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  1. #1
    Fat Hack
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    Do pros tend to have lower maximum heart rates?

    listening to some comentary during the Tour, the comentators occasionally gave us the HR of a rider, and they all seemed to have a max HR under 190; mine is 204.

    Does this mean I have no hope?

    Does this mean top riders have bigger hearts?

    Is it ideal to have a lower maximum to be a top rider?

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    Maximum heart rate decreases as you get fitter. as you fatigue over a period of time (e.g., during the TdF) your maximum and sustainable HR values decrease.

    Top riders most likely do have bigger hearts.

    ric
    www.cyclecoach.com

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    The 190 maximum that they give for the rider is not their upper threshold. What they are giving is the rider's aerobic maximum heartrate. If these riders want to bury the needle in the red and go anaerobic they can easily surpass the 190.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ewitz
    The 190 maximum that they give for the rider is not their upper threshold. What they are giving is the rider's aerobic maximum heartrate. If these riders want to bury the needle in the red and go anaerobic they can easily surpass the 190.

    this simply isn't true

    ric
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  5. #5
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Maximum heartrate is pretty much set by genetics and decreases with age. The most common estimate for adults is 220-age=max heartrate. So the average 20 year old would have a max heartrate of 200 bpm. This formula, although widely used, is not very accurate. The only way to know your max heartrate is to test for it. However, increased fitness does not increase the maximum heartrate - at least not significantly.

    With improved fitness, an individual should see a reduction in the minimum (or resting) heartrate and an increase in the anerobic threshold heart rates and lactic acid threshold heart rates.

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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    However, increased fitness does not increase the maximum heartrate - at least not significantly.
    as mentioned previously, HRmax decreases with increased fitness

    ric
    www.cyclecoach.com

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    Senior Member JustsayMo's Avatar
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    The 1996 Olympic road race Champion Pascal Richard had a max HR of 160. A few years ago I read that a USPS rider (might have been Frankie Andreau, I don't remember for sure) had a Max HR of OVER 220. Locally one of the stud mountain bikers we have locally has a Max of 208.

    I don't think it really matters. My max is under 190 and I have NO hope to race the tour.

    Mo

    Quote Originally Posted by Fat Hack
    listening to some comentary during the Tour, the comentators occasionally gave us the HR of a rider, and they all seemed to have a max HR under 190; mine is 204.

    Does this mean I have no hope?

    Does this mean top riders have bigger hearts?

    Is it ideal to have a lower maximum to be a top rider?

  8. #8
    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Stern
    as mentioned previously, HRmax decreases with increased fitness

    ric
    This is the only place I have heard this. Do you have a reference to any study showing max heartrate decreasing with fitness? I have read MANY places that Max heart rate is independant of fitness and dependant only on genetics and age. I have also read a few claims that good fitness prevents max heartrate from dropping with age but I have yet to read any evidence of this.

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    Senior Member Trek Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Stern
    Maximum heart rate decreases as you get fitter.
    A max heart rate doesn't decrease as you get more physically fit. As you excercise and increase your level of fitness, your cardio-vascular system also becomes more efficient. What this means is that it takes your heart less work to get oxygen to where it's needed in your body, which means you have a lower heart rate for the same level of effort.

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    You need a new bike supcom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek Rider
    A max heart rate doesn't decrease as you get more physically fit. As you excercise and increase your level of fitness, your cardio-vascular system also becomes more efficient. What this means is that it takes your heart less work to get oxygen to where it's needed in your body, which means you have a lower heart rate for the same level of effort.
    After reading Ric Stearn's comment I did some searching specifically for any references to decreasing HRmax with fitness. I did find several claims to that effect but only one claim with any specifics and that claimed up to 6-10 bpm reduction with increased fitness. I also see as many claims stating that HRmax will decrease at a slower rate with age for higly fit individuals. However, it seems certain to me that the HRmax is primarily determined by genetics and age.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Trek Rider
    A max heart rate doesn't decrease as you get more physically fit. As you excercise and increase your level of fitness, your cardio-vascular system also becomes more efficient. What this means is that it takes your heart less work to get oxygen to where it's needed in your body, which means you have a lower heart rate for the same level of effort.
    HRmax *DOES* decrease with increased fitness level, and is mainly related to changes in plasma volume (which increases). for e.g., see http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...t_uids=3747802

    this shows HRmax (termed peak in this study, but the same thing) increases on average 9 b/min after detraining.

    ric
    www.cyclecoach.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by supcom
    After reading Ric Stearn's comment I did some searching specifically for any references to decreasing HRmax with fitness. I did find several claims to that effect but only one claim with any specifics and that claimed up to 6-10 bpm reduction with increased fitness. I also see as many claims stating that HRmax will decrease at a slower rate with age for higly fit individuals. However, it seems certain to me that the HRmax is primarily determined by genetics and age.

    it's *Stern*.

