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  • HIIT max heart rate

    I am doing walk/sprint for HIIT, is there a maximum for my heart rate to go up to during the sprint?

  • #2
    I could be wrong, but you should be aiming for 90% of your maximum HR.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Allenete View Post
      I could be wrong, but you should be aiming for 90% of your maximum HR.
      I thought it was 90% max effort, how would I know my 90% heart rate? you mean get my resting heart rate and almost double it?

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      • #4
        Hi all -

        New member here. This thread was perfect since I have a similar Q.

        I have also heard the target during the "sprint" portions should be 90-95% of your max HR. So you would find your max HR and then take 90% of that.

        My question is, how best to determine your maximum HR. The standard, "go-to" formula is 220 minus your age, but I have always been rather skeptical of that and it has been criticized by a lot of folks who know much more about these things than I do. There are a number of other formulas out there (205 minus half your age, among others).

        Just curious as to what other members use.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Tider View Post
          Hi all -

          New member here. This thread was perfect since I have a similar Q.

          I have also heard the target during the "sprint" portions should be 90-95% of your max HR. So you would find your max HR and then take 90% of that.
          Well how on earth would you knwo your maximum HR? If you try to reach maximum HR you'd have a heart attack and die before you are able to calculate the 90% of it.. am I missing somthing?

          On the treadmill today the machine was flashing warning that my heart rate was too high - it got to 190 somthing.

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          • #6
            220-age puts me at 172 and I've hit that when doing tabatas on the recumbent exercise bike. When I have a 90 second rest I only get to about 164, maybe a little more since there's a lag time when I touch the handles to take the reading. So far it feels fine. My heart hasn't exploded or anything.
            Female, 5'3", 50, Max squat: 202.5lbs. Max deadlift: 225 x 3.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Hotmail View Post
              Well how on earth would you knwo your maximum HR? If you try to reach maximum HR you'd have a heart attack and die before you are able to calculate the 90% of it.. am I missing somthing?

              On the treadmill today the machine was flashing warning that my heart rate was too high - it got to 190 somthing.
              You wouldn't actually reach your max HR. You would just determine what it is (using the 220-age formula,or some other formula that might be more accurate), and then shoot for 90% of that during the sprint portions. So, for example, if you are 30 years old, your maximum HR theoretically would be 190 (220 - 30). 90% of 190 would be 171, so you would try for 171 during each sprint.

              Keep in mind too that many treadmills, bikes etc. that have the "cardio advisor" feature are programmed to let you know when you are at about 65% to 80% of your maximum HR (the standard aerobic target zone), so if you exceed that range, you might get a warning indicator that you are working out too intensely. The problem is, most of these machines are not set up for HIIT interval training (unless they also have that program as an option - some do), they assume that you will be doing slow steady cardio for 20 - 40 minutes (or longer). So the message you received isn't very helpful (or even relevant) for an interval-type program.

              You should be fine if you can achieve the 90% target during each 20-30 second sprint, then go at a slower pace between sprints to catch your breath.

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              • #8
                No the treadmill I use doesn't have the program, and its very difficult to make it increase/deacrease the rate in seconds, so I have to do one minute high intensity then one minute recovery.

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                • #9
                  I wouldn't worry about your heart rate. Just sprint as hard as you can.

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                  • #10
                    If you recover in one minute from an all out 1 minute, your all out is not intense enough. I appreciate that it is hard to get up to speed fast on a treadmill. Try a spinning bike instead as you can go all out on them in seconds. You should aim for 10-30 seconds all out and enough time to get your heart rate down to almost normal - for me that can be 2 minutes on a full out 30 seconds. But that is the point of it all. Max heart rate variability. As high as you can go then back to normal and repeat. Enough reps for 12-15 minutes. PS - I wouldn't worry about the actual heart rate - just giver for the time period as hard as you can.

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                    • #11
                      The other thing I forgot to say is - unless you have been doing these for some time you will not be able to go "all out" for a minute. Tha'ts why the lower time intervals. The point is going ALL OUT not just faster than the rest period. I nearly die after a 30 second one. I could not pedal any faster if I tried and could never keep it up for another 30 seconds.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by snoops View Post
                        If you recover in one minute from an all out 1 minute, your all out is not intense enough. I appreciate that it is hard to get up to speed fast on a treadmill. Try a spinning bike instead as you can go all out on them in seconds. You should aim for 10-30 seconds all out and enough time to get your heart rate down to almost normal - for me that can be 2 minutes on a full out 30 seconds. But that is the point of it all. Max heart rate variability. As high as you can go then back to normal and repeat. Enough reps for 12-15 minutes. PS - I wouldn't worry about the actual heart rate - just giver for the time period as hard as you can.
                        Can't do bikes any more, they messed up my knee several times.
                        I am not actually totally recovered in 1 min, so my heart at the intense goes up to 195 - then within a minute its up to 142 or something like that, perhaps I should recover a bit longer until my heart rate is around 100-110?

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                        • #13
                          I would let it get a little lower but maybe someone who knows more than me will chime in.

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                          • #14
                            In my experience, there is no real need to worry about heart rates. When doing HIIT on a treadmill, you should run fast enough that you feel like you can barely keep going (this means that at the end of your interval, you should feel like you would be unable to continue for another 5 seconds). Obviously, don't actually run to failure, or you will fall off the treadmill.

                            If you absolutely must calculate your max HR, you can google it. There are various ways to figure it out, but they're all complicated and annoying to do (for me anyway, but I'm lazy like that). The instructions manual that came with my HR monitor lists various methods. Here's one: How to Determine Your Maximum Heart Rate for Running - Running - Maximize performance - Training Articles - Community | Polar USA

                            You can also use one of the equations, which estimates your max HR based on your age and gender, but the results are inaccurate.

                            My journal

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                            • #15
                              thanks diene/snoops

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