T Nation

Running to Lower Resting Heart Rate


#1

Hello, I have been watching T-Nation for some time now and I dont know better place to ask few questions.

First of all, I am pretty weak. I do my deadlifts with 80kg while I am 72kg and 195cm. But I am making progress and I really like lifting.

I am begginer and I started with really weak body. Now when I learned, how to deadlift I am loving it and I would like to be able lift at least 400lbs.

But I had some problems with heart and ECG holter showed that while I was lifting my heart was beating about 190 times a minute.

My resting HR when I am awake is about 80 and when I sleep, it comes down to 67.

So I need to lower my HR. I figure out, that time for cardio came. And I am going to start running.

I wanna ask you, how long can it take to lower resting HR by 10 and what is the best way to run. I dont want to get my joints destroyed by repetitive stress. Any ideas how many km/miles should I run and how often should I run?


#2

When you’re lifting, your heartrate should shoot up like that. That’s perfectly normal. The harder you lift, the higher it will shoot up.

In fact, I’d argue that spiking your heartrate like that, then letting it calm down and doing it on a regular basis (in other words, lifting heavy, regularly) will actually do a better job lowering your resting heartrate during the rest of the day than just about anything else. Meditation helps too.

One of the things you may way want to try before you add in running is to just reduce the time you take between sets.

How much time do you currently take between sets?


#3

For me, doing sprint intervals did much more to increase my stroke volume and lower my resting heart rate than any long distance running that I ever did.


#4

[quote]LoRez wrote:

How much time do you currently take between sets?[/quote]

When I lift heavy (1-5 reps) I rest until I feel ready for another set, 90sec-5min

When I dont lift heavy 8+ reps, usually I try to rest max 90 seconds.

Why do you think that reducing rest time could benefit me?


#5

[quote]hutar wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

How much time do you currently take between sets?[/quote]

When I lift heavy (1-5 reps) I rest until I feel ready for another set, 90sec-5min

When I dont lift heavy 8+ reps, usually I try to rest max 90 seconds.

Why do you think that reducing rest time could benefit me?

[/quote]
Are you holding your breath?


#6

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[/quote]
Are you holding your breath?[/quote]

I guess I am breathing right, I only hold my breath when squating and deadlifting cause I am trying to make that abdominal pressure.


#7

[quote]hutar wrote:

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

[/quote]
Are you holding your breath?[/quote]

I guess I am breathing right, I only hold my breath when squating and deadlifting cause I am trying to make that abdominal pressure.
[/quote]

Holding your breath like that, to build the abdominal pressure, will cause your blood pressure and heart rate to get really high. This is normal and as long as you don’t have any contraindications, not unsafe. I agree with Ecchastang that intervals are better than steady state cardio. Also, as was said earlier, lifting also serves this purpose and I have not noticed any increase in my resting heartrate if I wasn’t running while lifting. I did notice some when I was doing neither but that was to be expected.


#8

[quote]hutar wrote:

[quote]LoRez wrote:

How much time do you currently take between sets?[/quote]

When I lift heavy (1-5 reps) I rest until I feel ready for another set, 90sec-5min

When I dont lift heavy 8+ reps, usually I try to rest max 90 seconds.

Why do you think that reducing rest time could benefit me?

[/quote]

This is really hard to explain without a graph, but.

Here’s what you’re probably doing, with some hypothetical numbers:

Start (HR 60) - Warmup (HR 100) - Lift (HR 180) - Rest (HR 100) - Lift (HR 180) - Rest (HR 100) - Lift (HR 180) - Rest (HR 100) - Lift (HR 180) - Stop (HR 100)

By shortening your rest periods, you don’t let your heartrate get quite as low when you’re resting. So something more like

Start (HR 60) - Warmup (HR 100) - Lift (HR 180) - Rest (HR 120) - Lift (HR 180) - Rest (HR 130) - Lift (HR 180) - Rest (HR 140) - Lift (HR 180) - Stop (HR 130)

From what I’ve seen personally, with others, and in some research, the combination of 1) spiking the heartrate + 2) maintaining an elevated heartrate … that’s what actually really ends up lowering your normal daily resting heartrate.

