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Heart rate question(12 posts)

Heart rate questionpaulyjsob
Jun 20, 2001 10:56 AM
I recently purchased a heart rate monitor to try to get a more efficient workout. I have a question about my maximum heart rate.. I am 23 years old 5'9" and weigh around 190 lbs. I consider myself in fairly good shape. I play a lot of beach volleyball and do a lot of road & mtn biking. Anyway, I can't get my max heart rate over 162 bpm. And the 162 I acheived on a 1 mile hill in a out of the saddle sprint. I pushed myself to the point where my legs couldn't push anymore. This was probably 25 miles into the ride. According to the general equation, my max heart rate should be around 197. What am I doing wrong....or is there something wrong with me? Thanks!
We're all individuals...Canidraftyou
Jun 20, 2001 12:21 PM
I train with several, the two guys I ride most with are 27 yoa and 42 yoa and Im 36. One has a MHR of 202 (27 yr old), the 42 yr. old has a MHR of 165 and I have a MHR of 191, we all have a different MHR, but close in abilities. We race cat 3's and 4's in our group. With your age and weight the Ave. might be at 197. If its lower, then great, it means your heart is under less stress than the rest of us. Its not working as hard.

I would ask, are you really sprinting up the hill like you say. Is it a hill or Mountain? Some flatlanders call a 2% grade a hill and those who live in Utah may not even call a 4% grade a hill, just simple a grade.

Once you find your MHR, I would focus on where the Lactate Thrusth Hold is. The Cyclist's training bible by Joe Friel is a good ref. guide. My LTHR is at 175 with a 191 MHR. Anyway, maybe more info than you care to know. Play with it, use it, and learn from it, remember its a tool, like your bike.

Peace out
I'm not...gromit
Jun 21, 2001 2:34 AM
sorry couldn't resist the Python quote.
re: Heart rate questionGroucho Marx
Jun 20, 2001 1:55 PM
I'm no expert, but it takes a while for your heart rate to catch up with whatever amount of work you're exerting. The longer your high intensity effort, the more time you heart has to catch up with the work load. So maybe you're doing a whole lot of effort, just in too short of time (if you say you're sprinting, then maybe you should just try doing a longer climb, >3 miles, and do it as fast as you can.

Also, I don't know if you should be expecting to get a max heart rate of 197 or whatever you said, because LA himself has a max of about just over 200.
re: Heart rate questionLone Gunman
Jun 20, 2001 2:29 PM
There is a different equation to use other than the standard 220-age=max HR and it takes into account your weight and age so that you are not penalized for these factors. Unfortunately, I do not have that formula right now. Ask around, or buy one of the books on HR training, the difference could be as much as 10bpm which would increase or decrease your effort. The only true way to be very exact is lab testing, expensive and probably not for you since you just want more efficiency from training. Your better bet is to buy a training manual like Cyclist training bible by Joe Friel that puts the whole cycle training picture into focus. There is a right way and wrong way to do it, Friel's book makes alot of sense and removes the guess work of how to "train" for cycling. You may be training too hard or riding hard all the time thinking no pain no gain, that is the worst thing you can do. Educate thyself and enjoy.
re: Heart rate questionBig Lug
Jun 20, 2001 2:40 PM
Well, we're the same height and the same weight, but I've got 20 years on you. The highest I've ever been able to push my HR is 184.
I may have been able to go a few more beats but I was already starting to see spots in front of my eyes so I figured my wife would appreciate it if I backed off a little. I can usually climb almost any hill around without going past 174 on the fun meter.
I ride with a couple of guys my same age. We always yell out our heart rates to each other, just to claim bragging rights. I'm always 5-10 beats lower than them. I'm also a slightly better climber than they are, at least I think I am. One guy can consistantly get into the 190's. I'm pretty sure I'd blow apart at that high a rate.
We're all a little different.
Having said that, I wonder why a young man like yourself can't push past 162. I would think you should be able to get close to 200 before passing out. Maybe you are over-trained? Sometimes that can happen if you are training really hard all the time.
Either that or you have a heart the size of Rhode Island and you should be entering into some serious competitions.
Have you thought of seeing a doctor?
Bragging RightsDCP
Jun 20, 2001 3:04 PM
Just wondering. Do you brag about a higher number or doing the same amount of work as the others at a lower number?

