My real target heart rate?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 15, 2007 1:28 AM GMT
    I am wondering if my target heart rate should not be higher than it is. Here are the facts:

    My resting pulse is 68.
    My walking pulse is 100.
    It is very easy for me to get my heart rate to 130-140 range and keep it there on the elliptical. Do I still burn fat just by keeping it in the fat-burning zone?

    It seems that my heart rate is easily spiked. I also have a high metabolism.

    My roomate tried on my monitor and it stayed at 60 resting. My roomate also cannot get above 120 on an elliptical without some exertion. I don't get it...

    I am also experiencing erratic numbers on the monitor from sitting to sitting up, for instance I noticed it went from 70-80 to 105, but my roomate is consistent and steady at 60.

    Is my heart rate more "elastic" than most?

    What I do notice is that once I get going on the elliptical, it seems to stabilize. My thought was that perhaps my heart rate seems higher, maybe my target is higher as well?
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Aug 15, 2007 2:41 PM GMT
    the best aerobic formula is 180-your age.

    check out www.markallenonline.com/heartrate.asp

    when training with HR, A LOT of variables come into play.

    enough sleep
    hydration
    stress-mental and physical
    previous workout
    diet

    you can also get your anaerobic threshold test done on the new leaf system and it will break down exactly when and what you are burning for fuel, CHO or fat.

    formulas are genaric, they are good to use as s guide line and see how you feel and good from there.

    Having trained for 18 years. i use my HR monitor when i start back training after a 2 month break. just to let me know i need to go slow and build my base again. once my timed miles test times drop, i stop the using it and go by Preceived Effort(PE).

    when taking your resting heart rate in the morning.
    make sure you are well hydrated before bedtime. hydrating makes a big difference. even weight yourself before bedtime and then again in the morning, after the morning duties.

    good luck!
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    Aug 15, 2007 3:40 PM GMT
    UStriathlete, I've never seen 180 - your age as a maximum heart rate calculation. The standard that I know is 220 - age. I notice the website your reference is geared toward triathalon training so, maybe that's the difference.

    Xuaerb, don't rely on store bought heart rate monitors and the equipment at the gym for your heart rate. They are machines and need maintenance to work correctly. You never know when gym equipment has been serviced or if a store bought monitor is working correctly or not. Always check their accuracy by manually checking your heart rate too. It can take some practice but it is easy to do and generally very close.

    Find your pulse on either the radial artery of the wrist or the artery just to the left of your adams apple. Apply just enough pressure to detect the heartbeat. Find a clock or watch with a second hand and once you find the pulse count the beats you feel in a ten second period (you need the watch or clock with second hand or digital seconds so you can concentrate on counting the beats and visually see when ten seconds are up). Once you have the number, multiply it by 6 (six ten second periods in one minute) and you will have a good estimate of your heart rate.

    To get a resting heart rate, make sure you've been sitting still for some time and are nice and relaxed. While doing cardio, pause your activity briefly enough to check your heart rate. Do this every 5-8 minutes (then you can also check it with the machine and see how close they are).

    There are several schools of thought on what is actually best for fat burning; steady state cardio, interval training and even no cardio at all (for fat burning not cardiovascular conditioning).
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    Aug 15, 2007 3:50 PM GMT
    I'm have an interesting situation that I think is the result of quitting smoking. On the 180-your age, my target rate should be 134. I guess I could actually have eased up a bit from the 145 I was trying to hit. This was while I was smoking. I didn't know about the forumla until I just read this and I never really paid attention the heart rate info on the machines other than to match my exhaustion level up with the number I was reading and I could push myself no further than 145.

    I quit smoking, now 7 weeks ago and am having a very difficult time getting my heart rate up even to 110 and I'm pushing way harder than before. I've set the resistance up as high as I can go without losing the ability to actually push the elipticaly pedal down. I the last 3 weeks, I don't think I got over and getting to 125 took about an hour as compared to the half hour I was doing while smoking.

