Dr. Phil Maffetone 23: How to Add Beats to Your MAF Heart Rate, and Adjustments to the 180 Formula

November 14, 2018


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We’re back with Tawnee interviewing our good friend, Dr. Phil Maffetone. On this show we discuss ways that you can ADD beats to your MAF heart rate and also new additions to the 180 Formula on when you should subtract beats from your MAF. Click here for Phil’s full article on the 180-Formula Review and adding beats to MAF.

Revisiting the 180 Formula

‘Adjusting Your 180’ 

  • The goal is to “graduate” and progress from the category you’re in.
  • If you’ve subtracted 10 bpm due to an illness or taking medication, once you’re recovered you can add back those 10 bpm.
  • Recommendations from Phil on how to safely get of medications through working with your doctor.
  • High blood pressure? Try the two-week test. Anecdotal evidence hows this change in dietary habits can drop BP.
  • Getting Older? You don’t always have to subtract a beat off you MAF heart rate every birthday if you’re getting physiologically younger (assess via MAF test, health markers, etc.).
    • Our friends at Inside Tracker have a cool “InnerAge” feature on their blood testing packages.
    • A better way to adjust heart rate for longterm MAF athletes is: Every 5 years reduce MAF by 2-3 bpm if healthy and fit.
  • Use the MAF test as your gauge – if improving, do whatever for training.
  • Why Phil went with the number 180 instead of the old method of 220 minus age for target HR? Hint: The 200 Formula adds more risk to overtraining occurring.

Changes to the 180 Formula

  • Subtract 5 beats from your MAF if you’re overfat.
  • Subtract 10 beats from your MAF if you’ve experienced chronic overtraining.
    • Chronic overtraining is considered an illness.
    • How do you know when you’re recovered from chronic overtraining state? Answer: MAF improves, hormones improve, along with other health markers, energy, etc.
    • In non-functional overreaching, MAF test plateaus or goes down; this is a red flag. 
    • How our modern world contributes to stress that can feed overtraining.
  • If you’re not eating well, subtract 20 beats from your MAF.
    • If diet is poor, your fat burning not that different than 5-10 bpm higher.
    • When health and fitness is missing in almost all cases it is the diet that’s causing problems.
  • Ending thoughts: Veganism and vegetarianism for endurance athletes–what does Phil have to say about these diets?

One Comment

  • Ralf Badera says:

    What is chronic overtraining? I’ve had several injuries certainly due to overload. Is this what you call chronic overtraining?

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