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  1. #1
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    Is it bad for a healthy person to exceed their theoretical max HR on a regular.....

    basis when riding or weight training?
    Last edited by Mountain Cycle Shawn; 07-16-2016 at 11:38 PM.

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    If you are exceeding your max hr you have not accurately established your max hr.
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    LOL. This.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    basis when riding or weight training?
    Your max HR is the max HR your body is capable of pumping. As already mentioned, if you exceed it, then you didn't have the right number to begin with.

    I'm not a medical professional, but as far as I know there is nothing wrong with hitting your max HR. On the other hand, I don't think there is anything to gain either.

  5. #5
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    The common calculation of max heart rate = x - age is total BS.

    From Wikipedia "Maximum heart rates vary significantly between individuals. Even within a single elite sports team, such as Olympic rowers in their 20s, maximum heart rates have been reported as varying from 160 to 220. Such a variation would equate to a 60 or 90 year age gap in the linear equations"

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate

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  7. #7
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    Of course I mean the established theoretical max HR of 220 - age = max HR. I've just always have been curious about that.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Of course I mean the established theoretical max HR of 220 - age = max HR. I've just always have been curious about that.
    It seems there are numerous versions of that formula floating around.

    I think you may have now determined your "actual" max HR, versus theoretical!
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  9. #9
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    Wow you guys miss the entire point of the "220-age" equation. Do some research before speaking, save yourself from looking uneducated.

    FYI it was NEVER meant to calculate what your body can do. Now use Google to finish learning the rest of the purpose behind the formula.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Wow you guys miss the entire point of the "220-age" equation. Do some research before speaking, save yourself from looking uneducated.

    FYI it was NEVER meant to calculate what your body can do. Now use Google to finish learning the rest of the purpose behind the formula.

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    Save us the effort and you explain it to us.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mountain Cycle Shawn View Post
    Is it bad for a healthy person to exceed their theoretical max HR on a regular.....basis when riding or weight training?
    This is one of those questions that can have multiple answers.

    In general your maximum achievable exercise heart rate is individual. Because your age is x it doesn't necessarily mean that your maximum achievable exercise heart rate will be y. If you're fit and an athlete in particular your maximum achievable exercise heart rate could be quite different to what is given by a formula:

    http://www.racevermont.com/training-...e-calculation/

    It's also possible for your exercise heart rate to start doing unexpected things and go very high, which really is bad. An example would be one of my friend's, who is in his late 60s. He has a Garmin heart rate monitor and couldn't seem to get it to work. He would be riding along at a gentle pace yet his heart rate monitor was showing that his heart rate was racing at a high level. The problem wasn't with his heart rate monitor, it really was his heart doing that.

    He'd had to have a cardioversion previously and after going back to the doctor it was found his heart was playing up and he had to have an ablation a few months ago to address this latest problem.

    This Velonews article on the subject of heart issues in athletes is worth a read.

    http://velonews.competitor.com/cycling-extremes

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    I'd be really surprised to get anywhere close while weight training, unless you are doing some really high rep circuit stuff.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Wow you guys miss the entire point of the "220-age" equation. Do some research before speaking, save yourself from looking uneducated.

    FYI it was NEVER meant to calculate what your body can do. Now use Google to finish learning the rest of the purpose behind the formula.
    Since we are so uneducated why don't you educate us. I personally am having a hard time understanding what useful purpose those formulas provide considering:

    It is well-established that there is a "poor relationship between maximal heart rate and age" and large standard deviations relative to predicted heart rates.
    and

    A 2002 study[17] of 43 different formulas for HRmax (including that of Haskell and Fox see above) published in the Journal of Exercise Psychology concluded that:

    no "acceptable" formula currently existed (they used the term "acceptable" to mean acceptable for both prediction of VO2, and prescription of exercise training HR ranges)
    It is very common for people to misunderstand and misapply these formulas as well. For instance I went to an orange theory class with some friends and they want to set up your heart rate zones based on your max heart rate, however their employees literally argued with me about what my max hr was when I asked them to manually set up my zones. "No, your max heart rate is 190! It's 220-30!" Yeah, not so much.

    ''I've kind of laughed about it over the years,'' Dr. Haskell said. The formula, he said, ''was never supposed to be an absolute guide to rule people's training.''
    The common formula was devised in 1970 by Dr. William Haskell, then a young physician in the federal Public Health Service and his mentor, Dr. Samuel Fox, who led the service's program on heart disease. They were trying to determine how strenuously heart disease patients could exercise.
    Dr. Fritz Hagerman, an exercise physiologist at Ohio University, said he had learned from more than three decades of studying world class rowers that the whole idea of a formula to predict an individual's maximum heart rate was ludicrous. Even sillier, he said, is the common notion that the heart rate is an indication of fitness.
    But if doctors underestimate how fast the person's heart can beat, they may stop the test too soon, Dr. Seals noted.
    At least once a year on this forum there is some confusion about max heart rate relating to this formula.

    So yeah, it's a BS formula. Even the people who made it think it's BS. The idea is to give a doctor a rough-ish idea of exercise intensity for someone who has heart disease but the variation is so great it's not very useful. Instead a lot of misunderstanding and misguidance has been brought upon a very large number of people by such formulas.

