Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby fatass on Wed 12/Dec/18 8:13pm

Hi all,

Looking for a place in Auckland to get VO2Max etc. tested, but also after some advice maybe. I'm actually after someone to help me get an accurate Max HR, because in my case I can't just calculate it from my age.

Below is my situation and excuses and whatnot and any advice will be appreciated, but basically I think I'm looking for these guys, but in Auckland
https://www.wintec.ac.nz/whph

I bought a bike back in March when I weighed 146kgs - http://www.vorb.org.nz/big-unit-getting-back-into-cycling-t128729.html.
I cycled for a little while then, but both my GP and a cardiologist told me not to cycle at the time until we get my blood pressure under control. After just 6 minutes on the treadmill (walking, not running) at the cardiologist, my blood pressure went up to 270/110. It's normal for BP to rise during exercise, but that high after just 6 minutes of fast walking is not good! My BP when rested and relaxed back then was also 197/97... Not good!!! Anyway, my BP's not sorted yet, but much better and I'm keen to get back to exercising. I've started, but progress is painfully slow.

I've got one of these Polar HR chest straps connected to Polar Beat app on my phone and it says my VO2MAX is 26 (up from 24 in November!!). They don't actually call it VO2Max because it's just a home/casual measure, but it's meant to be a similar value and it's an indication of fitness and it says I'm damn unfit!! One of my problems is that while setting this up you have to give your weight, age etc. and maximum HR. 220 - my age (47) = 173, but there's no way I can get my HR anywhere near 173!!! The cardiologist even mentioned in his letter to my GP that my HR was lower than expected during the exercise stress test and it might be a side effect of one of my many BP meds.
So I've put my max HR as 140 in the Polar software, even though the highest I've managed to get it on the bike, spinning bike or rebounder is 132 on the rebounder of all things??

Please don't say "don't worry about the details, just get going". I have started, but am discouraged by how slow progress is and just want a bit of guidance on the fastest way to get fit when you're down here, rather than making all the mistakes out there.
fatass
Member for: 1 year 0 months

Re: Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby OliverBendix on Thu 13/Dec/18 10:42am

Best way to find your actual max HR is to wear a good HR monitor like the Polar you have and smash yourself... but given that you have a cardiologist and some health issues I wouldn't recommend doing that, it might be dangerous.

I'd just record HR during the exercise you were going to do anyway and use the max value from that.
OliverBendix
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"Punter"
Member for: 12 years 7 months

Re: Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby philstar on Fri 14/Dec/18 12:48am

if it is just a relative measure of fitness you are after then your exact max heart rate is not essential

as I understand it max heart rate is used to calculate your threshold between aerobic and anaerobic exercise zone (4 and 5) (80% of max). it may use this to calculate your fitness but it will just be a scalar (but the scale might not be linear).
your polar probably uses something from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VO2_max depending on what you have to do for the test in the polar app

so it depends on what info you want, but form the sound of it you just want to track your progress so (220 - age) will be fine. as it does not matter if you are 26 or 24 just that you have gone up 2 units
philstar
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"misanthropic"
Member for: 13 years 0 months

Re: Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby powernz on Fri 14/Dec/18 7:01am

I'm thinking because of your BP issues, everything else is irrelevant until you can get that in check - its probably best to find out why thats happening!

That aside, what about finding a nice flatish cycleway and try to ride for 30 minutes, 1 day riding next day resting, for a week, and find a pace thats sustainable then hold that. For this I wouldn't focus on heart rate (record it for science!), but focus on how you feel, hows your lungs, hows your legs - ride so you are comfortable and are able to finish. If that week goes well, next week make it 40 minutes, then 50, then 60. Once you do your first 60 minute week, have a look over the weeks heart rates and see how they look.
powernz
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Member for: 4 months 4 weeks

Re: Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby fatass on Fri 14/Dec/18 7:26pm

Thanks for the replies guys.

Look, I don't want to over-complicate matters, but I do like the measures as a way of staying motivated. And also, I read that your fitness level (VO2Max) has a big influence on blood pressure. The ranges for VO2Max are below 25 = very low, 25-30 = low, 30-35 = fair, 35-40 = moderate, etc. etc. So I know this isn't clear-cut, but my thinking is that if I can get my VO2Max over 30 and ideally over 35, then my fitness won't be a negative on my overall health anymore. So in that sense it's not just a relative measure that I'm looking for, because I want 30 to actually mean "fair" fitness level.

