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  1. #1
    Wretched Fsck attica's Avatar
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    max heart rate

    Pretty much all of my cardio is done to the tune of my HRM. I found a pretty righteous plan in an issue of M&F several months ago, and really like it for spinning, elliptical, etc. However, once a week or so, I try to get out and hit the single track (mountain biking) for a change of pace. This means that I can't really stick to a specific HR plan, which is fine, except that sometimes I get pretty close to my max HR.

    One of the trails I go on has some pretty beefy hills, and when I check my HR after getting over them, I can be in the 90-95% range (which is kind of scary since I was biking those same hills fatter and sans-HRM a couple of years ago!).

    My question is - just what exactly happens when you hit your max HR? I'd hate to have to stop biking outside, or I could go to some wimpier hills maybe, but dammit it feels good to beat these hills that were giving me so much trouble years ago. ;-)
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  2. #2
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    It's great that you are basing your cardio on HR, but I wouldn't stress too much about hitting your max. The formulas used for Max HR aren't accurate and really only to be used as a reference. If you feel ok after getting up those hills (not too out of breathe, not light headed) then I wouldn't stress it too much. I'd suggest getting an HR monitor to get a more accurate reading of your HR. I wear mine anytime I do any serious cardiovascular exercise (running, eliptical machine, bike rides).
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    Senior Member Anthony's Avatar
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    If you came close to hitting your MHR, you'd start to feel sick and tired. Your body's way of telling you to back off.

    And, you wouldn't be able to maintain that rate for very long.
    Last edited by Anthony; 07-06-2004 at 08:51 AM.
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    Wretched Fsck attica's Avatar
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    Cool - thanks guys.

    I've definitely been close to puking after doing those hills when I first started biking them, but now I'm just a little out of breath. I figure I'll address the hills like I treat heavy squatting: When the puking starts, time to take a short break.
    if I had to pick the 4 main influences on my physique, they would be:

    heavy metal music, raw oatmeal, plain tuna, and whey.

  5. #5
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
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    attica, what was your heart rate? 90-95% is extremely high and can't be sustained for very long periods, how do you check your heart rate? monitor or fingers? I assume HRM is heart rate monitor?

    nothing happens when you hit your max...think of it as your top speed for running....when you hit that top speed its not like ur legs fall off
    Last edited by geoffgarcia; 07-14-2004 at 04:12 PM.

  6. #6
    Wretched Fsck attica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffgarcia
    attica, what was your heart rate? 90-95% is extremely high and can't be sustained for very long periods, how do you check your heart rate? monitor or fingers? I assume HRM is heart rate monitor?
    My max HR is like 185 or so, using this calculator:

    http://www.brianmac.demon.co.uk/maxhr.htm

    So the highest I think I've seen it is like 183. I don't sustain it for any lenght of time, it just peaks near there when I crest a big hill. I do use a monitor - yeah, HRM is Heart Rate Monitor - I should have been more clear about that. I wear that thing so much, I now know why girls bitch about having to wear a bra... Heh.


    Quote Originally Posted by geoffgarcia
    nothing happens when you hit your max...think of it as your top speed for running....when you hit that top speed its not like ur legs fall off
    Cool - that was really my question, I wasn't sure if it was the max rate you can hit before you start risking heart damage, or if it's just the limit at which your heart will allow you to do what you want, as opposed to forcing you off the trail to heave.

    I spend so much time working against my heart rate, I've started to wonder about these Max HR values. For example, since I'm really hammering the cardio, my Resting HR has dropped pretty substantially (I'm in the low to mid 50s right now), so why couldn't that mean that my Max HR would have increased as well? I mean, I can do these big hills now, whereas I couldn't before, so to me, that can mean 2 things:

    1. I'm in better shape, so my HR doesn't get as high when I do the hills.
    and/or
    2. My max HR is higher, so I can exert myself further before losing my lunch.

    Is it really all (1) and no (2) or what? Now that I've really started to keep track of my HR, I'll eventually find out...
    if I had to pick the 4 main influences on my physique, they would be:

    heavy metal music, raw oatmeal, plain tuna, and whey.

