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Old 12-04-07, 07:35 AM   #1
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Is Precor pulling my leg?

So I hit the gym this week and for the first time with an accurate HRM and in a controlled environment, tested myself a little.
I set the machine (a Precor C846i upright) to its watts control program, turned it up to 320 and spun at 115-120rpm for 25 minutes, then turned it up to 400W (the maximum setting) for about three to test my MaxHR, which started to bouncing off the peg at 208. For the 25 minutes of 320W my HR was floating between 180 and 190, mostly depending on how well I controlled my breathing, but it stayed below 185 for the most part. It felt as though this was a sustainable pace and didn't cause any extraordinary discomfort.

I'm 28, so the HR is a touch high for certain, but how accurate are these machines for gauging wattage?
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Old 12-04-07, 07:42 AM   #2
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So I hit the gym this week and for the first time with an accurate HRM and in a controlled environment, tested myself a little.
I set the machine (a Precor C846i upright) to its watts control program, turned it up to 320 and spun at 115-120rpm for 25 minutes, then turned it up to 400W (the maximum setting) for about three to test my MaxHR, which started to bouncing off the peg at 208. For the 25 minutes of 320W my HR was floating between 180 and 190, mostly depending on how well I controlled my breathing, but it stayed below 185 for the most part. It felt as though this was a sustainable pace and didn't cause any extraordinary discomfort.

I'm 28, so the HR is a touch high for certain, but how accurate are these machines for gauging wattage?
Not sure how accurate those machines are but I would guess not to good.

Also are you sure that was you max heart rate? 220 - age is not always a good estimate. When you reached 208bpm how did you feel? When you reach max heart rate you should pretty much want to throw up, pass out, and stop all movement.
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Old 12-04-07, 07:55 AM   #3
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Not sure how accurate those machines are but I would guess not to good.

Also are you sure that was you max heart rate? 220 - age is not always a good estimate. When you reached 208bpm how did you feel? When you reach max heart rate you should pretty much want to throw up, pass out, and stop all movement.
I was in some distress but not to the puke/blackout stage.
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Old 12-04-07, 08:51 AM   #4
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HR is probably accurate, wattage is probably a joke unless you're a really big guy.
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Old 12-04-07, 09:01 AM   #5
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HR seems high to me. Me and the people on our team (college-aged kids) max out at about 205, and we're a touch younger than you. Wattage seems absurdly high unless you're a pro. Probably not accurate.
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Old 12-04-07, 09:28 AM   #6
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HR seems high to me. Me and the people on our team (college-aged kids) max out at about 205, and we're a touch younger than you. Wattage seems absurdly high unless you're a pro. Probably not accurate.
Yeah but I'm probably at least 15 years older than you and my max is 204, so don't buy into the age thing.
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Old 12-04-07, 09:32 AM   #7
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Yeah but I'm probably at least 15 years older than you and my max is 204, so don't buy into the age thing.
Yeah, MHR doesn't go down with age for active individuals. At least not much. My MHR is exactly the same as it was when I was racing at 21 years old, 16 years ago.
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Old 12-04-07, 09:33 AM   #8
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I'm 28, so the HR is a touch high for certain, but how accurate are these machines for gauging wattage?
1. Any formula using age to compute MHR is junk - your MHR is about genetics, not age.

2. Not accurate

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Old 12-04-07, 10:12 AM   #9
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Crazy! So, I'll be able to hit 205+ for a good long while. Sweet!
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Old 12-04-07, 10:39 AM   #10
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Yes, you can get faster and faster every year for 16+ years if you play your cards right.
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Old 12-04-07, 10:47 AM   #11
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Yes, you can get faster and faster every year for 16+ years if you play your cards right.
Since I folded my hand and walked away from the table before UT dude was born. I've spent the last decade trying to raise my throw up, pass out, and stop all movement point back up to above 165.
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Old 12-04-07, 01:33 PM   #12
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When you reach max heart rate you should pretty much want to throw up, pass out, and stop all movement.
No
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Old 12-04-07, 02:02 PM   #13
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Yeah, MHR doesn't go down with age for active individuals. At least not much. My MHR is exactly the same as it was when I was racing at 21 years old, 16 years ago.
My max HR at 21 was 202. Back then I was an elite level inline speedskater and in the best shape of my life. 10 years of sitting on the couch minus the past year of getting back into shape I have hit 204, 202, and 200 this year. My "wake up in the morning before I get out of bed" resting HR is 38.

Not bad for a 34 year old slacker.
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Old 12-04-07, 04:38 PM   #14
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HR may or may not be accurate. It's not clear what you're using for a HRM - if it's a Polar and you have no interference, it's probably accurate. If you're using some "grip the bar where the shiny metal is" HRM then it's probably not accurate. I knew a woman who could maintain a 205 HR for a while on a treadmill (30 minutes or more). She was 40 at the time, fit, did Ironman Hawaii. Didn't seem to bother her a bit.

Wattage is probably inaccurate but is probably consistent, meaning you can compare numbers from that from one session to the next. Don't think of them as watts but as strictly abstract numbers on a scale. Problem is you won't be able to dial it up to train harder later if 400 indicated watts is max and you're able to handle that already.

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Old 12-04-07, 05:13 PM   #15
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HR may or may not be accurate. It's not clear what you're using for a HRM - if it's a Polar and you have no interference, it's probably accurate. If you're using some "grip the bar where the shiny metal is" HRM then it's probably not accurate. I knew a woman who could maintain a 205 HR for a while on a treadmill (30 minutes or more). She was 40 at the time, fit, did Ironman Hawaii. Didn't seem to bother her a bit.
It's a coded Polar. I used the grips for reference at several points and they seem to be consistently 2bpm under the Polar reading, so I'm going to say the Polar is reading okay.

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Wattage is probably inaccurate but is probably consistent, meaning you can compare numbers from that from one session to the next. Don't think of them as watts but as strictly abstract numbers on a scale. Problem is you won't be able to dial it up to train harder later if 400 indicated watts is max and you're able to handle that already.
I have to poke around on this machine a little. It has generic units of resistance that can be controlled outside of the wattage program. I don't plan on training with power regularly but it'd be nice to get an accurate idea of what I can do as a reference without having to drop big money on a meter.
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Old 12-04-07, 06:13 PM   #16
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I have to poke around on this machine a little. It has generic units of resistance that can be controlled outside of the wattage program. I don't plan on training with power regularly but it'd be nice to get an accurate idea of what I can do as a reference without having to drop big money on a meter.
I wouldn't spend much time to trying to find out what the watts are on a machine like this unless you have some kind of meter to compare it to.

The value of these machines, if you use the same one, and it doesn't to beat up between uses, is you can measure progress. Today my heart rate doing level ## was ###, last week it was ###.

I have a Schwinn910 upright that I bought long before knowing that real cyclists don't use these. I love it. It lets me ride pre-set routines and the only thing I have to worry about is turning the pedals. Is it as good as having my own bike on a trainer with a meter of some sort, no. But its easy, convenient, and gives me some high percentage of the gain I would get otherwise.

Someday I will max the machine out and convince my wife that I need something like a Computrainer or some other such toy. But that might still be a year away. When I got it 5 years ago I could do a set of 4 3 minute intervals at level 12, I'm doing level 19 now, it only has one more level. It tells me I am doing such and such watts, but for me, its knowing that I am improving thats important.

EDIT I guess I should have read Carpe's post, same thing.
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