Maximum Heart Rates

Discussion in 'Cycling Training' started by james.dippel, Jun 25, 2003.

  1. james.dippel

    james.dippel New Member

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    Sorry to banter on about the same old subjects, however, I would like to know if it is possible to increase ones max heart rate. All the information I have read states that MHR decreases with age and training.

    Most documents suggest that a fit individual will have a lower max heart rate than the 220-age formula would conclude.

    How is it therefore that someone like Lance Armstrong can have a max HR of 201? Is this all about genetics or has he ACHEIVED this through long, hard, specific training?

    Thanks.
     
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  2. steve

    steve Administrator
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    I think a lot of people's perception of MAX effort on the bike can change as they get fitter, it is possible to increase ones MHR if they haven't really reached their MHR.

    cheers
     
  3. J-MAT

    J-MAT New Member

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    James:

    Steve has a good point about not really reaching max hr. You might think you are at your max, but as people get fitter and pack on more sport-specific muscle mass, max heart rate can increase. The more muscle you can recruit, the higher your heart rate will be. You should determine your max several time over a season. Your max will be lowered if you are fatigued, on certain medicine, etc.

    Max hr does decline as you age but not as much as they say it does, at least for me. I've been riding for 14 years and I started with a max of 183 bpm. 14 years later, it is still 180 bpm. The books say I should be somewhere around 169 bpm or so.

    Today, people discount the value of using heart-rate monitors for training. They are a tachometer for your biological "engine" and give vaulable bio-feedback such as max hr, decline of max hr over the years, etc.

    I would recommend all riders use HRM's!!!
     
  4. 2LAP

    2LAP New Member

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    I use a HRM J-MAT.

    Its likely that Lance Armstrong has a high MHR due to genetics. Its actualy not particularly desirable to increase your maximum heart rate, because its your cardiac output (a product of stroke volume and HR) thats important for performance and that you want to increase. Riders should be more concerned with increasing stroke volume given that this is more plastic. Unfortunately, stroke volume and cardiac output is difficult to measure outside a lab, hence why so many people talk about HR (easy to measure).

    We should all forget about the 220-age its so far out its of little use to the cyclist.
     
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