    Should I go back to smoking?
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 15, 2007 3:52 PM GMT
    Or should I go back to typing school? Geez.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 15, 2007 3:58 PM GMT
    Smoking does accelerate metabolic rate, so it may help, but it's also terribly, terribly bad for you.

    http://www.ash.org.uk/html/factsheets/html/fact10.html

    Tabasco sauce also elevates metabolic rate. Try smoking tabasco sauce, perhaps?
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    Aug 15, 2007 7:06 PM GMT
    Shortnsexystud -

    " UStriathlete, I've never seen 180 - your age as a maximum heart rate calculation. The standard that I know is 220 - age. I notice the website your reference is geared toward triathalon training so, maybe that's the difference."

    I'm a little suspicious about any simple, universal, maximum heart rate caculation.

    I'm 69,and my resting heart rate is 49-50. That's measured on two independent medical (pre-surgery) heart rate monitors, so I assume that's a valid number for my resting rate.

    When I run at a constant speed (just a little below my race pace) on a treadmill, my heart rate is typically in the range of 163-167. That's the range measured on several (~ 4-5) integral treadmill monitors on different treadmills on different days. I haven't done calibration of these monitors, but at least they seem to be consistent among each other.

    I also suspect that measuring my pulse rate immediately following a run would yield a lower (and biased) number since the treadmill monitor rate appears to fall rather rapidly as soon as I slow down. I've also learned the hard--and embarassing--way that it's important to pay attention when running on a treadmill ('at speed'), so I'm a bit reluctant to try to find my artery and make 6 measurements of 10 sec duration each (or a count over a 60 sec period) when I'm running at near max speed.

    Anyhow, assuming an average of 164 is a reasonable a lower bound for my maximum heart rate, the equation that would seem to match my observations would be:

    Max rate > 233 - age

    (or about 6 percent higher than the equation:

    Max rate = 220 - age)

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    Aug 15, 2007 7:44 PM GMT
    PDSurfer, these formulas are only estimates of your heart rate and should be used as tools to help monitor your HR and make sure you are getting close to an actual target.

    Also consider the type of exercise you are doing. There are generally three HR's we are concerned with when it comes to regular exercise:

    Maximal HR, Cardiovascular Target HR and Fat Burning Target HR. They are as follows:

    220 - age = Estimated Maximum Heart Rate
    (220 - age) * 85 - 90% = Cardiovascular Target Heart Rate (128-135)
    (220 - age) * 65 - 75% = Fat Burning Target Heart Rate (98 - 113)

    So for you, your ESTIMATED MHR would be 220 - 69 or 151. Now since you are obviously a well trained runner and in good shape and probably have been stamina and conditioning than most 69 year old men, you're attainable maximal heart rate is probably higher and 164 doesn't sound outside the realm of possibility. Remember, these formulas are for the average exerciser to use as a guide, not set in stone and they are no substitute for a monitored measure of these figures in a doctors office. But, who has an EKG machine and a treadmill at home to accurately measure these things.....hence, the formulas used for guidelines.

    Your resting HR is phenomenally low, which for you probably just indicates what great shape you're in. The average for men is actually quite a wide range, 60 to 100 beats per minute is acceptable for men. The more conditioned you are, the closer to the lower end of the scale you'll be.

    So, PD depending on what your goal is for your aerobic training, your target heart rate will depend on that. Oh, and yes, don't try to take your heart rate WHILE you are running on the tread mill....you'll have to step off the belt momentarily (straddle the belt) and hop back on. Yes the rate will drop a little once you stop but once you get down finding your heartbeat quickly, it shouldn't be statistically significant for what your are measuring.
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    Aug 15, 2007 10:54 PM GMT
    Geesh. I run my heart rate up to 170 to 180 on occassion. I HOLD it at 160. At 130, it's like a walk in the park.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Aug 15, 2007 11:17 PM GMT
    ALL formulas are a genaric, period. Like I said, unless you do a anareobic thereshold test will you know "your" numbers. The New Leaf System is the best I have found, to break down exactly at what heart rate you start buring more CHO to fats.

    the 180-Age is to build your aerobic internal engine to burn more fat than carbs. and it's a Max Target...so staying under is just as good, just don't go over it.

