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  1. #1
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    Default CPAT and heart rate

    How much does a stair step machine resmble the stairs used for the CPAT?

    Also can your heart rate be too high while working out? I am WAY above my tgt heart rate when I work out. I remember seeing alot of 160-190. Is this bad??

    Thanks


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    I believe the stairmaster is very similar, as many depts use 3:00min at level 6 to simulate the stair climb. And yes, your heart rate can be too high during a workout. I was always told to work up to the 170 and not much higher than that, and not do it for a long period of time. Usually two weeks of 30min at 140, then 150, then 10min of 160...this is just what my trainer said..by no means is he a doctor. Also, on my physical for the Academy, it had the Dr. sign off that I was in good enough health for my heart rate to go 185...

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    Default Heart Rate/Stairmaster

    A step mill made by stairmaster is much the same as they use in a CPAT. It is made by the company stairmaster. A stairmaster is NOT the same as a step mill, nor is it the same as the one they use in the CAPT. Train with a step mill.
    Substituting actual stairs is tough unless you have a very tall building.

    Yes, people can make their heart rate go too high, and it can be dangerous. Athletes can, over time, train their hearts to go very very high. A gradual increase as suggested above is key. Studies show, though, that the human body can adapt with proper training. I doctor's ok for this sort of training is strongly suggested, and often required by deparment.

    In my 20's I used to run hills- anything from a 5 k to 100 mile races. I did speed training once a week by doing sprint intervals uphill. I did not have a heart rate monitor, but would check my heart rate on my Carotid artery. I counted it at a 15 second count of 50 to 55 many times. Multiplied by 4 makes 200- 220. By all rights, I should not be here- according to old thinking.

    I am not suggesting that anyone do this. I am only saying that it can be done... if it's done properly... in a trained athlete.

    Best wishes!
    Dr. Jen
    www.fireagility.com

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    Quote Originally Posted by adam18 View Post
    How much does a stair step machine resmble the stairs used for the CPAT?

    Also can your heart rate be too high while working out? I am WAY above my tgt heart rate when I work out. I remember seeing alot of 160-190. Is this bad??

    Thanks
    To be safe, have a medical physical first. Determine what your baseline pulse is and go from there (ask your doc). If you are clear for athletic conditioning, you will find this a good way increasing your vo2 max and endurance. When doing athletic conditioning, your age (considering that you are healthy) is the rule of thumb for determining what your athletic conditioning range should be in. For my age, I keep it at about 165 to 170 beats per minute. If you are medically clear to do this, you'll find your age-to-pulse rate table on most gym treadmills or ask your doctor.

    To begin athletic conditioning on the stairs, put yourself at the speed that will get you to your target heart rate. If you are weighted, you'll be slower. Workout at that target heart-rate speed. Note that it will go up and down a little, but, eventually, it will go up and stay up. This means you are reaching your max and need to slow down, cooling off, and then stop. Over time, you will find that your heart rate starts going lower and that your endurance becomes longer. Essentially, you'll be be able to go faster (or add weight) and not burn out as fast, while maintaining your target heart rate.

    Start carefully. You'll be going along well enough for a minute to two at the Ath.Con. rate, and the you'll begin to feel a difference in your breathing and body. If you are not dizzy or having difficulty breathing, keep going and allow your breathing to change. Focus on your exhaling. Remember, the normal healthy person's breathing is not physiologically regulated by a need for oxygen but, rather, it is regulated by increases in the body's carbon dioxide level. So that breathing change is essentially your body saying, "I need to exhale this carbon dioxide byproduct of all this exercising." Focus on your breathing -- make an effective exhale. Stay calm. It may take a minute or so for your breathing to change and feel comfortable.

    If your breathing does not regulate, or when your heart rate goes up and stays up, slow down the machine or lighten your weights, until your breathing is stabalized and your heart rate is back in the athletic conditioning range.

    If, at any time, you become faint, dizzy, or start breathing too quickly (hyperventilating), slow down to a safe stop, and sit right down before you fall down.

    If possible, try not to stop suddenly. Of course, if you are going to fall or pass out, then get off. (Please don't take yourself to the pass out point... that's over doing it.) Note that if you stop suddenly, your heart is still pumping hard and fast to a now static body. You are going to feel it. When safe, try to always slow yourself down and allow your body to gradually adjust.

    In the sports medicine journals, I've read that interval training is preferred, being better on the muscles (both that cardiac and skeletal). Don't go straight static or straight aerobic. Mix it up. Also, when your cardiac ability improves, mix things up a bit. Fast to slow, stairs, treadmill, bike, etc.

    For CPAT, I found that doing weighted stairs followed immediately by a fast treadmill walk (don't run, your knees WILL thank you) was really beneficial. At the end of the treadmill, hop back on those stairs for a couple minutes if possible. Mix up your weight training in with it too. One day, start with weights, the next start with cardio.

    Just in case you are really zealous about doing this, remember that too much of anything is harmful. Over doing athletic conditioning can lead to hypertrophy of the heart (the heart muscle gets big... too big, in the same manner that a bicep gets big). While having a big muscle might sound ideal, the heart is squeezed into a tough pericardial sac that doesn't get big, and it's usually just an area/section of the heart that gets big (ie, left ventricular) which causes it's own set of heart problems. Moral of the story: Strong muscles > big muscles. Yet, you need to be pretty zealous to manage this. Again, follow your physician's advice on what is considered overdoing it.

