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Risk of high heart rate?
Old 05-06-2008, 09:43 AM   #1
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Risk of high heart rate?

When I am doing my thing in the gym, I often push myself for a stretch when doing cardio. Often, this gets my heart rate up to 90% of the supposed max for my age. What are the potential consequences of exceeding the 90% of max recommended limit?
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:06 AM   #2
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Brewer, 90% of max on a temporary training basis is not harmful to otherwise healthy individuals. It's also not necessary since training effect plateaus in the 85% neighborhood. Pushing higher, even to 100% of "average for age" is done routinely during supervised exercise treadmill tests.

The main risk is that some people have occult coronary disease which never surfaced during routine activities and suddenly they precipitate angina or a heart attack. That is why almost all authorities recommend such exercise testing before beginning a new, vigorous regimen if you are over 45 or have risks (the exact age varies).

Rapid heart rates associated with arrhythmias (like atrial fibrillation) can cause harm over time, but that's another issue.

BTW, people on beta blockers (atenolol, propranolol metoprolol and others) can't achieve a high heart rate but exercise just fine - the heart compensates for the lower rate by pumping more blood with each beat.
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:28 AM   #3
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Thanks, Rich. Since I am 34 and don't have any risk factors, sounds like I am OK. Dad had a minor heart attack in his early 60s, but that was largely due to lifestyle (75 pounds overweight, horrible diet, cholesterol to the moon, etc.).
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Old 05-06-2008, 10:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
Thanks, Rich. Since I am 34 and don't have any risk factors, sounds like I am OK. Dad had a minor heart attack in his early 60s, but that was largely due to lifestyle (75 pounds overweight, horrible diet, cholesterol to the moon, etc.).
If I remember the data correctly, aerobic training raises the risk of sudden death during the exercise by a very small number, while the resulting aerobic conditioning lowers the risk of sudden death during nonexercise time (that is, 99.5% of your life) -- so it's a very good trade off for most.
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Old 05-06-2008, 11:40 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Rich_in_Tampa View Post
BTW, people on beta blockers (atenolol, propranolol metoprolol and others) can't achieve a high heart rate but exercise just fine - the heart compensates for the lower rate by pumping more blood with each beat.
Thanks - I was going to ask my doctor next time I see her about that. I seem to have to w*rk exercise really hard to get it around the 80 - 90% range.
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Old 05-06-2008, 06:33 PM   #6
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220 - age is well arbitrary, here are some interesting articles.
Forget 220 Minus Age
Science: A Better Formula For Fitness | BikeRadar.com
The Maximum Heart Rate Myth

Heck my last stress test at the cardiologist office had me at 90% of max and still felt like I could keep running.
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Old 05-06-2008, 07:54 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by brewer12345 View Post
When I am doing my thing in the gym, I often push myself for a stretch when doing cardio. Often, this gets my heart rate up to 90% of the supposed max for my age. What are the potential consequences of exceeding the 90% of max recommended limit?
HIIT (high intensity interval training) can get the heart rate up to stratospheric levels for short periods of time. Fartleks (yeah, I know ..no gas jokes please) used by runners is the pretty much the same as HIIT. This is a fabulous way of burning fat and raising the threshold with a person's conditioning level. Your heart rate should dip a bit over time with the same intensity as your athletic conditioning increases.
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Old 05-06-2008, 08:40 PM   #8
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220 - age is well arbitrary
FWIW, some of the newer fitness machines, such as those by True Fitness, use a different, more modern equation, [205.8 - (0.685*age)]:

Using the
Gerkin Test
The version of the Gerkin
Protocol that True Fitness
uses in its exercise machines
is the new equation of
205.8 – 0.685*age. To better
understand why we selected
this method over the outdated
“220 – age” maximal heart
rate equation, you can review
the scientific paper in Journal
of Exercise Physiology, a PDF
document located at http://
www.asep.org/Documents/
Robergs2.pdf.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:18 PM   #9
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Anyone want to advise me on the best heart rate monitor for hiking outdoors? Now that it's good weather in Colorado I'm concentrating on hill hiking these days and would like to know that I'm not overdoing it, heart rate wise. I understand that the kind with the chest strap are more reliable but have no idea what else I should consider.
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Old 05-06-2008, 09:43 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
Anyone want to advise me on the best heart rate monitor for hiking outdoors? Now that it's good weather in Colorado I'm concentrating on hill hiking these days and would like to know that I'm not overdoing it, heart rate wise. I understand that the kind with the chest strap are more reliable but have no idea what else I should consider.
Yes, chest strap is pretty much the way to go with current technology. Pulsar owns the market - many models, expensive. Make sure you get one with a replaceable battery.

I bought an Omron, lots cheaper, just as good so far. Avoid bells and whistles you don't need.
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Old 05-07-2008, 05:47 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Oldbabe View Post
Anyone want to advise me on the best heart rate monitor for hiking outdoors? Now that it's good weather in Colorado I'm concentrating on hill hiking these days and would like to know that I'm not overdoing it, heart rate wise. I understand that the kind with the chest strap are more reliable but have no idea what else I should consider.
I got a wristwatch monitor from wally world for about 30 bucks. Does what I want it to do but you have to put your fingers on it to check your pulse. If you want constant monitoring, go with the chest strap. If you are OK with remembering to check, you may do fine with the watch.

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Old 05-07-2008, 05:54 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dude View Post
FWIW, some of the newer fitness machines, such as those by True Fitness, use a different, more modern equation, [205.8 - (0.685*age)]:

Using the
Gerkin Test
The version of the Gerkin
Protocol that True Fitness
uses in its exercise machines
is the new equation of
205.8 – 0.685*age. To better
understand why we selected
this method over the outdated
“220 – age” maximal heart
rate equation, you can review
the scientific paper in Journal
of Exercise Physiology, a PDF
document located at http://
www.asep.org/Documents/
Robergs2.pdf.
Interesting. At age 45, your max is the same either way. At age 0 your max heart rate is considered to be 14.2 beats faster under the old method, or at age 90, your max would be considered 14.2 beats faster under the Gerkin Protocol...

I'm 46...essentially no difference for me.

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Old 05-07-2008, 01:06 PM   #13
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Thanks, Rich and Rambler, for the input!
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Old 05-07-2008, 09:29 PM   #14
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Pulsar owns the market
I think you meant to say "Polar" (polarusa.com)?

I recently purchased a Polar F6 model at Sports Authority, I like it.

One thing you might consider, if you plan to use any heart rate monitor equipped aerobic machines at a gym, treadmill for example, make sure they are compatible with your chest strap transmitter, most of them I've seen are compatible with Polar brand transmitters, not sure about others.
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