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Old 08-21-06, 09:18 AM   #1
branman1986
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Quick question re: max heart rate vs. LT

I just have a quick question

Is the max heart rate just what is considered the highest heart rate one should achieve and still be safe? Or is it the highest possible heart rate one can achieve? Is it done by calculation or actual HRM work?

Is LT just your average heart rate on a multi-mile TT after a strong warm up?

I'm still a bit confused whether I should be training at a certain % of my LT of of my MHR
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Old 08-21-06, 09:42 AM   #2
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Your LT is the point at which your body produces lactic acid faster than it can remove.

Your MHR is the maximum you can achieve without your heart exploding.

Finding your LT is key. MHR, not so essential, in fact, not essential at all.
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Old 08-21-06, 10:10 AM   #3
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What kuan said.

Do a search on LT, or LT training, and you'll find enough information to keep you processing for a year. Max HR has about as much use as the size of your mailbox.
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Old 08-21-06, 12:06 PM   #4
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Well, I, for one, find that knowing what my MHR is, somewhat useful, in that, when I'm climbing a hill with someone on my wheel that I want to attempt to drop, and I'm NOT at MHR yet, I know that I can push that much more.

Also, if I am at MHR, I know that I probably won't last any longer than 6-10 minutes before I have to give in to the suffering.

Also, I won't be surprised by a heart rate reading that I'm unfamiliar with and back off because I get scared, usually for no reason.

Contrary to popular belief, your heart is capable of beating at max for quite a while without failing if you have no pre-existing cardiac conditions.

The only thing you may have to worry about is a piece of plaque breaking off within your arteries and lodging somewhere unfortunate--if you are old like me.

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Old 08-21-06, 12:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by NoRacer
Well, I, for one, find that knowing what my MHR is, somewhat useful, in that, when I'm climbing a hill with someone on my wheel that I want to attempt to drop, and I'm NOT at MHR yet, I know that I can push that much more.

Also, if I am at MHR, I know that I probably won't last any longer than 6-10 minutes before I have to give in to the suffering.

Also, I won't be surprised by a heart rate reading that I'm unfamiliar with and back off because I get scared, usually for no reason.

Contrary to popular belief, your heart is capable of beating at max for quite a while without failing if you have no pre-existing cardiac conditions.

The only thing you may have to worry about is a piece of plaque breaking off within your arteries and lodging somewhere unfortunate--if you are old like me.
If you can maintain a given heartrate for 6-10 minutes, you aren't at you max heart rate.
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Old 08-21-06, 12:25 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by grebletie
If you can maintain a given heartrate for 6-10 minutes, you aren't at you max heart rate.
+1

6-minute heart rate isn't even VO2 max. It's somewhere between LT and VO2max.
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Old 08-21-06, 12:31 PM   #7
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Funny how everyone caught that one point. I was about to say, I wish I could maintain MHR for 6 minutes. I'd be unstoppable. If I could hold out for even 15 seconds, I'm having a damn good day.
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Old 08-21-06, 12:58 PM   #8
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http://home.hia.no/~stephens/vo2max.htm

Quote:
In the untrained, skeletal muscle capacity can be limiting

In contrast, when we test athletes, they will usually show a nice flattening out of VO2 despite increasing intensity towards the end of the test. Heart rate peaks out, VO2 maxes out, and even though some of the best trained can hold out at VO2 max for several minutes, max is max and they eventually hit a wall due to the accumulation of protons and other changes at the muscular level that inhibit muscular force production and bring on exhaustion.
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Old 08-21-06, 01:05 PM   #9
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http://home.hia.no/~stephens/hrchngs.htm

Quote:
Understanding Heart Rate and Exercise

Your Maximal heart Rate Differs in Different Activities. Cardiac hemodynamics and maximal sympathetic drive are influenced by 1) body position during exercise and 2) muscle mass involvement. So, a triathlete with a max heart rate during running of 180, may only hit 176 on the bike, and 171 during swimming. In this case we call the running heart rate "Maximal Heart Rate" and the highest heart rate observed in cycling and swimming, "Peak" heart rate, for that event. Knowing your peak heart rate for each discipline will help you to more accurately guage the intensity of your training. If the activity is restricted to upper-body muscle mass, peak heart rate will generally be considerably lower than in whole body activities. Examples include kayaking and double poling during cross-country skiing. Highly trained athletes can achieve a higher percentage of true max heart rate when performing small muscle mass activities.
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Old 08-21-06, 01:34 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NoRacer
Thanks. That was an informative article.

