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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 04-27-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
Ben Joven
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Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

So I've heard that your ticker only has so many beats "programmed" into your DNA, but I'm wondering if this may be counter productive for my overall health or maybe it's just a sign of exhausted adrenal glands (low blood pressure) from over-training.
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:15 PM   #2
David Meverden
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Re: Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

I've never heard of a low heart rate being a negative. It's usually associated with people with a history of long duration endurance training as increased stroke volume is an adaptation that takes place to that kind of exercise.

As for this as a sign of something wrong I think the most important thing to ask is: Is this normal? If it is normal for you then this is almost certainly just fine. If there has been a change then it could indicate a problem, though probably one with nothing to do with so called "adrenal fatigue". Check out this article for more info: http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/t...-rate-overview (WFS)
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Old 04-27-2012, 05:16 PM   #3
Bob Herald
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Re: Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

Great. You have an athletic heart. It's common in athletes to have a low heart rate. Usually health problems will result in elevated heart rate and blood pressure.

I'm usually less than 60 bpm. "normal range" is 60-100. But that refers to your average non athlete.

You may get some postural hypotension (ie lightheaded when you stand up) , but this is also normal in athletes. It's root cause is a low resting heart rate and the bodies inability to increase blood pressure quickly enough when you stand. Increasing sodium intake can help with that.

As far as programmed beats, I've never heard of that. I believe that heart rate is heavily dependet on lifestyle, exercise and diet.

Adrenal fatique is overhyped IMO. I think this is an extremely rare condition. The body is amazing at adapting to stress, and every year people come up with a new syndrome to justify a lack of motivation or success.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:05 PM   #4
Jason Peacock
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Re: Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

That's a good thing, assuming the low HR is due to good fitness

I just took my HR at the office (sitting, walking, too much coffee/too little sleep) and it's at 50bpm. My resting HR is even lower. Yay for athletes!

What's funny is that a large, athletic heart is seen as a problem in non-athletes...and thus you have "Athlete's heart" syndrome. Which is of course benign if you're actually an athlete:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Athletic_heart_syndrome (wfs)

Really, we should have "skinny heart" syndrome and then prescribe exercise for the (whole) population who are running around with atrophied heart muscles.
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Old 04-27-2012, 06:50 PM   #5
Quinn Walkley
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Re: Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

The official term is Bradycardia. Anything below 60 is considered bradycardia. For people that are in shape it is not a bad thing but if someone has a heartrate that low that is not in shape it can be a problem.

In terms of an athletic heart what happens is the muscle in the ventricles can become too muscular and loses some elasticity. The strength of the contraction is based on the Frank Starling Law. Basically the heart is like a rubber band. The more you stretch it the harder it snaps back when you let it go. Also if the hypertrophy of the left ventricle gets to muscular then it can actually block part of the blood flow leaving the heart through the aortic valve decreasing the amount of blood getting to the body. It is known as HOCM (hypertrophic obstructive cardio myopathy). It can also cause the mitral valve to open during systole when it should be closed causing some backflow of blood into the left atrium.
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Old 04-27-2012, 07:12 PM   #6
Chris Mason
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Re: Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

That is unusually low. You should get checked by your doc. It could be perfectly fine, but I think it best to confirm that.
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Old 04-28-2012, 04:29 AM   #7
Graeme Moore
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Re: Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

I work with a girl who does A LOT of exercise, mainly capoeira. She had a health check at work and they found her resting HR was around the 40 mark. They kind of panicked and referred her on to someone else. The second doctor basically congratulated her on being so active and healthy. I think you're fine, but as Chris says it wouldn't hurt to get a second opinion (i.e. a proper medical one!).

Well done though, I'm impressed! My best ever was 48 about three years ago when I was CFing four or five times a week. Since then I've had a long illness and then subsequently focused on strength work, HR is now lower 70s at best.
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Old 04-28-2012, 10:29 AM   #8
Chris Mason
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Re: Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

FYI the idea you have a certain # of beats until you die is just a theory, not a proven fact.

If you think about it, it would mean that exercise can be a bad thing unless it makes a huge difference on your resting heart rate as your heart rate shoots way up during exercise...

That's right, all of you CFers are going to drop dead young!
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:15 PM   #9
John Hansen
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Re: Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

For endurance athletes, a resting heart rate of 42 would fairly typical. (Miguel Indurain had a resting heart rate of 28.) Mine has been 39 at times when I raced bicycles.

Given that CFers eschew the steady state "cardio" training, I don't know if a CFer would normally have that low of resting heart rate. Anyone?
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Old 04-28-2012, 12:20 PM   #10
David Meverden
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Re: Resting Heart Rate 42 BPM; Good, Bad?

Yeah, like Chris said, that # of beats thing is silly. It's one of those things that is kind of true, in a broad sense, but should never be applied to an individual.

The reason I say it's kind of true is because among animal species you do tend to find that animals die after around a billion heart beats. So a mouse that has a 500 beat per minute heart rate will live a few years, whereas an elephant with a heart rate of 28 beats per minute might live for 60 years.

You will quickly see that modern medical care leaves this rule of thumb--which is surprisingly accurate on average for most mammals--way off for humans, who commonly live to 80+ years despite a much higher heart rate than elephants.

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Originally Posted by John Hansen View Post
For endurance athletes, a resting heart rate of 42 would fairly typical. (Miguel Indurain had a resting heart rate of 28.) Mine has been 39 at times when I raced bicycles.

Given that CFers eschew the steady state "cardio" training, I don't know if a CFer would normally have that low of resting heart rate. Anyone?
Mikko Salo's heart rate is in the 30's but he was a pro soccer player and, last I knew, rowed or ran at a steady pace for 40 minutes or so pretty much every day.
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