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Thread: Max Heart Rate?

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    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Max Heart Rate?

    I have read quite a bit on heart rates since I bought my heart rate monitor. I did the 220-age deal and came up with 166 for my 54 year old body. Since I started riding in June, I saw my 166 max heart rate after a few rides and weeks later saw 169 and eventually saw 172. Today I was trying to stay up with the racers in the bike club and got dropped at 32mph but not before I was able to hit 176 max heart rate. Now for those of you who understand all the heart rate stuff, my question is Was 176 really my max heart rate all the time and I was just not in good enough shape to reach it til today? I feel great and did not know I had reached 176 til I looked at the info on the watch and then the computer. I am excited that I am able to get 176 max today.

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    Email for new group DnvrFox's Avatar
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    Glad you have a HRM, and it is working. My guess would be that your max heart rate is whatever your max is. I think that is how they would measure it in a lab. Get to your highest, and that is it.

    I think we just had a similar diiscussion in another thread.

    In any event, why not take a moment and read this article - it may be very enlightening about MHR.

    http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/Robergs2.pdf

    Have a great day.
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

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    I also bought a HRM 3 weeks ago. (BTW I am 63, 190 lb., 74", 34 waist.)
    Maximum HR seen in a reckless sprint up a long hill was 165. I did see stars in front of my eyes.
    HR 120 gets me 20 MPH on the flats.
    HR 140 is extreme exercise on a trainer.
    Good news is that the recovery is fast. 15-30 minutes and I am back to 60.

    Bad news is that I feel high as a kite and strung out to the point that I do not like it.
    So I am cooling it and do a bit of interval training but try not to push the limit.
    I thought I should share this.

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    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will dehne
    I also bought a HRM 3 weeks ago. (BTW I am 63, 190 lb., 74", 34 waist.)
    Maximum HR seen in a reckless sprint up a long hill was 165. I did see stars in front of my eyes.
    HR 120 gets me 20 MPH on the flats.
    HR 140 is extreme exercise on a trainer.
    Good news is that the recovery is fast. 15-30 minutes and I am back to 60.

    Bad news is that I feel high as a kite and strung out to the point that I do not like it.
    So I am cooling it and do a bit of interval training but try not to push the limit.
    I thought I should share this.
    Hmm Will,
    I have never seen stars or feel high. sounds like you are in pretty good shape. I am 54, 165lbs, 5'8" with 32 waist. Which is a lot better than I was 5 months ago..(was 202lbs then).I have not trained on a trainer as I only ride my bike outdoors but I know I will be wanting one soon.

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    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Glad you have a HRM, and it is working. My guess would be that your max heart rate is whatever your max is. I think that is how they would measure it in a lab. Get to your highest, and that is it.

    I think we just had a similar diiscussion in another thread.

    In any event, why not take a moment and read this article - it may be very enlightening about MHR.

    http://faculty.css.edu/tboone2/asep/Robergs2.pdf

    Have a great day.
    Thanks, I have read lots of stuff on heart rates but I now believe that today my max rate was 176 but could be higher tomorrow or the next day. I have stress tests from 99 and 03 and my max heart rates from those test is not close to 176. Is my max heart rate getting higher? I don't think so, I just think its getting healther or my body is and is allowing me to reach my true heart rate whatever that is. I am no expert but this is what I think today.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glassman
    I have not trained on a trainer as I only ride my bike outdoors but I know I will be wanting one soon.
    Got a CycleOps2 trainer. This thing can kill you. Much more difficult than road biking. I am bemused by the people who complain about boredom on a trainer. I cannot get bored because I am irritated that I cannot go 20 MPH on a trainer and believe me, have no trouble with 20 MPH on a flat road. So I will not rest until I can do 20 MPH on this d....n trainer.

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    Senior Member zonatandem's Avatar
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    Was tested at a university lab when I was 60 years old; did a max heart rate at 183; then a resting heart rate of 52.
    Am a dozen years older now and for the first time hit a new low for resting pulse: 48 (and that was on the day I was informed I had cancer . . . oh well).
    Weight 135, height 5'7", waist 30"
    Ride tandem 5 days a week and single once a week. Average now around 120+ a week (down from 200 a week less than 10 years ago).
    My motto: Growing old is not for sissies!

