Protocol for determining Anaerobic Threshold

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    Jan 06, 2009 10:24 PM GMT
    Does anyone have experience in conducting a modified MAP to determine you AT? I had it done on a spinning bike - it took about 15 minutes and involved increase resistance of the flywheel while maintaining a constant cadence, until I sort maxed out and went into anaerobic heart rate zone. From there I was able to calculate my heart rate zones.

    A few months after that I had it done professionally, using gas exchange mask while exercising on a bike. This was a lot more expensive and gave me an Anaerobic Threshold (AT) that was only one beat off from the simplified one done at the gym.

    I would like to conduct the simplified test for some of my students who have been asking to save them some money. I am just looking for anyone who has done something like this to explain the steps.

    Thanks in advance.
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    Jan 07, 2009 1:32 AM GMT
    You might wish to check with NSCA (National Strength and Conditioning Association) in Lincoln, and Cooper Clinic, in Dallas.
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    Jan 07, 2009 1:49 AM GMT
    There are two common methods. The simplest is:

    APMHR (Age related maximum heart rate)

    220 minus (your age)
    multiply that number by .70 and .85

    whatever those numbers are will be you training zone.


    The second method is the Karvonen Method (more accurate)

    *you will need your resting heart rate.
    (when you first wake up in the morning count your heart beats for 30 seconds and multiply by two to get this number.

    *you will also need your APHR from above (220 minus your age)

    Take your APMHR and subtract your resting heart rate. take that number and multiply it by .50 and .85 and add your resting heart rate to each of your numbers. that is your training zone.

    hope that helps.

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    Jan 07, 2009 2:40 AM GMT
    Thanks John... yeah... I give those two age predicted formula's to my class members. They are a good starting point, but since they are pretty general, they do not alway map to the true max heart rate since maximum heart rate is genetically determined. Mine, for intense, using the age-predicted formula's are way too low compared to having a true test.

    What I was looking for is a protocol - the way you conduct the test on the bike, watching for a plateau heart rate with increased amount of work. Sometimes this is called a "modified" Metabolic Assessment Profile (MAP)

    Really appreciate you getting back to me.
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    Jan 07, 2009 2:49 AM GMT
    "Feeling drop jawed, mental focus (looking at the clock, zoning in), one or to word sentences." is how we que to a "Feeling" when you reach AT

    Beyond that the EASIEST formula is 180- your age= BMP for the AVERAGE person at AT. obviously the fitter the person, the more margin there is for error.
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    Jan 07, 2009 3:19 AM GMT
    The Karvonen formula should be more accurate for you. It actually takes your resting heart rate into account. Which makes a big difference in a trained individual. It should more accurately coincide with your VO2 max.
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    Jan 08, 2009 1:30 AM GMT
    Thanks John and Stripper.

    When in doubt I use a slightly different formula - but same idea. It requires you to know your resting heart rate. It uses the Sally Edward's method of determining your maximum heart rate based on age, gender and weight.... her "best fit" formula

    Which is

    MaxHR = 210 - (Age X 0.5) - (Weight (lbs) X 0.05) (If male, add 4 beats)

    Now that I know their Max Heart rate, I subtract their supplied resting heart rate to get their heart rate reserve. I finally use the Karvonen Method to break this reserve into different heart rate zones.

    So pretty easy and pretty close to your ideas John.


    What I was looking for was help on NOT using a calculation, but something that is measured while someone is on the bike by simple observation of their heart rate and perceived exertion while under stress. What Stripper gave was what I was looking for... jaw dropping, grunting words, aybe even noticeable change in respiration.

    I was not sure if there was anything with observing the the heart rate leveled off even when exerting for awhile. I read somewhere that this, combined with the observable perceptions of exertion, is where you are close to - or at - AT.

    Once I have their AT, I then use that to break their heart rate zones down.

    I like also the loss of mental focus... I will add that to my list.

    Thanks again guys for your input... appreciate it.