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It seems my max HR is 185 or so, but I'm only 22!!!(15 posts)

It seems my max HR is 185 or so, but I'm only 22!!!Swat Dawg
Sep 24, 2003 9:11 PM
I have been testing my HR over and over again for the past several months and keep getting numbers that are about the same. It seems like the number should be way higher, but I am starting to just trust the figures I've got. Does this seem low for someone my age? If so, am I at a disadvantage somehow? Does the max HR make any difference besides setting HR training zones? I'm kinda pissed off cause I feel like my body is maybe a litte defective or something. Any ideas or suggestions are appreciated.
re: It seems my max HR is 185 or so, but I'm only 22!!!spankdoggie
Sep 24, 2003 9:29 PM

It is not possible.

1. You have calibrated wrong.
2. You are a nerd; quit cycling.

Young bastard, something is wrong; let us hope that someone else has more knowledge than I do. I fear this thread of yours will soon drop to the bottom without any assistance, but I believe I have provided everything you need to know...

By the way, what kind of heart monitor do you have, anyways? I have a Polar S210, and it is pretty accurate. I need more information. There are an awful lot of bastards on this forum, so answer my question.

I will help.

re: It seems my max HR is 185 or so, but I'm only 22!!!Bruno S
Sep 24, 2003 9:38 PM
Although there is an absolute max heart rate it may not be possible to achieve it in all sports. For example, I can get my heart rate to 195 running but I've never seen it at more than 186 on the bike. It may be that when running I am using more muscles (arms, shoulders) than when cycling. I've seen literature that says max heart rate is sport specific. Any triathetes out there have some knowledge about this?
re: It seems my max HR is 185 or so, but I'm only 22!!!babyhuey77
Sep 24, 2003 10:20 PM
It may be possible, I know that some of my friends who are 22 and their max is like 195 or so. Mine on the other hand is nice and high at 215. I know what some of you are thinking, are you still alive, and the answer is yes. I usually do a 20k time trial between 193 and 196. Oh and just for the record I am 26.
re: It seems my max HR is 185 or so, but I'm only 58!!!yellowspox
Sep 24, 2003 11:12 PM
I really started using my HR monitor a lot more last winter during spin classes. I've only been cycling for two years and my calculated HR was around 175 (for what that's worth). I hit 185 during interval training on the spin bike and a few rides w/ long hills so I'm guessing that 185 is a more true figure. I use it only as a basis for my workout zones. A much more important thing to me is how fast I can recover after reaching a high level. That's the area I can really see gains. I'm not sure there's anything I can do to raise my max HR.
re: It seems my max HR is 185 or so, but I'm only 22!!!charlieboy
Sep 25, 2003 1:14 AM
The rule of thumb guide to guesstimating your Max Heart Rate is to deduct your age from 220 (male) and 230 (female), so your reported MHR may be a little lower than normal for your age.

How are you measuring your MHR? Achieving MHR is VERY HARD - don't try it every day! See here for some ways to test...

!!read the health warnings before attempting the test!!

An accurate MHR is important for ensuring you are doing the 'right' workload at the 'right' percentage MHR level, where 'right' is right FOR YOU.

If you are happy with your training and race results etc, who cares what your MHR is or is not? You are supposed to enjoy cycling - feeling that you may be a 'little defective' is not going to do you any good at all. Hey, you might be some kind of super-efficient athlete who naturally runs at a lower rpm; that's great, just think of the rest of us, knackered and toiling in your wake!

You could try training on 'perceived effort' - chuck away the gizmos, forget training by numbers, get liberated from the tyranny of training by the book.
Amen to that brother (nm)PEDDLEFOOT
Sep 25, 2003 4:18 AM
Don't worry about MHR, instead...........Len J
Sep 25, 2003 3:23 AM
determine your Lactate Threshold rate (LT).


1.) It is easier & safer to determine. MHR determination can be dangerous & is difficult to determine. On a bike, approaching MHR, you should see spots, vision narrowing, pain overwhelming, every turn orf the cranks should be terribly hard, just before you pass out....that's your MHR. LT on the other hand, just do an out & back 10 mile TT at all out effort (after proper warm up). Keep track of your heartrate average for the last 20 minutes of the , that is your LT.