Although if that was intended to rebut the criticisms of the 6 - 10 minute figure, be aware that this article is about Vo2max, not maximum heart rate. Vo2max occurs at a lower level of intensity than maximum heart rate.
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Old 08-21-06, 01:56 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
Although if that was intended to rebut the criticisms of the 6 - 10 minute figure, be aware that this article is about Vo2max, not maximum heart rate. Vo2max occurs at a lower level of intensity than maximum heart rate.
According to http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/maxhr.htm (scroll down halfway to get VO2 vs. HR calculator)

%MHR=0.64 %VO2 Max + 37

VO2max basically occurs at MHR. (101% according to the calculator)
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Old 08-21-06, 02:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan
According to http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/maxhr.htm (scroll down halfway to get VO2 vs. HR calculator)

%MHR=0.64 %VO2 Max + 37

VO2max basically occurs at MHR. (101% according to the calculator)
Given that VO2max is can be determined using a 12 minute test and that no one can maintain MHR for even 60 seconds, I have to conclude that the formula is flawed. It sounds a lot like the classic MHR=220 - age. If it were really that easy to calculate VO2max, why would anyone spend the money to get it tested in a lab?
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Old 08-21-06, 02:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
Given that VO2max is can be determined using a 12 minute test and that no one can maintain MHR for even 60 seconds, I have to conclude that the formula is flawed. It sounds a lot like the classic MHR=220 - age. If it were really that easy to calculate VO2max, why would anyone spend the money to get it tested in a lab?
The formula calculates percent VO2max vs. HR. You still have to blow to get the actual numbers. For example, if your know MHR is 190, and you're 70kg, and you blow 5000 at 160, your VO2 is 5000/70=71. Since 150 is 79% of your MHR of 190, that equates to a VO2 of 65.63% which means your VO2max is... (71/65.63)*100=108.

This is how a lot of those machines estimate your VO2max.

But who knows what that calculator assumes for calculating HR percentage. Straight percentage or Karvonen, or other?
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Old 08-21-06, 02:45 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan
The formula calculates percent VO2max vs. HR. You still have to blow to get the actual numbers. For example, if your know MHR is 190, and you're 70kg, and you blow 5000 at 160, your VO2 is 5000/70=71. Since 150 is 79% of your MHR of 190, that equates to a VO2 of 65.63% which means your VO2max is... (71/65.63)*100=108.

This is how a lot of those machines estimate your VO2max.

But who knows what that calculator assumes for calculating HR percentage. Straight percentage or Karvonen, or other?

All I know is, it's wrong.

Right before the calculator it says 110% of VO2max is 1500 metres to 800 metres speed. If you put that into the calculator, it reports this is 107% MHR. Obviously, this is a contradiction. Since it's not even consistent with itself, I don't reall trust what this formula says other than for gross estimates.
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Old 08-21-06, 02:52 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
All I know is, it's wrong.

Right before the calculator it says 110% of VO2max is 1500 metres to 800 metres speed. If you put that into the calculator, it reports this is 107% MHR. Obviously, this is a contradiction. Since it's not even consistent with itself, I don't reall trust what this formula says other than for gross estimates.
Well I believe that 100% VO2max is achieved at MHR. That just makes sense. Your body's ability to utilize oxygen is maximized at the highest rate at which your heart can beat. 110% is probably theoretical, some kind of sports physio talk. Maybe it has to do with some aerobic equivalent of anaerobic-ness.
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Old 08-21-06, 03:21 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan
Well I believe that 100% VO2max is achieved at MHR.
That's fine. You have your belief and I have mine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan
That just makes sense. Your body's ability to utilize oxygen is maximized at the highest rate at which your heart can beat.
It may make sense, but that doesn't mean it's true.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan
110% is probably theoretical, some kind of sports physio talk. Maybe it has to do with some aerobic equivalent of anaerobic-ness.
It is not theoretical at all. It is possible to raise your heart rate higher than your VO2max point. However, when you cross this threshold, you are exerting more effort than can be sustained by your ability to process oxygen. For short periods of time, it is quite possible to do this.

However, MHR can not be exceeded. If it can, then by definition, your assumed MHR was too low.

I trust the actual definitions of these terms more than I trust some inconsistent and uncorroborated javascript calculator.
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Old 08-21-06, 05:52 PM   #17
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I have been researching and trying to get a handle on this subject for several weeks now, ever since I got a decent HRM (Polar s150). I think that all of the numbers can be useful, but a lot depends on: 1) how precise do you personally feel the need to be and 2) how useful can the numbers be in helping you design a training program that meets your needs.

For me, I find the MHR numbers to be acceptable for general information, but they are a rough guide of how well you are doing and which zone you are in for training. If you really need to know that you are exactly at 84.33333332% of MHR, then you need more precise information. The other numbers (power, LT, VO2 max all seem to add to the precision). Over the past week or so I have adjusted my MHR numbers by using the Karvonen (I think I spelled that correctly) formula, which has me working a lot harder than when I used the standard 220-age forumla. I am going to stick with these new target numbers for a month or so and see how I am doing.

