T Nation

Low Resting Heartrate


I believe it has something to do with diet but I can't be too sure. Does someone have a scientific explination? Or is this theory just wrong?


An unusually low resting HR is genetic. It's not the result of one's diet.


In general low resting heart rate indicates a high level of fitness.


x2. Lance Armstrong's I believe is low 30s upon waking.

As HK said, it can also be genetic.

I took my blood pressure the other day and it's never been better along with my RHR.

RHR of 57 It's usually around Mid 120s/upper 80s and RHR of low-mid 70s

I've been doing a little more cardio lately, nothing major, but have been really consistent with Flameout for a while now


That was once thought to be true, but resting HR does not change significantly with training unless one is terribly out of shape to begin with.

Some elite athletes have high RHR, while others have low RHR, it's highly individual and not really a good indicator of anything.


Does it or does it not have more to do with aerobic capacity than other fit-ness? I know when I was running a lot my RHR was high 40s/low 50s. But now that I mainly train for strength I don't know what it is.


I believe this is a myth, unless you have something to substantiate it.


One variable that will change RHR is body weight.

In general, the heavier you become, the harder (faster) the heart will need to work to circulate blood through your body.

Losing a significant amount of weight will often have the opposite effect.


I don't think so. After training all summer for soccer last year, I went into preseason and ruptured my lung. I was in the hospital for a couple of days and my heart rate was typically the fourties. For the two nights that I wasn't in the ER, I was woken up 6-7 times by the nurses (even though the doctor told them not to at the begining of their shift).

I had to walk around because my heart rate was going as low as 31 bpm when sleeping and they thought I was going into cardiac arrest (even though the aforementioned doctor told them otherwise - I was just in great cardiovascular shape).

After that, I started focusing on lifting. When I wake up now, my heart rate is around 55 bpm. I definately think it has to do with fitness and believe Lance's was in the low thirties.


You likely were suffering from low BP as a result of your injuries and/or meds while in the hospital, which would explain why your HR dropped so low. After all, you're RHR wouldn't normally fluctuate so greatly otherwise.

I had a similar thing happen to me when taken to the ER after an accident.

Since you likely gained size (hopefully) since you began lifting, it's normal that your RHR would be higher.


it is all basedon genetics to start with and then it is how aerobically fit you are. the lower the HR the more efficient your body is able to use oxygen and then the muscles don't need as much blood pumped to them which leads to a lower resting HR.

cyclists have been known to not wake up when their on EPO becuase their HR gets so low during the night that their heart stops beating. the EPO increasese vo2 max which is an increase in aerobic ability and it then lowers the HR


I once heard a reputable biologist relating low resting heart rate to hypothyroidism. I do believe he qualified it though, he stated that low body temp along with low heart rate was an indicator of hypothyroidism.