    Side note: Athletic conditioning results in bradycardia (heart rate less than 60 bpm). Your heart rate becomes slower become it pumps more efficiently.

    Final Side Note: You'll get a more accurate pulse by counting the beats for thirty seconds and multiplying the number. The less time you count it for, the higher margin of error, especially when the pulse rate is not static. When you have your balance down on the stairmill, try checking your radial pulse rather than compressing the carotid.

    Hope this helps.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam18 View Post
    How much does a stair step machine resmble the stairs used for the CPAT?

    Also can your heart rate be too high while working out? I am WAY above my tgt heart rate when I work out. I remember seeing alot of 160-190. Is this bad??

    Thanks
    I posted a reply to really early this morning. It didn't seem to take, so I'll do it again.

    First off, if you haven't done so already, go get your medical physical. Make sure your health will allow this. Tell your physician what you're up to. Get your baseline pulse rate and start from there.

    For endurance and raising your vo2max, athletic conditioning is great when worked into the rest of your excercise routine. When you doing athletic conditioning, you are working your heart at a targeted rate and keeping it there. At 31, I keep my target at 165 to 170 when conditioning.

    To begin atheletic conditioning, your determine what your target heart rate should be and set your exercise level to meet that. On the stair mill (CPAT), begin your climb and set the pace when you reach your target heart rate. If you are weighted (gradually add weights), you will be going slower. As you are exercising, you will notice that your pulse may have a five to ten beat differential. This is okay so long it is averaging your target range.

    When you hit your max, that pulse rate will go up and stay up. Slow down gradually, allowing your body to adjust, and then stop when ready.

    As you continue this, your heart will get stronger. You will notice that your heart rate goes down and that you are able to maintain it longer. Move your speed up or increase the weight an appropriate amount until your are again within your target atheletic conditioning range (don't go overboard on the weights, respect your joints and spine).

    If possible, mix up your routine. Straight aerobic or straight static exercising is generally not considered as beneficial as a balanced program. Sports medicine journals are a good reference for this. Interval stairs with other cardio excercises and weight training. Change the routine up so that your body doesn't get used to it.

    BREATHING: When starting the athletic conditioning, focusing on your breathing will be beneficial. Focus on your exhaling. Remember that the healthy person's breathing is regulated not by oxygen need but by increasing carbon dioxide levels. When you feel your breathing change, stay calm, and focus on smooth complete exhalations to get rid of that carbon dioxide byproduct of your body's hard work. It may take a minute or so for your body to adjust. So long as you do not become dizzy, faint, or breathing too fast (hyperventilating) try to steady your breathing and make those exhalations efficient until your breathing feels comfortable. This will help prevent a tachycardia spurt.

    If, at anytime, you become dizzy, faint, tunnel vision, etc; slow down the machine, stop excercising, and rest. If you feel passing out or falling off is immenient, then stop the machine immediately and sit down until recovered. Better still, stop before you get to that point.

    Whenever possible, and safe, try to gradually slow your excercise down before stopping. Stopping suddenly is hard on your body. That cardiac output is still going strong for a suddenly static body. You'll feel it; try not to do it.

    Also, with those stairmills, you don't have to climb endlessly away at them. You can always mix them with the treadmill doing a period of time on one and then moving directly to the other (try to keep moving). Keep the treadmill speed to meet your athletic conditioning heart rate and excercise until your max is met (when your heart rate no longer stays stable but climbs... or you've simply been on long enough).

    Just is case your a zealous person about training, remember that too much of anything can causes problems. Overdoing athletic conditioning can cause hypertrophy in sections of the heart (the heart muscle gets big -- typically the left ventricle, but is still stuffed into a fixed sized percaridal sack). This causes a whole new set of problems which I won't detail here. Everything in moderation.

    Also, there was a helpful post about checking your pulse rate. Taking it for thirty seconds and then multiplying the number by two will give you a more accurate heart rate than the quarter count mentioned. The lower the interval of time you count for, the greater the margin of error because your heart rate will not likely be perfectly even. Also, once you've learned to balance yourself on the stairmill, take your radial pulse instead. Avoid compressing the carotid if you don't have to.

    Finally, athletic condition sometimes causes bradycardia (under 60 beats per second) because the heart is beating more efficiently. If you started with a baseline pulse rate, you'll likely notice that after few months, your new average resting pulse rate is lower.

    Hope this helps.

  6. #6

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    Default Training Heart Rate

    Quote Originally Posted by adam18 View Post
    How much does a stair step machine resmble the stairs used for the CPAT?

    Also can your heart rate be too high while working out? I am WAY above my tgt heart rate when I work out. I remember seeing alot of 160-190. Is this bad??

    Thanks
    C-PAT Step mill is the exact same as the step mill (stair machine). Remember, the pace is rather slow (one step per second). Which, when weighted down, can represent more of a challenge.

    Heart rate while training is the subject of a lot of debate. If you're conditioned, training heart rate should not have a limit (get doc's clearance). In the real world (actual fire ops), your heart rate will NOT be limited, so as a firefighter, it's important that you prepare yourself for this eventuality and train hard.

    As your body adapts, your actual heart rate will lower for the same amount of work performed (increased stroke volume or blood pumped with each beat). This information is based on scores of candidates of trained with one on one.

    Hope this helps.
    Captain Mike
    www.firefightersworkout.com

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