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Dr. W.Chu
Dr. W.Chu, Board Certified Physician
Category: Cardiology
Satisfied Customers: 67
Experience:  I am board-certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular diseases, Interventional Cardiology and Echocardiography.
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I have started to use a heart rate monitor at the gym. My pulse

Customer Question

I have started to use a heart rate monitor at the gym. My pulse at rest was about 70, With light exercise the pulse seems to quickly rise to 120 and they stay at this level regardless of workload, until it work even harder and it jumps to 224. If I slow slow down/rest it will drop down to 120 again in an instant.

The sudden jump from 120 to 224 happens every time, and I have no symptoms when this happens.

I ignored it, and carried on training for 2-3 months. I then tried the monitor again and has "normal" results. i.e pulse varied by workload and increased to 150-160 without a sudden jump and back down again. I also noticed that resting pulse was lower (i.e down to 40) - I have always has a slow resting pulse. These normal reading carried on for 2 months, and I was training for 4-5 hrs week.

Last week I had a cold, and stopped training for a week. I have now gone back to the gym, and my pulse is jumping as before. I have no symptoms whatsoever, and my mile run pace is faster than it has ever been?

Examples from my HRM are below

Is this anything to worry about?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Cardiology
Expert:  Dr. W.Chu replied 4 years ago.

Hello there, thanks for the good question. First of all, based on your story, I doubt there is anything serious going on. At first, you had a sudden heart rate jump and then it improved after training. This is normal because it was caused by deconditioning and it improved after continuous training meaning the deconditioning is resolved. This is a normal physiological response. If you have no symptoms whatsoever and maintain good functional capacity, I doubt any serious cardiac problems. If you are really paranoid, I guess you may undergo an echocardiogram to rule out any heart structural problems. Any again, I doubt the echocardiogram will show any significant problem.

Please ask follow up questions if have. Please rate me positively if you are satisfied with my answers so I can get credit for my work. Thank you very much.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

It is not a slow increase. If I walk very slowly, or run my pulse will go to 120 as if there is only one speed. If I run fast then suddenly (in an instant) it will start increase to 220 (see a copy of the graphs in the links)


Other posts on the internet have suggested that it could be a SVT due to AVNRT and should undergo investigation. However I have no symptoms whatsoever.





Expert:  Dr. W.Chu replied 4 years ago.

Hello there, thanks for the follow up questions. Like I said, you don't have any symptoms which is a very good sign. However, SVT can not be totally excluded like you have suggested. I would do an echocardiogram first to make sure structurally your heart is totally normal. Then it is your option to see an electrophysiologist (EP cardiologist) to discuss the possibility of SVT. Hope this will answer your question. Thanks again.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Having tried my heart rate monitor again, and looking more closely at the graphs, my resting pulse is about 60. During light activity it varies normally between 60-80 and goes down again. During exercise it increases to about 120 and but then sticks at this constant rate. Working more or less does not change the pulse at all. After stopping exercise it remains at 120 for about 20-30 mins of stopping before suddenly dropping back to 80. Does this sound like a SVT?

Expert:  Dr. W.Chu replied 4 years ago.
Hello there, thanks for the follow up question. SVT is unlikely but it can not be totally ruled out. It may be just sinus tachycardia which is a normal response to exercise. However, I would get an echocardiogram first to make sure the heart is normal structurally. That is something to start with and watch your heart rate closely in the meantime. Thanks. Please rate me positively if you are satisfied with my answer. Appreciate it.