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    johnnyrandom's Avatar
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    Heart Rate Question:

    Primal Fuel
    Hey there,

    I've been wanting to hit the right "zone" lately, but I'm not quite sure how it might apply to my numbers. After reading the Primal Blueprint, I'm making an effort not to exercise with too much effort. Knowing which numbers to go by is a little confusing: Max heart rate is supposed to be 220 minus age. In my case, 220-36 = 184. However, my resting heart rate is 40-42 BPM. If I'm ripping up the side of a single track on my mountain bike? I've seen it top out over 215 BPM without loss of breath, nausea or dizziness. As an experiment, today I forced my heart rate to be about 170 BPM for 45 minutes, and when I stopped my breathing was as if I had been resting the entire time. I feel like I can't even break a sweat until I get over at least 150 BPM for over 30 minutes. Am I doing something wrong? I want to make sure I'm not going too easy or hard on myself.

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    federkeil's Avatar
    federkeil is offline Senior Member
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    you might want to go talk to a doctor
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    Just so you know: Doctors have all said, "You definitely have athlete's heart." I'm in great shape, but I'm really more interested in not overtraining in the "chronic cardio" range, you know?
    Last edited by johnnyrandom; 04-22-2011 at 09:26 PM.

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    Sungrazer's Avatar
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    I'm 42. I've seen max heart rate of 226 doing HIIT. My resting heart rate is about 50. When at a doctor she had to retake my heart rate 3 times because she thought she counted wrong. Blood pressure is in the normal range of 120/80.

    I've been primal for around 600 days, and I am the same with you about breaking a sweat unless I go over 140 - 150. The only reasonable explanation I have read for this is that ketone are an preferred energy source for the heart and skeletal muscle, making the heart 28% more efficient. Source: The Blog of Michael R. Eades, M.D. Metabolism and ketosis

    So if you're fueling on fat and are adapted to it you should have a lot of ketone bodies in your bloodstream making your heart 28% more efficient.
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    PatrickF's Avatar
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    It is well known that maximum heart rate varies widely between individuals. Absolute numbers aren't that useful as training prescription for that reason.

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    Al_Kavadlo's Avatar
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    I did a blog post on finding your target heart rate that you might find helpful.
    "In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they couldn't be more different."

    "You can have anything you want, but you can't have everything you want."

    My blog: http://www.AlKavadlo.com


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    MikeEnRegalia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyrandom View Post
    I've seen it top out over 215 BPM without loss of breath, nausea or dizziness.
    I don't think that's possible. What strikes me as odd is that you mention those three symptoms like they're equal - yet they represent different stages of intensity:

    1. loss of breath
    2. dizziness
    3. nausea

    What do you mean by loss of breath? If you mean that you can still breathe - fine, I grant you that (you're not dead). Could you hold your breath for 20 seconds? Could you sing a song without messing up the rhythm? I doubt that you could do that at 215 BPM regardless of what your max. heart rate is.

    Are you sure you're measuring it accurately? I have a heart rate monitor that if I don't wear it correctly will transmit exaggerated values (usually that happens when what you're wearing rubs the sensors causing static charges).

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    @Sungrazer: That blog you linked was an interesting read. I've never done HIIT, but it looks pretty challenging! A low RHR seems to be from regular training, genetics or both. Mine has always been this low as an adult, but I've also been extremely active my whole life. I've been doing a 100% primal diet for 22 days now and although I've been eating a ton of food, I've dropped 6.36 Kgs while having increased energy and a general improvement in mental clarity as well.

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    @Al_Kavadlo: So do you add 5 to compensate for recovery after a sprint? I've heard that the better shape you're in, the quicker your heart recovers after sprinting.

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    @MikeEnRegalia: I've actually gone above 215 BPM. On a full out mountain biking sprint up a long, steep grade I've hit 228-234. Once I stopped at the top, I got nauseous since my legs were hogging all the oxygen. It's probably the same reason weight lifters can pass out doing a max squat or runners can puke after sprinting a 1/4 mile. Regardless, I've only gotten nauseous twice in my life from overexertion and it went away very quickly. To answer your questions, I didn't try to hold my breath or sing. I am definitely measuring it accurately too.

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