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  1. #1
    One day at a time chaztrip's Avatar
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    resting heart rate

    I have seen alot of people talk about this and I am sure that it is better to have a lower one but what are the real benefits for this and how does one get it lower... besides the normal blood sweat and tears?

    Thanks
    Chalie

  2. #2
    Senior Member Bikesick's Avatar
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    You can think of your resting heart rate as an indicator of your cardio-vascular conditioning. As your conditioning improves, your RHR decreases. :cool:

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    Senior Member FXjohn's Avatar
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    I'm noticing a pattern here, first two posts about caffeine, and now slowing down heart rate. Do you think you have a fast pulse?
    Mine is about 66, I am hoping it will go down with consistant training.\
    You might want to pick up Sally Edwards' book on heart rate training and heart rate training for cyclists. Slower pulse is obviously a sign of conditioning since your heart has to work less hard. Can't possibly change overnight unless you are on some prescribed drugs or something I guess.

    FXjohn

  4. #4
    One day at a time chaztrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by FXjohn
    I'm noticing a pattern here, first two posts about caffeine, and now slowing down heart rate. Do you think you have a fast pulse?
    Mine is about 66, I am hoping it will go down with consistant training.\
    You might want to pick up Sally Edwards' book on heart rate training and heart rate training for cyclists. Slower pulse is obviously a sign of conditioning since your heart has to work less hard. Can't possibly change overnight unless you are on some prescribed drugs or something I guess.

    FXjohn




    no... lol I am just craving knowledge on everything My resting HR is 58

    Funny I have that book too!
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  5. #5
    XLR8R Passing!
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    Resting H/R is a sign of cardio fitness. Think of H/R like RPM on a tachometer. The lower the resting H/R the more power band you have to wrk with. It requires a lower H/R to push the cranks at a given pace which means you can sustain the pace longer. If your max H/R is 180 bpm and your resting rate is 70 bpm then you will be working within that range. You want to train to lower the resting H/R so the heart muscle doesn't have to work as hard. This builds endurance.

    H/R training is very good if done properly. Without using this equipment your training on perceived effort. There is lot's of great information about H/R training.
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  6. #6
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    Whooo hooo!

    I just got back from seeing Sally and Sally at their convention in Seattle. They are looking even fitter than last year, if you can believe it! And Sally Edwards, as usual, gave us a lot of new material and things to talk about, as well as brought us more presenters from the fitness and medical field to talk. So much to digest.... but I digress here!

    Anyway, resting heart rate is so important. As you train, you'll be able to see a lot of important and significant physiological differences in your heart rate.

    One very important effect of training is that the heart muscles will grow over time, which means that as more blood comes into the heart, the heart can stretch it's muscles even more to accomodate more blood entering, which means it doesn't have to work so hard to pump blood to the rest of the body! The lower your heart rate, the less work your heart needs to do. I went to a lecture once where the doctor was saying that by decreasing the amount of beats your heart needs to beat, you can actually expect to have a healthier heart, which may lead to a longer life. I was like- hey, I'm all over this one!

    Besides that, resting heart rate can be used as an important biomechanical feedback- if you check your delta heart rate or your ambient heart rate and find either overly elevated, you know that your body is over tired, and you can take the time off the training for the body to prevent severe overtraining, which will then preserve all the good benefits you got from training.

    A couple of definitions:

    delta heart rate: measures change in heart rate with changes in body position. You'll want to lay down for 2 minutes with quiet breathing, then note your heart rate and record the lowest number you get in the laying position. Then slowly stand and keep an eye on heart rate. When you reach the standing position, take the final heart rate reading. Subtract the laying from the standing heart rate. If that number is greater than 30 beats, take time off training until that number is 10 or less.

    Ambient heat rate: heart rate while awake and alert taken throughout the day. Ambient heart rate is a measurement of how much stress is on the heart. You'll always want a lower ambient heart rate- check your heart rate several times during the day (like once every 30 minutes for a 10 hour period) and record. Do this for a few days so you have a benchmark, then after that, just continue to check twice a day- once in the later morning, and once in the later afternoon. By checking those readings against your benchmarks, you should be able to tell when your body is overly stressed, whether from exercise or from outside environment. By taking those stresses out of your life, you can work to decrease ambient heart rate.

    Ther are other ways to test, but those are two pretty good ways. I did a post on all the ways you can check heart rate for stresses using resting heart rate, and if you can't find it (maybe lost in the crash?), drop me a PM and I'll type it up for you again.

    Koffee

  7. #7
    Jungle lady cbhungry's Avatar
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    To rephrase bike sick, if you are an athlete and have a slow heart rate, your heart is healthy. In addition, If you are not an athlete and have a slow heart rate, then your heart may be diseased.(ie: myxedema, bundle branch block, etc.)
    Ride forever, work whenever.
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  8. #8
    Pat
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    When you go out and exercise, the body needs more blood flow to supply oxygen to your muscles. Well, it can do this by having the heart beat faster. But there is a maximum heart rate and I don't think this is affected much by training. Everyone's maximum seems to be pretty individual though and can differ by as much as 30 points for riders in decent condition.

