Weightlifting & Exercise/Maximum Heart Rate


I have been trying to follow a heart-rate training program to improve my aerobic endurance for running.  I've gone through P-90X and have built strength, but if you know P-90X, you know that endurance is not a key part.  I am trying to determine my maximum heart rate.  Website formulas tell me that since I am 34, it should be between 185 and 190.  Yet when I track it over a hard run or intense cardio workout, I have peaked to 210, and even once to 240!  I am 5'10" and 185lbs.   Is my heart rate monitor broken or do I just have a really high MHR?  I am using a Garmin Forerunner chest-strap monitor, so it's not a cheap watch-style one.
Also, I see you are in Mt. Airy.  I am in Baltimore.  Is there somewhere I can go locally to get a professional MHR done?

Hi Joel I do not have great answers for you, so take it for what it is worth.  The website formulas can have a pretty high deviation both high and low for a lot of people, so they are not very reliable.

A MHR over 200 is pretty high, most doctors will tell you it isn't even possible to get to 240 and call the equipment failure.

In my experience I have only ever had one client extremely close to that 200 mark and it ended up that she was taking pills she should not have been.

If you were my client and your heart rate was that high I would definitely have you discuss this with your doctor before further vigorous exercise.

Keep in mind 2-3 things;there are certain drugs that play a role in changing your heart rate and blood pressure, your current level of conditioning will change your exercise heart rate, and lastly your resting heart rate will play a role.

I am sorry I am not really answering your question, talk with your doctor.  I am not exactly sure where they do testing, however I think there may be a gym in Columbia that may do some of that kind of testing, also ask your doctor.

Good luck!  

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Karen Skidmore


I can answer questions in the following areas: general fitness questions, strength training, flexibility, aerobic training, balance training and corrective/rehab training. Please no questions regarding specific injuries I would need more information then what you can provide in an email to answer these questions accurately. You must be 18 years or older to ask me a question. If you need more in depth help or would like help with your specific workout plans please visit my website. I offer online training and phone consultations. www.completely-fit.com. I also offer a monthly newsletter.


I am the owner of the Completely Fit personal training company located in Mt. Airy, Maryland. My company offers one-on-one, online and group fitness training services, sports performance and team training, weight education classes and healthy lifestyle seminars. Before starting my own company I taught health and physical education for 10 years. I have been the featured speaker on topics such as fitness and exercise, proper nutrition and health awareness. I graduated from Edinboro University with a degree in education specializing in athletic training. I gained my NATA certification in 1994. I also maintain certifications as a personal trainer with NCSF & NSPA, as a performance enhancement specialist with NASM, as well as an exercise development specialist and a nutrition specialist. Calling on my experience with college athletes and teaching middle school students, I decided to use my knowledge to educate the general public on the benefits of physical fitness and healthy eating habits. I enjoy working with people and helping them achieve each and every one of their goals. Completely Fit offers services to everyone, from beginners to professional athletes.

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