I've just bought a heart monitor. It looks like the fundamental number for my training is my Maximum Heart Rate (MRH or Max HR). This number changes if you are cycling or running.

I've seen protocols to measure it running or cycling outdoor. I believe I'll get a more precise measurement if I do it in cycling indoor.

Does anybody here can give me a protocol to measure my MHR it in a stationary bike?

  • I find that following various protocols isn't the most effective way. What's worked best for me is simply doing racing on zwift - there's nothing quite as motivating as trying to catch someone up in a race and I've scored higher heart rates doing this than anything else (inc FTP/ramp tests / very hard workouts etc.)
    – John Hunt
    Commented Jul 26, 2022 at 10:14

2 Answers 2


In this article, I've found this protocol:

  1. Warm up thoroughly. I suggest spending about 5 minutes until you break a light sweat.
  2. Run or Bike for 4 minutes. You should be too out of breath to talk.
  3. Active rest - walking or easy cycling for 3 minutes.
  4. Run or Bike for 4 minutes. You should be too out of breath to talk.
  5. Active rest - walking or easy cycling for 3 minutes.
  6. Run or Bike for 2 minutes at which point run or bike as fast as you can until you reach exhaustion and can’t continue.
  7. Immediately take your heart rate. This is your MAX HR

I'm still leaving the answer unmarked to see if someone gives me a better answer. I'll choose any one that improves this one (also marked as a community wiki).

Some doubts: how much time before to eat? At what time of the day? Should I set any resistance on the bike?

  • We don't know if he has any history of disease or exercise. This protocol may be harmful for him.
    – bantandor
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 8:17

OK. I do not suggest you to try to get your MHR alone at home. Here is the list of protocols including cycle ergometer protocols in the link here

To stay on the safe side you may try this formula. You may try karvonen method to calculate you THR For you max HR you can use 220-age formula then Target Heart Rate = ((max HR − resting HR) × %Intensity) + resting HR

If you insist on getting your MHR you need to go to exercise physiology lab where there is a physician, ECG and defibrillator ,just in case.


  • 3
    220-age is one of the worst myths in exercise science.
    – JohnP
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 12:46
  • Yes I agree with you, but it works :-)
    – bantandor
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 12:54
  • 1
    No, actually it doesn't. It's a gross generalization and gives false impressions. Promoting it in any way degrades the exercise kinesiology field.
    – JohnP
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 13:28
  • Actually, It does not. If you check the MHR formulas, they are more or less same.By the way not kinesiology , physiology.
    – bantandor
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 14:08
  • I will grant it also falls into physiology, but exercise prescription, exercise testing and the like are a large part of the kinesiology field, especially if you fall into the clinical and research side of things. And "more or less" gives an unacceptable range of heart rates.
    – JohnP
    Commented Mar 15, 2016 at 14:10

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