In this paper we investigate the HDR CDMA system reverse link data channel throughput and obtain both an upper bound, which is derived from the pole capacity, and more practical results applicable when considering variable rate transmission with probabilistic flow control. From the analytical derivation of the pole capacity, a simple but effective rate control algorithm is devised that maintains the reverse link outage probability below a desired level while attempting at maximizing the reverse link utilization. The pole capacity accounts for the various overhead channels, and their effect on capacity is assessed. Simulations are then used to estimate reverse link throughput using the proposed rate control algorithm for both a single-cell and multi-cell scenarios. The effect of bursty traffic typical of non-streaming applications is also investigated. The results obtained not only provide a realistic estimate of the reverse link throughpuzt, but also an insight into the effect of overhead, probabilistic flow control, and bursty traffic on the HDR reverse link throughput.