    HRmax does not decrease at a slower rate with increased fitness, and may actually decrease at a faster rate (i can't recall this at present). VO2max however, does decrease at a faster rate in ageing athletes compared to sedentary controls.

    ric
    www.cyclecoach.com

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    ric,
    What do you think of Sally Edwards reasearch on HR? I have had good luck with her info in the books in the past. Sally's site Basically her formula which I have seen before, just not sure where, is 210 - age/2 - 5%weight + 4 (male). This yeidls me a max of 180, which is close to what I saw in 01/02 when I did some hard riding. I had a max of 182 recorded numerious times on my HRM when I d/l that data. (Hard climbs) I was 47 then.

    Right now I am using her Zone 3 and riding to lose weight, 126-144 range.

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    Quote Originally Posted by John M
    ric,
    What do you think of Sally Edwards reasearch on HR? I have had good luck with her info in the books in the past. Sally's site Basically her formula which I have seen before, just not sure where, is 210 - age/2 - 5%weight + 4 (male). This yeidls me a max of 180, which is close to what I saw in 01/02 when I did some hard riding. I had a max of 182 recorded numerious times on my HRM when I d/l that data. (Hard climbs) I was 47 then.

    Right now I am using her Zone 3 and riding to lose weight, 126-144 range.

    to be honest, i have no idea, i'd have thought it was as accurate as the 220-age, which has a standard deviation of 15 b/min. when i use HR zones, i base them on true HRmax, and use these figures or similar as seen as a vague corresponder to these power zones http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern

    ric
    www.cyclecoach.com

  15. #15
    nutbag
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    Quote Originally Posted by John M
    ric,
    What do you think of Sally Edwards reasearch on HR? I have had good luck with her info in the books in the past. Sally's site Basically her formula which I have seen before, just not sure where, is 210 - age/2 - 5%weight + 4 (male). This yeidls me a max of 180, which is close to what I saw in 01/02 when I did some hard riding. I had a max of 182 recorded numerious times on my HRM when I d/l that data. (Hard climbs) I was 47 then.

    Right now I am using her Zone 3 and riding to lose weight, 126-144 range.

    Fat burning myths:

    http://www.volleyweb.com/lylemcd/fat.burning.html

  16. #16
    Serotta
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    ric, thanks for the info an the link. Right now that formula is about right as I go anarobic in the mid 140's.

    nutbag, 126 = 70% and 144 = 80% for me I do hard rides at the top to 155, which my doctor told me not to go above yet (high BP) and moderate ride 125 - 135. Today is easy/recovery ride and I will hold 125 - 130 for 25 miles.

  17. #17
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Stern
    Maximum heart rate decreases as you get fitter.ric
    Absolutely false. Your AT/HR will decrease with an increased fitness level - in other words, you will be able to ride faster with less effort. Your MaxHR is genetic. Some argue that your maxHR decreases with age (about 1 beat/min./year), but that may or may not be true, as mine has been virtually the same for the past 7 years.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    Absolutely false. Your AT/HR will decrease with an increased fitness level - in other words, you will be able to ride faster with less effort. Your MaxHR is genetic. Some argue that your maxHR decreases with age (about 1 beat/min./year), but that may or may not be true, as mine has been virtually the same for the past 7 years.
    This isn't false, HRmax decreases with training. And there's no such thing as AT. And yes, HRmax does on average decrease with age.

    Ric (sports scientist, professional cycle coach).
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    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Stern
    This isn't false, HRmax decreases with training. And there's no such thing as AT. And yes, HRmax does on average decrease with age.

    Ric (sports scientist, professional cycle coach).
    There's no such thing as Anaerobic threshold? Okay coach!

