View Full Version : Maximum Heart Rate: For Real, not formula.

July 19th, 2007, 07:44 PM
Today I hit the ceiling on aerobic training. Have not done that in several months. I hit 183 pulse rate, while mountain biking on the roads here in the woods on the uphill climbs. I kept pushing, and that was it. I got off the bike, and walked up the hill, and checked my pulse manually, and it was there. No error from the pulse watch.

So I am 51 years old, and the normal formula 220 minus age says I should be at 169. A few other formulas taking into account resting pulse rate, say 174 or 175 should be my max.

I feel fine now, as rate came back down to 120's in just 20 or so minutes of walking around doing chores during cool down. I have been training fairly regular on aerobics for 19 months now since I went AF and quit smoking. I still cough up a bit of cigarette sludge on these max workouts, but that is a good thing I believe. Getting less and less with the months.

I had a cardiogram last physical in April, and doctor says my heart is very strong for my age. I think I really increased it's power during my early 30's when I was mountain biking 20 and 30 mile rides.

So, I would like to hear from some of the younger or older members who know what their real maximum is. A co-worker who is 6 years younger than me, in much better shape, says his is 191.


July 19th, 2007, 09:15 PM
Hey Xtexan, I commend you on your commitments you've made to yourself... As a teenager I smoked for 5 years.. I had a hell of a time quitting !! You are doing so great !
Heartrate Hmm... well, I have a polar heart rate monitor and apparently I'm not to go over 165... I just turned 43... Although I must say I feel like I'm in my mid twenties. I usually like to stay somewhere around 135-150 for atleast 45 minutes on an eliptical and a stationary bike... I don't know that I'm of much help, but I thought I'd like to share with you... Happy pedalling and good on you !!! Hugs, ~Niblet~ :):)

August 5th, 2007, 11:09 PM
Neil, how do you take your pulse manually? I was busy in school learning really usefull things like how to stuff crayons up your nose etc.. LOL

August 6th, 2007, 07:03 AM

To check pulse manually, I put index and ring finger tips on my left wrist just below base of thumb. A nurse or doctor always takes it this way on me during physical exams. Then looking at watch, count beats you feel through finger tips for 15 seconds. Then multiply times 4.

I have a bizarre sinusoidal heart rhythm when at rest, so sometimes I count for a whole minute to get resting rate. Sinusoidal means it speeds up and slows down in a predictable rhythm. Many people have sinusoidal rhythms, so nothing to worry about. When above 130 rate, my heart rate is constant.

They say not to use your thumb to feel pulse rate, as it has it's own pulse, and will confuse your counting.

I acutally have two pulse meters now. My Scwhinn HRM3 I got many, many moons ago, is a super high quality device. I found a super inexpensive Chinese make at a Circuit City last year, for $6!! The chest strap on it is bulky, and it has no advanced functions, but I wear it around the house sometimes when doing various things just to see what kind of load various activities put on my heart.

I've studied EKG or ECG readings from a couple of websites, and it is fascinating all the things they can tell from the electrical signals your heart puts out. The human heart is an incredible bio-mechanical pump when you consider how it self-maintains and self-repairs while it is operating non-stop for a lifetime. No man-made device can even approach it's efficiency and function.


August 7th, 2007, 11:36 PM
neat stuff, thanks Neil. I ordered one of those nifty Suunto watches but screwed up and didn't get the one with heart monitor. oh well.. I'll practice the low tech way.

August 8th, 2007, 07:51 PM
Mine is over 200---I am 24 and run regularly. When I do a decent tempo workout my HR is around 180, takes me about 10 minutes to cool down and get back to normal.

My resting heart rate can vary between 55-60

August 9th, 2007, 12:51 PM
Resting heart rate is normally around 55, and max heart rate is 178. Interestingly enough, since I have stopped drinking my max heart rate has gone down by 12 bpm, but my cycling power has gone up!

It's amazing how the heart can respond when it doesn't have to worry about pumping alcohol around your body.

August 16th, 2007, 05:59 PM
Once again, I teach human Anatomy and Physiology and we do about 4 weeks on cardio. You guys are all right on track.

I can say that when I was 50 and had to go in for major surgery, they almost couldn't do surgery because of a bad EKG. But they did it anyhow, or my kidneys probably would have been damaged. Anyhow, the cardiologist told me this is a typical caffeine pattern and I should quit caffeine. So I did. And then about two years ago I quit drinking alcohol and started riding my bike every day. Now my cardiologist says my heart is in terrific shape. The heart (as with most organs of the body) has a tremendous capacity to heal itself. It truly is a wonder. You just have to take care of it.

As for my bike rides, I think I will post some pictures of them for you guys. I used to really get concerned about how fast, heart rate, etc. Then I started to slow down a little and learn about the scenery, the wildlife, the beautiful surroundings, the smells and sounds. I still like to go fast sometimes, but sometimes I don't go so fast. I just get lost in my thoughts or in my environment. I often stop to take pictures or to just look and smell. I still get my exercise. But I also get my spiritual and artistic boost for the day. I get very happy. Trail biking fulfills all of my needs and fills all of my senses. It is so wonderful.

August 16th, 2007, 06:21 PM
Sorry folks, not that you really wanted to see them, but I tried to upload some pictures of my GORGEOUS bike rides, but my files are too large. I'll have to figure out how to make them smaller. Believe me, the landscape here is beautiful - that's why I moved here. Sorry.

August 17th, 2007, 04:25 AM
My Resting heart rate is 44-46 (ie true resting pulse rate - taken first thing in morning before getting out of bed)

Sitting here at my desk - my heart rate is 52

I put it down to good genetics (my father was/ is the same) and almost a lifetime of endurance sport from cross country running as a schoolboy. To half and full marathons as a young adult and triathlons as an older adult.

Just tarted training again for triathlon after a long booze induced break from competition.