1. Have you installed the new JSF Mobile app? Check out all the details here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. One account & one avatar for all of JSF. Unified login and profile. Forum alerts on the main site, and more. Check out the details here: Forum & main site unified account feature is live!
    Dismiss Notice

HIIT and Heart Rate monitors...

Discussion in 'Fat Loss/Cutting' started by SCHTEEVIE, Dec 6, 2006.

  1. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    I just did a search and failed to find what I was looking for.

    I am getting into cardio from the stand point of actually trying to strengthen my heart and lower my resting heart rate.
    (I figure some fat loss at the same time will be a welcome side effect :jumping:

    Anyway - all my searching lead to people talking about doing HIIT by variations in effort as opposed to heart rate...
    Isn't it more important to measure your Cardio work out in terms of heart rate as opposed to the much less quantifiable idea of "effort"??

    I have a high end Polar Heart Rate monitor, and I am always amazed by how much of a different story the monitor tells as opposed to my perceived effort.

    Anyway - I guess my question is sort of lost here, but what I was trying to find out is, how to do HIIT propperly.

    My understanding is to do the following
    alternate for 20-25 mintues:
    60%-1 minute
    90%-1 minute

    HOWEVER, based on heart rate, it takes me 2-3 minutes to get down from 90% (>160 BPM) back to 60% (<130 BPM) even if I feel "ready" to do the 90% after only 1 minute at 60%...
    I am in pretty good shape, but that is how it is.
    Should I focus on LISS Cardio to strengthen my heart more before getting into HIIT?

    Raise your hand if you think my post is long winded and confusing
    :neener:
     
    #1 SCHTEEVIE, Dec 6, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2006
  2. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
    Lifetime Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,201
    Likes Received:
    2
    As usual (ha), it depends on who you ask. :)

    My opinion? No, effort is more important to me when doing high-intensity cardio. That might have something to do with the fact that I have enough experience to tell when I've "hit the level 10" though. Or, maybe I'm just too tired (annoyed?) to glance down at my heart rate when I'm that out of breath! :)

    I don't really know if judging by heart rate would be better. I've never paid attention to heart rate during HIIT training, and honestly never needed to because I was successful going by effort alone.

    Your understanding (60 for one minute, 90 for one minute, repeat) isn't wrong, but it's not the only way. HIIT means "high intensity interval training," but those intervals can be 1 minute, 2 minutes, or 10 seconds. There are easily 10,000 ways to do HIIT. Did you play sports as a kid? Did the coach make you do wind sprints? Those are pretty much HIIT sessions (sprint up and back a few times, rest, go again). How about running up a hill and walking down? Also HIIT, pretty much.

    I have no idea what the experts consider optimal for the heart rate to be for each interval. For me it's just "hard, easy, hard, easy."

    Or, you don't even have to go back and forth like that. Another fun style (BFL) would be to walk for a minute, walk fast for a minute, jog for a minute, and jog very fast for a minute, then drop back to walking for a minute (repeat).

    Another favorite of mine (works well when you have not done cardio in a while; this helps you progressively get better): This week do a total of 15 minutes of HIIT each session. Start out with a 3-4 minute warmup, then start your intervals: 15 seconds of all out running hard, and 45 seconds of walking. 15 more seconds of all out running hard, and 45 more seconds of walking. Continue for about 7-8 intervals, and then give yourself a 3-4 minute cooldown (walking). Next week, let's try increasing the "fast" interval and decreasing the "slow" interval. Now, sprint for 20 seconds, but walk for 40. Progression...

    Who gets long winded now? :neener: :D

    Depends. How out of shape are you? Did you let yourself go? Are you getting winded when you walk to the stop sign and back? If so, some LISS might be better for now.

    But remember HIIT and that perceived effort would be different for you than it would be for the next guy. Your "level 10" might be a 3.0 on the treadmill for 10 seconds, while someone elses might be a level 6.5 for 30 seconds. If you're not really obese or anything I personally don't see a problem with starting HIIT now. Your faster intervals just might not be very fast (or long) right now, but you'll get better.
     
  3. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the fast and detailed reply!

    My main concern is that when my heart Rate monitor tells me I am at 90%, I have to hold back to keep it there, otherwise it easliy gets up over 100% before I start to feel "winded" and I can't imagine that is a good thing.

    I am 32 healthy and in pretty good shape - I've been on and off serious about working out for years, but never really cared much about cardio until this past year.
    Recently, I've done mostly LISS cardio for over 3 months 3-4 times a week, and now I was thinking would be a good time to step it up.