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    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Was tested at a university lab when I was 60 years old; did a max heart rate at 183; then a resting heart rate of 52.
    Am a dozen years older now and for the first time hit a new low for resting pulse: 48 (and that was on the day I was informed I had cancer . . . oh well).
    Weight 135, height 5'7", waist 30"
    Ride tandem 5 days a week and single once a week. Average now around 120+ a week (down from 200 a week less than 10 years ago).
    My motto: Growing old is not for sissies!
    So you are 72 now? I hope I can ride 120 miles a week when I get to where you are. Sorry to hear about your cancer, my wife has had breast cancer twice and is at 3 and a half years now since the last occurance. She works everyday and it has made me realize that we have to enjoy the time we are here. I don't know your details but I know quite a few cancer survivors.

    THis is off topic but I wanted to post it for everyone. I was on the rails to trails site and you can find the trails in your state here
    http://www.traillink.com/

    Maybe there are some in your state to ride....

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    I started that previous thread a few weeks ago when I just purchased my HRM. I'm 54, 160lbs., 5'10" and I had never used a HRM before. Over the past couple of weeks I've been using my HRM almost everyday for running and biking.
    Your maximum heartrate can only realistically be determined by a stress test given by a physician. Those formulas ar really meaningless because that do not take into consideration your physical condition and other factors. I think that your MHR is the point that you almost pass out which is why you should be tested at a doctors office if you really need to know your MHR.
    Personally since I got my HRM, I have learned to lessen the intensity of my workouts. I was initially averaging about 180 BPM for my typical 25-30 minute runs. The problem is that a lot of times I was just too tired to workout the next day. I'm now lowering the intensity of my workouts a little and I can not only work out longer but I can now easily work out everyday and I feel better. I would never be without one now.
    BTW, what kind did you get?
    Peter

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    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterjcb
    I started that previous thread a few weeks ago when I just purchased my HRM. I'm 54, 160lbs., 5'10" and I had never used a HRM before. Over the past couple of weeks I've been using my HRM almost everyday for running and biking.
    Your maximum heartrate can only realistically be determined by a stress test given by a physician. Those formulas ar really meaningless because that do not take into consideration your physical condition and other factors. I think that your MHR is the point that you almost pass out which is why you should be tested at a doctors office if you really need to know your MHR.
    Personally since I got my HRM, I have learned to lessen the intensity of my workouts. I was initially averaging about 180 BPM for my typical 25-30 minute runs. The problem is that a lot of times I was just too tired to workout the next day. I'm now lowering the intensity of my workouts a little and I can not only work out longer but I can now easily work out everyday and I feel better. I would never be without one now.
    BTW, what kind did you get?

    I have a Garmin 301 and a Polar S725 which I won in a contest. The Garmin is simple and I have not figured out the Polar yet but I did do the fitness test in the Polar and scored 55 on it yesterday. I am never without mine either.

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    Time for a change. stapfam's Avatar
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    Every ones heart rate is different. I am 58- 220 - age = 162, but with adjustments have found I can get up to 165 on hard bits of the trail That should be my max and if I get to that, it is definitely slow down and recover time. So why is it that just recently I saw 179 when staying in front of a youngster up a short sharp hill. I frequently find that at some point in a ride, I have gone over 170 at some point, and It has not been recovery time- slow down for a bit to catch the breath or if I'm lucky, put no effort in on the downhill that follows.


    Heart rates are different from person to person. Fitness rates are different from person to person. I do use an HRM but no longer use it as a guide keep my HR under control. All I use it for is an indicator as to how hard I am working on a ride. Constantly up above 150 and slow a bit, not reaching 140 and put a bit more effort in. That way I know that I will finish a ride and still feel good at the end. Unless it is less than a 20miler where I know I can push harder, or The hill is nearly done, but more effort is required.

    Your maximum heart rate is what you can reach- but a better way of looking at it is how high can it go constantly before the body starts to give out. For me that is 160. After 5 minutes at this rate up hills I will be slowing Down, or if it is a very long hill 155 after 10 minutes.

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    I am 55 , 5'10" , 200# with a 33" waist. My resting heart rate is upper40's. My max.is in the 190's during a race but have to really struggle to reach that when training by myself. I visited with my doctor about this and was told to just keep riding at the intensity level that I am .
    I normally train in the 160's.
    Gal. 2:20

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    FloridaFlats Bob Gabele's Avatar
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    How many of you notice that, on some days, you just can't get up to your max (whatever it is) because your legs just won't let you? I'm 54 5'9" and 150lbs. I ride six days/week about 30 miles/day on average. On the days I can't ride, I use the trainer.

