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Max Heart Rate

Old 07-05-15, 05:14 AM
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Max Heart Rate

Can someone tell me why that even at the point of totally exausted, I am NOT ABLE to get my heart rate above 147 BPM..? I cant try any harder and know most people are up 175 to over 200 BPM...
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Old 07-05-15, 05:26 AM
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This is something, at your tender age, that you should check out with your doc. I occasionally do HIIT workouts and have no trouble getting into the 170s, other than the suffering part of it. But, I know others that struggle to get up into that zone, even though they too are hitting that high suffering experience.
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Old 07-05-15, 05:38 AM
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Everyone is different... those Max HR calculators are just simply estimates of what a typical persons Max might be... How long have you been working out? When i started last Fall, i simply couldn't push my HR above 140! Looking back at my records from when i started i would have swore my Max HR was around 138! Now, 10 months later I'm actually hitting 160! I had no idea that my Max HR would actually increase like that!
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Old 07-05-15, 05:43 AM
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Originally Posted by scrming View Post
Everyone is different... those Max HR calculators are just simply estimates of what a typical persons Max might be... How long have you been working out? When i started last Fall, i simply couldn't push my HR above 140! Looking back at my records from when i started i would have swore my Max HR was around 138! Now, 10 months later I'm actually hitting 160! I had no idea that my Max HR would actually increase like that!
I have been riding hard for over 6 years and weigh in at 148 lbs. I mean i really haul the mail at 62 years old. I do not have no max chart or nothing, i just monitor over 1500 bike rides and not a single ride is over 147 BPM. I am in exellent condtion and also run about 30 miles per week. There is nothing wrong with me i surely dont think..
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Old 07-05-15, 06:10 AM
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Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
I have been riding hard for over 6 years and weigh in at 148 lbs. I mean i really haul the mail at 62 years old. I do not have no max chart or nothing, i just monitor over 1500 bike rides and not a single ride is over 147 BPM. I am in exellent condtion and also run about 30 miles per week. There is nothing wrong with me i surely dont think..
Ok... Then your Max HR is simply 147. Again everyone is different, so no use in comparing your Max HR to others... Your Max HR is slightly lower than the "average" 62 year old, which is 158 to 165 depending on which calculator you use
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Old 07-05-15, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
I have been riding hard for over 6 years and weigh in at 148 lbs. I mean i really haul the mail at 62 years old. I do not have no max chart or nothing, i just monitor over 1500 bike rides and not a single ride is over 147 BPM. I am in exellent condtion and also run about 30 miles per week. There is nothing wrong with me i surely dont think..
Maybe you have a double pumper heart......
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Old 07-05-15, 06:14 AM
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I guess I'm assuming you've really tried to hit your Max HR? I mean pushed yourself to the max, so to speak?

A more important number than your Max HR is your HR Recovery Rate. Might want to read up on that.
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Old 07-05-15, 06:54 AM
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Originally Posted by scrming View Post
I guess I'm assuming you've really tried to hit your Max HR? I mean pushed yourself to the max, so to speak?

A more important number than your Max HR is your HR Recovery Rate. Might want to read up on that.
I honestly dont know if i can push myself any harder without blowing up or i am just a wuss.. one or the other.. I am not trying to compare myself with any others but just currious as to why is all...
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Old 07-05-15, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
I honestly dont know if i can push myself any harder without blowing up or i am just a wuss.. one or the other.. I am not trying to compare myself with any others but just currious as to why is all...
Assuming you do not have any medical issues, maybe you should try pushing harder some time. Find a nice, long, and steep hill (a couple of miles), and stand up and pedal until you cannot pedal any more, don't stop, but keep going seated, stand up and pedal again within 30 seconds until you cannot do it any longer, repeat this about 5 times. If you puke, then you know you got there. If any doubts, please see your doc first. Otherwise, this will answer your question!
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Old 07-05-15, 07:17 AM
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At 58, I top out at 160 based on testing. I pretty much turned myself inside out, and thought the number would be much higher. Nevertheless, the output I was producing for vo2 max and ftp watts/kg were more than satisfactory.

A month or so back I was riding with a friend back in the Midwest. He's a lifetime Nordic ski racer and biker, and in great shape at 59. We both weigh about 160 at 6' tall.

On one bluff climb he was calling out his HR numbers as we pulled away from the group. When he hit 170, and was getting near the edge, we turned around and cycled back to the group. Based on my level, or lack of pain, I doubt I was over 150 at the time.

