Today I was observed that after the workout, basically run -> weights -> run, I noticed my heart rate was at 170 bpm at the end of my workout. After I finished, within half an hour, it came down to 100 bpm but then it stayed close to it for really long for about an hour. It took about 2 hours to completely come back close to base 75 bpm (my actual base hangs around 69 bpm at rest). I was at rest most of this time.

I travel by bus to office which takes around 1 h 15 mins, I was trying to totally calm and rested all this time and I was expecting to get it back to normal.

So is this all normal?

  • 1
    There's no way to answer this without knowing more. Your base heart rate is fairly high-you may be trying to do too much too soon. There's NPI way to say if this is "normal" without a detailed history. Feb 25 '17 at 13:45
  • You need to monitor your two minutes recovery rate right after you finish the exercise. If the difference between BPM is between 22-50 then it is perfectly normal.
    – PravinCG
    Feb 26 '17 at 16:06

While there is no point in giving you medical advice online and no one can say whether it is normal for you, it is nevertheless possible (though not necessary) that the causes behind your elevated heart rate are natural.

Several studies, some of them referenced in Schuenke, Mikat & McBride (2002), have shown that human metabolism is much more active, even hours after the strength training. This results in a phenomenon called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). In a period for hours after the training the body will need to replenish body fuels (synthesize ATP), repair any damaged (muscular or other) cells, balance hormones and so on. All of these tasks require more oxygen intake than normally and this can lead to an elevated heart rate. (While the last inference seems logical to me, note, that I cannot provide scientific evidence that EPOC must lead to an elevated heart rate).

In short, one reason behind your pulse being higher than your pulse at rest could be that after a workout your body is not at rest. It is busy repairing and re-fueling your body!

Additional note: There is still a lot you can learn from your heart rate and monitoring it can be very informative. You just need to keep in mind that you have to compare your heart rate to other situations where you body was dealing with similar stress (and not to your heart rate at rest). If you do so, a high heart rate can be a sign that the training was more demanding than usual. It could also point at an approaching illness and be an indication of overtraining.

Nevertheless, you should always seek medical help off-line.

  • The link ' indication of overtraining.' was informative. I've been researching on it over web for long because I did it ~6 months back and still recovering. Whenever I do high intensity workout I slip back/ regress. Medical test been always normal. Is this normal too? How much time it may take to recover? I may post this as a question (already have in other forums) but I am afraid nobody may have an answer, I feel I have very rare condition right now.
    – old-monk
    Feb 25 '17 at 2:37
  • It's impossible for us to answer that question. At least with the information you have given. I would advice you to ask another question where you provide us with more information. (But be prepared that such a question may only find useful advice offline.) Feb 25 '17 at 16:53
  • 1
    Brave of you to definitively state it is normal. There could be many causes from benign to indications of injury or disease stare. Additionally, EPOC does not automatically mean an elevated heart rate. That is an inference you are making on your own.
    – JohnP
    Feb 26 '17 at 14:10
  • You're right here. It is definitely not normal in the sense that it will always happen or that EPOC will be the only cause. Instead of 'normal' I meant that an elevated heart rate after training can have normal reasons and need be not unusual. I will edit this into the post, so I am not misunderstood. Feb 26 '17 at 15:38
  • I noticed today as gym off day, elevated bpm after breakfast and on further looking into web on it I found it is quite a normal phenomena. @eigenvector you are quite right IMHO.
    – old-monk
    Feb 27 '17 at 14:40

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