For my training, the MHR numbers seem to be working well, especially after all of the feedback I recently got through postings here. I think to get the much better precision requires more professional assesment, something that seems to require going to a sports coaching professional or sport medicine professional.
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Old 08-21-06, 06:38 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by recursive
It is not theoretical at all. It is possible to raise your heart rate higher than your VO2max point. However, when you cross this threshold, you are exerting more effort than can be sustained by your ability to process oxygen. For short periods of time, it is quite possible to do this.
Alright, explain that to me a little more. That just stretches the limits of my mental capability. I'm new to this but I'm always ready to learn.
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Old 08-22-06, 07:34 AM   #19
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Why do you think it makes sense that VO2max happens at MHR? The 2 aren't related. One is the heart, one is the lungs. It's all your body but they're different functions within.

The chart on this page is good:
http://www.sport-fitness-advisor.com/VO2max.html

So while you are at VO2max when you're at MHR, you're not at MHR when you hit VO2max.
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Old 08-22-06, 08:03 AM   #20
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That chart only illustrates intensity vs. oxygen consumption. That means total wattage can increase past VO2max. It doesn't say anything about HR increasing past VO2max.

Can someone else verify or discount my claim that VO2max occurs at MHR?
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Old 08-22-06, 08:52 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan
That chart only illustrates intensity vs. oxygen consumption. That means total wattage can increase past VO2max. It doesn't say anything about HR increasing past VO2max.

Can someone else verify or discount my claim that VO2max occurs at MHR?
You mean your claim that VO2max does not occur before MHR? We all agree that VO2max is achieved when MHR is achieved, but the dispute seems to be whether VO2max can occur lower than MHR.

Here's some more info: http://www.tufts.edu/vet/sports/oxygen.html

It is possible to exceed VO2max in exercise intensity. It works like the federal budget. (except debt has to be paid back within about 30 seconds, rather than never)
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Old 08-22-06, 09:03 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by recursive
You mean your claim that VO2max does not occur before MHR? We all agree that VO2max is achieved when MHR is achieved, but the dispute seems to be whether VO2max can occur lower than MHR.

Here's some more info: http://www.tufts.edu/vet/sports/oxygen.html

It is possible to exceed VO2max in exercise intensity. It works like the federal budget. (except debt has to be paid back within about 30 seconds, rather than never)
Yep I get the whole intensity thing, but I still don't get how VO2max can be reached before MHR. That chart shows VO2 vs. Speed. No mention of HR on that page.
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Old 08-22-06, 09:13 AM   #23
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Rather than jump into the how many angels on the head of pin debate, I'll try to cover one of the OP's points that hasn't gotten too much attention. While LT threshold is technically related to lactate build up , and you have to measure it with blood tests, For practical purposes your LT threshold is going to be very close in most people to your one hour functional threshold (i.e. the HR you can maintain in a one hour TT effort).
To measure your functional threshold you cn do a one hour TT. The CTS approach is two 3 mile TT's with a 10 minute rest in between, then take 90% of the average of the two TT's (the assumption being that for 3 miles most people can do about 110% of their LT or functional threshold) Lot easier to do the CTS test than a 1 hour TT.

I've had my LT measured in a lab, and then done the field test, and came up with almost exactly the same results.
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Old 08-22-06, 09:20 AM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kuan
Yep I get the whole intensity thing, but I still don't get how VO2max can be reached before MHR. That chart shows VO2 vs. Speed. No mention of HR on that page.
This page:
http://www.pponline.co.uk/encyc/0186.htm

seems to suggest that MHR and VO2max occur simultaneously. So perhaps I've been wrong about VO2. I think it also varies per individual and activity type.

Anyway, I have now reached a point where the effort to find the truth no longer seems to be worth the effort it would take. I am no longer confident that I was correct though.

If anyone else knows, feel free to jump in and explain how many angels can fit between MHR and VO2max.
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Old 08-22-06, 09:42 AM   #25
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The number of angels that can dance on the head of a pin is the same as your LT. Also, I have read interesting articles about using PE for LT training. I forget where, but essentially if you're doing LT training for 20-60 minutes, ride as fast as you can for 20-60 minutes. It takes some trial and error to not go too hard too fast, but it does make sense.

As far as the angel-pin debate, here is a graph which supports Kuan:
http://www.rice.edu/~jenky/sports/hr.html
Obviously not a real graph but something put together to illustrate a point.

Every training book I have, however, suggests that VO2max happens before MHR.

Then there is this:
http://www.heartmonitors.com/exercis...ate_basics.htm
Which says 95% of MHR, but has no sources.

Edit: In the end, I too have lost the impulse to read through these abstracts in the attempt to find truth. There is a decided lack of information available about the correlation. This is similar to a debate I'm having on another message board about maltodextrin. There are a lot of claims, but no studies can be found about it. I find that notion improbable in this day and age of information, but there you have it.
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