I’ll start with, I don’t think it’s that much of a stretch to think his AeT is > 170. For example, mine is 172 (with a RHR of ~60) and I’m no professional athlete.
But, to address your question:
How old is he? How did you arrive at 170 as a target? What are you using to measure his heart rate? Which outdoor test did you do? Was his pace on the flats or on a hill?