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Recovery heart rate

Hi! I've been reading the internet about recovery heart rate and I've measured mine. According to them, anything below 12 beats is not in good shape.

After a moderately intense workout (30 minutes), my HR is 180.
After 1 minute of rest it goes down to 138.

So, my recovery heart rate is 180-138 = 42, which is, according to them is excellent.

I've done this the second time, this time with full all out intensity (30 minutes), my HR went up to 210.

After 1 minute it goes down to 150.
After 2 minutes it goes down to 126.
After 3 minutes it goes down to 114.

So, my recovery heart rate is 210-150 = 60.

I want to know whether you guys have the same drop.



  • blakedaddyblakedaddy Moderator PEx Expert 🎖️
    ^ what workout did you do?
  • Treadmill work. :)
  • The usefulness of recovery heart rate is questionable. You will get different results depending on the exercise you use.

    Someone who has done a lot of running might have a fast recovery when tested on the treadmill, but terrible recovery if asked to do something like a barbell complex or KB swings. They might even have bad recovery if tested on a bike or erg, simply because they had not trained and adapted to it.
  • I'll paste one of the articles:

    "Heart rate recovery (HRR) is the rate at which the heart rate returns to baseline after a period of exercise.

    Complete recovery of the heart rate may take an hour after light activity, several hours after long-duration aerobic exercise, and perhaps 24 hours after intense exercise. One easy way to measure HRR is to measure the change in heart rate during the first minute after submaximal exercise: a drop in heart rate of 15-20 beats per minute might be typical and a value less than 12 would be unfavorable.

    We’ve known in medical circles for nearly 20 years that HRR is a useful index of cardiovascular fitness. The whole area of HRR and its clinical implications is a subject of current investigation, but it is well established that HRR is a strong predictor of both cardiovascular-related and all-cause mortality in healthy adults.

    The typical endurance athlete will be aware of HRR, at least informally, and particularly how it manifests during an interval workout. With a heart rate monitor, it’s easy to get a general sense of how quickly the heart rate returns to baseline after a period of submaximal or maximal exercise. It’s only in recent years, though, that investigators have begun to study HRR rigorously as it relates to endurance athletes and recovery.

    A 2010 report by Lambert and colleagues at the University of Cape Town formalized the use of HRR in a study of well-trained cyclists. They used an HRR measurement protocol that consisted of a 15-minute period of cycling on a trainer (6 minutes at 60% max heart rate, 6 minutes at 80% max heart rate, and 3 minutes at 90% max heart rate) and HRR was defined as the change in heart rate during the first minute after stopping exercise.

    The investigators made several important observations about HRR:

    A slight increase in HRR accompanies fitness gain during a training cycle
    An unexpected increase in HRR may indicate fatigue due to training
    A decrease in HRR during a training cycle may indicate overtraining

    As you can see, HRR may well be a physiologic parameter that can be used to gauge the effects of training as well as the readiness to race. You can expect to hear more about HRR and endurance athletes in the years ahead."


    For me, I'm not a runner. I only do 15mins warm up on the treadmill before I hit the iron. Occasionally, I might do some boxing and a 5km run, if I'm in the mood. But, nothing near training for a marathon. I'm just a regular gym goer. :)
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