The MAF Method is a philosophy I developed over the course of 40 years of scientific research and clinical practice to help individuals of all ages, athletic abilities, physical issues, and personal goals reach their human performance potential. I have embraced this imperative ethical principle throughout my career and encouraged people to adopt it as well. Both health and fitness are requirements for optimal human performance, but we should not sacrifice one for the other. Unfortunately, health continues to be sacrificed. Rates of poor health and impaired fitness continue to rise worldwide.
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WhatsApp 3K Shares A heart-rate monitor is the most important tool for developing optimal endurance and better fat-burning. This simple device is a valuable tool that not only guides your training but is part of an important assessment process, and can even be used in some competitive situations. Unfortunately, most people use their heart-rate monitors only to see how high their heart rate gets during a workout, or evaluate resting heart rate in the morning.
In the s, I first measured heart rates as a student in a biofeedback research project. Through this research, it became evident that using the heart rate to objectively measure body function was simple, accurate and useful, especially for athletes. I began using heart rate to evaluate all exercising patients, and by the early s developed a formula that anyone could use with their heart monitor to help build an aerobic base. When exceeded, this number indicates a rapid transition towards anaerobic work.
The Formula To find your maximum aerobic training heart rate, there are two important steps. Subtract your age from In this example, must be the highest heart rate for all training. This allows you to most efficiently build an aerobic base. Training above this heart rate rapidly incorporates anaerobic function, exemplified by a shift to burning more sugar and less fat for fuel.
Initially, training at this relatively low rate may be difficult for some athletes. But after a short time, you will feel better and your pace will quicken at that same heart rate. You will not be stuck training at that relatively slow pace for too long. Still, for many athletes it is difficult to change bad habits. If it is difficult to decide which of two groups best fits you, choose the group or outcome that results in the lower heart rate.
In athletes who are taking medication that may affect their heart rate, wear a pacemaker, or have special circumstances not discussed here, further consultation with a healthcare practitioner or specialist may be necessary, particularly one familiar with the Formula. Exemptions: The Formula may need to be further individualized for people over the age of For some of these athletes, up to 10 beats may have to be added for those in category d in the Formula, and depending on individual levels of fitness and health.
This does not mean 10 should automatically be added, but that an honest self-assessment is important. For athletes 16 years of age and under, the formula is not applicable; rather, a heart rate of may be best.
Once a maximum aerobic heart rate is found, a training range from this heart rate to 10 beats below could be used. However, the more training closer to the maximum , the quicker an optimal aerobic base will be developed.
The relationship between one heartbeat and the next is associated with heart rate variability, which reflects parasympathetic nervous system PNS function. This is an important factor that professionals can use to assess heart health, and for athletes to evaluate recovery from training and racing.
This rate can be as low as 30 to 40 in those with great aerobic function to as high as or higher in young athletes during all-out efforts. In the late 70s and early 80s I had in my office several bulky heart monitors, which I used for heart-rate evaluation. Whether the athlete was on a treadmill, on a stationary bike in the clinic, on the track, or at another location, I would record a number of pre- and post-workout features.
These changes are due, in part, to previously existing muscle imbalance and muscle problems that develop during the workout. By correlating this mechanical efficiency with heart rate at various points before, during and after workouts, I found an ideal training heart rate—one which promoted optimal aerobic function without triggering significant anaerobic activity, excess stress, muscle imbalance or other problems.
The heart rate I found to be ideal in my assessment was often significantly lower from the results of the commonly-used Formula. However, it was becoming evident that athletes who used the Formula to calculate their daily training heart rate showed poor gait, increased muscle imbalance, and other problems following a workout.
Often, these athletes were overtrained. It soon became evident that athletes needed more consistent training quality. Each athlete needed to have his or her own heart monitor and train with it every day. Athletes who wore heart-rate monitors during each workout felt better and improved in performance at a faster rate than others who trained without a monitor.
My new goal was to find a way that any athlete could determine an optimal training heart rate, using some simple formula—ideally one that resulted in a very similar or identical heart rate as my manual assessments. Over time, I began piecing together a mathematical formula, using as a guide the optimal heart rates in athletes who had previously been assessed. By comparing the new Formula with my relatively lengthy process of one-on-one evaluations, it became clear that this new formula worked very well.
In other words, my tedious assessment of an individual athlete and the Formula resulted in a number that was the same or very close in most cases. The use of the number is not significant other than as a means to finding the end heart rate. Plus, minus age itself is not a meaningful number; for example, it is not associated with VO2max, lactate threshold, or other traditional measurements.
Thanks to the Formula, all athletes can now obtain their ideal individual aerobic training rates.
The MAF Files
Devised by Dr. Philip Maffetone based on 40 years of clinical experience and scientific research, MAF helps individuals of all ages, athletic abilities, physical issues, and personal goals reach the heights of their own human performance potential. What is the MAF Method? This methodology enables you to create your own unique health and fitness strategy by balancing the 3 forces that exert the most influence on your wellbeing: nutrition, exercise, and stress. Maffetone has identified eight key components to this process. His simple 8-Step methodology helps you evaluate and prioritize these 3 components to achieve optimal health and fitness. MAF works for everyone.
The 180 Formula: Heart-rate monitoring for real aerobic training.
Tweet Are you ready for a monster discussion on base training, the Maffetone Method, and more training geekery? What is the Maffetone Method? Like CrossFit Endurance! And the base phase of training is the perfect place to start this conversation. What is Base Training? There are two workouts that are performed in the base phase.
Everyone is an athlete
WhatsApp 3K Shares A heart-rate monitor is the most important tool for developing optimal endurance and better fat-burning. This simple device is a valuable tool that not only guides your training but is part of an important assessment process, and can even be used in some competitive situations. Unfortunately, most people use their heart-rate monitors only to see how high their heart rate gets during a workout, or evaluate resting heart rate in the morning. In the s, I first measured heart rates as a student in a biofeedback research project.
The Maffetone Method, Base Training, and Why You Are Not “Lungs with Legs”
What if you could get faster and leaner without killing yourself? What is Low Heart Rate Training? The Maffetone Method helps you take charge of your own health and fitness—and succeed. Every animal on earth knows how to be optimally healthy, but humans have gone astray; getting back your instincts and intuition is one of the benefits of this process. I think this style of running benefits tremendously from a Maffetone Method coach. Otherwise there are often concerns about going too slowly or when to add in speed, strength, etc. What is the Formula for Heart Rate?