    People don't realize to go fast you need to go slow first. It's a cycle. If you read the whole article on www.markallenonline.com you will plato in each phase and that tells you it's time to switch it up.

    Polar (the upper end units) and Suunto make really good heart monitors.

    shortnsexy...cardio is cardio, whether you swim, bike, run, walk, epliptical, spin class. what does matter is weight bearing or not.

    PD...i can guararntee you are buring more carbs than fat at that HR. you should try the aerobic miles test...for curiosity. go to a track, warm up
    10mins to reach Target aerobic HR, i calculated 121 for you. now run 3 miles, take spilts at each mile, then 10 mins warm down. if you burn more fat and aerobiclly fit your mile times will stay consistent within seconds of each other. if they ascend, your aerobic system needs work. ex. 7:00, 7: 50, 8:08.

    let your Ego go ;-)

    when i'm fit my resting HR is 35-37. with proper rest, training, hydration, and diet.

    have fun!!! :-)

  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Aug 16, 2007 1:50 AM GMT
    Yep...GOOD JOB!

    you need air to burn fat, so you have to go kind of slow at first, until your body acclumates.

    there's a time and place to good slow and fast. just not in the same phase/segment of training.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Aug 16, 2007 1:53 AM GMT
    Yep...GOOD JOB!

    you need air to burn fat, so you have to go kind of slow at first, until your body acclumates.

    there's a time and place to good slow and fast. just not in the same phase/segment of training.
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    Aug 16, 2007 5:25 AM GMT
    I totally agree with you UST, cardio is cardio is cardio. Do what you enjoy and you're more likely to stick to it. The intensity level is what makes the difference.

    So in essence I think we are saying the same thing. But I don't get your comment, "what does matter is weight bearing or not." Either something is missing or I don't get how cardio can be weight bearing.
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Aug 16, 2007 3:07 PM GMT
    Ah...running is weight bearing, swimming and cycling are non weight bearing.... one needs to minus about 10-15 beeps from their target HR for non weight bearing sports. when doing an anerobic threshold test, do it the specific sport you doing. obviously i do both, one running and one cycling.
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    Aug 16, 2007 5:19 PM GMT
    Thanks to everyone who posted to this thread and especially to:

    xuaerb - for initiating the thread

    Shortnsexystud - for your comments, equations, and examples.

    UStriathlete - for your comments, alternative equations, and the link to the Mark Allen web site.

    To UStriathlete:

    The next time (or next few times) I run on a treadmill I will test your warm-up/3-mile-run/cool-down time/heart-rate test. Historically, I have used treadmill workouts to "train" myself to run at a fixed pace (since I have the impression that my fastest runs occur when I can accomplish that--for example, that was the case when I set my PR).

    As a consequence, my 1 mile splits (in a 5K without hills) are usually within a few seconds of each other. So I know that I can run essentially constant speed miles at a heart rate above your suggested number. But...what I don't know is whether my heart rate is constant or not during those runs (I'm guessing that it must be increasing). So next time I'll try running at your suggested constant heart rate and see what happens time-wise, and also run at various constant speeds and see what happens with my heart rate. Then with a little bit of experimentation, I should be able to determine what pace/heart rate satisfies both a constant pace and a constant heart rate constraints.




  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Aug 16, 2007 11:53 PM GMT
    Hmmm all very interesting viewpoints. UST I get what your saying in terms of supporting body weight (running) vs. not supporting body weight (swimming and cycling due to boyancy and being seated on a machine) so thanks for the clarification.

    Then of course there is Psych's take on it as well. All very good to know when working with clients in different ways. Learn something new everyday!

