exceeding max heart rate

Discussion in 'Health and Fitness' started by jockinese, Apr 30, 2009.

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  1. Hi all,
    A bit of advice required please. I am a 46 year old male who decided to get back into some sort of physical shape after 20 years of sitting on my backside in the office. I bought an eliptical trainer and have been using it 3 to 4 times a week since January. I started very warily at first and gradually increased both the duration and resistance of my exercise. After approx 12 weeks I am now at the point where I can achieve a 35 minute workout at a medium resistance level without being out of breath. I have a heart rate monitor and have my zones set to Min 130 - Max 150 bpm. Given my age apparently I shouldn't exceed 174 bpm ( 220- (age) 46 = 174) I have found that to get out of breath I need to exceed the 150 pm level and often come close to the 174 bpm max. What I want to know is can I exceed this limit regularly now that I have a basic core fitness or is it set in stone as a max figure?
    Thanks in advance
  2. Alsacien

    Alsacien LE Moderator

    If you have a healthy heart there is no problem, maybe a quick check up and a cholestorol test is in order after a long lay off?

    220 - age is only a rough guide, I am fit and often go 10-15 over that.
    I also used to train with a skinny bird marathon runner who could hit 220 at age 35 with no problems - specialists said it was not that unusual.
  3. As long as there is no prior heart issues and you don't feel like you're going to have a heart attack then I would say you're golden.

    Might I suggest the Karvonen method over the 220-age thing.

    It takes into account your resting HR, as the lower your resting HR, the higher you can push at a aerobic level (before you begin to surpass the aerobic threshold/lactate threshold and hit anaerobic levels).
    This above statement is ignoring all genetic issues that inevitably effect the resting HR
  4. As an aside:

    Maximum Heart Rate = Whatever your maximum heart rate happens to be.

    It's physically impossible to exceed it. If you do, well done, you have found your true maximum heart rate! :)

    As mentioned, those calculations are a guide only and can be wildly off the mark. The only way to get an accurate figure is to conduct a maximum heart rate stress test and you should only really do one of those if you are fit!

    Good luck though!
  5. As another aside:

    Rather then worrying about Max Heart rate, it might be an idea to undergo a lactate threshold test. If you then perform most of your sessions 5%-15% under this and then 1-2 times a week over it by 5%-10% by interval work, you'll be improving more then working to a certain range constantly.




    Personally I performed it while running with a garmin forerunner 305 so that I could create splits.

    Every few months you can then re evaluate your LT level. If you have some way of measuring your distance travelled, you can also quantify you're improvement.
  6. The problem with the max heart rate calculation is that it is out by at least 6 bpm. That is from using the most accurate formula. every other measurement that relies on that will then be out. Unless you have access to sport medicine trained Doc's and appropriate testing facilities, you will never really know. Have a lookHERE
  7. Thanks all, some good replies there thayt have given me a bit more to think about.
  8. and 6bpm is 8%-12% of your resting HR, less if taken to measure active HR.

    I think the cost of getting it accurately measured outweighs the benefits.
  9. This method gives the most accurate measure but has a range of 12BPM. 6 BPM below or above.

    If HR max needs to be estimated, then population specific formula should be used. However, the most accurate general equation is that of Inbar (17) (Table 3); HR max=205.8-0.685(age)

    An acceptable prediction error for HR max for application to estimation of VO2max is <±3 b/min. Thus, for a person with a HR max of 200 b/min, error equals ±1.5%. If this precision is not possible, then there is no justification for using methods of VO2max estimation that rely on HR max prediction formula.

    This measure is to predict your max hr. The 12 BPM range is for your max heart rate not your resting heart rate. When you consider that a 10% range of hr max is usually only 12-14 BPM it can mean under or over training.

    If you live near to a uni with a Sport Science Department, ask if they need guinea pigs. You might get lucky, I was :)