Video of the Week: Eric Murray's 60 Minute Test

Eric Murray of Rowing New Zealand called his shot recently, aiming to break the world record for 60 minutes. And he did just that, posting what was (of course) a very impressive distance (18,728 meters). While this alone is certainly outstanding, perhaps even more impressive is the heart rate data from the test, which shows Murray at 190+ for all but 10 minutes of the hour-long row, maxing out at 201. Following the test, he doesn't flop on the ground, but instead stays seated and maintains a grip on the handle, before moving the erg aside and receiving his trophy for a world-record performance–that being a mop.

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  1. I don't know why Murray's bpm is particularly remarkable, at least it pales in comparison to his world record as far as I am concerned. I would assume that 201 is near or is his hr max, in which case 190-192 is about where it should be for this type of test. Hour tests I've done put me at about seven to nine beats below my max. Heart rate is genetically determined, and how high and often even how low a heart can go often doesn't say much about how fit a person is, instead it's the rate at which the heart rate drops post workout that is considered to be the best indicator of fitness -- some hearts pump often to transport sufficient blood, some beat fewer times but move more blood per beat (more volume per beat), etc.

  2. Thanks for the comment, and very interesting article from the NY Times–I've worked with Dr. Hagerman on several articles for Rowing News, and he is certainly one of the best resources on the subject. The comment in the original post was based on the typical rule of thumb, being that max HR can be approximated from 220-age (Murray is 29), which is addressed in the piece from the NYT–looks like the rule needs revision!


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