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Big drop in max HR over 2 years

I've always been a fast beater. Up until a couple of years ago (53) my max HR was around 190. I've not cycled as much in the last couple of years apart from commuting and a bit of MTB but have been doing other endurance sports.

I've notice that my max HR is now around 170. Seems like quite a big drop over 2 years. I certainly don't have the same zipp as before.
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Posts

  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,147
    If you've not cycled much maybe you've lost the knack ? Can't push yourself as much ? I'm.sure it will come back.
  • CargobikeCargobike Posts: 64
    It's almost bang on for your age.
    HR = 220 minus your age, so 168.
    Therefore your previous heart rate of 190 was higher than the standard, obviously due to all the cycling you were doing whereas now it has fallen to within the correct zone for your age.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,147
    220-age is only a very tough guide mind you.
  • aberdeen_luneaberdeen_lune Posts: 517
    I think that’s pretty typical once your in your 50s. I am now in my mid fifties, I’m still pretty fit but my max heart rate has dropped from 187 a couple of years ago to around 174 now. I remember seeing a max of 209 when running up a hill when I was in my twenties,

    I just accept it as just a fact of getting older. I know I am very fit and try to get my CV system as efficient as possible. However I know I can’t surge as hard as the young guns and my VO2 max is declining with age.
  • paulwoodpaulwood Posts: 212
    I'm in my mid 60's and 220-age is well out for me. Have noticed a decline over the last 5 years but only about 10 beats in total over that period.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826
    Cargobike said:

    It's almost bang on for your age.
    HR = 220 minus your age, so 168.
    Therefore your previous heart rate of 190 was higher than the standard, obviously due to all the cycling you were doing whereas now it has fallen to within the correct zone for your age.

    Absolute nonsense. I’m amazed that people still trot out this 220 stuff as though it has any meaning...

  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,367

    Cargobike said:

    It's almost bang on for your age.
    HR = 220 minus your age, so 168.
    Therefore your previous heart rate of 190 was higher than the standard, obviously due to all the cycling you were doing whereas now it has fallen to within the correct zone for your age.

    Absolute nonsense. I’m amazed that people still trot out this 220 stuff as though it has any meaning...

    Its not absolute nonsense, its just a guideline. But there is so much variability as to be next to useless.

    I've found that it is quite hard to get close to max HR with cycling if you've not done it for a while. Probably accounts for 5+ bpms. The rest is age.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,027
    davidof said:



    I've notice that my max HR is now around 170. Seems like quite a big drop over 2 years. I certainly don't have the same zipp as before.

    Max under maximum load up a steep climb, or max on a normal ride?
    I rarely get close to max HR unless going up a significant 15%+ climb.
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826

    Its not absolute nonsense, its just a guideline. But there is so much variability as to be next to useless.

    So it’s not ‘nonsense’, but it is ‘next to useless’..? I’ll stick with nonsense. Whatever your semantic preferences, 220 has no place in what I assume is a serious discussion..

  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,367

    Its not absolute nonsense, its just a guideline. But there is so much variability as to be next to useless.

    So it’s not ‘nonsense’, but it is ‘next to useless’..? I’ll stick with nonsense. Whatever your semantic preferences, 220 has no place in what I assume is a serious discussion..


    Its not semantics, its just beyond you. I'm more interested in the thread about Dominic Cummings to bother to argue the toss though.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826
    edited 23 May
    Get your insults in early, eh? Either it's a reliable measure, worthy of discussion, or it isn't. Let me know which one you think it is.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,367

    Get your insults in early, eh? Either it's a reliable measure, worthy of discussion, or it isn't. Let me know which one you think it is.

    Would you like me to find a graph illustrating the concept of scatter and error bars?

    220-age was plucked from nowhere, and while there have been other "better" formulae published from actual data, none are markedly better for predicting an individual's HR.
  • pblakeneypblakeney Posts: 11,027
    You two need to get a room together.
    You are both arguing that it is a useless metric but are enjoying the argument. 😉
    The above may be fact, or fiction, I may be serious, I may be jesting.
    I am not sure. You have no chance.
    veronese68 wrote:
    PB is the most sensible person on here.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826

    Get your insults in early, eh? Either it's a reliable measure, worthy of discussion, or it isn't. Let me know which one you think it is.

    Would you like me to find a graph illustrating the concept of scatter and error bars?

    220-age was plucked from nowhere, and while there have been other "better" formulae published from actual data, none are markedly better for predicting an individual's HR.
    Find the graph, by all means, if it helps you to obfuscate further. So you're now deflecting onto wider HR prediction formulae, which is not in discussion here.

    Back to my earlier question, which you avoided. Is 220 worthy of discussion, or not? Yes or no? Hopefully answering is not beyond you ;)

  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,367

    Get your insults in early, eh? Either it's a reliable measure, worthy of discussion, or it isn't. Let me know which one you think it is.

    Would you like me to find a graph illustrating the concept of scatter and error bars?

