On most training applications and programs, the default setting for heart rate training is based on an individual’s age predicted maximum heart rate. Typically this is determined through the equation: 220 – age or 208 – (0.7 x age). Based on these figures, heart rate zones prescribed are determined as a percentage of the max heart rate.
The issue with this method is that not everyone fits into this equation. Through testing, we often see older individuals with higher max heart rates and younger individuals with much lower heart rates. The trickle down effect into training prescription can be the difference between achieving great adaptations and poor adaptations.