New HR max detected after latest ramp test?

I started working out in 2018 and I have used a Garmin 935 during workouts. Ever since my watch detects a 189bpm max HR from all workouts I’ve done. The latest ramp test, my HR shoot up to 198bpm and my 935 now set my new HR max fo 196bpm and this messes up my training HR zones.

I’ve used the same HR monitor for months, (polar oh1+), same location on the arm. What does this mean? My body really has a higher HR max? Glitch in the sensors? Should I adapt to the newer HR zones?


My first question is: When you look back at the data does it look like a spike or like your HR climbed up to 198? 198 isn’t crazy high so it’s not totally out of the question that you hit that.

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oh1+ is vastly superior to the HRM on the 935 (i have the exact setup as you). So i would generally trust it more than the 935 reading.
That said, thing could affect the OHR readings.
OHR reads changes in the skin, and sometimes running cadence can ruin that.
I have never heard of anyone having the issue with cycling, but maybe is a similar problem.

In any case. You HR is probably higher than 189. You would need to hit vo2 max wo to probably get closer to max HR.

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It’s the usual slow climb during ramp tests. This is coming from about 3 weeks of no workout. Maybe I’m very fresh and managed to hit a higher HR before bailing out?

My concern is I usually do HR training during my runs and long Z2 rides. Do I need to adapt to the higher HR zones?

Maybe. But i wouldn’t worry about it yet. You running HR will be different that you cycling HR.

Ramp test will probably get you to the limit of your bike HR. Specially if you are on a hot room.

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the red is the HR readings, right? That looks pretty legit to me.
It’s not uncommon for HR zones to change over time, particularly as enduring the discomfort necessary to hit max HR Numbers is a learned skill as much as anything. I’d treat it like you would for an unexpectedly high ramp test result- give it a try for a couple of weeks, pay attention to how it aligns with RPE and fatigue both during and after sessions, and tone it down a bit if you feel like you’re digging yourself a hole.

If you’re concerned about the accuracy of your HR training, however, I would recommend setting them by LTHR rather than max HR, and also performing separate tests for running and cycling. (running HR is usually 5-10bpm higher than the equivalent effort cycling due to the upper body recruitment.)


It’s hard to see on my tiny phone but that looks like a normally built HR to me, congrats on pushing yourself that wee bit harder and getting more watts out :+1:

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I can hit higher HRs after a period inactivity. As I get trained up it becomes harder and harder to push my heart to/near its max let alone past previous marks. If course YMMV.

Looking at the charts you put up it definitely appears to be a legitimate reading and not a flyer.


Blood plasma volume would drop significantly over that period, resulting in a higher HR to reach the same VO2. Blood plasma volume will also rebound just as quickly as it drops, and longer term VO2max adaptions wouldn’t have detrained significantly. So I would ignore this change in HRmax unless you see it again after a week or so of returning to training.

But also I don’t know what I’m talking about and just recalling to the best of my abilities what I’ve learnt from the Empirical Cycling podcast, so give that a listen if you’re interested!

set your HR zones via LTHR instead of max

An increase in max HR after a period of detraining is a documented phenomenon. I don’t remember where I saw the study. Couldn’t find with a quick search, @old_but_not_dead_yet might have it on hand