Is my heart rate too high during cardio?

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toxikon
toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
I recently bought a HRM that I've been using during cardio. I do 30 minutes on the Elliptical 3x a week.

While on the Elliptical, my heart rate generally falls between 150-170. Mostly around 160-165 bpm. I'm definitely sweating and exerting myself during the high points.

Using a target heart rate calculator, it said I should be only going as high as 156 bpm (80% of a maximum heart beat of 195).

Is it harmful to let my heart beat raise higher than 156? Will I get a more 'effective' workout if I stay below 156?

Thanks guys!
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Replies

  • toxikon
    toxikon Posts: 2,384 Member
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    Bump!
  • mikeatmichael
    mikeatmichael Posts: 92 Member
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    I've been trying to answer the same question. I was running hard for 45 minutes with my hr around 160 and couldn't figure out what my max was.

    Short answer: you don't harm your body at the higher rate, but the incremental benefit is minor. Your better off at a lower hr and going longer. I've cut down to keeping my hr between 120-140.

    The reason has to do with how your body fuels the muscles. It can only burn fat up to a certain rate and then starts burning something else. Also the long slow exercise is good at building an aerobic base.

    As you can see, I'm not an expert.
  • astrampe
    astrampe Posts: 2,169 Member
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    Depends on how yu feel, if you have heart issues etc...I'm almost 45, and with intense cardio my hr goes up to 180 some days...And then I can actually feel it - out of breath, dead tired, legs weak etc....But it slows down within seconds when I slow down, and no damage...
    HR is highly personal - don't worry too much about the number on the hrm, take notice of how your body responds rather....

    The "effective" workout stuff is old school "zone training" -Personally I don't believe much in that..... you will still burn fat and build stamina at a higher heart rate and in a shorter time.....
  • tayteetots
    tayteetots Posts: 114 Member
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    I'm pretty concerned about my heart rate then... when I'm on the elliptical it pretty much doesn't go below 180 and can easily go up to 190. It doesn't really bug me though. I feel like I'm getting a good work out but not overdoing it. Only when it goes above 190 for a few minutes does it start to bother me.
  • Yogi_Carl
    Yogi_Carl Posts: 1,906 Member
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    Unless you have a heart condition, throw the HRM away and forget about your optimum heart rate - just enjoy working out.

    Didn't we all just run around, swing, jump, skip, throw handstands and cartwheels as kids and never worry about optimal heart rates or cardio burns? Now we all grown up everything has to be so serious.

    Just grab something you like doing and do it lots!

    (I didn't start to see real fat loss and strength gains until I eBayed my HRM - serious!)
  • maegmez
    maegmez Posts: 341 Member
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    You will be fine unless you have a heart condition. It wool go up like that until you get more fit. Then you will have to work your tail off just trying to get near that number.

    The higher your heart rate, the more conditioned your heart gets and the more calories you burn. I used to think I had to keep it in the fat burning range but its really calories in and calories out. At the end of the day, you will be better off conditioning your heart.

    I believe you burn carbs when you go above the fat burning range. You will still lose weigh/fat.
  • CyberEd312
    CyberEd312 Posts: 3,536 Member
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    On the Elliptical I will push my heart rate into the mid 150 within the first 10 minutes and then keep it in that ranges for the duration of my workout.... at that level I am sweating, can barely maintain a conversation (if I had too) and am feeling taxed but in a good way... I am not worried about zones or whatnot this range is just my preferred HR for my intense workouts.... This to me is more personal preference than anything else... I like the endurance cardio over the short burst cardio myself... Best of Luck
  • EHuntRN
    EHuntRN Posts: 320 Member
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    Im 40...and my usual HR when doing intense cardio is 170-190...I dont let it stop me though...I just keep on trucking...it doesnt affect me adversely and it comes down quickly...I keep my HRM just for the sake of cals in cals out...and too also condition myself...like now after a 2 mile run my max HR is 177...it used to be 190...so I know that my conditioning is paying off!!!
  • acogg
    acogg Posts: 1,870 Member
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    I stopped using my heart rate monitor because it sent me into a panic. So happy I got through that phase, it was terrifying.:noway:
  • jyneefur
    jyneefur Posts: 64 Member
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    "They" say that your maximum ideal heartrate is 220 minus your age. A good workout range is then 70-90% of your max. People are different, though, and there certainly are people who go above their "max" and feel fine.

    My heartrate while really working out is about 170-180. I reach that when I'm pushing really hard to make a time or distance goal, and while I'm getting quite the workout, my heart doesn't bother me. That is about where "they" say it should be.
  • WDEvy
    WDEvy Posts: 814 Member
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    My average heart beat when I run or Zumba is more than 160 for an hour at the time. It goes up to 185+ often too. Why would it be harmful?
  • phjorg
    phjorg Posts: 252 Member
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    I've been trying to answer the same question. I was running hard for 45 minutes with my hr around 160 and couldn't figure out what my max was.

    Short answer: you don't harm your body at the higher rate, but the incremental benefit is minor. Your better off at a lower hr and going longer. I've cut down to keeping my hr between 120-140.

    The reason has to do with how your body fuels the muscles. It can only burn fat up to a certain rate and then starts burning something else. Also the long slow exercise is good at building an aerobic base.

