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Ever wonder why you can be working out so hard on a bicycle, feeling like you're giving it everything you've got, but your heart rate simply doesn't reflect that? There are a few reasons why this can be happening.
1: Gravity. Simply put, your heart doesn't have to pump against gravity when you're biking as much as it would if you were running (standing). The bicycle is doing a good job at holding up your body weight, so your body doesn't have to do as much work.
2: The training response. Unless your legs are trained to cycle, the leg muscles fatigue before your heart rate can get up higher. It's a classic example of "you're only as strong as your weakest link."
So, if you're doing an assessment for your heart/cardiovascular health using a bicycle, but you rarely train on one, just know that there will be limitations to that test.
Here is a picture graph of the workout I describe in the video. 5 minutes elliptical vs. 5 minutes bicycle, repeated...
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