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TOPIC: Heart Rate reaching 190 bpm

 
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March 5, 2011 3:05 PM
I just got a heart monitor and I have noticed that at the highest intensity parts of my workouts, my heart rate has reached 190. I have been working out for a while and I'm pretty fit...just working on getting toned and cut now more than anything and maybe lose 5lbs. Is this a dangerous level? The calculator says my THR is between 132-168, but I know that is just an estimate. Does anyone have any idea? By the way, I'm 4'11'' 115lbs with a muscular build (mesomorph).
  5323958
March 5, 2011 3:10 PM
You may peak, but for the quick max it's 220-your age. I wouldn't recommend attempting to sustain that for long, it's a certain area that burns both a lot of fat and carbs, and you want to know what you're doing and be able to pair it with the right diet to feed it.
March 5, 2011 3:12 PM
To find your maximum heart rate you subtract your age from 220 e.g I'm 32 so my maximum hear rate = 188 (220 - 32). For fat loss my trainer told me that it's important to do some period of exercise where you reach your maximum hear rate so short burst sprints or HIIT are very good for this.

Hope that's helpful

disclaimer: I'm not an expert, just trying to share what I'm learning along the way
March 5, 2011 3:15 PM
Well 220-32....I88....so I'm right in the vicinity. It's usually only a few minutes during the workouts. It's circuit training, so the heart rate goes up and down continuously but usually between 140-170. I was just concerned. Should this go down the more in shape that I am? I have been working out for a while and have great stamina...I thought that would make my heart rate go down as well?
  5323958
March 5, 2011 3:15 PM
Great question! I've been wondering the same thing.. sometimes mine will reach 195-200, though I feel completely fine, and if I stop the exercise, my heart rate drops really quickly (a sign of good physical fitness level!). So, I'm not too concerned, but I'd love to hear the answers you get! flowerforyou
March 5, 2011 3:18 PM
High intensity is normal to go that high, ( if your are fit) it usually when your body goes anaerobic and burn fat ay a higher rate, but only able to sustain this for short spurts. For cutting and building keep your cardio to 20-30 mins 2 to 3 times a week. Any more than that your body starts to decrease muscle size to sustain the long cardio periods defeating the purpose of building. I'm in the same process and gave seen a lot if resists since cutting back on my cardio but not scratching it out all together. Cardio will help u burn strength trying will change the body...:-) I love strength training, it burns but burns good! B2BB baybee
March 5, 2011 3:22 PM
like others have said as long as you don't try to sustain it for prolonged periods it's fine. It's quite normal in circuit class for HR to spike like that. It's really good for fat burning when you raise you HR allow it to fall and then raise it again. seems like you're doing great!
March 5, 2011 3:22 PM
The 220-age formula is just a rule of thumb, anyone that does cardiovascular training will vary from it pretty greatly. Your max heart rate will decrease as you get older, but with training it will stay above the line 220-age would otherwise draw.

I'm 35 and I still hit 188-190 pretty regularly when racing or during the most intense parts of my training. Obviously this "hurts" (self-inflicted aerobic suffering) a lot so I can't stay up there long usually, but I can roll along at 180 for quite a while (hour or so).

When I was 20 I could ride at 193 for an hour and would max at 205, none of this is dangerous really - your body has some pretty good protective mechanisms in place that will stop you from hurting yourself before you actually damage yourself

The only areas where this could potentially be dangerous is if you have atrial fibrillation tendencies (take advantage of most health plans annual physical, and during it tell them you do intense cardio and want an ECG with a specific look at heart rhythm) as that could lead to a sudden heart attack (no joke!) or if you are exercising that hard in intense heat / without adequate cooling - that can lead to heat stroke rapidly.

Other than that, intensity is the #1 way to increase your fitness and it you burn calories in proportion to intensity so it also flares them off quickest. Enjoy
March 5, 2011 3:29 PM
Yes, that is getting into a danger zone for your heart! Please slow down. All of the research that I have done, and my profession (Flight RN), shows nothing near the 200 mark. I have found a web site for you to check out. To accurately calculate your cardio heart rate, you need your resting heart rate in the equation.

http://www.briancalkins.com/HeartRate.htm


I hope this helps!
  5054090
March 5, 2011 3:30 PM
Don't know if you're looking for the best possible estimation, but according to wikiedia, "220 - age" is " not considered by reputable health and fitness professionals to be a good predictor of HRmax" - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate#Formula_for_maximum_heart_rate

FWIW, the article then cites a 2002 review of 43 different formulae which found the "least objectionable" estimator to be:

HRmax = 205.8 − (0.685 × age)
March 5, 2011 3:32 PM
QUOTE:


The only areas where this could potentially be dangerous is if you have atrial fibrillation tendencies (take advantage of most health plans annual physical, and during it tell them you do intense cardio and want an ECG with a specific look at heart rhythm) as that could lead to a sudden heart attack (no joke!) or if you are exercising that hard in intense heat / without adequate cooling - that can lead to heat stroke rapidly.



