T Nation

Training Heart Rate, How High is Too High?

During a particularly heavy segment of my workout today my heart rate hit 168.
Pretty Cool, I thought until I realised that at age 38 it equals 92% of my max.

Did I push too hard?

If so, is there a safe limit?

The term maximum heart rate doesn’t seem to be something that should considered just a “rough guide”

I wouldn’t worry about it, it’s only for a moment while you’re straining.
I’ve gotten up to 188 running(cooper test), and 196 or 198 during a heavy set of squats.
Age 26.

Oh yeah, MHR is different for everyone, 220-age is a good starting point, but there is room for error. We’re all built relatively the same but function differently.

Thanks matty, I just didn’t want to become thy guy who died at the gym

im 37 now, its been about 10 years since i pushed my heart rate above 200. i can still hit the 180s and i hardly do any cardio. if i trained like i did for triathlons i bet i could bust up into the 190s.

when i used to train endurance athletes we always did stress tests to measure their maximal estimated heart rate. depending on the person i saw variances from the 220-age thing said up to around 30 bpm off. the ones in better shape usually were much lower on their max but could maintain a higher percentage and recover quicker. there were about 5-10% that were like me and could go way higher.

for all of us i would use the tested maximal HR and then take away the measured resting heart rate. then i would determine training percentages and add back in the resting HR and i found it far more accurate and effective.

I’m 45 and hit higher then that doing hill sprints.

29, averaged 150-160 bpm during weighted circuits (ex OHP-front squat-back squat-floor press-weighted dips), peaking at < 190.

i’m also a nurse in cardiothoracic surgery stepdown, we get 80 year old patients who go into rapid atrial fibrillation in the 160’s-180’s, sometimes for half the day or longer. some are totally asymptomatic while some look like they ran a marathon.

in my opinion, as long as you don’t feel dizzy, lightheaded, get tunnel vision or other visual disturbances, or have more difficulty catching your breath than you normally do on your rest period, or experience chest pain/pressure/referred pain to your limbs or other symptoms of a heart attack then you should be ok.

as a pro cyclist, its very common to train at 90% of my max hr.

a weekly workout, after a long warmup, is 20 minutes @ 180-192 bpm.

i’m 55 years old…

some 4-5 minute intervals, i’m 192 bpm and higher