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  1. #1
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    Dangers of Frequent, High Heart Rate Workouts?

    Is it useful/safe to do most of your workouts at 80% to 90% of your maximum heart rate? I'm trying to get back in shape as quickly as possible. My body is good at recovering quickly after an intense workout and my heart rate drops back to normal very quickly when I stop. The thing is that I sometimes feel a bit dizzy when I'm working out and for the rest of the day, my breathing becomes shallow. Aside from the difficulty of working out consistently when pushing your body like this, are there any dangers in high heart rate workouts? Is this the fastest way to get in shape? I also feel like I'm building up my mental toughness by doing this.
    Last edited by madprofessor100; 03-17-08 at 04:44 PM. Reason: spelling correction

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    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    I visited my dr over this. He said the heart is just like any other muscle, it needs time to recover.
    he advised me that after I work out, IF I feel syptoms during the day, its a signal its recovery time.
    Harsest thing for me to do is to remember a recovery IS a training day.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

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    Long Distance Cyclist Machka's Avatar
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    Before you continue the sorts of workouts you describe ... go to your Dr. and have a complete physical. Describe your symptoms in detail. Insist on an ECG, and possibly also the exercising ECG.

    Being dizzy when you hit your max hr or near it is normal for me (and I also see red), but 2 minutes later I'm fine again, I don't continue to be dizzy after.

    (BTW - I have heart issues and I go for ECGs on a fairly regular basis, just in case. It never hurts to have one.)

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    Twincities MN kuan's Avatar
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    How long are these workouts? Unless you are in great shape already, you probably cannot sustain 90% for very long. You might be able to sustain 80% for a bit over an hour, but then you'd probably need a day of recovery.

    They will, however, increase your VO2max such that you can probably sustain a lower HR for a longer period of time at a higher speed so those long 3-4 hour workouts, also known as LSD workouts, become possible.

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    Safe? Well, it's probably safe.

    Useful? Not really.

    If you are looking to improve your aerobic fitness - especially when you're starting out - then spending a lot of time in your anaerobic zone isn't particularly effective. If you have low fitness, however, you will get better while doing it. Just not as fast or as easily if you work out easier and perhaps a bit longer.

    Being dizzy is a sign that you are working out too hard, as is feeling lung weirdness when you're done.

    If you keep doing this, you will plateau and find it hard to improve.

    More information here:

    http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx/arch...ecificity.aspx
    Eric

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    Read my cycling blog at http://riderx.info/blogs/riderx
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    Pat
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    As mentioned above, it might be a good idea to have a physical that stresses the cardio side of things. Better yet, have a heart check up with a cardiologist.

    There is a problem too. A stressed heart looks like a stressed heart. A physician can often mistake a heart's healthy response to intense aerobic exercise as the response of a heart to disease. So it is a good idea to go to someone who has actually seen some aerobic atheletes. Most physicians deal primarily with sick couch potatos.

    You might want to vary your work outs some. Riding at such an intense level is painful. People tend to aid pain. If all of your workouts are painful, you will almost certainly give up doing them. It often helps to vary the bike workouts in duration and intensity and mix things up with some easy "joy rides".

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    Quote Originally Posted by Pat View Post
    You might want to vary your work outs some. Riding at such an intense level is painful. People tend to aid pain. If all of your workouts are painful, you will almost certainly give up doing them. It often helps to vary the bike workouts in duration and intensity and mix things up with some easy "joy rides".
    After a week of trying this out, I definitely know what you mean. I'm becoming extremely tired during the day and I feel like I'm putting in a lot of work and my leg muscles are just being uncooperative. Actually, I would say that the main problem is that the heart rate training zones are different for cycling. I almost always run in zone 5 and 6 when I'm running and I can hold it for an hour and do this six days a week. Not the case with cycling.

    Here's a good chart for heart rate calculations (it's designed for cyclists): http://www.machinehead-software.co.u..._abcc_bcf.html

    I also looked into the rumor that high heart rate workouts are somehow bad for you. There was once a time when it was believed that a lactic acid buildup was somehow damaging to your muscles...

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    Senior Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    [QUOTE=Pat;6374701]As mentioned above, it might be a good idea to have a physical that stresses the cardio side of things. Better yet, have a heart check up with a cardiologist.

    There is a problem too. A stressed heart looks like a stressed heart. A physician can often mistake a heart's healthy response to intense aerobic exercise as the response of a heart to disease. So it is a good idea to go to someone who has actually seen some aerobic atheletes. Most physicians deal primarily with sick couch potatos.

    QUOTE]

    You got to the heart of the matter here!!