    But like I said, if I didn't use the monitor, clearly I'd be over doing it, and that wouldn't likely be healthy for my heart...?

    Incase anyone was wondering, I use an elliptical and/or a treadmill at my gym.

    slightly off topic - but what is a good heart rate for a 32 year old guy to do LISS at?
    I ussually aim for 140-150 BPM
     
    #3 SCHTEEVIE, Dec 6, 2006
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2006
  4. jesse1

    jesse1 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2004
    Messages:
    485
    Likes Received:
    0
    The hrm is simply a tool (guide) and not an exact measurement of where you should be. I routinely get to 100%. You can also just try SHIT, sustained high intensity training. Get your heart rate up to 90% and if that is comfortable just keep it there for your entire workout. I am normally between 80 and 100% after a short warmup for 45 minutes.
     
  5. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    17,431
    Likes Received:
    20
    It's not possible to be over 100% MRH. :)

    Your MHR in your monitor is an estimate. Sounds like your MHR is higher than your monitor is estimating for you.

    I'm with 1FastGTX. I don't overthink. I just push as hard as I can through my interval, then drop back to a "coast" during the recovery periods.
     
  6. BigIzz

    BigIzz Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2006
    Messages:
    66
    Likes Received:
    0
    I always just assumed that percentages attached to HIIT were not really what your heart rate should be for a given interval because of the problem you outline. I've always just assumed that they were like a vague "effort" percentage, since your heart rate doesn't respond in real time to equal your effort level. I've noticed as I've had a heart monitor that at different times my heart rates can fluctuate quite a bit (i.e., I need to use different levels on the machine to reach my target heart rate, I need to go faster or slower, sometimes it takes me a long time to reach my target HR, other times I hit in within a minute or two, etc.)
     
  7. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for the input, but I don't think you guys are seeing my concern -

    It IS possible to go over 100% recommended HR
    (say 185 BPM for a 32 year old for example)

    Clearly 100% of your "possible" HR is not a safe place to be... I am sure if I busted my butt, I could get to 200 BPM - do you see what I am saying?
     
  8. Robert2006

    Robert2006 Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1,695
    Likes Received:
    0
    According to my HR monitor I hit 205 for six seconds one day last week :rolleyes: Didn't even feel that bad.

    To the best of my knowledge the 220 - age rule is just a rule of thumb. At my age that means 178. So I was at 115% :whistle:

    There was a study I think that claimed a bigger issue is how long it takes for your heart rate to drop. If it can't drop 12 beats in 1 minute you're in trouble. Some thing like that.
     
  9. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    17,431
    Likes Received:
    20
    IMO, you're really overthinking this. If I'm worried about what my HRM says, I'm not putting all out effort into my interval. You are not going to exceed your true MHR (which is not what your monitor might estimate).

    If you don't think you are in good enough shape to handle full effort without risk, maybe you should work at lower levels for awhile and work up? Do some intervals at medium intensities for awhile to build up your fitness levels before moving on to HIIT.
     
  10. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    I am not concerned with what my HRM "estimates" - I have it set to simply tell me my HR as the actual BPM number ie: 155
    - I decide what is 80% or what ever based on medical advice...
    Do yo usee what I am saying?
    I see people doing "all out cardio" - that are probably pushing 200+ BPM - that can't be healthy no matter what kind of shape you are in or how you might "feel" at the time...

    Does anyone else see what I am saying? :doh:
     
  11. MannishBoy

    MannishBoy Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2005
    Messages:
    17,431
    Likes Received:
    20
    The people you THINK might be pushing 200 bpm just might be in the kind of shape that they aren't really pushing that high a heart rate. That's the thing with cardio, the more you do, the more efficient you get. You're VO2Max rises so you have more work capacity. It gets harder and harder to get the heart rate up there. It's kind of diminishing returns.

    If you think it's unhealthy, don't do it. I've personally made great gains with HIIT and other high intensity work, but it isn't for everybody. My blood pressure has gotten better, resting heart rate has dropped, etc.

    Heck, I did HIIT during chemo for God's sake. A couple of days after a 6 hour treatment. My "high" wasn't as high during that period as it is now, but it was full effort and it actually kept my energy levels UP.
     
  12. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    I understand how it works in terms of strengthening the heart and getting better over time - I was just looking for more people to give me input about how HIIT actually works, and specifically HOw they do it.

    At this point when I do HIIT, I am going to continue to use my HRM to make sure I don't get over 185 BPM during my "intense cycle" and to make sure that I get down to atleast 140 BPM on my "rest cycle".
    So it might be 3-4 minutes between cycle changes if needed.
    Does that sound like a good plan? :confused:
     
  13. Barber

    Barber Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    364
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with FastGTX-
    Use effort-based since depending on the HR you have, there is a "delay" as well as interference.