2.) LT is trainable MHR is not. The better shape you are in, your LT will increase while your MHR is fairly fixed (within a training season). You can sustain a hard effort longer. Because of this, setting your training zones off of LT is a more efficient training method (Your zones move as your fitness increases). Additionally, due to the relative ease of testing, you can use your 10 mile TT times as a fitness guage.

See Joe Friel's book (Cyclist Training Bible) for more info.

As to your question re MHR, if you are worried, see either your doctor or a cardiologist. Securing key medical advice on a Web discussion board is not the way to health and longevity.

Good Luck

The Word Len. nmSpunout
Sep 25, 2003 3:56 AM
Give it a restfiltersweep
Sep 25, 2003 3:59 AM
Are you riding with a group?

I have to say, I've only been able to exceed the 220 - Age formula when doing hill rides with others... so some reason, riding solo it is difficult to dig that deeply. Of course I'm useless after redlining, but that is just part of the fun. I'm also guessing that I could still go higher...

I hate to put it to you this way, but I don't think you are trying hard enough. I can relatively comfortably get within a few beats of maximum, but to actually hit it... well, I definitely KNOW when I'm there.

How do you feel when you are at 185? Is it something you can hold for awhile? Are you seeing god? Is your life flashing before your eyes? Do you wish you could die afterwards? Do you wish you could catch a ride home?
You haven't hit it yetandy02
Sep 25, 2003 4:18 AM
What is the highest HR that you can hold for an hour?? I use to think my MHR was low until I noticed that I could hold just under what I thought it was for an hour or more! Everytime I think I know the limit I seem to pass it in a race.
That's probably right! re You haven't hit it yetcharlieboy
Sep 25, 2003 5:39 AM
That's putting it a bit more bluntly than I did in my post above!

Swat Dog, are you confusing the highest heart rate you've observed while riding with a real MHR? As I said earlier, achieving MHR is VERY HARD - it's not a heart rate that you can maintain for any real length of time, it's a rate that you briefly achieve at your absolute limit.

The posts regarding threshold levels and optimum heart rates are spot on, but these refer to rates that you CAN sustain over a period of time.

Training without numbers is good for you too - I lost my computer within 500 yards of the start of this year's 125 miles etape in France - great! No worrying about am I on target, am I doing this right etc etc. Just this is fun followed by this is hard, this is very hard, I 'll walk this bit, the finish, hooray, collapse in heap!
I wouldn't worry about itTWD
Sep 25, 2003 10:55 AM
As many of the posts have mentioned, you may not have hit your max yet. If you're not close to passing out, you're probably not there yet.

With that said, I wouldn't worry about your max heart rate being lower. The old 220-age formula is pretty much worthless. Do you really think everybody's MHR is 220 - their age? Of course not, it's a generic formula that is supposed to apply to everyone. It's better than nothing if you don't have a heart rate monitor.

I've been using heart rate monitors with my training and racing for about 9 years. When I was 22, my hax heart rate was 186. I'm 28 now, and my max is 184. I'm pretty sure that's my max, since I haven't exceeded that in any of my races, including all out efforts in sprint finishes and such.

I regularly do interval workouts, and it's rare that I will get within 3 to 4 beats of the max I have seen in races.

On the other hand, my resting heart rate is about 36 bpm, which is a bit lower than most people I've talked to, so the range that I have to work with isn't much different than a lot of other folks.

I don't think there is anything wrong with you, your max HR may just be lower than average. Nothing to worry about. Just because your max is lower doesn't mean you're slower.
age is irrevelantpowergyoza
Sep 25, 2003 2:25 PM
At 23, my max on the lab treadmill was 184. My heart is certainly not defective! It's all about genetics.
EVERYONE's is different....doesn't mean a thingderek2188
Sep 25, 2003 10:49 PM
People that say it has to be this or that are full of crap. Ned Overend's is 165. 220 minus ages is a rough estimate. Yours may be higher or lower, and it doesn't mean a thing.