Maximal heart rate assessment in recreational football players: A study involving a multiple testing approach
Published on Oct 1, 2019in Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports3.631
· DOI :10.1111/sms.13472
: This study aimed at examining the suitability of a standard treadmill test (TT), popular intermittent field tests, and small-sided football matches to induce maximal heart rate (HRmax ) in recreational football players. Sixty-six inactive untrained male subjects (age: 39.3 ± 5.8 years, VO2max : 41.2 ± 6.2 mL kg-1 min-1 , body mass: 81.9 ± 10.8 kg, height: 173.2 ± 6.4 cm) were evaluated. On separate occasions, the players were randomly submitted to a progressive VO2max TT, to the Yo-Yo intermittent endurance level 1 (YYIE1) and level 2 (YYIE2) tests, to the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery level 1 (YYIR1) test, and to 7v7 (43 × 27 m pitch, 83 m2 /player) football matches (45 minutes; 2-4 matches/player). To ensure data consistency, exercise HR was recorded using the same HR monitors in all the experimental conditions. A total of 73%, 24%, 18%, 17%, and 30% of the players achieved their HRmax during the YYIE1, YYIE2, YYIR1, TT, and the small-sided football matches, respectively. The probability of achieving HRmax increased proportionally to test duration, with 7.8 minutes as the cutoff time. Variations in HRpeak of ±2 b min-1 should be regarded as of practical relevance. YYIE1 HRpeak provided the most accurate estimation of a subject's individual HRmax and much higher probability of reaching HRmax . Nevertheless, the results of this study suggest caution in considering a reference test for HRmax assessment in this population. The use of confirmation tests is still highly advisable when the test duration is shorter than 7.8 minutes. In this regard, field tests seem to be suitable and accurate for individual HRmax assessment in recreational football players.