    The only times I found HR monitors useful is when I feel like i'm going at a certain level of effort but my HR reads a lot lower than I expected. Then, I generally "force" myself to go faster to achieve the HR I want. The reason this happens to me is that my "legs" usually cannot keep up with my heart...with the frequency of running on pavement combined with brutal leg days really take a toll on my legs. If my legs are really fatigued, I'll generally increase the carbs in my diet and/or drop the HR down to 65-75% and go longer (LISS).
     
  14. 1FastGTX

    1FastGTX Elite Member
    Lifetime Platinum Member

    Joined:
    May 17, 2004
    Messages:
    9,201
    Likes Received:
    2
    Great post.

    I was thinking this exact same thing. If you're busy getting that concerned about your heart rate, I wonder how intense the intervals will actually be.

    And good advice on the "working up to it."

    Why can't it be healthy? (Honest question.)

    Again, I am far from a cardio expert. But personally I'd still rather go by effort rather than trying to fool around with a heart rate monitor.

    I like how Bill Phillips and his gang describe it. They seem to talk about efforts being slightly less intense as what I would normally go for (which is why I typically liked shooting for shorter duration "fast intervals"), and because of this I thought a few quotes might be beneficial for you...

    http://www.hussmanfitness.org/html/TPBodyforLife.html :
    http://www.bodyforlife.com/exercise/cardiotraining.asp :
     
  15. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
    Lifetime Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    17,137
    Likes Received:
    14
    It's not clear that there is anything unsafe about going at your maximum heart rate unless you have some defect or disease state. If you are normal, and you try and go harder and harder, then your heart just won't go any faster than it can, and you can only sustain the 100% MHR for a short time.

    Even if you get pretty close to that rate - say 98% MHR, you can only go for a short time. You have to train to be able to sustain stuff like 95% MHR.

    Now I'm 48 and I can sustain a heart rate of 177 bpm for a long time - last time I tried I got that for over twenty minutes. If you go by some age based formula, my MHR is "supposed" to be 173. Well it's obviously not. It's definitely over 183, which I reached in the last workout, and when I was doing quarter mile all out uphill sprints a while back, I was getting over 200 bpm.

    So why is it "clear" that 100% MHR is not safe? What's the evidence?
     
  16. zenpharaohs

    zenpharaohs Elite Member
    Lifetime Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2005
    Messages:
    17,137
    Likes Received:
    14
    Are you a cardiologist?

    I see what you are saying.

    But why do you think it is true? If you can share that, then maybe I will think it is true.

    At the moment I do not think what you are saying is true.
     
  17. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks for all the help everyone - I am starting to understand this more clearly...

    Just to be certain everyone understands regarding the HRM - I am not "messing with it" - I simply glance at it to confirm my HR - and most of the time I don't even need to look down at my wrist, because the ellipticals and treadmills at my gym are "polar ready" so they receive the signal from my chest band.


    (Regrading my bservation that I see people at my gym that apear to be working "too hard" and getting what apears to be close to 200 BPM)
    These are generally out of shape people that don't appear to know what they are doing, but think they need to kill themselves to do cardio - they are gasping, sweating profusely, and are running very sloppily with poor form, because they are so fatigued - that is what leads me to believe they are way over doing it and if they had a HRM, maybe they would know it, because they don't seem to listen to the natural cues of thier bodies...
     
  18. cajunman

    cajunman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    0
  19. cajunman

    cajunman Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2006
    Messages:
    547
    Likes Received:
    0
    I agree with this. Just like workload or volume with weight training, cardiovascular exercise should be monitored and tracked not by distance or calories, but by heart rate. Improve as much as possible at a certain level/volume (BPM x time), then increase BPM or time in an incremental fashion. If you're doing 20 minutes at 200BPM already, where the hell can you go? Beginners will get better, quicker results with lower intensity cardio exercise than with desperation stagger-runs on the treadmill. Training for 20 minutes at 180 bpm + is for advanced or elite athletes, not Mr or Mrs Couch Potato looking to get in shape.
    (All statements are IMNSHO)
     
  20. SCHTEEVIE

    SCHTEEVIE Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2004
    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    0
    This sums up how I feel. But I wanted to get a bunch of opinions from "people in the know" - so I came here :bow:

    I am taking careful and precise steps toward strengthening my heart safely and conservatively.
    I think the heart is a pretty important muscle :tu:
     

Share This Page