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Old 02-16-08, 12:50 AM   #1
deadcactus
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Question about heart rate...

So I'm 20 and seem to be pretty regularly hitting 180+ for a heart rate and hit 190 today. Seems a bit high (200 is supposedly the upper limit for my age group). Should I be overly concerned? Maybe kick down the work out a notch? It just seems strange to me, because today I hit 190, but wasn;t even out of breathe. Thought maybe the heart rate monitor as broken, but I checked my pulse manually and it was defiantely up there...
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Old 02-16-08, 01:22 AM   #2
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There are no way to predict max heartrate from age. Variation is the norm, only with large numbers of people will the agenumbers fit. You may well have a max heartrate of 220. However I suspect that 180-190 is a bit high for anything but intervals. If it bothers you get a stresstest or check your max according to one of the doityourself tecniques you can google up. For training purposes lactate threshold is more interesting. That will be around your average heartrate for 35-40 minutes of max effort
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Old 02-16-08, 02:34 AM   #3
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ignore the formulas and charts - as you've discovered they work on a one size fits none principle.

Do a maximal rate test (Dr. Sally Edwards heart rate book is excellent as a starting point). My max heart rate was 215 when the charts/formulas all had me down in the 180/190 range.

If you've been exercising regularly from a young age then your max heart rate may be even higher.

http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Rate-Gui...3150854&sr=1-4
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Old 02-16-08, 09:34 AM   #4
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I was worried about my heart rate too, I'm a lot older than you and would hit 160-170 once in a while. I was told by a physical trainer that not to worry. If my heart rate was too high then I would pass out (the brain wants to protect the body). But you still might want to consult a doctor just to play it safe,
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Old 02-16-08, 10:00 AM   #5
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I read somewhere that to measure heart rate, you substract your age from 220. 220 is apparently the upper treshold. Since I started recording my HR at the end of every ride, I have never been over 165. To me that is my max according to the rule of 220 - age=max heart rate.
Here is my source, http://www.webmd.com/content/tools/1...heart_rate.htm

To the OP, the rates you posted are within your capability.

Last edited by wrafl; 02-16-08 at 10:28 AM.
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Old 02-16-08, 10:44 AM   #6
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I read somewhere that to measure heart rate, you substract your age from 220. 220 is apparently the upper treshold. Since I started recording my HR at the end of every ride, I have never been over 165. To me that is my max according to the rule of 220 - age=max heart rate.
Here is my source, http://www.webmd.com/content/tools/1...heart_rate.htm

To the OP, the rates you posted are within your capability.
220 - age is nothing but bogus. Determine your max HR for real, not through some magical forumla that seemed to apply, but actually doesn't to everyone.
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Old 02-16-08, 11:04 AM   #7
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220 - age is nothing but bogus. Determine your max HR for real, not through some magical forumla that seemed to apply, but actually doesn't to everyone.
I have to disagree with you that it is bogus but it is a guideline to simplify calculating max rate. I wear a HRM every time I ride and keep close attention to my max using that calculation by a recognized medical organization. I know there are many ways to calculate HR and it is up to the individual to determine which is best to use.
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Old 02-16-08, 03:35 PM   #8
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220 - age is nothing but bogus. Determine your max HR for real, not through some magical forumla that seemed to apply, but actually doesn't to everyone.
May not apply to everyone but does apply to quite a few. Unless you take a stress test- where the upper limit can be checked in safety- or you carry out your own test - which may not work unless you have a mate beside you to catch you as you fall- The 220 less your age will work for a lot of people. Some may be able to push the HR higher and some may not get anywhere near the theoretical max but still be a pretty fit person.

I have used the 220 less age for 15 years and it works. 9 years ago I had to have a stress test and I did pass out on it. My Max HR was the same as 220 less but I managed to go 10 above it.
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Old 02-16-08, 06:23 PM   #9
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Well stapfam, we seem to observe the same formula. Stress test is usually done with a doctor and nurse watching to make sure you get immediate medical attention if something goes wrong during the test.
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Old 02-16-08, 06:32 PM   #10
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[QUOTE=stapfam;6177467]May not apply to everyone but does apply to quite a few. /QUOTE]

You make any guess and you'll be right some of the time.
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Old 02-17-08, 10:16 AM   #11
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After my wife gave me a HRM I wanted to find my max so I could train accordingly.

Trouble was, I couldn't tell what my max was because there were too many variables that influenced the maximum readings on my monitor and I kept on getting different maxs'. Biggest problem was sometimes, the monitor registered a number that was so high, it had to have been a malfunction or a chest sensor disconnect.

I went for a stress test the other week and from what I could gather, I didn't reach my max. At least I didn't feel like I made it. I did fine, and got a high reading, but they stopped the test even though I could have gone on. If you want a max number, shouldn't you go until you can't go any more?

IMy brother had a heart attack at a young age and it looked like I had some irregularities in the sinus nodes of my heart so I wasn't as concerned with the training aspects of knowing my max rate from this test as I was that the SA node of my heart was functioning properly.