  7. #7
    Bismarck in Training emjlr3's Avatar
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    i dont get the big deal about the max hr thing and only training at like 75% or something...when i do cardio i just do it...i dont worry about hr or any of that.....ive had plenty of times when id train at like 190 for 20 minutes....so what is the big deal with max hr anyways...why not just train where your feel comfortable and go from there

  8. #8
    Wretched Fsck attica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emjlr3
    i dont get the big deal about the max hr thing and only training at like 75% or something...when i do cardio i just do it...i dont worry about hr or any of that.....ive had plenty of times when id train at like 190 for 20 minutes....so what is the big deal with max hr anyways...why not just train where your feel comfortable and go from there
    Well, the main reason for me is boredom. I found a pretty cool article in M&F that I detail here:

    http://www.wannabebigforums.com/show...6&postcount=15

    Basically it's just using your HR as a means to break your workout into intervals. Now, like I say in that post, I'm sure the workout would be fine without the HRM, but it gives me something to keep track of, so the 45 minute workout doesn't seem like an eternity.

    I also like trackable things, so I record my HR and use that to monitor my progress (I have all kinds of graphs and crap in Excel). Kinda like the people who keep diligent records of their lifting weights, I guess, which I don't tend to do. Some people do and some people don't - to each his/her own.

    HR can also be used to (roughly) gauge the number of calories burned, if you are interested in counting calories that way - some HRMs can do it automatically. Mine doesn't, so I don't know how accurate it is though.

    All in all, I guess it's just a tool - if you are happy with your results without it, then I guess there's no reason to use one.
    Last edited by attica; 07-15-2004 at 10:17 AM.
    if I had to pick the 4 main influences on my physique, they would be:

    heavy metal music, raw oatmeal, plain tuna, and whey.

  9. #9
    Wannabebig Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by emjlr3
    i dont get the big deal about the max hr thing and only training at like 75% or something...when i do cardio i just do it...i dont worry about hr or any of that.....ive had plenty of times when id train at like 190 for 20 minutes....so what is the big deal with max hr anyways...why not just train where your feel comfortable and go from there
    To not monitor your heart when doing cardio is like blindly grabbing weights when lifting. You have to know what you're working with if you want an efficient work out. To increase your heart's ability and loose body fat stores the most efficiently, you should be opperating somewhere between 60% and 80%, without dipping over or under for more than a few seconds. Note, I'm talking about VO2max, not just maximum heart rate. I'm not saying running without watching your heart is bad, just running while you are in your target zone for 20 minutes or long can be SO much more beneficial.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
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    u can get HRM's that u can connect directly to ur puter via USB for data extraction as well, I've been hounding the guys at dietOrganizer.com to add this + weight scales data input into their tracking tools

    I agree that familiarity with heart rate is important, and if you have specific goals then doing a workout regiment like the M&F one can be invaluable, just like periodization is to lifting.

  11. #11
    Wretched Fsck attica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by geoffgarcia
    u can get HRM's that u can connect directly to ur puter via USB for data extraction as well, I've been hounding the guys at dietOrganizer.com to add this + weight scales data input into their tracking tools
    That would totally rock...
    if I had to pick the 4 main influences on my physique, they would be:

    heavy metal music, raw oatmeal, plain tuna, and whey.

  12. #12
    Bismarck in Training emjlr3's Avatar
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    i just use my mp3 player to not get bored......and if i get caught singing ozzy in the middle of a big incline at the gym to get pumped along with weird looks.....so be it!!

  13. #13
    Wretched Fsck attica's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by emjlr3
    i just use my mp3 player to not get bored......and if i get caught singing ozzy in the middle of a big incline at the gym to get pumped along with weird looks.....so be it!!
    I heard that. I'm always doing the silent lip-sync, and I wonder if sometimes it's not so silent... Heh. I really have to be careful when "F*ck You" by DamagePlan queues up...
    if I had to pick the 4 main influences on my physique, they would be:

    heavy metal music, raw oatmeal, plain tuna, and whey.

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