    I figure my max is in the 175 area. I agree however, that race situations (I don't race but ride with guys who do on occasion) I get the adrenalin up and I then find I have more in me and can get a higher rate. I train however, in the 150's and get into intervals where I go up to 165 or higher. There are days, however, when I get into big gears (I define a big gear as a 53 by 14, 13 or 12) that my legs just won't let me get my heart rate up to 170. Yesterday, I was spent out in a 53/14 and did not get above 163...a heart rate that I can easily achieve when spinning smaller gears.

    My guess is that I need to do more interval training. Any thoughts on this?

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    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    I think there is still a lot we can learn about ourselve including our heart rate. My max heart rate is 176 since the other day when I was trying to stay up with the racers. I am looking at a print out of a 1999 stress report where I was only able to reach 146 max. The report says the test was stopped because of leg fatigue. I took another test in 03 and was able to finish that one and it said my max was 161. These test used a treadmill and I think I will look for someone to get a test done using a cycle. I asked my doctor if I could get another test and he said he could not pescribe one since I was in good health and the insurance would not pay for one without a reason. I think I may find if I had a wildcat chasing me I might be able to reach 180bpm...lol But I think we are all ahead of the game by monitoring our hearts with these monitors as we will see any changes before the average person would and be able to do something about it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by glassman
    I think there is still a lot we can learn about ourselve including our heart rate. My max heart rate is 176 since the other day when I was trying to stay up with the racers. I am looking at a print out of a 1999 stress report where I was only able to reach 146 max. The report says the test was stopped because of leg fatigue. I took another test in 03 and was able to finish that one and it said my max was 161. These test used a treadmill and I think I will look for someone to get a test done using a cycle. I asked my doctor if I could get another test and he said he could not pescribe one since I was in good health and the insurance would not pay for one without a reason. I think I may find if I had a wildcat chasing me I might be able to reach 180bpm...lol But I think we are all ahead of the game by monitoring our hearts with these monitors as we will see any changes before the average person would and be able to do something about it.
    Incidentally, you MHR is sport specific.

    Check out books on heart rate training by Edmund Burke - he ended up dying of heart problems!
    Gone - email me at dnvrfox@aol.com for new group of old 50+ folks

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    Senior Member dagna's Avatar
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    Interesting thread, and thanks to the folks posting their training ranges, also. I barely break a sweat in the 'suggested' range, so it's nice to see I'm not the only one who keeps their HR higher than the generally suggested rate on training rides. At an effort that feels like work, but like GOOD work which will let me train comfortably the next day, my HR generally runs between 155 and 165. Which is funny, because my max heart rate is predicted-by-formula to be 170. Took me a while to throw the predictions out the window and just go with what feels right. Now my two main uses of the HRM are to motivate myself to keep going when I'm having a bad day, or to pace myself on long ride day so I don't finish totally wrecked.

    Dagna

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    "Cylcling Over 50" has several methods (short of spending a lot of money) for determining MHR. Of note, everything I have read on the subject agrees that it (and VO2 max) is genetically fixed. How close and for how you can come to MRH and still remain below your lactate threshold is not. Check out the book again and you'll find what you are looking for.

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    Senior Member glassman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RockyMtnMerlin
    "Cylcling Over 50" has several methods (short of spending a lot of money) for determining MHR. Of note, everything I have read on the subject agrees that it (and VO2 max) is genetically fixed. How close and for how you can come to MRH and still remain below your lactate threshold is not. Check out the book again and you'll find what you are looking for.


    I am still reading cycling over 50 and its a very good book. I would like to go to a place that does test for cycling so I can know my max heart rate (for the test) for cycling and vo max, however I test it everyday riding and have a pretty good idea where it is. I appreciate all the post here and all the forums I visit and always find out something new with each visit.
    Last edited by glassman; 10-15-05 at 03:30 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zonatandem
    Was tested at a university lab when I was 60 years old; did a max heart rate at 183; then a resting heart rate of 52.
    Am a dozen years older now and for the first time hit a new low for resting pulse: 48 (and that was on the day I was informed I had cancer . . . oh well).
    Weight 135, height 5'7", waist 30"
    Ride tandem 5 days a week and single once a week. Average now around 120+ a week (down from 200 a week less than 10 years ago).
    My motto: Growing old is not for sissies!
    Hey! You're doing GREAT. As an oncology nurse I can tell you first hand that a good, healthy outlook on life matters..... but what matters more is the condition of the body that the cancer has invaded. This is not to say that every person that is in tip-top condition will beat cancer, but it is to say that if you are in tip-top condition (which it sounds like you ARE) you will have a much better chance at coming out on the winning end of the equation. I wish you the best!
    P.S. Love your motto!! I'm 61 and know for a fact that growing old is not for sissies.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DnvrFox
    Incidentally, you MHR is sport specific.