Maybe I should ask my doctor about this.
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Old 02-17-08, 06:34 PM   #12
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My max heart rate, as determined on a treadmill during a stress test, is 182. On a bicycle, it's 193 (as determined by HRM while going up this really ugly 1/2 mile 15%, numerous times).
220-age is 168.

If you're going to use hr as a training/exertion guide, you have to determine what your max is, for the sport you're training in/doing. 220-age is a generalization. There are others that may be a little better, but I would not use any of them to determine training limits or zones.
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Old 02-18-08, 03:40 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrafl View Post
I have to disagree with you that it is bogus but it is a guideline to simplify calculating max rate. I wear a HRM every time I ride and keep close attention to my max using that calculation by a recognized medical organization. I know there are many ways to calculate HR and it is up to the individual to determine which is best to use.
You perhaps fall into the "average" category for your age group. But as something to use for training purposes, it's bogus.
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Old 02-18-08, 10:58 PM   #14
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After my wife gave me a HRM I wanted to find my max so I could train accordingly.
Training in zones based on your max isn't terribly useful. You'll have a lot more luck if you use a field test to figure out where your lactage threshold currently is and then base your zones on that. Look at the sticky threads in "training and nutrition" for more information.
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Old 02-19-08, 10:06 AM   #15
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Howdy,
Ok, but isn't max HR a moving target. I mean the better condition one is in will affect the allowable max HR.

M.R.
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Old 02-19-08, 10:26 AM   #16
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What EricQ said. It's hard to really find your accurate max hr. And it's not all that useful for our kind of training anyway.

Instead, find your threshold HR. It's more useful to know for training purposes, and to keep track of as you improve. OP / Deadcactus, if you're hitting 190 and can hold it for 10 minutes, that may be your threshold.
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Old 02-19-08, 10:40 AM   #17
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I haven't really followed training news too closely lately, but I was surprised to see in the paper news about how it's not lactic acid build up that causes muscle fatigue, but a leakage of calcium in the muscle that's to blame.

http://www.sun-sentinel.com/features...,1957249.story
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Old 02-22-08, 01:28 PM   #18
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[QUOTE=operator;6178143]
Quote:
Originally Posted by stapfam View Post
May not apply to everyone but does apply to quite a few. /QUOTE]

You make any guess and you'll be right some of the time.
Yep---

But without using a monitor- you can get the heart rate right for you on a ride. If you are breathing hard- then you are probably up around 60% of your max. If you----cannot talk----to a person-----next to----you without having to take the extra breaths then you are up to around 85 % of your max. If you are Lying on the ground trying to get your breath back You have gone over the top.

I have a Max by test and Theory of 160. I like to ride at around 135 to 140 and at that I can keep going all day. On the hills I will ride at around 150 and that is awkward to talk. Still get to 165 if the final bit of the hill steepens- or a youngster tries to take me- but on one particular hill I Go over the top. Only 200yards offroad but steep and rough and slippy. Get to 172 at the top but only when the youngsters have all fallen off and I have to prove it is climbable. Then it is off the bike and lie down- before I fall off.

Heart rates vary from person to person. For my age and amongst my group- the 220- works for me and most others But there will always be the Oddball.
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Old 02-23-08, 01:23 PM   #19
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If you can hit 172 then your max is at least 172. Actually its probably a little higher than that; most people can hit a slightly higher number while running since running uses more muscles than cycling.

220-age is a rough approximation for sedentary people. Most cyclists I know can go over that on the road.

Training by max heart rate zones is not very accuate- the people who set up the zones make an assumption about the relationship between max and your lactate threshold, and that relationship isn't fixed. It varies due to heredity and training. LT is a lot more important for training.

Training zones based on a max HR of 220-age are likely to be quite a ways off.
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Old 02-23-08, 01:59 PM   #20
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Interesting thread.

Nothing much to say about "your" max, but the "220-age" is safe for people in general good health to aim for when starting to exercise. It has nothing to do with actual maximums. It is generally a safe sustained rate.
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Old 02-23-08, 11:12 PM   #21
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I'm not a doctor (to my mother's eternal dismay) but my understanding about heartrate is as long as you have one it's a good thing.

Does that help?
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Old 02-24-08, 09:25 AM   #22
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I have used the 220 less age for 15 years and it works. 9 years ago I had to have a stress test and I did pass out on it. My Max HR was the same as 220 less but I managed to go 10 above it.
If you can go 10 over your max heartate, then it wasnt your max heartrate.
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Old 03-02-08, 10:11 PM   #23
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I'm here to chime in that the formulas are good only if you fall right into 'average'. I'm a 60 year old woman with a max heart rate (at least max I've recorded - on a hill climb) of 212. Using the formulas means I couldn't get out of bed! According to my doctor, heart rates are somewhat like a bell-shaped curve. Think hummingbirds at the high end and elephants at the low end. Using Sally Edwards info and calculating ranges based on my maximum has been very useful to me. Sure beats the days of "aerobics classes" back in the 80's when they would have us do a 10 sec. heart rate count, then tell me to go sit down because I was way too high, even though I wasn't breathing hard.

PS First heart rate monitor I got (a Polar) I didn't believe, and bought another... just the same result.
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