I'm no scientist, but if I had to guess, I'd say you have large lung capacity relative to your weight and a very efficient engine.
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Old 07-05-15, 07:36 AM
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Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
Can someone tell me why that even at the point of totally exausted, I am NOT ABLE to get my heart rate above 147 BPM..? I cant try any harder and know most people are up 175 to over 200 BPM...
More important than heart rate is cardiac output which is the rate multiplied by stroke volume. You may have a higher than average stroke volume.

It's also possible you don't ride in a way that elicits your maxHR. I might see my max about once a year and I would normally need someone else around for motivation.
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Old 07-05-15, 07:48 AM
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Could be natural variation, being not too far off the median. If your resting heart rate is also low it might be enlarged heart, aka "athlete's heart". The latter is generally benign or even beneficial, but sometimes symptomatic. You can't tell which unless there are clinical symptoms, or with medical tests.

I've always been more to the hummingbird heart end of the spectrum and have felt some envy of athletes with slower heart rates. But objectively, if the heart is healthy it makes no difference.
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Old 07-05-15, 08:17 AM
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I used to be able to hit 220 no problem but my Doc did not think that was a good thing. Check with your Doc and see what he says I was told by a couple of different medical pros that how soon the heart slowed down to normal resting heartbeat after max effort was an important measure.
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Old 07-05-15, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by gregf83 View Post
More important than heart rate is cardiac output which is the rate multiplied by stroke volume. You may have a higher than average stroke volume.

It's also possible you don't ride in a way that elicits your maxHR. I might see my max about once a year and I would normally need someone else around for motivation.
I honestly then do NOT know what my max is if i have to puke, vomit, faint or fall off of the bike to obtain it as i have never done any of that. I ride seven days a week 20 miles a day and thought i was giving it my all everytime and usually its only around 140 average and only on several occasions have i ever got it up to 147. I ride a single speed trek district belt drive and average cadence is about 110-115
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Old 07-05-15, 09:05 AM
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Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
Can someone tell me why that even at the point of totally exausted, I am NOT ABLE to get my heart rate above 147 BPM..? I cant try any harder and know most people are up 175 to over 200 BPM...
Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
I have been riding hard for over 6 years and weigh in at 148 lbs. I mean i really haul the mail at 62 years old. I do not have no max chart or nothing, i just monitor over 1500 bike rides and not a single ride is over 147 BPM. I am in exellent condtion and also run about 30 miles per week. There is nothing wrong with me i surely dont think..
Either your HRM is broken, or you need to set it to "High" range.
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Old 07-05-15, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
I have been riding hard for over 6 years and weigh in at 148 lbs. I mean i really haul the mail at 62 years old. I do not have no max chart or nothing, i just monitor over 1500 bike rides and not a single ride is over 147 BPM. I am in exellent condtion and also run about 30 miles per week. There is nothing wrong with me i surely dont think..
What's your MHR when running? I can get my heart rate up there better while running.

Have you tried a different heart rate monitor? They ain't all the same.

You wouldn't happen to be on beta blockers for something like high blood pressure? BBs can hold down the max heart rate.

As far as pushing harder, I did an unsupervised, unscientific, max effort stress test on myself and had a heart attack at around the 180 bpm mark. I was 46 YO at the time. I was racing my daughter up a very steep, long hill. I'd suggest getting a supervised stress test at your age. As you are a runner, you might actually enjoy it!
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Old 07-05-15, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by JBHoren View Post
Either your HRM is broken, or you need to set it to "High" range.
I have a Garmin Edge 1000 and had no idea there was range choices but its odd the machine would would be set to 147..I have HRM's for my Edge and both give same type of readings over the last year i have had the 1000 Edge
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Old 07-05-15, 09:45 AM
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Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
I ride seven days a week 20 miles a day and thought i was giving it my all everytime
When you say "giving it your all" does that mean for the whole ride or a sprint at some point? If you're just riding hard for 20 miles you'll never come close to your max. You need to sprint for 20-30 seconds after going very hard for a couple of minutes.

edit: I can only get my HR to max when sprinting all-out which means pulling up hard on the bars. With a single-speed flat bar bike the technique for getting maximum power and HR would be different and would require you to be able to maintain a very high cadence. Probably easier to do on a geared bike.

