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Old 11-22-05, 11:00 AM   #1
jcdebow
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MAX HR Question

I've done a number of the on-bike field tests to determine approximate max heart rate. I come in around 190. I have, however, consistently seen 195 on my HRM during intense climbs.

Which should I believe? Isn't the highest number I've ever seen - by definition - probably closest to my max HR?
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Old 11-22-05, 11:14 AM   #2
sch
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What's the difference between max and highest? Some variances will occur depending on pectoral muscle activity which might be miscounted as heart pulses. After all the HRM depends on picking up the electrical pulses from the heart and detecting twitches of the pectorals can be added in. Climbing would tend to increase upper body muscle contractions compared to high speed flat riding.
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Old 11-22-05, 11:18 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcdebow
I've done a number of the on-bike field tests to determine approximate max heart rate. I come in around 190. I have, however, consistently seen 195 on my HRM during intense climbs.

Which should I believe? Isn't the highest number I've ever seen - by definition - probably closest to my max HR?

Well, as you've proven to yourself, it's definitely not 190. It's probably closer to 200, given that you "consistently" see 195 on intense climbs. I consistently see 170 on intense climbs, but my max HR (for cycling) is 177 -- the highest I've EVER seen, from a sprint after which I almost fell off my bike in exhaustion. Remember that Max HR is sport-specific, meaning your running max (assuming you run) will likely be higher than your cycling max.
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Old 11-22-05, 12:17 PM   #4
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[Like DvB said] Max Heart Rate is activity specific due to the muscles involved with the activity and is affected by the position of your body while performing the activity. For multisport, it's preferable to call the highest heart rate for each sport Peak Heart Rate.

Triathletes typically see a different 'peak' heart rate depending on whether they are running, cycling, or swimming. Running usually yields a higher peak heart rate than cycling by about 7 to 10 beats per minute. Cycling usually yields a higher peak heart rate than swimming by about 7 to 10 beats per minute.

To find your peak for each sport, whether self administered or supervised, some sort of maximal exercise test needs to be performed under circumstances that will yield an accurate snapshot of your current fitness level (i.e., fully rested, glycogen stores repleted, temperature/humidity/wind at optimal levels, etc.)

Once one knows their peak for each sport, correct training ranges can be calculated allowing one to focus on training the targeted energy system.
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