    220-age was plucked from nowhere, and while there have been other "better" formulae published from actual data, none are markedly better for predicting an individual's HR.
    Find the graph, by all means, if it helps you to obfuscate further. So you're now deflecting onto wider HR prediction formulae, which is not in discussion here.

    Back to my earlier question, which you avoided. Is 220 worthy of discussion, or not? Yes or no? Hopefully answering is not beyond you ;)

    Yes
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826
    edited 23 May

    Get your insults in early, eh? Either it's a reliable measure, worthy of discussion, or it isn't. Let me know which one you think it is.

    Would you like me to find a graph illustrating the concept of scatter and error bars?

    220-age was plucked from nowhere, and while there have been other "better" formulae published from actual data, none are markedly better for predicting an individual's HR.
    Find the graph, by all means, if it helps you to obfuscate further. So you're now deflecting onto wider HR prediction formulae, which is not in discussion here.

    Back to my earlier question, which you avoided. Is 220 worthy of discussion, or not? Yes or no? Hopefully answering is not beyond you ;)

    Yes
    I suppose you had to say that, in order to avoid humiliation. So you're validating the 220-age metric? In which case, your opinions can be disregarded and you need not contribute anything further to this discussion...
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,367

    Get your insults in early, eh? Either it's a reliable measure, worthy of discussion, or it isn't. Let me know which one you think it is.

    Would you like me to find a graph illustrating the concept of scatter and error bars?

    220-age was plucked from nowhere, and while there have been other "better" formulae published from actual data, none are markedly better for predicting an individual's HR.
    Find the graph, by all means, if it helps you to obfuscate further. So you're now deflecting onto wider HR prediction formulae, which is not in discussion here.

    Back to my earlier question, which you avoided. Is 220 worthy of discussion, or not? Yes or no? Hopefully answering is not beyond you ;)

    Yes
    I suppose you had to say that, in order to avoid humiliation. So you're validating the 220-age metric? In which case, your opinions can be disregarded and you need not contribute anything further to this discussion...
    You are the only person still having the discussion.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826
    edited 23 May

    Get your insults in early, eh? Either it's a reliable measure, worthy of discussion, or it isn't. Let me know which one you think it is.

    Would you like me to find a graph illustrating the concept of scatter and error bars?

    220-age was plucked from nowhere, and while there have been other "better" formulae published from actual data, none are markedly better for predicting an individual's HR.
    Find the graph, by all means, if it helps you to obfuscate further. So you're now deflecting onto wider HR prediction formulae, which is not in discussion here.

    Back to my earlier question, which you avoided. Is 220 worthy of discussion, or not? Yes or no? Hopefully answering is not beyond you ;)

    Yes
    I suppose you had to say that, in order to avoid humiliation. So you're validating the 220-age metric? In which case, your opinions can be disregarded and you need not contribute anything further to this discussion...
    You are the only person still having the discussion.
    Because you've got nothing of value to say, and you know it...
  • bobmcstuffbobmcstuff Posts: 8,057
    Is the bickering really relevant.

    I'm having a similar issue but opposite reasons. Fitter than ever, but really struggling to see high HRs in workouts. Today I did one that was 6x 50/20s at 130%/40%, which I would usually expect to put me well up around 175-180bpm but barely touched 170. RPE was exactly where I would expect it though........

    I also put some PBs up local climbs yesterday despite struggling to get above 170-172, even though again the RPE was up where I would expect.

    I have been doing some Zwift races and I have been able to see some pretty high heart rates then - recently (15/05) as high as 189 - but they are only coming after very extended efforts followed by sprints, I have to be going hard for a long time to get there.

    FTP is based on a recent test (also saw 189bpm then) and subsequent Zwift TT efforts suggest it is accurate. My 1st thought was FTP too low.

    I had thought it was just fatigue, as I do see depressed HR when tired - seems common. But after a rest week, it's not really come back up like I usually see.

    TLDR: Is it normal to see reduced MHR and threshold HR, when you are fitter? Can't help feeling like I'm leaving something on the table...
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826

    Is the bickering really relevant.

    The bickering was 'on topic' - if that's what you were asking. So technically, yes it was relevant.

  • slowmartslowmart Posts: 3,807
    Anyways back to the OP's question.

    I turned 53 earlier this year and came back seriously to cycling last summer. My max heart rate then was 170, its now 194.

    A solid winter of TrainerRoad, plenty of short but hard rides through the spring with a decent 4 hour ride on a Sunday, add quality calories and sleep and you'll be surprised as to what improvements you can gain with a little focus, informed approach and hard work.

    Personally i would let age define your goals, certainly they may mitigate some aspects of your training and one thing I've noticed is the fact i require more time to recover although that recovery period has reduced as my fitness increases.

    At the end of the day fitness is relative to the individual and the only competition is with yourself, so keep it real, enjoy the journey and don't limit your horizons.
    And God created the bicycle, so that man could use it as a means for work and to help him negotiate life's complicated journey.
  • tonysjtonysj Posts: 307
    Some interesting comments above about Max HR.
    My HR history with cycling is this.