  14. #14
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    I think this comes up because there are any number of empirical formulas that are descriptive of a population, like 220-age or the more complicated version that's less bad. But what athletes are looking for is something that's prescriptive. Grabbing a formula based on a piece of data everyone knows is a lot easier than testing.

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    The formula is nothing more than giving a reference point for the avg person. Part of the idea behind it is to first try to avoid someone pushing themselves too hard as too of a high heart rate is bad. So for "caution sake" they gave a simple formula to say "here is an approximate safe heart rate for you to reference while exercising".

    As said it's more of a simple, non doctors visit answer for people that can't be bothered to sort everything correctly. Especially those that will push themselves hard and end up pushing too hard for their current physical condition.

    I do question how much basic facts amd testing was done to come up with this number, 220, but when I started out riding and loosing weight it seemed to be enough to keep my heart rate in a safe range and have the desired effects.

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  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by tigris99 View Post
    Part of the idea behind it is to first try to avoid someone pushing themselves too hard as too of a high heart rate is bad.
    It is? In an otherwise healthy person who regularly exercises?
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  17. #17
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    I think in a healthy, active person, it's fine. But that has a chicken and egg problem: what's someone who's been sedentary for several years supposed to do?

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndrwSwitch View Post
    I think in a healthy, active person, it's fine. But that has a chicken and egg problem: what's someone who's been sedentary for several years supposed to do?

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    Get a physical/Cardiogram, root out any problems before they manifest themselves. Hopefully. This is of course if one has the resources available to do these things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wittgenstein's Ghost View Post
    It is? In an otherwise healthy person who regularly exercises?
    http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org...473-9/abstract
    Extreme Exercise and the Heart - The New Yorker
    Ten comments on the Adverse Cardiac Effects of Excessive Endurance Exercise

    Basically the question people have been asking is; does "exercise have an upper limit: a point in which the rhythmic pump says enough to the unremitting inflammation and stress."

    An obvious follow up question is: if such a limit exists, at what point can exercise begin to have potentially long term health effects and what can be done to mitigate them before and after? Also what is the cause and effect how does it relate to heart rate? These appear to be areas of active research that will take years to get a better grasp of.

    This discussion goes far beyond the 220-age concept though. Again that formula was devised by doctors for doctors to get a very rough idea of a patients max heart rate and gauge exercise intensity in presumably untrained people who had heart disease.

    Moderate exercise is thought to be overwhelmingly beneficial.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by litany View Post
    http://www.mayoclinicproceedings.org...473-9/abstract
    Extreme Exercise and the Heart - The New Yorker
    Ten comments on the Adverse Cardiac Effects of Excessive Endurance Exercise

    Basically the question people have been asking is; does "exercise have an upper limit: a point in which the rhythmic pump says enough to the unremitting inflammation and stress."

    An obvious follow up question is: if such a limit exists, at what point can exercise begin to have potentially long term health effects and what can be done to mitigate them before and after? Also what is the cause and effect how does it relate to heart rate? These appear to be areas of active research that will take years to get a better grasp of.

    This discussion goes far beyond the 220-age concept though. Again that formula was devised by doctors for doctors to get a very rough idea of a patients max heart rate and gauge exercise intensity in presumably untrained people who had heart disease.

    Moderate exercise is thought to be overwhelmingly beneficial.
    There is a difference between excessive, extreme exercise over a long period of time and a person simply hitting their max heart rate in training. Most of the new research that has demonstrated a connection between excessive exercise and a-fib (along with other structural cardio changes) have found extreme endurance activities such as marathons and long bike races over a period of many years to be the culprit. I think that's a different issue than simply hitting one's max heart rate in training.
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  21. #21
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    I recently dealt with this. I recently started using a hrm, and my measured max was WELL above the formula-predicted max. As in, my avg on a hard ride would still be above my formula-predicted max.

    I have a history of cancer and chemotherapy. While my chemo was not especially heart-toxic, my oncologist thought it best that I visit a cardiologist to be sure my heart was fine, since I have been riding more strenuously lately. My oncologist is also a cyclist.

    The cardiologist I visited specialized in oncology patients. He was not remotely.concerned with my high hr, and my echo showed nothing abnormal.

    So far this year, I have measured my max hr at 205. I am 35. I met another rider this weekend who is 39, with a max hr of around 200. And several others completely baffled by our max heart rates.

    The 220 formula is really the peak of a bell curve of sorts, and as mentioned already, some portion of the population will be both above and below it. It really does seem to have a fairly wide distribution.

  22. #22
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    What everyone else said.

    And just to throw more numbers into the mix. I'm 46 so 220-age gives me 174 theoretical max. Over years of riding and some self testing, my LTHR is 174. And I top out at 189. and usually hit 188 about once or twice a year.

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    35, my LTHR has been stable at 188 though I haven't tested outdoors in a while, and I've seen 206 that I thought was legit.

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    Unless one of us is a research cardiologist I would not trust me or anyone else on the internet to answer your question.

    My advice would be to pose this question to your doctor. They should ask you some thoughtful questions and maybe hook you up to an EKG since these are very common now.

    After that you can weigh your heart rate against perceived effort. I hate to wear watches or HR monitors when I workout so consider this against what I am about to say. All of the books I have read ask you to develop your max heart rate by measuring heart rate after a total max effort. Some books have you scale this down by a specific calculation. You can pick up a book or research online the best way to get started on this.

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    My cardiologist told me that ekg's are of limited utility, but that an echo tells a lot more

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