You can do one or the other and get some results, but the combination seems to work better.

This is the same thing that happens with interval training too – it’s just, I figure if you’re already lifting and concerned with it, you might as well take that approach before adding additional dedicated cardio.

The problem with adding additional cardio is that many/most people will start to put too much emphasis on the cardio and set cardio goals (like, say, run 5 miles a day) as well as lifting goals. Oftentimes, those goals don’t work hand-in-hand.

However, by just shortening your rest periods, you can get a similar benefit while still focusing primarily on the lifting goal. Forewarning, until you adapt to the shorter rests, the weights you use might drop a bit; once your heart and nervous system adjust, you should be back to where you were. I’d stick with 60-90 second rests, with the occasional 2 minute rest if you really need it.

The idea of shortening rest periods / doing more work in less time is called “density” if you want to go do your own research.


#9

The problem with weight lifting for me is that days after I have elevated HR. I had trained in the past with no problems but then I had problem with heart.

I can also say that I feel that something is wrong after I exercise. My ECG holter showed 7 late contractions of heart during night after exercise. And after lifting weights I have problems falling asleep. Probably reducing the rest periods would make it even worse. What do you think?

from what you wrote I assume that I should try some interval training. I personally like sprints so I will probably try it soon. Tomorow I will speak with cardiologist who allowed me to weight train. I will ask him if weight lifting could hurt me with HR 196.

You guys gave me some great ideas to think about. Thank you :slight_smile:


#10

Jogging is a good way to keep the blood flowing, but so is lifting.

Would you agree that your heart beats faster when you’re in a rush?
Focus on breathing and ‘finding your breath’ during your workout.
Your heart rate is indicative of your physical AND emotional nature


#11

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
Jogging is a good way to keep the blood flowing, but so is lifting.

Would you agree that your heart beats faster when you’re in a rush?
Focus on breathing and ‘finding your breath’ during your workout.
Your heart rate is indicative of your physical AND emotional nature[/quote]
To piggy back off this a bit, breathing can make a big difference. Learn to breath slower and deeper. Many people get into a habit of taking quick small breaths. At rest, I take one breath every 7 seconds or so. Learning to take deep breaths with a slightly slower exhale will help you to learn to lower your heartrate when it is high. With lifting, and particularly with sprint intervals, as soon as the work set is done, stop, and begin to focus on slow deep breaths to lower your heart rate.


#12

[quote]Ecchastang wrote:
For me, doing sprint intervals did much more to increase my stroke volume and lower my resting heart rate than any long distance running that I ever did. [/quote]

This.

And walking at a good pace for 3-4 miles.

Jogging is not the best way to bring down your resting heart rate.


#13

[quote]hutar wrote:
Tomorow I will speak with cardiologist who allowed me to weight train. I will ask him if weight lifting could hurt me with HR 196.[/quote]

If you have a pre-existing heart condition, I’d definitely make sure your cardiologist is ok with what you’re doing.


#14

Be careful. If your heart stops you die.

Maybe you should speak with doctors regarding a plan that gradually increases with intensity to avoid a “shock” to the body. Strength training will not significantly improve your cardiovascular system. I have read it may strengthen blood vessels though.


#15

Oh and how old are you. 190 isn’t bad if your younger.


#16

[quote]Aero51 wrote:
Oh and how old are you. 190 isn’t bad if your younger.[/quote]

I am 19 yo. I spoke with my cardiologist and I was adviced to stop weight train for a while. I also should run.

but he told me that he is sure I will be able to lift soon. :slight_smile:


#17

is your cardiologist out of shape? because unless he tells you something specific about your cells and shit, he’s talking out of his ass


#18

demand the specific reason why you should stop lifting, but for some reason you can run.


#19

[quote]Jarvan wrote:
is your cardiologist out of shape? because unless he tells you something specific about your cells and shit, he’s talking out of his ass[/quote]
IT sounds like the cardiologist is looking for long term business.


#20

This article may be of interest to you. All about improving your aerobic fitness by training within a specific heart rate range. Never tried it myself.