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Old 01-28-02, 01:35 PM  
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heart rate confusion

I have a question about resting heart rate.

i read:

that a the fittest athletes could have a resting heartrate as low as 40...
I also read:
Old folk have a similiarly low heartrate.

i am 50.
my resting heartrate is about 52. (i think the expected heartrate for my age is 60)

so does this 52 heartrate mean i am getting really old or getting really fit?!!
or both? :rolleyes:

i am in excellent "athletic" condition... but i am i cant quite tell what my lower than normal resting heartrate telling me.

Second question.
Is there a definitive place to get info on heartrate and fat burning that also takes your fitness level into consideration?

Is it really better to stay around 70% when its still easy to be doing cardio at 85%?

sometimes i read that 70% + - is a rate that will help people maintain longer ... but working more intensily is good if you can.
sometimes i read that 70% + - is really the rate that fat will burn at and its not beneficial to push it.

thank ya all...
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Old 01-28-02, 02:06 PM  
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Here's an interesting site:

More HR articles:

Actually that whole site has lots of training articles:

Comparing our resting heart rate to the "norm" doesn't give any useful information. It's true that as we improve our fitness our resting HR will get lower *compared to what it used to be when we were sedentary*. That's all. And how high it is when we are sedentary depends on how we picked our parents (it's genetic).

Another use for resting HR is as a danger signal: when we overtrain it will be higher than normal (the normal for US, not normal for the population). So that's useful information.

Anyway, that's the info I've gathered from much reading... yours might be different. Hope the links help. Happy reading.

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Old 01-28-02, 02:07 PM  
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I'd love to get some answers to this too

My new-this-month heart rate monitor is quite the fun toy for a number-lover like me, but it's also been an eye opener. I think in general that for someone my age (41) to stay at or above 75% MHR (about 134 BPM) for a sustained period means compromising my joints and limbs with higher impact moves that I don't want to make. Advanced step tapes (Cathe, Christi) at my level (6" step, low impact) get me up there for some of the time (due to the fast BPM of those videos, I think) and FIRMs, I was pleasantly surprised to learn get me there too, but I think the reality is I'm going to be averaging 65%-70% and I'd love to know that I will burn fat in that range.

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Old 01-28-02, 02:17 PM  
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I've read conflicting messages about working in your "fat-burning" zone, meaning only at 70%. I tend to believe that the "fat-burning" zone is phooey. You work out, you burn calories. The longer or the harder you work out, the more calories you burn. I think I could substitute being outside and about walking all day, averaging below my target zone, for a sedentary day at my desk followed by an hour on the treadmill. Desie
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Old 01-28-02, 03:42 PM  
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Re: heart rate confusion

Here's how I understand it:

The fuel substrate you use during exercise has no bearing on overall fat loss in your body. The important factor is the number of calories burned. So if you're in good enough shape, you needn't worry about keeping your heart rate below 70%. In fact, there have been some studies that have shown that high intensity interval training (HIIT) may be more effective for fat loss that steady state cardio because it may boost your metabolism in a similar way as weight training.

But when it comes to recovery and how you plan your routine, the fuel substrate used during exercise is important to recovery. High intensity cardio, where you're working above 85%, will tap your glycogen stores. It takes at least 24 hours to replenish those stores. So doing high intensity exercise day after day after day would not be a good idea.

Originally posted by cinza
Is it really better to stay around 70% when its still easy to be doing cardio at 85%?
If it's easy to be doing cardio at 85%, you're probably not really working at 85%! As we discussed in your last thread about HRM, all those formulas are based on an estimated maximum heart rate using age as the determining factor. That estimate may work great for you, or it may not. This is where perceived exersion is important. I think Aline gave some good methods to estimate your maximum heart rate based on performance rather than age. Did you check those out yet?


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Old 01-28-02, 04:06 PM  
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2 interesting points

it seems, after reading the Stephens site (that Aline quoted above) knowing one's Personal MAXimum heartrate for a given activity is as important as knowing one's resting rate.
This max rate is not the nec the same as what the age calculators will tell us.

So figuring out any other percentage for workout heart rate needs the personal range (resting and max) of a given individual to be properly adjusted for the individual.
(if i understood what i was reading correctly)

If this is correct can i get on a piece of equiptment and just put my 100% effort in to find out what my personal maximum heart rate number would be?

Another interesting point from the readings Aline offered... Is "heart rate drift"

You can do the same activity at the same intensity over a period of time and your heart rate can scoot up by as much as 20 beats without you changing your exertion.

The writer suggests if you depend on your heartrate monitor to tell you when to slow down you might be slowing down when you shouldnt because of this drift and not getting all the training benefit you should.

Intelligent stuff to think about.

Thank you Aline!
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Old 01-28-02, 06:19 PM  
Join Date: Jan 2002
finding out your max hr

I haven't read the links yet, and I'm waiting for my 1st HRM to come in the mail, but Sally Edwards' site has some interesting info. She discusses how to find out your max heart rate. I wonder if it might be better to jog outside than use most modern machines, since you'd have to program the machine instead of just going as hard as you could. Maybe you could use a spinning bike?

Here is the link. She adds all sorts of caveats about how you need to be "elite" before you try this at home. [URL=]
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Old 01-29-02, 02:24 AM  
Liz N
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Karen P...

You explain HR and it's relationship to the the fat loss equation really eloquently. As an exercise phys. I'm forever explaining to people that for physical activity, we run on glucose (think TCA cycle). It's the phenomena of getting aerobically fitter that encourages the conversion of body fat to free fatty acids to glucose that is the "fat burning" part. And no faster way to get fitter than to add some interval training.
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