What happens if your heart rate stays too high, for too long? Is it mostly an overheating risk, or an actual heart attack risk? How high would you have to go to risk that?? 250-300? Can a heart even go that high?? noway
March 5, 2011 4:07 PM
At a sustained high heart rate you could go into cardiac arrest.
  5054090
March 5, 2011 4:31 PM
Gotta disagree with GooneyAngel, respectfully. I've done a solid hour at 200+bpm more than once so I know it is a) possible and b) doesn't lead to heart attacks. That was 10 years ago even with lots of monitoring (10+hrs wearing HRM a week, lots of doctor work in physio labs looking at ECGs and fine-grained heart rhythm).

200+ is just not something you can say is definitely a problem. It is probably just fine, especially for anyone in their 20s or low 30s.

Now, 250-300 - that's not a "heart beat" anymore, that's fibrillation. The heart just can't fill with blood completely at that heart rate so it pumps incompletely and you're no longer really "pumping", it's just fibrillating - that's a life-threatening moment.

So, 200+ (like, 205 or something), not a problem - and your body will tell you when to stop because you'll be in a pretty anaerobic zone and the muscle burn / gasping for breath will bring you to a halt, no problem, unless it's really hot outside and then you *might* be able to drive yourself into heat stroke, but you'll be hearing about heat advisories so no real problem there either.

My warning about atrial fibrillation tendencies was just that some people have latent heart rhythm abnormalities that are exacerbated by enlarged hearts (a normal thing for people that do cardio - your heart gets bigger) and high heart rates (which shorten the normal heart rhythms and cause slight rhythm abnormalities to overlap parts of the rhythm they wouldn't otherwise, maybe triggering atrial fibrillation).

I want to be clear that I'm not scare-mongering here - this stuff is really rare. I'd be surprised to check the HR tracks of any high school cross-country meet and *not* see everyone running 200+. As in, it's *expected* of young athletes. I'm just saying that every once in a while a basketball player or someone else very fit collapses during an athletic event, and it's because of an abnormal heart rhythm that the athlete didn't know about yet. That's the sort of thing it's easy to check out an annual physical, so why not?

Otherwise, get out there and get that heart rate up - it's great training :-)

Cheers
March 5, 2011 4:39 PM
My HR gets up to 185 all the time when I am running really hard and I don't worry about it. Even when I was in the best of shape as a competitive swimmer, my HR would be at 180+ for nearly 20 minutes while I (swam) raced a mile. Every other good athlete out there had HR's just as high. So it doesn't matter if you are in great shape or not; in fact, if you were in really awful shape and your HR was up there, I would worry more then.
March 5, 2011 7:55 PM
I think it all depends on your fitness level. Of course a de-conditioned person that is new to exercise would not be able to comfortably reach that heart rate without being out of breath and very uncomfortable. I'm sure the nurse is used to seeing patients that are not in the best of health get there heart rate at a point it could not handle and has seen the results if a unhealthy lifestyle. But as we (avid exercisers) know that our heart rates do reach a point that is considered high but our bodies and hearts are able to handle the stress because of the years of training. So I'm sure both sides of this are true but are totally different circumstances. Ya see????
March 6, 2011 9:55 AM
Irene - very good point, I'm used to hanging around athletes full time so the idea of seeing a high heart rate and being worried was new to me, I'm usually just interested in knowing how fast they were going at that heart rate ;-)

I can imagine if you were a nurse picking up your average sedentary individual in a bad situation you'd see 180 and immediately be concerned about some cardio/pulmonary issue
March 6, 2011 10:15 AM
QUOTE:

Don't know if you're looking for the best possible estimation, but according to wikiedia, "220 - age" is " not considered by reputable health and fitness professionals to be a good predictor of HRmax" - see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate#Formula_for_maximum_heart_rate

FWIW, the article then cites a 2002 review of 43 different formulae which found the "least objectionable" estimator to be:

HRmax = 205.8 − (0.685 × age)


I was going to say this. Max heart rate is far from an easy thing to estimate. I think the 220-age thing holds on because it is so easy to remember. If you heart is healthy I don't think having your max heart rate go that high is a problem at all. You may want to check with your doctor, but remember that many athletes will have their heart rate (and blood pressure for that matter) go very high with maximal exertion (high intensity). A more important number in many ways it how fast your HR recovers by returning to a lower rate, and what your average heart rate is. If the average was that high, then you would definitely want to tone it down a little.
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