    As you can see, I'm not an expert.
    completely and utterly false. the zone is a myth. whats better for you is pushing yourself as hard as you can. Unless you're specifically training for long distance events, in which case some zone monitoring is required.
  • mikeatmichael
    mikeatmichael Posts: 92 Member
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    Let me explain this better. Last week I went for a run, 4.5 miles in 45 minutes, ave. pace 10min/mile. My HR was in the 160's the whole time and my muscles didn't have anything left at the end. I was pushing as hard as I could the whole time. I'm 55 so according to the standard formula my HR max is 165. You can't run 45 minutes at your max so I think mine is probable a bit higher, I just haven't tried to find it yet.

    This week I went for a 1 hour run. I kept the HR below between 150-160 the whole time and went 5.4 miles. I started at a 10min/mille pace and gradually slowed to a 12min/mile pace as I got tired. It was comfortable and I could have carried on a conversation if I had been with someone else. I wasn't too tired when I was done and I'll be ready for another run tomorrow. I burned at least 680 calories according to myfitness pal versus 640 for the prior run.

    If your goal is to\ change your lifestyle and develop your fitness level and lose weight the longer slower will work just fine and you'll be more likely to keep it up if you aren't killing yourself. As your fitness level increases you will increase your speed. If your goal is to win a lot of races, by all means go all out, but I think that you would be best served by doing it with intervals some days and long and slow others.
  • knotsandloops845
    knotsandloops845 Posts: 13 Member
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    I keep it below 180 . 155 is my comfort zone so I've been pushing it the last month or so. I have been paying attention to my hr only bcuz I want to codition my heart. So while I'm on the elliptical on a random setting when its low level I keep my hr above 150, at the higher levels I speed up to bump my hr to 170. That's my way of having a burst type of workout
  • J_Leicht
    J_Leicht Posts: 5 Member
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    If your goal in mind is to lose fat, keep your heart rate between 65-80% of your HRM. THIS IS NOT A MYTH as others before have stated. Muscles burn fat ONLY in the presence of oxygen. If you push yourself too hard or get out of breath as you workout, fat burning shuts down. This is because muscles burn two types of fuel, fat and sugar. Your body will naturally burn fat as a top priority, but once your get your heart rate too high and your body loses oxygen, your fat burning enzymes refuse to work and your body begins to burn sugar.

    So all in all, it is not necessarily bad to higher your heart rate. That is what will essentially increase your cardio endurance, but if fat lose is a first priority then keep it in the 65-80% range.
  • DalekBrittany
    DalekBrittany Posts: 1,748 Member
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    Unless you have a heart condition, if your heart rate stays below 200 you're fine. Though the higher it goes, the more quickly you will tire.
  • DalekBrittany
    DalekBrittany Posts: 1,748 Member
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    your fat burning enzymes refuse to work and your body begins to burn sugar.

    Since glucose is the cellular primary source of energy, technically you are always burning sugar.

    However, the rest is correct. That's not to say you stop burning fat the second you go above 80%, but it is better to keep it in the 65-80% range if you can.
  • DalekBrittany
    DalekBrittany Posts: 1,748 Member
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    completely and utterly false. the zone is a myth. whats better for you is pushing yourself as hard as you can. Unless you're specifically training for long distance events, in which case some zone monitoring is required.

    Actually, from a medical standpoint, you're wrong. 65-80% is not a myth. If all you do is push yourself so hard that your body cannot handle it, in the end you'll end up burning fewer calories because you weren't able to go for as long, and you won't have taken in as much oxygen as you should because you'll be gasping for breath.
  • phjorg
    phjorg Posts: 252 Member
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    completely and utterly false. the zone is a myth. whats better for you is pushing yourself as hard as you can. Unless you're specifically training for long distance events, in which case some zone monitoring is required.

    Actually, from a medical standpoint, you're wrong. 65-80% is not a myth. If all you do is push yourself so hard that your body cannot handle it, in the end you'll end up burning fewer calories because you weren't able to go for as long, and you won't have taken in as much oxygen as you should because you'll be gasping for breath.
    "as you can"

    i figured it was implied that you have a set time and push yourself for that time.
  • phjorg
    phjorg Posts: 252 Member
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    If your goal in mind is to lose fat, keep your heart rate between 65-80% of your HRM. THIS IS NOT A MYTH as others before have stated. Muscles burn fat ONLY in the presence of oxygen. If you push yourself too hard or get out of breath as you workout, fat burning shuts down. This is because muscles burn two types of fuel, fat and sugar. Your body will naturally burn fat as a top priority, but once your get your heart rate too high and your body loses oxygen, your fat burning enzymes refuse to work and your body begins to burn sugar.

    So all in all, it is not necessarily bad to higher your heart rate. That is what will essentially increase your cardio endurance, but if fat lose is a first priority then keep it in the 65-80% range.
    again, pure myth. burning calories is what matters. not what your fuel source is.

    Wanna know why? I'l let you in on a secret. Wanna exercise in a way that is guaranteed to burn 100% fat as a fuel source? It's called the sit on your *kitten* all day exercise program. Because when you sit on your *kitten* all day, you're only using your fatty acid energy system and burning calories purely from your fat stores. So obviously;y if your goal is to only burn fat stores, the BEST way to exercise to do this is to sit around doing nothing. Explains why people who do sit around all day doing nothing have such low body fat %'s. Again, because they ONLY burn fat when doing this...

    once the absurdity of that sinks in, you understand why the fuel source of your exercise is 100% pointless and a stupid thing to worry about...