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Please talk to me about maximum heart rate when exercising!

post #1 of 6
Thread Starter 

I have been doing the 30 Day Shred a super-intense, 20 minute workout in 3 levels. i'm now at the highest level and just started today. I just got a heart rate monitor, and it says my maximum was 190--that's well above my "target". Is it safe even?

post #2 of 6

Rosemary, you aren't pregnant, are you? (asking because of your siggy, sorry!)....I'm assuming not if you are doing the Shred :)


My heart rate regularly gets up to the level you describe when doing high intensity interval training.  I have never had an issue with it whatsoever.  I do notice that I tend to have higher heart rates when I'm not as well hydrated, for what that is worth.  Generally my max is around 180-190.  I am 40 years old and have been training regularly with a monitor since 2009.   After you get fitter, you will notice that your recovery from the high rate will get quicker and quicker. 


In the past, I suffered with SVT (a heart arrhythmia).  The Polar HRM picked up heart rates as high as 240 during those episodes and nothing happened to me other than lightheadedness and shortness of breath (which stunk but didn't hurt me LOL).  I have subsequently had the SVT ablated and I am doing fine.  If you are of normal health and have worked up to this gradually, relax and enjoy wool.gif  (that smiley always reminds me of cardio)

post #3 of 6
Thread Starter 

not pregnant--just look it! lol i'm 34 and in decent shape. thanks for responding.

post #4 of 6

This site breaks down the zones and the formula for figuring your max:  http://www.thewalkingsite.com/thr.html


I meant to post it earlier but too much kiddo-noise and I forgot

post #5 of 6

If you don't feel bad, if your heart rate starts to go down immediately upon decreasing or discontinuing your effort, and if you're not having breathlessness, lightheadedness, chest pressure, or the sensation that your heart is just fluttering like mad in your chest, you are fine.


If you have any of those symptoms, you need to talk to your physician.  


When I really exert myself, I've had my heart rate as high as 200, with a sustained 180s-190s, particularly when I first started running.  Getting much above 190 made me feel funky, but in the 180s I felt just fine.

post #6 of 6

If you are not in great shape, then your HR is too high. Once you pass your anaerobic threshold, you can no longer burn fat as fuel!!  If you're out of breath, or you perceive the intensity of your activity to be "hard or very hard" then most likely you are not longer in an aerobic training zone.

These types of intense workouts increase cardiovascular fitness quickly, but at a cost. If you're interested in weight loss, you should workout at a lower intensity for a longer time. During the first 20 minutes of moderate level aerobic exercise, our bodies primarily burn carbohydrates as fuel. It's only after 20 minutes, when this readily available form of energy is depleted, do our bodies "go into the pantry" and start to burn fat as fuel. When you burn fat as fuel, it's gone for good.


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