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British Heart Foundation
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Exercise heart rates whilst on Betablockers

I posted something the other day in a reply to another thread about HR Exercise and BB how I had decided to just listen to my body and keep my HR to a sensible level. Well today I received and email from the Myzone after my last few days workouts increasing my Max HR from 169 to 178 (must think I'm a real athlete) based on the figures that my chest HR belt automatically sends to the server over a few sessions. For those that do not know what Myzone is have a read


Basically it monitors your HR whilst working out both in and outside of the gym and determines your workout zones.

It does not in any way shape or form benefit me now as it assumes that I have no HR issues. It is a great piece of kit for anyone who is not having their HR supressed by meds.

So its back to my good old Garmin and chest monitor. I have set my own safe parimeters going forward, that wont make me chase the numbers.

I just hope that this post helps readers to undertsand that we have a diferent set of rules we have to observe and it does not mean our new exercise boundaries are any less meaningful.


14 Replies

Hi cube,

Thanks for this very helpful



I have just contacted Myzone and they adjusted my HR to what I would deem 100% so I can carry on using the belt. Yippee!

Instead of 178 as max I asked them to set max at 130 initially, as I have been working at about 120bpm

1 like

Hi Cube,

we had a long discussion about determining maximum heart rates during exercise a while back and, I believe, we pretty much bottomed it out.


It's a long post but the bottom half talks about the calculations used. I've since had my revised max exercising HR confirmed by my consultant cardiologist who is happy for me to get upto 140bpm. I've also had a stress test since where it went up to 148 with no problems. Everyone is different depending on their fitness and heart condition(s) but it should give you some idea.

All the best,



Cheers Marc

Some interesting reading in your link.

This HR stuff is really personal to everyone and trying to find an equation is so difficult.

I am just just going to use 110 to 120 as my zone at present. Before my zones were adjusted, my average 110bpm equated to 61% and my max was 169, that is with the Betablockers of course. I did a 20k 40 min stationary bike session in high low blocks mode and I had a good sweat on with no discomfort which was ideal.

Thanks again


Hi Cube,

I think it's a good idea to keep your heart rate within those limits for now. I'd be wary of doing too much pre-op as it may be detrimental.. the last thing you need is to push yourself and bring on a serious event like a heart attack. Once that happens you end up with permanent heart muscle damage which will limit what you can do forever. Better to avoid it beforehand at all costs imho. Keep fit by all means as it can only help with recovery, but be wary of pushing yourself for now.

The good news is that a good post op life for most people can continue, albeit at a slightly slower pace. The not so good news is it takes time to get back to as near normal as you can.. months, not weeks. A lot of us have fallen into the trap of rushing the exercise and overdoing it, and have then suffered with a relapse. I think it's psychological in that we all want to get better as fast as possible, which is perfectly understandable, but the reality for heart patients is that it simply takes time. If you overdo it and relapse, you only do it once or at most twice, before the reality sinks in. Don't beat yourself up about it if it does happen, we've all been there.

Hope everything goes well for you.



Hi Marc

I certainly will not be pushing it for sure. I think 110 to 120 will be okay for me, I have no discomfort and am not knackered after and hour of crosstrainer, bike or rower but I do feel as if it was beneficiaI hope I can use that as a good gauge, would you agree? If I get any symptoms the parimeters will be reduced immediately!!

I have just been out for 2 mile brisk walk with my hound and my average HR was 76 and a max of 85.

I certainly will heed your very sensible and informative comments going forward, I need someone like you to give me reality check.

I am determined to heed advice and listen to my body over the months leading up to my op and afterwards.

Thanks again for your reply, I really do value your advice.



Hi Cube,

I think you are doing exactly the right thing mate and yes, I think you can use your heart rate as a gauge.. I did/do, although that was after rehab finished. I might be tempted to keep the exercise down to easy levels until your op but I don't know the extent of your symptoms and only you know how your body feels. You already have high fitness levels in the bank so you can afford to take it easy for now. Your obvious fitness stands you in very good stead for both your op and recovery.

Sounds like you're on the right track but if you think I can help in any way please just ask.

Take care.



Cheers Marc,

I went to the gym today and re-evaluated my 60% to 70% range to make things even safer. 20k 40 mins on the bike at 103bpm average, jumped to 120 when I got carried away. So, will contact Myzone tomorrow to have my belt reset to 148bpm max which will mean 103bpm will be 70% of 148bpm and that's where I aim to train on the three cardio machines I use.

When I look back at my stats prior to Christmas could have blown a gasket in the Speedflex Hiit sessions. I guess I am a lucky guy..

At one point I was doing 4 of those a week plus other stuff.

Hope it's okay to remain in touch.




Hi Cube,

I think that's very sensible. 103bpm should keep your fitness ticking over without overdoing it. Although Hiit training seems a great way to keep fit, I'm not sure it's really suitable for heart patients, at any stage.

That's the thing with this heart disease malarky.. you have to slow your roll and live life at a slower pace.. although hopefully not too much slower. The ethos of the heart healthcare professionals is to get you back to as close to how you were before the problems.

No problem keeping in touch mate. As I say, if I can help in any way please just ask.




Thanks Marc

Just sat at my desk having lunch and waiting for a few new trainees to turn up at 1pm (If they can be bothered lol) Looking forward to a steady gym session tonight after work to test out my new reduced Myzone Belt zones.

To be honest I am in a far better place than I was this time last Monday when I was advised that a CABG would be on the cards.

Oh and I like that phrase "Slow the roll"

Have a good day!


6 weeks after my CABG and I was doing cardio rehab at the hospital. My heart can definitely do more 9 weeks after the CABG compared to before. While not desirable, a CABG, IMHO, is better for you than a heart that doesn't have enough blood available to it


Hi David

Got to agree with you there, new plumbing is essential. It will be interesting to see what I will be like post op as I feel pretty good now, anxiety apart.



I can tell you that I didn't want the op. I got a silly notion into my head that I wasn't coming home, but obviously I have.

They are hard as nails, those cardiac peeps, made me walk to the loo on the 2nd day in the ward, carrying all my medical monitors etc with me, when I just wanted a bottle to pee into! However, day 5 I went home. I had more pain from the "cracking open my chest" bit on my chest than anything else, but I was off anything except paracetamol within a couple of weeks.

The worst bit was sneezing, but after 4 weeks my heart and therefore my ability to do anything was greater than it was before.

It is a very scary prospect, but the results are worth it!




Thanks David


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