How To Work Out Your Cycling Max Heart Rate

As a competitive cyclist, there are many things that you should do to keep up with your training and improve your skill. Whether you’re training for a triathlon or a sprint race, you want to pay close attention to many factors during your training sessions.

One of the important things to keep note of is your heart rate during training. To make sure that you’re hitting your goals in different areas, you need to know your max heart rate. If you’re new at this type of training, you may be a bit unsure of how to figure out your cycling max heart rate and different zones.

The good news is that it’s easier than you think. Here are some tips on working out your cycling max heart rate to ensure that you get the most out of your training.


Cycling Max Heart Rate

If you’ve been at almost any gym, you’ve probably seen the charts on the walls that show a bunch of numbers, ages, and words. Those numbers and ages are based on the idea that the formula 220 minus your age calculates your MHR. This has been used for a while now—since the early 1900s.

So, using this strategy, calculate your MHR by subtracting the number of your age from 220. The thing about this is that it isn’t always 100% accurate.

How Can You Find Out Your MHR?

Fortunately, you don’t have to stay in the dark about your max heart rate. Thanks to a device that was invented, you can test your heart rate with a monitor. It takes away the guesswork so that you can clearly understand where your heart rate is at during your cycling sessions.

All you really need is a heart rate strap and a simple app.

Using a turbo trainer and a heart rate monitor, you’re going to want to do a light warm-up for around 10 minutes or so. Then go hard at a level where you are feeling the effort yet don’t feel maxed out. Do this for about ten minutes as well. Now, ride one minute as fast and hard as you can, as in give it your maximum effort, and then sprint for 20 seconds. You should now be able to read your maximum heart rate on your heart rate monitor.

You could also do the same outside on a hill with your bike and a heart rate monitor. Again, start with a warm-up and then ride with some intensity. As you approach the hill, ride up it as a fast as you can, with a quick sprint at the last bit. Rest and then repeat. Do this a couple of times and record your MHR each time you do it. Then cool down. This can help you to understand your personal MHR during an outdoor cycle and can be very beneficial for your training sessions.

Why Find Out Your MHR For Cycling?

Different heart rate levels benefit different parts of your training and knowing your MHR can be important in helping you to reach the goals that you have in mind for your race or triathlon. Reaching your MHR during some part of your training cycle can be important for building heart strength and stamina.

What Do You Need For Heart Rate Monitoring?

If you’re not big on devices, you could just try to calculate it the old fashioned way, but many people like to see a real number and understand what to shoot for the next time around. You’ll want to invest in a good heart rate monitor that won’t get in your way during your training sessions on your bike.

It doesn’t matter what kind of training that you are doing, a heart rate monitor can benefit you either way. You can find options at your favorite bicycle shop or even order online. There are many different kinds for all types of uses.


Whether you train alone or with a partner, it’s important to keep track of your heart rate. You can excel when you better understand your body’s levels and needs during your cycling. You’ll want to know how much you should exert yourself, when to keep pushing, and how to train for the optimal results.



My name is Michael Smith and I met both Sandra and Dave as clients. I’ve been working as a physiotherapist for the past 10 years now, which is a job I love doing.

See, I once had a promising football career which started with the Texas Longhorns, but unfortunately was cut short after just 1 semester when I suffered quite a serious knee injury.

I spent about 18 months going through 3 surgeries and endless hours of physiotherapy. Unfortunately, it was the end of my pro football career, but it opened my eyes to remaining involved in sports and helping athletes recover.

My main focus is sports injuries and I’m set up as a private practice. Maybe one day I’ll try and become involved in a college or pro football team, but at the moment I enjoy the freedom and flexibility of being my own boss.

In my spare time I still coach football, but unfortunately, I cannot play anymore. The nature of my injury was quite severe and has significantly weakened my knee, so I just can’t take such risks anymore.

But coaching kids and teenagers, and helping them prepare for college try-outs is something I absolutely love doing. And reaching a wider audience with some tips on preventing sports injuries is what I hope to achieve on this site.

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