PM & exercise settings

Hello everyone.

I'm cleared to get back into the gym after the New Year. I've read a few posts on PM settings and heart rate. Mine are set at 50 low and 130 high Medtronic dual lead. I asked my cardiologist if this will be fine for working out with cardio and light weight reps. He said yes and that if not, the settings are easily changeable.

Yes, I know this but my questions are:

How will I know if the settings are right for me?

What will I feel if I go above 130 bpm?

I know I can always jump off the machine but it'd be good to know what to look for, if anything.



You'll know

by Theknotguy - 2019-12-12 16:28:47

You'll know if the settings aren't right.  

For me, I just run out of air.  You can take a deep breath but nothing happens.  Sometimes I'll get a sharp pain in my back just above the heart and it gets worse the longer I push the exercise.  I have no choice but to stop and gasp for air.  

If the heart rate goes above 130....  I was never able to get my heart rate above 120.  Same situation, just ran out of air.  Had to stop and just gasp and hope I could get enough air to keep going.  

Before I had my pacemaker adjusted, my legs would feel like someone had strapped lead weights to my ankles.  Trying to life and move my legs and feet just felt like I was trying to move with lead shoes.  Then, of course, ran out of air.  

Hope they can get the settings right for you.  


by Pacer2019 - 2019-12-12 20:21:53

have experience some of that . I have a two lead and my AV node is dead. 

I’m set at 60-170

when I exert myself I’m stuck below about 120. 

I feel it I’m the form of feeling worn out and breathless 

I inquired about an adjustment and was told it would do no good - asked about rate response and was told wouldn’t help .

i was disappointed and am regrouping 

Your muscles will probaby feel as though they've become jelly

by crustyg - 2019-12-13 11:40:13

Pushing your muscles beyond the point where they receive an adequate blood supply to maintain aerobic (lactate free) contractions will commonly feel as though the muscles have become very weak (they have), or turned to jelly, but some people just feel short of breath.  Odd, but that's the sensation, just as TheKnotGuy says.

I'm at roughly your age, and my PM was initially set to 50/130, not nearly enough for vigorous exercise.  Didn't stop me though (old and foolish perhaps) and now I've negotiated my settings up to 50/160 and can do what I want to.

A *lot* depends on the health of your heart muscle, state of your coronary arteries - all the stuff that lead you to needing a PM in the first place.  EP docs are usually quite worried about allowing us too high a maxHR, but the difficulty is them knowing and us convincing them about what value that should be!  There is no magic formula, no hard-and-fast rules.  Every patient is individual and it's a negotiation.

PM & exercise settings

by Monique - 2019-12-13 13:07:54

wow!  It's kind of crazy to think of my little helper maxing me out. I hope I don't get to that point but at least I can identify the signs.

Thanks all, this is very helpful.

PM and Exercise settings

by bobrichards55 - 2019-12-14 14:44:59

Hi Monique,

I would suggest getting the 130 changed to something like 150 or 160.  I have a dual lead Medtronic, I am 64 and exercise regularly.  I have my upper limit set at 160.  I was told that if you body wants to go higher than the top setting then eventually the ventricle will skip the odd beat.  I was told this is not a problem, but if you go a lot above I would think you would feel it.  It took me a year and a half to get the settings right; thanks to my own research.

Yup. What everyone else said.

by PacedNRunning - 2019-12-31 20:14:39

My settings are 45-185. But my heart is healthy. No other issues. I 2:1 block with exercise so I rely on it 100% in my ventricles to pace me. I was at 150 and exceeded it easily. If you don't need pacing past your 130 your fine. If this pacer is for Brady then you should use it with exercise and the top number is just a number. But if you need pacing abiogenesis your 130 you will cap out at 130 bc your own heart wont go above that. I felt like someone punching me in my stomach. So you will definitely know. Some people don't have a cap at all bc they don't pace with exercise so they don't need one 

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