    Check out books on heart rate training by Edmund Burke - he ended up dying of heart problems!
    As did James Fixx, the runner guru. He died of a heart attack while he was running. Remember that? And he was definitely younger than we are. All I'm trying to say is that we can't predict anything. Nothing is for sure. Just go with the odds. And the odds say you're better off making that heart of yours work for a living!

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    Berry Pie..the Holy Grail GrannyGear's Avatar
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    RE: James Fixx. Heart disease was prevalent in his family. And he was notorious for his very heart unhealthy eating habits. As I recall, Nathan Pritikin died of cancer but had a healthy heart. My father-in-law is 86 and relatively healthy.....no exercise and lots of heavy-on-the-fat, white bread diet all those years. Still...................

    I'll go with MaryAnn on the odds. Most of us 50Plussers, who are fairly healthy and more active (maybe downright adventurous) than many of our peers, follow some fairly "healthy" life style choices.

    Well, except for GrannyGear's addiction to Rocky Road ice cream.
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    Quote Originally Posted by stapfam
    Your maximum heart rate is what you can reach- but a better way of looking at it is how high can it go constantly before the body starts to give out. For me that is 160. After 5 minutes at this rate up hills I will be slowing Down, or if it is a very long hill 155 after 10 minutes.
    I agree - your maximum heart rate it the max you can reach. The 220 - age is way off for many people.

    I disagree about the how long can it go before the body starts to give out, with 5 or 10 minutes thrown out as a reasonable time to measure. Max heartrate is a max you can sustain for a VERY short period - like 5 - 10 seconds, NOT 5 - 10 minutes.

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    I am 55. My resting heart rate is in the low-to-mid 40s (attributable to a combination of 37 years of serious cycling/jogging/etc. and congenitally somewhat low thyroid function). I seem to be unable to push my heart rate above about 160, at which I don't feel faint, dizzy, or winded, and from which it still drops pretty fast when I stop exercising.
    "Early to bed, early to rise. Work like hell, and advertise." -- George Stahlman
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    OM boy cyclezen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John E
    I am 55. My resting heart rate is in the low-to-mid 40s (attributable to a combination of 37 years of serious cycling/jogging/etc. and congenitally somewhat low thyroid function). I seem to be unable to push my heart rate above about 160, at which I don't feel faint, dizzy, or winded, and from which it still drops pretty fast when I stop exercising.
    You may actually not be hitting MaxHR. After I got back from my injury just before Christmas '05, the HRM at the health club, in April, had me maxxin out at 160 also. However that number went up as I was able to continue 'conditioning' work over the summer months in 05. My lower muscle strength and reduced aerobic capacity might have been responsible for that - I'm not sure. A question of physio would be - "What causes the heart to increase rate? Oxygen level in the blood, muscle chemistry, combination of factors? what?" (do we really know that much?
    Fact is in April '05 I COULD NOT exceed 162 bpm, no way, no how. Now, today, the same HRM in the health club records a steady 192, for 30 sec sprints and high 160s for longer extended efforts (in minutes). Those numbers are confirmed by a HRM I started using a month ago while actually road riding.
    The point being that the 'number', you note above, may or may not be your actuall MaxHR. Something in your conditioning may be holding you at bpm.
    How important is MaxHR in producing some level of physical activity? It doesn't seem to correlate that much. The "science of Lance" stated his MaxHR at a lower number than I fully expected (don;t remember it offhand, so I won;t blurt out something erroneous). A number that is prolly exceeded by many of the TDF peleton members - so it obviously hasn't hampered him to be on the lower end for his group.
    They also noted a 'pumping' volume, which however was prodigious - and that would sensibly be a HUGE factor.

    You might just have the heart of a bull, and not need as many bumps as we do.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MaryAnn
    ...know for a fact that growing old is not for sissies.
    Even for sissies like me, it beats the alternative....

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