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Question on resting heart rates.(11 posts)

Question on resting heart rates.SilentBob
May 1, 2002 12:09 PM
I picked up a heart rate monitor b4 I started training this year. My resting HR was 63bpm when I started. After a little more than two months of building up my base, my resting HR was 52bpm. Ok, so this morning, I get up at 5:30am, stretch, throw my HR monitor on, lie on my floor, wait about 2 minutes for my HR to steady, and when I checked it was at 46! Whoa!

My question is, how does everyone check their resting heart rate? Is doing it first thing in the morning, lying on my back kinda of cheating things? I try to keep consistent when I check my heartrate but I've checked at night b4 bed too and it's usually the same.

Info on me, if it helps. I'm 26, 5'11" 155lbs. I played soccer for 11 years. Ran cross-country at my school for 2 years. Mtb for a while but I haven't been exercising in more than a year. Also, last time I visited the family, my Mom had gone for a yearly check up. Her resting HR was around 63-65bpm (where I started), and she doesn't exercise with the exception of a walk every now and then. This is at age 56. Just wondering if genetics are playing a big part.

Thanks in advance for the info.
re: Question on resting heart rates.brider
May 1, 2002 12:40 PM
Genetics and aerobic training (as you suspected) are the components that will influence resting HR. I would check mine seated after giving myself 5 minutes to calm down. I could routinely get mine into the low 30s. Once when I was testing for a biomechanics survey, I got it to 30 even. The nurse taking my pulse said it was the lowest she'd ever taken.
Appreciate the info...SilentBob
May 1, 2002 6:30 PM
Damn. 30 flat. That's pretty crazy. I was shocked to see 46. I'm going to check it tomorrow morning as well. Just curious to what it might be.

Thanks again.
Hah! Just like Big MigJames Curry
May 2, 2002 8:22 AM
Hah! Just like Big Migbrider
May 2, 2002 8:49 AM
Right, just like Big Mig, except not the speed, or the racing success, or 5 Tour wins, or...
RHR standard procedureKerry
May 1, 2002 4:53 PM
The "standard" way to measure RHR is after you wake in the morning, but before you get out of bed. I've been told that your RHR will drop ater you get up and pee, but I've never seen that referenced when all the coaches talk about your RHR. Just for reference, my day time HR at rest (sitting at my desk) is mid-50s, but my morning RHR is upper 30s. Any day time number is not useful, but then RHR is mostly useful for detecting illness or overtraining. Reducing your RHR is not a training or fitness goal.
Using RHR for detecting illness & overtraining...SilentBob
May 1, 2002 6:28 PM
How exactly can you detect illness and overtraining with the RHR? Also, I'm not saying that lowering the RHR is a fitness goal, but isn't is a sign of becoming more fit? Not sure exactly what you meant by it not being a goal. I'm assuming you meant that becoming a better rider is the goal.

Anyway, thanx for the info.
Using RHR for detecting illness & overtraining...peloton
May 1, 2002 8:56 PM
I wouldn't say that a low RHR is a fitness goal, merely a byproduct of fitness. Your RHR is also largly dependent on your genetics. Some people have higher RHR's but are still very capable in aerobic exercise because of all the other factors involved. Your RHR will bottom out depending on what mom and dad gave you, and I wouldn't worry about it too much if someone else's is lower than yours. It just one little piece of the puzzle. The average person might have a RHR of 70 bpm with a stroke volume of 70 dl. As you get more fit from aerobic exercise, your left ventricle gets bigger and more elastic. It 'stretchs' to fit more blood in every heartbeat, and so your stroke volume goes up. This larger stroke size due to the left ventricle also has the effect of creating a larger stretch on the lining of your heart, which increases your EF and gives you a better systolic return. Blood comes out of the heart more forcefully, and returns more easily. Your heart doesn't have to work as hard. Simply put physiologically, your heart is more efficient at pumping blood. It's larger, and so it doesn't have to pump as much. It's only a side effect of chronic training and what you are genetically capable of. Better cardiac output will come as you ride and train.

RHR is useful for monitoring sickness and overtraining. If your RHR is 45 in the morning usually give or take a little, then record this. If it should suddenly start to be elevated by 5-6 bpm in the morning, then this is a sign to back off and get some rest. When you take your RHR in the morning, make sure you go by the same ritual. If you sit usually, then sit. If you usually urinate, then do so every time. Lying down or not urinating will definitly have an effect on your RHR. Do try to be constant in your ritual for best results. Also, don't be worried if it does fluctuate a little. Heat, humidity, hydration, and other factors can all have an effect on your heart rate, and it won't be exactly the same every day.
What he said (nm)Kerry
May 3, 2002 4:15 PM
re: Question on resting heart rates.niteschaos
May 1, 2002 9:45 PM
If you get something like a Polar 410 with the ability to record your heart rates over time, you can more accurately find your fitness level. Just as your resting heart rate goes down, so does your max heart rate, again due to effeciency and conditioning. Heart rate has been my experience to be based more on overall activity and health than genetics. VO2 max studies have shown genetics due play a significant role, but not nearly so in heart rate. Find or "sample" a Polar 410 Heart monitor package and go do your most intense interval workout (where each interval last at least 2 minutes) and when you download your data you can see on a graph how your heart actually works. Things like Recovery Heart Rate are also good indicators of fitness.
re: Question on resting heart rates.vtecbike
May 2, 2002 4:44 AM
Our top rider on my racing team (Cat 1) has been racing competitively for about 15 years and has a RHR of 53.