ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

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ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby Addict » Fri May 01, 2009 4:10 pm

Hi folks

Just looking for recommended ways some people use to work out their max HR, either using an indoor trainer, or on the road.

Thanks in advance.
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by BNA » Fri May 01, 2009 4:31 pm

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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby toolonglegs » Fri May 01, 2009 4:31 pm

On an indoor trainer....Hard (good luck).
I only ever hit my max (190 (seems to have dropped 4 beats over the last few years)) in a sprint at the end of a hard race when I am in a reasonable refreshed state to start with.
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby Addict » Fri May 01, 2009 4:34 pm

hi mate

how do u go about doing it on an indoor?
looking for guidance or the steps to work out my own properly..
eg warm up 10mins, effort, rest effort rest etc?
is there a particular gear u should do this on? eg 52/12..?
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby toolonglegs » Fri May 01, 2009 4:44 pm

Alex would be the man on this as he does a lot of indoor.I would be surprised if you can hit you maximum more than once a day...maybe you can get close.Only try in rested state and healthy as well...don't want the ticker to explode.Yes good warm up of 20 minutes or so then fairly quickly ramp it up to a good pace then let your HR settle there (for me with a maximum of 190,then I would bring it up to 170-175).I think the problem is your HR takes a little while to peak unlike peak power which can be registered immediately with a power meter.Once you are sweating away at a good rate...then ramp it up again into a full on sprint at a good cadence and keep it going till you explode...that will hopefully be close to your maximum.You will need very big fans on you as well..otherwise you will overheat way before you ever reach this level (even thou you may think you are OK)...and then you will probably find that you are out racing mates on a climb and you hit an even higher maximum :roll: ...that little adreniline kick makes a big difference (just like how much coffee you had!) etc etc...thats why I finally bit the bullet and ordered a power meter :D .
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Fri May 01, 2009 5:27 pm

Forcing HR to max is very strenuous and must only be done if you are not in anyway ill, are fit and healthy, not overweight, don't have any history of CV disease, and if older (>35) you have OK from Doctor. Always remember, hard exercise has a risk of mortality.

OK, warning messages aside, then, on a day when you are not fatigued, after a good solid warm up of 20-30 mins:
- indoors, perform a ramp test with the resistance continually increasing every 1-2 minutes and keep pushing through until you can no longer sustain an ever increasing load, and give it everything you have for those final 30 seconds.....
- outdoors, find a long hill (> 5 minutes, 10min is better) and go up it very hard, sprinting the final 200 metres to the top

Max HR will likely occur shortly after the effort has finished.

These are not perfect but should provide the stimulus needed to induce Max HR, or very close to it.

Then, for very hard efforts, such as after a long sprint at end of a hard race, you can compare to see if you get similar values.
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby Addict » Mon May 04, 2009 10:09 am

thanks for the guidance & warnings Alex!
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby sogood » Mon May 04, 2009 10:33 am

The easy way is to give yourself a dose of iv adrenaline.
... And hope it doesn't brings on an attack of tachyarrhythmia. :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen:

Disclaimer: It's a potentially dangerous and fatal procedure if not carried out under proper medical supervision.
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby Nobody » Mon May 04, 2009 12:49 pm

If doing this indoors you may not want to do this on your best carpet.
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby USM TOM » Tue May 05, 2009 9:27 am

would it be easier to find your max heart rate doing something that you dont train for like doing a sprint (running)
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby sogood » Tue May 05, 2009 9:36 am

USM TOM wrote:would it be easier to find your max heart rate doing something that you dont train for like doing a sprint (running)

Easy and HRmax don't equate.
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby USM TOM » Tue May 05, 2009 11:23 am

i know it still wouldnt be easy but im sure i'd get my heart rate pumping quicker running then i would cycling because im so bad at it
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Tue May 05, 2009 1:36 pm

USM TOM wrote:i know it still wouldnt be easy but im sure i'd get my heart rate pumping quicker running then i would cycling because im so bad at it

As a proxy estimate sure but it is far better to test in sport specific mode.

As an example, use of upper arms can readily increase HR substantially, over that when using legs primarily.

An alternative is to ascertain your average HR from a time trial effort, and base training levels on that instead:
http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/ ... evels.aspx
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby USM TOM » Tue May 05, 2009 2:33 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
USM TOM wrote:
As an example, use of upper arms can readily increase HR substantially, over that when using legs primarily.



i supose the more muscles you recruit the harder your heart would have to work
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby casual_cyclist » Tue May 05, 2009 2:53 pm

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
USM TOM wrote:i know it still wouldnt be easy but im sure i'd get my heart rate pumping quicker running then i would cycling because im so bad at it

As a proxy estimate sure but it is far better to test in sport specific mode.

As an example, use of upper arms can readily increase HR substantially, over that when using legs primarily.

An alternative is to ascertain your average HR from a time trial effort, and base training levels on that instead:
http://home.trainingpeaks.com/articles/ ... evels.aspx

This is true. I have to work pretty hard to get my heart rate up when cycling but when I am running it goes up so high that I feel like I am going to pass out after 4 mins (1 km). I have never felt like I was going to pass out when cycling (which is lucky I suppose).
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby DuncanS » Wed May 06, 2009 11:45 pm

An individual's MHR can be considerably different for different modes of exercise. i.e. your Cycling MHR is probably not the same as your running MHR, rowing/skating/swimming/other.

Here's an interesting reference:

http://home.hia.no/~stephens/hrchngs.htm
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby Alex Simmons/RST » Thu May 07, 2009 12:02 am

USM TOM wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:As an example, use of upper arms can readily increase HR substantially, over that when using legs primarily.

i supose the more muscles you recruit the harder your heart would have to work

Something to do with inter arterial blood pressure being higher in arms (than legs) for same level of oxygen uptake. That's why for instance doing work involving arms, like digging, shovelling etc is not recommended for those with heart problems.
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby sogood » Thu May 07, 2009 7:32 am

Alex Simmons/RST wrote:
USM TOM wrote:
Alex Simmons/RST wrote:As an example, use of upper arms can readily increase HR substantially, over that when using legs primarily.

i supose the more muscles you recruit the harder your heart would have to work

Something to do with inter arterial blood pressure being higher in arms (than legs) for same level of oxygen uptake. That's why for instance doing work involving arms, like digging, shovelling etc is not recommended for those with heart problems.

Not sure I'd explain it that way. There's arterial damping further down the body (to LLs), but mean pressure stays. The impact on the rate of HR change (cardio load) can probably be better explained by the much greater number of muscle groups involved and the combined rate of energy use of this greater muscle mass. The question for the cyclists is, can the combined work load (of the muscle mass needed for cycling) induce the heart to reach its max response, or are there local (neuro/muscular) limitations that restrain that?
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Re: ways to work out max HR (not via formula)

Postby slane » Fri May 08, 2009 4:43 pm

I saw something funny on another site, one where people log their workouts, and I shouldn't really be mean and repeat it here but ...

In a post by a very fat lady, she said she'd been watching Hidalgo, while pedalling her exercise bike and, during the thrilling finale, accidentally reached 178bpm, which is her maximum, and she was worried she'd damaged her heart.

I thought .. "oh dear! do I tell you" and then decided she wouldn't believe me if I told her.
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