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Old 02-19-2007, 05:50 PM   #1
Kim Graves
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Hi Gang,

Any cardiologists out there?

I'm currently doing Crossfit at the new NYC chapter - it's great. During the workout of the day I regularly exceed my max heart rate. (I'm 50 YO so the calculated max is around 170 depending upon which scale you use). I hit 106% today. I have no pain and no distress when this happens. Obviously I'm working hard but that's to be expected. I'd certainly stop if I felt pain. I know that the calculated max has nothing to do with my genetic makeup which might allow for much higher rates.

My question is what happens when you hit your real max? Does it just mean you can't do any more work until your heart rate falls or do you get arrhythmias? Is there any danger in working at this level? I'm having my annual physical with my cardiologist in a month, but thought I'd ask in case I'm doing anything stupid.

Thanks, Kim


(Message edited by kimgraves on February 19, 2007)
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Old 02-19-2007, 07:43 PM   #2
Nick Cummings
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Kim, I am not a doctor yet but I'm working on it. Its funny to say that.... Anyways maximum heart rate is kind of like maximum strength in that as you exercise it increases so what may be your maximum today is not tomorrow. I do not know of any reason to put much faith into the idea of calculating your maximum heart rate. I believe one of the CrossFit journals jokes about achieving stupendous heart rates with the use of beer and uphill bicycle riding. I would not worry about it. At 50 my only concern would be that the body allegedly has less recovery ability so you would probably take longer to recover if you do overshoot your capabilities. I would think that the positive effects of intense exercise would outweigh most negatives as long as you exercise inteligently.

There are at least two MDs who do post on these boards. You might consider PMing them for a more professional opinion if they do not respond to this post.
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Old 02-20-2007, 07:40 AM   #3
Michael Manseau
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Kim; I've never heard of hitting more than your maximum. Perhaps a stress/maximum heart rate test will narrow down your numbers.
From the books I have on the subject, if you hit your maximum, your gassed. But then, I've given up on the heart rate stuff after the articles on intensity that have shown up here.
Will be interesting to hear what your cardiologist has to say on the subject.
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Old 03-02-2007, 12:47 PM   #4
James Lewis
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Kim:

You didn't exceed your max HR, you probably don't really know your max HR. What youd did was use the generalized formula for determining max, HR, which has several flaws.

The calculated max HR is a generalization based on the average population and an straight line curve. Every individual's ACTUAL max HR can be determined by several specific tests (VO2Max test, halter monitor/treadmill test), but can also be closely approximated by several tests you can perform on your own. Be careful, pushing that hard can lead to problems if you are not ready for it. Recommend if you want to try a max HR test on your own, you have a friend handy to 1) help record data and 2) be there in case of emergency.

Try googling "Max HR test" and you should find plenty of sites that will describe how to test your max HR.
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