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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    There's no such thing as Anaerobic threshold? Okay coach!
    AT is a misnomer and the expression is no longer used. The nearest equivalent would be MLSS, or OBLA (another outdated term), or CP. what i guess you really mean is some [actual] marker of TT power, but there isn't one

    ric
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  21. #21
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    just for the record, I have a friend who has a warm up heart rate of 180, while mine is usually 140. It could be because she has only one leg, but I can't back that up
    -Panoram Jazzman
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    Peter: I"ll tell you what it's not for, and when I do you'll understand why I can never return to Sea World

  22. #22
    Serotta
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Stern
    MLSS, or OBLA (another outdated term), or CP.
    ric, can you define these terms, ie names, for the uninformed? I too learned AT when I raced >10 years ago.
    Thanks

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    MLSS = maximal lactate steady state, highest power output you can ride at without an increase (or a very small one) of lactate. (close but likely below what you can sustain for a 40-km TT)

    OBLA = Onset of blood lactate accumulation, the power output that elicits a 4 mmol/L lactate reading

    CP = Critical power. the extrapolation of two or three tests of varying durations to give a power output from the eqn y = mx + c. (will over estimate power for > 60-mins duration)

    Additionally, LT, lactate threshold, = the power output that elicits a 1 mmol/L increase in lactate over exercise baseline level (which will result in a lactate of ~ 2.xx mmol/L) or at a fixed value of 2.5 mmol/L. (about 15% less power than that, which can be sustained for ~ 1-hr).

    Additionally (ii), MAP = maximal aerobic power = the power output that is averaged over the final minute of a maximal incremental test to exhaustion, where various power can be estimated from this, see http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern

    if you want to know what power you can sustain for a ~1-h TT (or whatever duration) then do one, don't rely on these markers.

    additionally, and most importantly, none of these measures have anything to do with HR and should never have HR data with them (i.e., you can't say your LT = 160 b/min).

    ric
    www.cyclecoach.com

  24. #24
    bac
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ric Stern
    MLSS = maximal lactate steady state, highest power output you can ride at without an increase (or a very small one) of lactate. (close but likely below what you can sustain for a 40-km TT)

    OBLA = Onset of blood lactate accumulation, the power output that elicits a 4 mmol/L lactate reading

    CP = Critical power. the extrapolation of two or three tests of varying durations to give a power output from the eqn y = mx + c. (will over estimate power for > 60-mins duration)

    Additionally, LT, lactate threshold, = the power output that elicits a 1 mmol/L increase in lactate over exercise baseline level (which will result in a lactate of ~ 2.xx mmol/L) or at a fixed value of 2.5 mmol/L. (about 15% less power than that, which can be sustained for ~ 1-hr).

    Additionally (ii), MAP = maximal aerobic power = the power output that is averaged over the final minute of a maximal incremental test to exhaustion, where various power can be estimated from this, see http://www.cyclingnews.com/fitness/?id=powerstern

    if you want to know what power you can sustain for a ~1-h TT (or whatever duration) then do one, don't rely on these markers.

    additionally, and most importantly, none of these measures have anything to do with HR and should never have HR data with them (i.e., you can't say your LT = 160 b/min).

    ric
    Very good information! However, I have to slightly disagree with one point. I believe that you can get a reasonably accurate LT/HR. Really, those of us without power-meters, and/or access to a lab have no other measure than a HRM to guage LT. I know that LT and HR are not necessarily related, but for those of us without the funds, or time, I think it is still a good measurement tool.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bac
    Very good information! However, I have to slightly disagree with one point. I believe that you can get a reasonably accurate LT/HR. Really, those of us without power-meters, and/or access to a lab have no other measure than a HRM to guage LT. I know that LT and HR are not necessarily related, but for those of us without the funds, or time, I think it is still a good measurement tool.
    while you may be able to get a reasonable measure of HR, it should never be stated. don't forget it varies widely depending on training. for e.g., if i race on two consecutive days, i can produce the same power (give or take one or two watts) both days, but the second day my HR can be ~ 10 b/min lower.

    However, the main point is, some of the measures i listed need to be conducted in a lab, and aren't really that useful outside of the lab (e.g., the blood lactates ones), simply because, although they're highly correlated to actual endurance performance, they mainly work out at less than the maximal you can sustain for the time period. In other words, if you want to know your HR for a TT don't rely on LT/OBLA/MLSS/etc estimates, go and ride a TT (notwithstanding the fact that on consecutive race days they'll be different)

    ric
    www.cyclecoach.com

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