Computing Maximum Heart Rate

I had a Medtronic Sure Scan with an atrioventricular lead inplanted a week ago due to bradycardia.  I am trying to determine heart rate workout rates now.  My pacemaker has a low setting of 60 as my heart naturally has a resting heart rate of low 40s/high 30s.  In order to calculate my maximum heart rate I need to know resting heart rate.  Should I use the natural resting heart rate or the imposed pacemaker minimum heart rate (60 bpm)?


Are you sure there is a relationship ?

by IAN MC - 2018-08-12 17:00:42

I'm not certain that a safe maximum heart-rate is related to your resting heart-rate ( no matter which figure you use ) . Far more important is your age, what drugs you may take, and any heart-conditions you may have.

Instead of trying to work out a magical number I believe it is better to listen to your body. If you are breathing more heavily but can just about still have a conversation, then that is as good an indicator as any calculated number.

Classic formulas for measuring maximum heart rate are all variations on " 220 minus your age " so resting HR doesn't feature BUT once you have a pacemaker the settings for maximum tracking rate and maximum sensor rate can render these formulas pretty useless.

Enjoy your exercise


Maximum heart rate

by Selwyn - 2018-08-13 13:08:15

I would just endorse the very sensible answer Ian has given.  We are not machines. 

Fitness comes slowly and takes time and effort.  To go out to reach a maximum heart rate, especially when not fit, is a recipe for disaster. 

I am not aware that the resting heart rate has anything to do with the maximum heart rate by definition of these terms. 

As you have a heart condition, it would be advisable to discuss your exercise regime with your cardiologist, or an cardiac exercise nurse specialist.  If you think that exercise is not associated with cardiac arrhythmias and sudden death, look again at the statistics.  Too little is bad and too much is bad- like Goldilocks it has to be "just right"- for you.

I think we need to be clear as to what we are talking about here: the target heart rate for training ( The Karvonen Formula ) is not the same as the maximum heart rate....

Kind regards,



by jcb - 2018-08-13 13:09:43

Assuming you are using Karvonen formula to calculate heart rate zones, i' d say you would have to use the pm rate as that is the rate your body needs at rest.


Why not just use monitored rate?

by BOBTHOM - 2018-08-13 22:07:01

Just throwing it out there.  The oximeter (finger O2/Heart Rate) monitor is like $15 on Amazon, get one of those, see what your average resting heart rate is and just use that number.

My ICD has a low setting of 60 but it won't actually pace me until I drop to below 40.  It will then pace me up to 60 and try to sustain it there.  But that's just me and I have an ICD not a regular pacemaker.

No Way

by Teletim - 2018-10-06 02:27:58

There is no way you should use a formula that needs a resting HR figure. The paced number is artificial and your natural number is effected by whatever heart issue you have. As others have said, you do not want to push yourself to some limit that might cause you some other very bad problem. I know it is very arbitrary, but just use the 220-age and find a good workout range from there. 

You know you're wired when...

The dog’s invisible fence prevents you from leaving the backyard.

Member Quotes

I am no expert, but I believe that without the defibrillator that I have, I would be dead.