Anyway, looks like I can go to AUT to get accurate measures, so might do that early next year - https://www.autmillennium.org.nz/portfo ... rformance/

Today I went to the cardiologist again (a different one) and he repeated what his colleague said, that I should take it easy on cycling and rather walk. Then he said I can cycle for 10 minutes at a time and when I pushed for a more accurate answer, he said my systolic BP reading should ideally be below 200 at the end of the session. This evening I did 20 minutes in what the Polar app says is my best session yet and my systolic reading was 188 at the end of it. So I've decided to ignore the cardiologists for now as they don't seem capable or willing to take any additional information on board.

Anyway, bla, bla, bla... basically I'm gonna do what you guys said and just keep at it and increase the duration and effort slowly and keep monitoring my BP at the end of the session to make sure it doesn't go too high - but 10 minutes ain't gonna cut it!
fatass
Member for: 1 year 0 months

Re: Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby philstar on Sat 15/Dec/18 12:11am

fatass wrote:Look, I don't want to over-complicate matters, but I do like the measures as a way of staying motivated. And also, I read that your fitness level (VO2Max) has a big influence on blood pressure. The ranges for VO2Max are below 25 = very low, 25-30 = low, 30-35 = fair, 35-40 = moderate, etc. etc. So I know this isn't clear-cut, but my thinking is that if I can get my VO2Max over 30 and ideally over 35, then my fitness won't be a negative on my overall health anymore. So in that sense it's not just a relative measure that I'm looking for, because I want 30 to actually mean "fair" fitness level.

Anyway, looks like I can go to AUT to get accurate measures, so might do that early next year - https://www.autmillennium.org.nz/portfo ... erformance


then you should do a polar vo2max measure with the polar after you do the AUT so you can get a cross calibration (or do them at the dame time if you can) they may even do a calibration service?
philstar
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"misanthropic"
Member for: 13 years 0 months

Re: Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby fatass on Fri 18th Jan 6:35am

Well, some good news. Yesterday morning my HR monitor reported my Fitness Level (VO2Max) as 29. I was surprised that it had jumped so much from 24 back in November and 26 in mid December, so I checked it checked it again in the evening and it said 30!! It always varies a little, so I'm not worried about that. Still, happy with the progress.

I'm riding the train to work now and cycle to and from the train station for a total of 4km in the mornings and have started cycling "all" the way home for 9.5km in the afternoons. Plus jumping on the rebounder on days that I don't cycle.

And...

fatass wrote:One of my problems is that while setting this up you have to give your weight, age etc. and maximum HR. 220 - my age (47) = 173, but there's no way I can get my HR anywhere near 173!!!


I found a study on PubMed that found that one of the drugs I take (Diltiazem) dropped the test patients' maximum HR from average 171 to 142, which is pretty much exactly what I found. So no need to pay AUT for a test, just need to keep doing what I'm doing.
fatass
Member for: 1 year 0 months

Re: Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby AgrAde on Sat 19th Jan 8:19am

That's good news! Seems like the plan should be just keep doing what you're doing and watch the numbers get better and better :thumbsup:
AgrAde
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Member for: 15 years 3 months

Re: Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby philstar on Thu 24th Jan 12:37pm

fatass wrote:
I've got one of these Polar HR chest straps connected to Polar Beat app on my phone and it says my VO2MAX is 26 (up from 24 in November!!). They don't actually call it VO2Max because it's just a home/casual measure,


i had a look at the polar fitness test upgrade, and from my interpretation it just measures resting HR and correlates that with VO2 (ie people with a resting HR of 73 have a vo2 of 30)
philstar
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"misanthropic"
Member for: 13 years 0 months

Re: Help For Super Unfit And Where To Get Max Hr Tested

Postby fatass on Tue 29th Jan 5:59pm

philstar wrote:i had a look at the polar fitness test upgrade, and from my interpretation it just measures resting HR and correlates that with VO2 (ie people with a resting HR of 73 have a vo2 of 30)


I don't think it's quite that simple.

https://support.polar.com/nz/support/information_about_polar_fitness_test_and_fitness_testing_in_general

"Polar Fitness Test™ is based on an individual’s gender, age, height, body weight, the level of physical activity, heart rate and heart rate variability measured at rest."

and

"the mean deviation in Polar Fitness Test™ prediction was less than 12% compared to the laboratory measures of maximal aerobic power. Thus the validity of the Polar Fitness Test™ is good. "

I'm sure it's not terribly accurate, but hopefully a bit more than just a scalar lookup on resting HR.
fatass
Member for: 1 year 0 months

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