    When I first saw a cardiologist, I did so as I saw a 202bpm after getting off of a beta blocker med. He told me I was having a Heart Attack. I said No way - either look better or I want a 2nd opinion. I explained I had been training for a Triathlon. I had brought in my training records and he sat down with me. He told me of couch potatoes, and changed his attitute quickly. After further tests, he said all OK but- He them proceeded to tell me how the heart was a muscle and treat it as such. He changed my attitude, and I do now understand recovery time much better. If I get dizzy on day after a hard work out-, its a sign for me of overtraining.
    **Fate is a fickle thing, and in the end the true measure of a person is not fate itself, but how they master it**

  9. #9
    Third World Layabout crtreedude's Avatar
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    My feeling is that it is better to ride at a comfortable speed for an hour or two than 15 minutes at 90 - unless you are going to be going for time trials. I know that I can hike or bike for hours without feeling it much the next day - and when I need to dig in, I have lots of endurance.

    Build up and let the strength in your body keep pushing you. As you improve in fitness, you will being putting more force into your legs. But, give it time. You didn't become a coach potato over night, and you won't become Lance overnight either.

  10. #10
    bzzzz fuzzthebee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100 View Post
    Is it useful/safe to do most of your workouts at 80% to 90% of your maximum heart rate? I'm trying to get back in shape as quickly as possible. My body is good at recovering quickly after an intense workout and my heart rate drops back to normal very quickly when I stop. The thing is that I sometimes feel a bit dizzy when I'm working out and for the rest of the day, my breathing becomes shallow. Aside from the difficulty of working out consistently when pushing your body like this, are there any dangers in high heart rate workouts? Is this the fastest way to get in shape? I also feel like I'm building up my mental toughness by doing this.
    There is a world of difference between an 80% MHR effort and a 90% MHR effort. Also, you really should use zones based on "threshold" heart rate, not maximum heart rate.

    http://www.performancetrainingsystem...ne_finder.html

  11. #11
    just another gosling Carbonfiberboy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by madprofessor100 View Post
    After a week of trying this out, I definitely know what you mean. I'm becoming extremely tired during the day and I feel like I'm putting in a lot of work and my leg muscles are just being uncooperative. Actually, I would say that the main problem is that the heart rate training zones are different for cycling. I almost always run in zone 5 and 6 when I'm running and I can hold it for an hour and do this six days a week. Not the case with cycling.

    Here's a good chart for heart rate calculations (it's designed for cyclists): http://www.machinehead-software.co.u..._abcc_bcf.html

    I also looked into the rumor that high heart rate workouts are somehow bad for you. There was once a time when it was believed that a lactic acid buildup was somehow damaging to your muscles...
    Eric, above, has got it. You're overcooking it. As you train, you should gradually find that you can climb the same hill in bigger gears (lower tooth count cogs). If you start using smaller gears, you're overcooking it. To train at high HRs, you need a lot of base training in support. You can train at high HRs if you also have 2-3 rides at lower HRs per high HR ride. Otherwise you're tearing yourself down rather than building up. Don't quote me on that ratio, but that's the general idea. Running does always produce a higher HR than cycling for the same apparent effort.

    The idea of lactate in your heart killing you has been discredited. So it's not dangerous, it just doesn't work as a training scheme. Although . . . If you only ride once or twice a week, you will derive more benefit by doing that ride or rides hard than easy. It's just frequent hard rides that are not a good idea.

  12. #12
    Look 555 fledgling catherine96821's Avatar
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    for the rest of the day, my breathing becomes shallow.
    this is what I picked from your post to hone in on.

    That's not normal. Is it pychological, anxiety..etc? Almost sounds like you are having some acid base imbalance from hyperventilation. And sometimes people get pleuricy type pain between the ribs from strenuous aerobic workouts too, that will make you breathe shallow. It's kind of a sharp "knife" like pain in your pleural region and makes respirations *guarded*.

    just some ideas.

    Ask your doctor about
    The faster breathing rate changes your acid-base balance and this takes a little longer to correct.
    You might be compensating with a slower rep rate because you blew off too much CO2 and got a bit too alkaline and your body is compensating by trying to retain more Co2 to replenish your carbonic acid to equilibriate your serum pH. But...I could be wrong, wrong, wrong. I would bring this slow respiration bit up to a good sports medicine doc.

    If you hyperventilate intentionally (blowing off too much CO2) you'll probably notice the same symptoms?
    Last edited by catherine96821; 03-31-08 at 03:46 PM.
    from bondage to spiritual faith, from spiritual faith to great courage, from courage to liberty, from liberty to abundance, from abundance to selfishness, from selfishness to complacency from complacency to apathy, from apathy to dependency, from dependency back to bondage.

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    That doesn't sound good. It isn't painful when I breathe, but I feel like my lungs aren't expanding as far as they should. I haven't felt it after short sprint intervals, but if I exercise for like an hour or so and my heart goes over 190 at some point, I feel it for the rest of the day.

  14. #14
    Pokes On Spokes JPradun's Avatar
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    Some of the advice here is great.

    Most of it makes me cringe.
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    (Updated daily 3/26-4/4-: North Carolina training camp)

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