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Old 07-05-15, 09:56 AM
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Trekmogul, I think there are some basic concepts that you are not getting. Your max HR is not changed by improving fitness - it is what it is, except that it diminishes with age. The general formula MHR=(220-Age) does not work for everybody, some are higher, some are lower, but yours is in the neighborhood of 150 or so - just a little lower than typical for your age. If you are otherwise happy with your fitness, then don't worry about it.
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Old 07-05-15, 10:19 AM
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FWIW, I reach and/or exceed my alleged rule-based max HR virtually every ride. The formulas are just a generic baseline. Mine should be 164 (220-56) but I can easily stay at or above that with little conscious effort. Crusing along at 16 MPH on flat ground, no wind, will average around 145-155 at least. Cresting a freeway overpass can reach 175 and I've briefly seen 185 in the few rides since I recently got the HR monitor. Those rides were at or below my typical exertion level of most previous rides over the past 5 years, so I want to observe my HR for a while. I've never had anything remotely like "chest pain", even in my moments of extreme exertion and resulting anerobic near-death experiences. However, it does somewhat clue me into why I apparently burn through nutrition faster than others.

I'm no athlete and I'm not in great shape, but my experience so far differs signficantly from the "rules". I'm now closely watching both the HR meter and the way I feel, and if there's anything questionable I'll talk to my doc immediately. But, so far in 5 years there's been no flag raised. So much for the rules.
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Old 07-05-15, 10:48 AM
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Originally Posted by trekmogul View Post
I have been riding hard for over 6 years and weigh in at 148 lbs. I mean i really haul the mail at 62 years old. I do not have no max chart or nothing, i just monitor over 1500 bike rides and not a single ride is over 147 BPM. I am in exellent condtion and also run about 30 miles per week. There is nothing wrong with me i surely dont think..
And you're probably right. Max heart rate is nice to know, and that's about all the utility it has. As has been noted, it varies among individuals. Guys our age (I'm 63) rarely have those 190+ max heart rates, since it decreases with age. OTOH, the farther you learn to push yourself into the pain cave, the higher you can get your heart rate.

I race. Most racers don't know their max heart rate and don't care either, because it's irrelevant to their training. What matters for racers is max sustainable heart rate. Mine is 163ish, which is the average heart rate for the last 20 minutes of a 20km time trial. The highest I've seen my heart rate in the last couple of years has been 174 bpm, and it's often in the upper 160s during intervals. Note that this pertains to me; other guys have higher or lower ranges.

Don't worry about your max heart rate. Just go ride your bike.
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Old 07-05-15, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Kindaslow View Post
Assuming you do not have any medical issues, maybe you should try pushing harder some time. Find a nice, long, and steep hill (a couple of miles), and stand up and pedal until you cannot pedal any more, don't stop, but keep going seated, stand up and pedal again within 30 seconds until you cannot do it any longer, repeat this about 5 times. If you puke, then you know you got there. If any doubts, please see your doc first. Otherwise, this will answer your question!
Thus should get to your max although one time instead of five should be enough. To that I'll add do a good warmup first and gradually increase the effort on Ted long steep hill - keep shifting to a more difficult gear while maintaining the same cadence
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Old 07-05-15, 02:15 PM
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Originally Posted by scrming View Post
Everyone is different... those Max HR calculators are just simply estimates of what a typical persons Max might be... How long have you been working out? When i started last Fall, i simply couldn't push my HR above 140! Looking back at my records from when i started i would have swore my Max HR was around 138! Now, 10 months later I'm actually hitting 160! I had no idea that my Max HR would actually increase like that!

It doesn't. Max is max. You just weren't hitting it previously.
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Old 07-05-15, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by StanSeven View Post
Thus should get to your max although one time instead of five should be enough. To that I'll add do a good warmup first and gradually increase the effort on Ted long steep hill - keep shifting to a more difficult gear while maintaining the same cadence
I have a program on my elliptical called Sprint8, so I have done this version of HIIT many times. Myself, and others using this type of program usually do not hit max until the third to fifth rep each and every time.

Also, due to a (found out after extensive testing) completely harmless electrical oddity that occurs on my heart readouts, I have gone through getting my heart rate up there for imaging, and it took stair step efforts to do so.
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Old 07-05-15, 02:48 PM
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Wear two HRM straps.

Oh wait. That works for spoke magnets. Never mind.
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