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2014 | 15 | 3 | 166-170

Article title

Estimating Maximal Heart Rate with the ‘220-Age’ Formula in Adolescent Female Volleyball Players: A Preliminary Study


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Purpose. Although maximal heart rate (HRmax) is used widely to assess exercise intensity in training, there are limited data with regards to the validity of age-based prediction equations of HRmax in volleyball players. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to compare the measured-HRmax of two prediction equations (Fox-HRmax = 220 − age and Tanaka-HRmax = 208 − 0.7 × age) in young female volleyball players. Methods. The study involved 47 volleyball players (age 13.39 ± 2.01 years, body mass 54.0 ± 10.8 kg, height 162.7 ± 10.2 cm) who performed a graded exercise field test (20 m shuttle run endurance test) to assess HRmax. Measured-HRmax values were compared with the Fox and Tanaka prediction equations. Results. The results showed that mean scores for HRmax significantly differed between measured and predicted values (p < 0.001, ŋ2 = 0.49). Post-hoc tests revealed that Fox-HRmax overestimated measured-HRmax (mean difference 5.7 bpm; 95% CI [3.0, 8.5]), whereas Tanaka-HRmax was similar to measured-HRmax (-2.2 bpm; 95% CI [-4.9, 0.4]). HRmax did not correlate with age (r = 0.16, p = 0.291). Conclusions. The results of this study failed to validate the widely used ‘220−age’ formula in volleyball players. Coaches and fitness trainers should take into account that the overestimation of HRmax by the Fox equation might lead to prescribing exercise at a higher intensity than what is targeted. Therefore, the Tanaka equation appears to offer a more accurate prediction equation of HRmax than the Fox equation in young female volleyball players.










Physical description


1 - 9 - 2014
10 - 8 - 2014
29 - 10 - 2014
6 - 2 - 2015


  • Department of Physical and Cultural Education, Hellenic Army Academy, Athens, Greece
  • Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Nikaia, Greece
  • University e-Campus, Novedrate, Italy
  • Tunisian Research Laboratory “Sports Performance Optimisation” National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia
  • Tunisian Research Laboratory “Sports Performance Optimisation” National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia
  • University of Jaen, Spain
  • Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Porto, Portugal
  • Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic


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