    December 2016 (aged 54 yrs ) started road/MTB cycling for pleasure and was reasonably fit already. Max HR was 182 bpm.

    2017 cycled more and entered a few sportives. Max HR was 175 bpm on a long hard sportive.

    2018 more cycling + sportives similar Max HR 175 bpm.

    Since then I very rarely push to get my Max HR but on hard/fast/lengthy rides I don't get over 165 bpm aged 57 yrs.

    I'm fit probably a little faster but don't get over low 160 bpm these days so it odes appear to have gone down or I'm not prepared to push myself to the absolute max!!

    I tend not to worry too much about HR these days and concentrate more on Power produced.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826
    tonysj said:

    Some interesting comments above about Max HR.
    My HR history with cycling is this.

    December 2016 (aged 54 yrs ) started road/MTB cycling for pleasure and was reasonably fit already. Max HR was 182 bpm.

    2017 cycled more and entered a few sportives. Max HR was 175 bpm on a long hard sportive.

    2018 more cycling + sportives similar Max HR 175 bpm.

    Since then I very rarely push to get my Max HR but on hard/fast/lengthy rides I don't get over 165 bpm aged 57 yrs.

    I'm fit probably a little faster but don't get over low 160 bpm these days so it odes appear to have gone down or I'm not prepared to push myself to the absolute max!!

    I tend not to worry too much about HR these days and concentrate more on Power produced.

    So in each of those years, how did you actually establish what your MHR was? The only practical way to get anywhere near your MHR is generally by riding at a maximal effort to the point of failure. Unless you did this each time, then you won't really know what your MHR is.

    Even if it was 182, then you would only expect it to drop by 1-2bpm each year. Dropping by 22bpm within 4 years would be extraordinary.

  • harry-sharry-s Posts: 264
    1-2 bpm pa sounds about right to me.

    As I understand it, max HR is pretty much non negotiable anyway. What training effect does is improve efficiency of those beats, not the ceiling level, i.e. at specific levels of exertion your HR will drop as you get fitter.
    If, in an unfit version of you, you used to max it walking down to the newsagent for a copy of The Grauniad, your new fit self will manage it at a somewhat lower bpm.
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,367

    tonysj said:

    Some interesting comments above about Max HR.
    My HR history with cycling is this.

    December 2016 (aged 54 yrs ) started road/MTB cycling for pleasure and was reasonably fit already. Max HR was 182 bpm.

    2017 cycled more and entered a few sportives. Max HR was 175 bpm on a long hard sportive.

    2018 more cycling + sportives similar Max HR 175 bpm.

    Since then I very rarely push to get my Max HR but on hard/fast/lengthy rides I don't get over 165 bpm aged 57 yrs.

    I'm fit probably a little faster but don't get over low 160 bpm these days so it odes appear to have gone down or I'm not prepared to push myself to the absolute max!!

    I tend not to worry too much about HR these days and concentrate more on Power produced.

    So in each of those years, how did you actually establish what your MHR was? The only practical way to get anywhere near your MHR is generally by riding at a maximal effort to the point of failure. Unless you did this each time, then you won't really know what your MHR is.

    Even if it was 182, then you would only expect it to drop by 1-2bpm each year. Dropping by 22bpm within 4 years would be extraordinary.

    Where do you get 1-2 beats per year from? Is there a useful guideline for that?
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826
    The rate of decline relates to both age and relative CV fitness, which is why the 1-2bpm range is quite broad. Can't remember what the original source was, although I imagine there is plenty on pubmed..
  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,367

    The rate of decline relates to both age and relative CV fitness, which is why the 1-2bpm range is quite broad. Can't remember what the original source was, although I imagine there is plenty on pubmed..

    C- Must try harder.
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826

    The rate of decline relates to both age and relative CV fitness, which is why the 1-2bpm range is quite broad. Can't remember what the original source was, although I imagine there is plenty on pubmed..

    C- Must try harder.
    You’re having a bit of a shocker here, mate. Unless you actually disagree that MHR reduces with age, then by all means come up with an alternative?

  • First.AspectFirst.Aspect Posts: 3,367

    The rate of decline relates to both age and relative CV fitness, which is why the 1-2bpm range is quite broad. Can't remember what the original source was, although I imagine there is plenty on pubmed..

    C- Must try harder.
    You’re having a bit of a shocker here, mate. Unless you actually disagree that MHR reduces with age, then by all means come up with an alternative?

    Whoosh
  • imposter2.0imposter2.0 Posts: 10,826
    edited 30 May

    The rate of decline relates to both age and relative CV fitness, which is why the 1-2bpm range is quite broad. Can't remember what the original source was, although I imagine there is plenty on pubmed..

    C- Must try harder.
    You’re having a bit of a shocker here, mate. Unless you actually disagree that MHR reduces with age, then by all means come up with an alternative?

    Whoosh
    What was that about 'trying harder'..? I'm sure if you had anything meaningful to say, you'd have said it by now.

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