Working out with my pacemaker set to higher HR

My cardiologist just approved to increase my max HR from 130 to 150 so I could exercise at a higher level. Before they set it my HR monitor while i worked out would show 125 max and I'd be hitting a wall. Last week they set it to 150 and I've been to the gym 4x since and my HR still shows me hovering at 125. Should I let my doctor know that their change did nothing or does my pacemaker and heart have to adjust? Anyone have advice on this? thanks!



by Shana - 2019-06-20 00:16:16


I, too, have had by pm ceiling set higher for workouts. Initially to 160 and then to 170. 

My pacemaker team interrogated my pm during exercise (running stairs at the clinic) to dial it in.

Fyi, if I hit my ceiling, the pm begins to drop beats. For instance, beating 160+ bpm one second and dropping to 66 bpm the next. It is a very uncomfortable and instantaneous wall. 

It does not just hover at 160. 

Also interrogation showed there was a delay in my Apple Watch. Often was off 20 beats and would then catch up with what the interrogation would be reading. 

Hope this helps! Shana

You need a tune-up

by crustyg - 2019-06-21 05:08:28

Hi JeffreyBiri: you definitely need a tune-up.  Simply raising the maximum permitted HR will likely achieve little if you have SSS and a natural brady.  The software in your PM uses an accelerometer input to determine that you are active, and there's a response factor that determines <x> amount of accelerometer sensor will produce <y> amount of increased HR drive by pacing.  It doesn't adust this response factor by dividing the difference between maxHR and minHR (which would automatically increase the response factor if maxHR is increased).  The response factor stays the same, and *if* your accelerometer sensor continues to increase as you exercise *then* it can now increase your HR past the old limit of 130 up to a new limit of 150.  You probably need your response factor increasing, and/or starting to kick in at a lower level.

Gym work doesn't *tend* to produce a lot of accelerometer drive - this measures up-and-down (and side to side and forwards and backwards) movement, so it's great at detecting running, ok at swimming and pretty much useless for road cycling/spin classes as the upper body tends to stay relatively still on a bike.  Perhaps a little different on an MTB, or on cobbles - but who chooses to ride on cobbles outside France and Belgium!

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