    So how do you get more oxygen to the tissues? Well over time, the heart can just get bigger. Of course, when you are sitting around watching TV, your oversized heart is beating lots of blood per beat with little oxygen demand, so your resting heart rate slows down. I believe Miguel Indurain had a resting heart rate around 30.

  9. #9
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    Whoops, I didn't get to the second part of your question- how to get your resting heart rate lower. You can do this through several ways- training, especially around anaerobic threshold, but making sure that you incorporate many different rides (tempo, interval, strength, power). You can also be sure to get enough sleep during the evenings. If you're sleeping 5 hours or less per evening, you could be placing additional stress on the heart, so be sure to get enough sleep. Try to regulate heart rate regularly and if you have situations that place additional stress on you, remove them from your life. Be sure you are NOT overtraining- that can affect heart rate and elevate it. Be sure to drink enough water- less water can affect blood plasma by decreasing the amount of it in the body, which would cause the heart rate to elevate, as it would need to do more work to keep the blood flowing throughout the body.

    Pat, I'm not sure how the max heart rate thing you talked about answers the first question about the benefits of a low resting heart rate- could you provide some clarification for those reading your response so they can benefit better from it?

    Koffee

  10. #10
    One day at a time chaztrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Brown
    Try to regulate heart rate regularly and if you have situations that place additional stress on you, remove them from your life.
    Koffee


    Hmmmm how do I tell the wife and Kids this? just kidding
    "Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."
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  11. #11
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    As a P.S. to Pat, I do know that maximum heart rate can be affected by training contrary to what Pat states. This is because over time, maximum heart rate decreases as a person ages, BUT you can prevent this decrease from happening as fast by continuing your training. I've known this for several years now, and this concept is continually reinforced at fitness conventions by medical lecturers who've done research on this in the field. In fact, I just met an 82 year old man with a maximum heart rate of 188 over the weekend. The guy was talking about his training session, and he provided a graph of his heart rate that he downloaded from his heart rate monitor, and in his ride, he averaged his heart rate at 160, and at the end, he was quick to point out where he decided to spike his heart rate and got it all the way up to 180. This guy's been training for all his life and was in better shape than most people in the room- totally awesome guy, very cool, and with training, he's proof that you can maintain higher heart rates. Other older athletically inclined people in the room also were quick to yell out their maximum heart rates, and if they didn't have the same max heart rates they had in their twenties, it was pretty darn close to it.

    Keeping that high heart rate is important- the higher the range of numbers you can work with when training, the more you can do, and the better you'll perform.

    Koffee

  12. #12
    One day at a time chaztrip's Avatar
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    Ok so there is not a way to increase your Max HR even through training? what about some of these Pro's that have a 200 + max are they born with it? or what?
    "Pain is temporary. Quitting lasts forever."
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  13. #13
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    There is NO way to INCREASE max heart rate (just capitalizing for emphasis, that's all...). You can maintain it to the best of your ability, or it will decline, but it cannot and will not ever increase.

    There are a number of other factors on people's max heart rate, but a large part of it is genetics- you're born with what you're born with.

    The pros are blessed with a number of lucky fitness dispositions- high max heart rates, a large percentage of fast twitch muscle fibers, high VO2 max heart rates, etc. Normal folks will never be able to increase their max VO2 max, for instance, but they can work to increase their VO2 max slightly (maybe 5% or so). They will do far more for themselves by working on increasing stamina and endurance. Normal folks will never be able to increase fast twitch muscle fibers either- you are born with a certain amount, and over time, those fast twitch muscle fibers convert to slow twitch muscle fibers, then eventually, those slow twitch muscle fibers die as you age. You can, however, continue training and prevent your fast twitch muscle fibers from converting to slow twitch muscle fibers so quickly, and even then, you can work to recruit as many slow twitch muscle fibers to fire during your workout as possible. There's hope for normal folks who want to train to be faster and better- you just need to get tests from a performance lab and then work with a professional to develop a good periodization plan that will help you to achieve your goals.

    Koffee

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    Oh, check on google for Dr. Carl Foster- he provided the latest studies at the convention I went to, and I know he's a pretty published dude, and I believe he's still on the board for Schwinn Fitness Academy as a fitness advisor.

    Koffee

  15. #15
    Just ride. roadbuzz's Avatar
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    Another point... some people in excellent cardiovascular condition don't develop particularly slow HRs. In one of his books, Arnie Baker, an MD and cat 1 masters racer says his RHR is 66 (I believe... too lazy to check). It's not a bad thing, and not necessarily an indication of your conditioning.

  16. #16
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    A resting heart rate in the 60s is not so high.

    If you'd said his resting heart rate was in the upper 80s, I'd be concerned, but at 66, I wouldn't raise an eyebrow or lose a beat (no pun intended) if they said there was an athlete with that kind of heart rate.

    Worry if it's in the 80s, but if it's lower than that, the lower, the better.

    Koffee

  17. #17
    Senior Member Bikesick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cbhungry
    To rephrase bike sick, if you are an athlete and have a slow heart rate, your heart is healthy. In addition, If you are not an athlete and have a slow heart rate, then your heart may be diseased.(ie: myxedema, bundle branch block, etc.)

