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Old 04-06-2003, 06:11 AM   #1
F Auld
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Can any experts shed some light on a question I have. First some background: I completed a maximal effort treadmill run for VO2 max and MHR measurement. I have a resting heart rate in the mid forties and a measured MHR of 177 at an age of 29 (substantially genetically lower than the average). My VO2 max was measured at 58 ml kg-1 min-1.
Now my question...because I have a substantially genetically lower MHR, does this affect my ability to compete with athletes who have a higher MHR?
Because it seems to me, at 6'4" and 220lbs, a ticker like mine can't compete against someone smaller with a higher MHR as far as circulating oxygen to supply the muscles goes?

Thanks for the help.
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Old 04-06-2003, 09:24 AM   #2
Robert Wolf
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F Auld- Im not an expert in that i am not a cardiologist or physiologist who studies the hemodynamics of the heart but here are my thoughts:

The heart is "very" efficient at rest in that it supplies its and the bodies O2 requirements easily and ejects a large fraction of the blood from the various chambers ( not all of the blood is egected at every stroke and this compromises efficiency).

Typically as heart rate increases due to increased activity levels the filling of the heart chambers increases. This actually increases the efficiency of contractions due to stretching of the heart muscle...much like a
quick dip prior to a vertical leap.

As heart rate increases however the efficeincy of ejections decreases due to the fact that the heart can fill and empty only so quickly. IMO your athletic potential is not greatly hampered by a relative decrease in MHR due to the greatly reduced efficiency of the heart at higher pulse rates.
Robb
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