Hello Lucinda McGrew Dyjak,
I assume the difference is bodyweight being supported on the bike seat without seeing the machines being used. If arms are incorporated that will raise HR. Think of how when we sit it is easy to fidget the legs but once we stand up to do the same thing we use more energy. I would take the HR with the grain of salt as a guide and use RPE/talk test to keep the person in a safe zone. I would keep a close eye on her if the HR is truly 160 and back off; use the RPE and watch for signs and symptoms. Age alone, 160 is high; but, you know the client’s history as I do not.
Natalie aka NAPS 2 B Fit.
Mark is right on. The other thing to keep in mind is that the formula of 220 minus age for maximum heart rate is an average and can differ from person to person.
160 is a little high, but if this is the first of second time for her in the stairclimber then it’s normal (you will need to monitor for any distress signs). HR on the bike will always be lower than the stairclimber for obvious reasons. Each person reacts differently to various intensity levels and what seems difficult for one person it might not be for another. If she is in good health condition and she feels comfortable at 160 bpm despite her age I wouldn’t worry too much. RPE scale is a great way of finding out how she really feels. The same goes for any of the other machines.
I too agree that an exercise performed while standing (stair climber) will result in a higher HR because more muscles are being activated. Mark definitely had some very good points as did all the others. Karin also had a good point that the 220 minus the age is just an average across the board and does not take into account the clients physical health. Another thing you might want to use is the Karvonon formula which takes into account a persons maximum heart rate and their resting heart rate.
To find ones resting heart rate (RHR) they would need to take their pulse for 1 minute at least 3 days (preferably 5 days) in a row after waking but before rising out of bed without an alarm waking the person up. Write these numbers down then add them and divide by 3 or 5 depending on how many days they took their RHR. This will give you the persons average resting heart rate (RHR).
220 minus age = maximum heart rate (MHR)
MHR minus RHR = HRR (heart rate reserve)
HRR multiplied by training % + RHR = bpm
Ex: 50 year old with a resting heart rate of 65 bpm who wants to train at 70%
220 – 50 = 170 (MHR)
170 – 65 (RHR) = 105 bpm (heart rate reserve)
105 X .70 + 65 = 139 bpm
As someone else already pointed out, use your best judgment. You know your client better than I do. If it is unsafe for your client don’t have them train that hard. Using the RPE may be another option.
Hope all of this helps!
There is a big difference between the bike and the stair climber as you can see. You would be the best person to determine the levels that are safe for your client. It is good to use both heart rate and RPE as you are doing. It is easy get winded on the stair climber as you are carrying your body upright against gravity.
You would need to consider your reasons for putting your client on the stairclimber, as well as making sure balance is good for that client. Taking everything into consideration and looking at the big picture of what you wish to accomplish will help guide you.