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Thread: MHR too high?

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    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    MHR too high?

    Recently tested my MHR at 194. At 59, it's way higher than average for my age group. I know it doesn't mean anything concerning performance, but I find it a little weird. I train regularly at 170-175, and can do 2 x 20 at 88%. Yesterday I was going at 174, stopped pedalling and 1 min later my HR was 119, so I think recovery is OK. MY RHR is 52-54. What do you think about it?

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    I think it is what it is! Your recovery HR and RHR are telling, I think, of the kind of shape you are in. I've wondered about this often myself because my MHR (I'm fast approaching 50) is in the 190's. Recently read an article that said for those who've been active cardiovascularly for years don't usually experience the usual drop of one BPM per year of life. How much of this is bunk, I don't know but do believe that as you're not experiencing pain/breathlessness you are good to go.

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    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
    Recently tested my MHR at 194. At 59, it's way higher than average for my age group. I know it doesn't mean anything concerning performance, but I find it a little weird.
    It's not weird. just means you are at the higher end of the bell curve. You have to understand that any formula to determine MHR is based on averages (and even accuracy for this is suspect: see e.g., http://www.nytimes.com/2001/04/24/he...ea9017&ei=5070 (you may have to register with the NYT to read, but it's free & worth it)) and as such is useless to determine appropriate numbers for any particular individual. I'm 58 & my MHR is ~200 (haven't really tested lately, but I think that's close).

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    Hey chinarider,

    Great article. Thanks for posting it!

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    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    Yes, interesting article. I knew 220-age was a rough estimate, but didn't knew it was that rough!

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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    MY RHR is 52-54. What do you think about it?
    I think you are most likely a smaller person and or a female. You may or may not have a healthy heart. Much more could be estimated if you take your blood pressure regularly and reflect on your family history regarding causes of death.

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    Its Freakin HammerTime!!! C_Heath's Avatar
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    im 37, 185 pounds and Ive been riding for 6 years. My RHR is 50 and yesterday I maxed out at 190. My AHR is really high as well. I will avg 175 BPM on a hard 2 hour ride. I think everyone is different.
    Quote Originally Posted by rousseau View Post
    I don't like any other exercise or sports, really.
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    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    I think you are most likely a smaller person and or a female. You may or may not have a healthy heart. Much more could be estimated if you take your blood pressure regularly and reflect on your family history regarding causes of death.
    ??
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    Quote Originally Posted by Reynolds View Post
    MHR too high?
    No

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    Packfodding 3 caloso's Avatar
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    Your maximum is your maximum. FWIW, mine's always been over 205 and I'm 42. According to the chart at the gym, I'm either 15 years old or my heart exploded.
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    But on the road more MTBLover's Avatar
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    I'm also 59 (almost 60, actually) and my MHR is 202 (measured). RHR is 60. And refractory time (to get from MHR to RHR) depends on the exercise, but it's typically 2 minutes at rest. Like the NYT article says, MHR formulas need to be re-examined. The only way to really, honestly, truly get an individual's MHR is to measure it in the lab.

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    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    Thanks. My Dr. is not a sports specialist, so altough he told me not to worry, I wanted to know if there were others with high MHR and no problems in the real cycling world.

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    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTBLover View Post
    Like the NYT article says, MHR formulas need to be re-examined.
    Or recognized for what they are: a rough approximation of a statistical average of academic interest only that has no utility for any particular individual. About 13 years ago I got into a long argument (in a running forum) with a nurse who worked for a cardiologist. She insisted that 220-age was accurate for everyone and that you were risking killing yourself if you ignored it. Drove me crazy. Unfortunately that forum was defunct & I no longer had her e-mail when I came across the NYT article. Would have loved to rub her nose in it ("Dr. Fritz Hagerman, an exercise physiologist at Ohio University, said he had learned from more than three decades of studying world class rowers that the whole idea of a formula to predict an individual's maximum heart rate was ludicrous."). Ha!
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    Senior Member Richard Cranium's Avatar
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    Thanks. My Dr. is not a sports specialist, so although he told me not to worry, I wanted to know if there were others with high MHR and no problems in the real cycling world.
    Whether or not you worry or want to worry, has little to with whether or not you should or need not investigate cardiovascular health.

    Clearly, my answers to most questions in these forums exceed a given forum users actual interest. I'm pretty sure you wish to remain ignorant of all the factors that contribute to cardiovascular "health" and simply want to be assured that your exercise is somehow "good for you."

    Heart rate is only one aspect of cardiovascular physiology. There is nothing about this thread that proves that your current heart rate is healthy or unhealthy. However, in the absence of any other known risk factors or symptoms - one might conclude that your heart rate is normal.

    And this is my point - for a "normal population" - exercising to the point of maximum heart rate IS a risk factor. And that is why I took the time to tell you to consider other factors before deciding "I'm normal."

    Never mind.

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    Dan J chinarider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Whether or not you worry or want to worry, has little to with whether or not you should or need not investigate cardiovascular health.

    Clearly, my answers to most questions in these forums exceed a given forum users actual interest. I'm pretty sure you wish to remain ignorant of all the factors that contribute to cardiovascular "health" and simply want to be assured that your exercise is somehow "good for you."

    Heart rate is only one aspect of cardiovascular physiology. There is nothing about this thread that proves that your current heart rate is healthy or unhealthy. However, in the absence of any other known risk factors or symptoms - one might conclude that your heart rate is normal.

    And this is my point - for a "normal population" - exercising to the point of maximum heart rate IS a risk factor. And that is why I took the time to tell you to consider other factors before deciding "I'm normal."

    Never mind.
    I'm not sure what your point is here and I think your assumptions are unwarranted. The op was originally wondering if his high MHR, in and of itself, had any meaning. Neither he nor anyone else was saying he should remain ignorant of all the factors that contribute to cardiovascular "health" or ignore other known risk factors or symptoms. I agree his MHR doesn't indicate whether his heart is healthy or unhealthy (tho his rapid decline in hr upon cessation of exercise tends to).

    I would disagree that "exercising to the point of maximum heart rate IS a risk factor." Certainly one wouldn't reach MHR often in a regular training program and most can't sustain that rate for any length of time, but I know of no evidence which indicates that one can damage their heart by reaching or approaching max from time to time. Thousands do so weekly when they participate in races or competitions. I've never seen a study that indicates they are damaging their hearts.
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    Gammal cyklist Reynolds's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
    Whether or not you worry or want to worry, has little to with whether or not you should or need not investigate cardiovascular health.

    Clearly, my answers to most questions in these forums exceed a given forum users actual interest. I'm pretty sure you wish to remain ignorant of all the factors that contribute to cardiovascular "health" and simply want to be assured that your exercise is somehow "good for you."

    Heart rate is only one aspect of cardiovascular physiology. There is nothing about this thread that proves that your current heart rate is healthy or unhealthy. However, in the absence of any other known risk factors or symptoms - one might conclude that your heart rate is normal.

    And this is my point - for a "normal population" - exercising to the point of maximum heart rate IS a risk factor. And that is why I took the time to tell you to consider other factors before deciding "I'm normal."

    Never mind.
    Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine.

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