I understand the confusion. When I first got my HRM I tried a hard hour's ride and averaged 181. I honestly didn't know whether to be proud or concerned.
From everything I've read, there is no good or bad max hr.bill
Jun 20, 2001 3:47 PM
You just have one, that's all. And it's not necessarily absolutely constant either; apparently it changes at different altitude levels, and over time, and I think even with hydration levels.
What matters is how much work you can do, and increased fitness generally means that you can perform the same amount of work with a lower heart rate as a percentage of maximum. Being able to perform the same amount of work at a lower heart rate than someone else does NOT mean you are more fit (unless your max rates are identical).
As far as not being able to push your hr up, this can mean that your muscles simply are too tired to work very hard. You think of tired as meaning higher heart rates, but, as another poster said, overtraining can make you unable to get your hr up.
re: Heart rate questionDutchy
Jun 20, 2001 6:57 PM
I'm 31 and my normal HR while riding is 160, when I come to a long steep climb 9º it rises to about 190-200. My MHR should be about 189, so i'm pretty much in that red zone while climbing. This has only come after years of riding. Now my brother who is 4 years younger always has a lower heart rate, he doesn't ride anyway near as much as i do but he does run a lot 5-10kms. We are very even on fitness level, he just has a lower HR than mine. It come down to physiology, everyone IS different. I do notice I have to slow on the steep climbs in the heat (35ºC+) as my HR just gets too high. No problems in the cold. As I'm getting older I do worry about having a heart attack if i push too hard in the heat.
A proffesional tri-athlete died of a heart attack in Australia recently due to the hot weather and exertion. CHEERS.
MHR is sport specific...Bruno S
Jun 20, 2001 8:11 PM
Try a similar test running and you will probably see a much higher MHR. My MHR on a bike is about 183, while running I can get it to 193. I attribute this to the fact than when I run more muscles are involved all demanding oxigen. When on the bike my legs will hurt because of lactic acid built up forcing me to slow down before my heart rate reaches 193. This could be what is happening to you. The more I train on the bike the closer my running and cycling MHR become. I would expect a pro cyclist to have about the same MHR in both sports or even a higher MHR on the bike since all his/her muscles are perfectly adapted to cycling.
Thanks a lot for all the help!!paulyjsob
Jun 21, 2001 5:33 AM
I went for a ride last night and got my heart rate up to 171. I think I started to see those blurry spots in my vision like the previous post mentioned;-) I'm almost positive I can't go any higher. I also noticed that my resting heart rate is pretty low too. Just sitting at my desk at work, I'm around 53 bpm. That's after coffee though.. And when I first wake up in the morning, it's around 47.
As far as overtraining goes, I'm sure that's not my problem...I don't think I'd weigh 190 if it was;-) Don't get me wrong, I'm an active person, but it's more at a recreational level.
I haven't bragged to any of my riding friends about my heart rate because I'm a newbie and they're experienced riders, and some of them will whip my young arss on their bikes. So I don't brag about anything, I just try to keep up;-) Anyway, thanks again for all the advice. I'm going to go and pick up that book that someone mentioned. Happy riding!!
Thanks a lot for all the help!!Scott Barrett
Jun 21, 2001 11:09 AM
For additional info...

I'm 5'10" and 215lbs...max heart rate during a medical treadmill test was a sustained 203 bpm (final level). During riding I average around 150bp, at 18mph and around 170bpm at 24mph. Sprinting will get me in the 190's if I try hard enough. I find I start having to breathe heavily around 185bpm, so I consider that my threshold to the anaerobic phase. After sprints, usually takes 10-15 seconds to get back down to normal riding rates. This is the main thing I worry about, the recovery time. All else being the same, I'd always like to be able to recover the fastest...

Hope this helps...

Scott