (when worn on your chest) read your heart rate via EKG/ECG technology. The black sensors on the back of the red chest strap trace the electrical pathway of your heartbeat. The Switch, when used on your wrist or arm, uses PPG to estimate your heartrate via your pulse (it watches the volumetric changes in your blood flow).
Q: When will the Myzone system adjust my MHR?
- When you enter your age during the registration process, Myzone automatically calculates your age-estimated MHR derived from the HUNT Fitness Study:
- 211 - [0.64 x your age].
- Once you exceed this number for longer than 30 seconds, the max heart rate on your account will increase to reflect what you are capable of achieving.
- It will not increase your max heart rate by more than 10 beats in one adjustment, but it is possible to have more than one adjustment in a workout. For example, if you are doing an interval workout and the first repeat adjusts you from 180 to 189, the second repeat could bump you up again if you sustain a rate of 193 for 30 seconds or more.
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.
- Breaks in activity: If you take time off from exercise for an extended period, this can decrease your max heart rate.
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 sees that you are capable of sustaining higher peak rates. While we have built in algorithms to override 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!