    Whoa!! cbhungry! You're covering material here that is new to me. I just meant that as your conditioning increases, your heart rate slows and indicates the level of your fitness. I didn't consider the possibility of disease! ...Yikes!!

  18. #18
    The Flying Scot chewa's Avatar
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    Cbhungry's post gave me a fright too! But I think I'm ok as I get pulse and BP checked every month when I donate platelets. I'm sure any problem would have been referred to.

    I've cycled all of my life (well since I could straddle a bike), and when I cycled in my 20's my RHR was 55, now at 42 (and cycling many more miles) it is 44!

    I was really surprised but have a HR monitor and check it regularly now.

    My wife has a RHR of 50 but she cycles a lot too, and living with me causes her no stress

    I've been a vegetarian for 13 years, and off much dairy for the last year or so. Maybe those are factors too.
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  19. #19
    Life is good RonH's Avatar
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    I've been riding for over 4 years and my normal HR is 60-65. I recently checked my RHR and it is 46.
    I'm almost 59 and I'm happy with my HR numbers.
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  20. #20
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    Another factor on lower resting heart rate is simply age-as you get older, your resting heart rate will also decline. If an older person had an elevated resting heart rate, I would have a reason to be concerned also.

    I think cbhungry just was pointing out another way resting heart rate could be lower. It's nothing to panic about unless you feel like you're heart rate is abnormally low or you're passing out all of a sudden or something along those lines. It's always good to know as many reasons as possible why something could be happening physiologically.

    Koffee

  21. #21
    Short bus rider H. Star's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koffee Brown
    There is NO way to INCREASE max heart rate (just capitalizing for emphasis, that's all...). You can maintain it to the best of your ability, or it will decline, but it cannot and will not ever increase.
    As one ages their max heart rate declines, but do you think by increasing their level of fitness they may be able to regain some of their losses? I'm hoping you will tell me that I can because I am now an old geezer that ate and drank too much for years. Can I regain some of my max heart rate that I once had if I would just step up the exercise program? Please say it's true.
    Last edited by H. Star; 10-16-03 at 07:02 AM.

  22. #22
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    Sorry dude- once it's gone, it's gone.

    You can still keep on working on what you've got though- exercise regularly, do your strength training, stretch, and eat right. You'll be one step ahead of the other geezers that ate and drank too much for years.



    Koffee

  23. #23
    truthisntalwayswanttohear jacob's Avatar
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    To rephrase bike sick, if you are an athlete and have a slow heart rate, your heart is healthy. In addition, If you are not an athlete and have a slow heart rate, then your heart may be diseased.(ie: myxedema, bundle branch block, etc.)


    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    What's an athlete?
    Is it a way to measure longevity or something?

    Jacob

  24. #24
    Senior Member keithnordstrom's Avatar
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    Sorry dude- once it's gone, it's gone.
    sorry koffee, gotta disagree with you there. max heart rate is capable of changing, and you can train it up - i know this from experience. i had a bad crash a few years back and it kept me off the bike for two years. when i finally got on the bike, my max heart rate had declined from 196 to somewhere in the low-to-mid 180s. i was unable to even see a heart rate of 186, and believe me i tried.

    it took me a year of training, but i have been able to sustain 192 heart rates again for close to a minute, which indicates to me my max has increased back to where it was.

    i would also like to add that miniumum heart rate is a good indicator for individual fitness, but comparing yours to someone else's is probably a dead end. my rhr is 39 when i am fit, high 40s when i am not ... but i am not by any means a world class racer.

  25. #25
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    Sorry- you've got to do some reasearch.

    There is not one sports authority out there- from Joel Friel (Cyclists Training Bible) to Ed Burke (Serious cycling) to Tudor Bompa (Periodization) to Sally Edwards (Heart Zone Cycling) that agree with what you said.

    I will guarantee you that if you are reaching he 192, then you could have reached it back then when you were in the low to mid 180s range. Somehow, either you weren't trying hard enough to reach it or you were overtraining, or you were more out of shape then than you are now. The more in shape you are, the more attainable higher heart rates are to reach and maintain for a longer period of time.

    As I do not think you are a medical miracle, that would have to be my guesses as to why you are able to reach higher heart rates now. If you had perhaps had been on a rigorous periodization schedule back before your crash and you were tested for your true max heart rate by fitness professionals in a medical setting, and you underwent these tests every year before your crash, then after the crash and subsequent recovery, continued your periodization program and continued getting tested, and you had these higher numbers, I could PERHAPS agree with you. But for now, there are no respected professionals out there that agree with this, and every lecture I've attended with professionals who research max heart rate (just came back from a lecture in early October from a lecture with Dr. Carl Foster, a colleage of the late Ed Burke on this very subject) in their labs with professionals in sports have said the same thing- max heart rate only DECREASES over time, except when you exercise to maintain it as much as possible, and NEVER increases, no matter how much you try.

    Koffee

    I will reiterate- you cannot INCREASE max heart rate- EVER. But, according to the research out there, you CAN maintain max heart rate over time by continuing to exercise and put in higher intensity workouts into your training schedule.

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