  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Aug 17, 2007 2:55 AM GMT
    PDS...your right. your HR is increasing to sustain that effort/pace. however if you are aerobicly fit, it shouldn't increase all that much. if you read the whole mark allen article, it takes a long time to build aerobic base and it goes in cycles, you platue in each cycle and each cycle builds off each other. when u do the test, just keep the HR consistent, you'll have to slow the treadmill down and it's a good idea to get the incline at 1 degree to simulate a track. it's easier to do the test on a track.
    good luck, post your results
    i'll post mine in a few weeks. i'm training for Ironman Florida nov 3.
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    Aug 18, 2007 7:49 AM GMT
    I use Incline Stepper for 45 mins and do the "interval" training. If I am to follow the "220 - my Age" formula so my max. heart rate should be 196.

    My very maximum performance by breathing fast and hard, which I can sustain for only a minute before slowing down, is 172. Then, I will lower the intensity, my heart rate would also go down to 140. Then after a minute, go up again to 170+. Then repeat the cycle.

    Am I on the right track? Or am I overdoing it?

    Your inputs will help. =)
  • UStriathlete

    Posts: 320

    Aug 21, 2007 1:56 PM GMT
    WAY over doing it!!! those formulas don't fit everyone, and it's not fitting you from your information.

    cardio training is very simple and can be boring...that's just the truth.

    i would try the 180 forumla and see how you go for 6 weeks.
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    Aug 21, 2007 6:51 PM GMT
    PsychExerSci:

    I actually ahve a question for you since this is your field of specialty...

    I assume the clincal max HR is determined by a cardiac stress test?

    In the realm of personal training, there is a general guide of max HR as the number 220-your age..

    How close does this correlates with clinical findings of true max HR? How consistant and reliable is this proposed max HR formula used by personal trainers? Are there any comparative studies out there?
  • imaxim

    Posts: 94

    Aug 21, 2007 10:40 PM GMT
    So, just how important are the warmup and cooldown periods? 20 minutes (total) seems like an awful lot of treadmill time to not even be burning fat. Plus, a lot of gyms limit you to 30 total minutes anyway. Is there really any downside to going straight to your target aerobic or anaerobic heart rate and doing a brief (2- to 3-minute) cooldown?
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    Aug 21, 2007 10:51 PM GMT
    PsychExerSci -

    Is there any approximate relationship between maximum heart rate and the heart rate at which VO2max occurs?
  • imaxim

    Posts: 94

    Aug 22, 2007 12:01 AM GMT
    Thanks, I'm actually referring only to a purely aerobic workout. I warm up for my weightlifting workouts by doing light stretches... I only do the treadmill (aerobic) either immediately after weightlifting, or in the morning on a day when I'm not doing weights.

    The 'warmup and cooldown' I referred to is just the common recommendation (such as in the exchange of posts above) that each treadmill session should begin with 10-minutes of gradually increasing pace, and end with 10 minutes of gradually decreasing pace. That just seems to me like an awful lot more time than is really necessary. What I've been doing, on mornings when I am not lifting weights, is starting the treadmill at or near my usual speed (to get the target heart rate). Assuming there's a 30-minute limit on the equipment, with that abbreviated warmup and a cooldown of 2 or 3 minutes, I'll usually spend 25-28 minutes at my target rate. Is there any disadvantage to doing this?
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    Aug 22, 2007 1:53 AM GMT
    Yes PsychExerSci!

    Thanks! You broght back some memories... One of my clincal rotation was in cardia/pulmonary rehab.. Now I do remember using that formula...

    I am not sure why this is not really mentioned in most personal training manuals... They really need to constatnly update this kind of information...

    Thanks for giving us the objective and detailed answers we neded on this site... Too much false information out there!
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    Aug 22, 2007 1:57 AM GMT
    I do not think you are boring anyone here, please do go ahead and give us more details on calculating individual target HR for people on beta blockers..

    Similary, someone with partial spinal cord injuries, since the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system balance is all off, and laready have an abnormal resting HR and abnormal response to exercise, what are the guidelines concerning target HR for them?