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Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:47 am
by AdHoc
Hi

Currently I have 3 questions. I've underlined the questions below and gave a bit of background information regarding the question. Just in case it matters I've added my overall goal and stats at the bottom of this post.

Thanks

Is my heart rate too high?
Is my high heart rate causing me to convert muscle to fuel instead of burning fat?
I've been running twice a week for about 6 months, but only recently bought myself a heart rate monitor. At my usual pace (~8.5 km per hour) my heart rate is between 180 - 185 bpm, by the end of the run I'm fairly winded. If I keep my heart rate between 170 and 175 by the end of the run I'm barely winded.
I've read on this forum that the "fat burning zone" is actually a myth and total calories expended is more important.
I'm a little concerned with my heart beating at 90% of my supposed maximum for 50 minutes. I always end my run with a sprint of ~100 - 150 metres, with yesterday's run my heart rate reached 200 bpm which is higher than my maximum.

Should I rather try HIIT or a combination?
By combination I mean, 1 day I run like I've normally been running and 1 day I HIIT.
I'm not entirely sure what HIIT is or rather how to implement it. Would a slow pace run for 10 minutes (to warm up) then followed by full out sprints (for as long as I can maintain it) and rests between be classified as HIIT?

Stats.
Age: 27
Gender: Male
Weight: 70 kg
Height: 174 cm
Body fat: 12%

Goal.
Gain lean muscle and increase overall fitness.
I exercise 6 days a week, 2 for cardio and 4 for weightlifting.
I've been following this 'program' for about 6 months and have gained 8 kg, but my body fat % increased with 6%.
So now I've switched to a cutting phase where I restrict my calories and replaced the bulking shake with a protein shake. My weightlifting routine now focuses on supersets with lighter weight, but higher reps. Hopefully I'll be able to drop back into single digit body fat without losing muscle.

Re: Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 2:07 am
by Oscar_Actuary
AdHoc wrote:Is my high heart rate causing me to convert muscle to fuel instead of burning fat?
I'm going to say no.

However, you may kick up the pavement, leaving a cloud of dust
Be aware of one Mister Wile E. Cayote.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1_ZPlX7fWrM" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 5:06 am
by stuward
Many people have higher max heartrates than "normal". It's actually a benefit in that you have more headroom than others. Fat burning zone is a myth. You expend more calories, and therefore more fat, at higher intensities, however you may be able to go longer at lower intensities. Higher intensity training will cause you to expend calories after you stop exercising, provided it was intense enough.

There are lots of ways to implement HIIT. You could try this: Instead of the 50 minute run, try shorter timed distances. Run 3 times a week. Do 2 weeks of 1 mile runs as hard as you can. Do a total of 6 sessions at this distance. Then every 2 weeks half the distance and add 1 to the repeats. At the end of 12 weeks you'll be doing several short sprints at a very fast pace. Your heart beat will be off the charts. You will also be leaner, more muscular and more aerobically fit than if you continue doing what you're doing.

Re: Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:17 am
by Paperclip
BTW is it true that sprinters have higher heart rate than normal or sprinting/anerobic training elevates your resting heart rate above normal level?

Re: Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:19 am
by Jupiter
Is my heart rate too high?

What is your resting heart rate? You can use it with the following formula:

(208-age-resting HR)x70%+resting HR = working heart rate

Using resting heart rate in the formula means you're working out your Heart Rate Reserve. You may have to google that term, I'm too knackered to explain it properly.

Maximum heart rate is only a vague number that someone worked out once. It'll be different for everyone. The fitter you are, the more you can push your heart rate - that's the basic rule you should remember.

Re: Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 4:39 pm
by Jungledoc
Using heart rate monitors is useful for some things, but it's easy to get obsessed with it. Just do your workouts and don't worry about it.

Re: Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 7:38 pm
by stuward
Paperclip wrote:BTW is it true that sprinters have higher heart rate than normal or sprinting/anerobic training elevates your resting heart rate above normal level?
Sprinting and anerobic training will actually improve your aerobic fitness. Your resting heart rate will go down, not up. Although max heartrate is unrelated to fitness, there is some anecdotal evidence that it can be trained as well. I like this article that goes to your question about sprinters. http://www.cbass.com/Intensity.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

Re: Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:07 pm
by Paperclip
I got it from Wikipedia, stu. Yeah I know that anybody can edit the page.
For example an endurance runner's rates will typically be lower due to the increased size of the heart required to support the exercise, while a sprinter's rates will be higher due to the improved response time and short duration.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heart_rate

Does heart rate always has negative correlation with aerobic fitness?
http://www.cbass.com/Intensity.htm" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;
That certainly runs contrary to what I often read.

Re: Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Wed Sep 14, 2011 8:53 pm
by stuward
In general, the lower the resting heartrate, the healthier the individual. As can be seen in that article, healthier people can also have higher max heartrates. However, the best indication of fitness is how fast your heartbeat returns to normal after an exertion. The faster, the better and a slow recovery is a direct predictor of dying. The only way to adequately train this attribute is with repeated, short duration, high intensity workouts. Sounds like HIIT, doesn't it? Like Jungledoc said, don't worry about heart rate itself, just do the workouts, progressively pushing into the uncomfortable zone.

Re: Too hight heart rate?

Posted: Thu Sep 15, 2011 12:26 am
by AdHoc
Thanks for the replies.
I'll definitely give HIIT a try. :)