Heart rate monitoring

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What does monitoring heart rate really tell us? I have wondered about this for years. I have used heart rate monitors and I have not used them. As I step back and evaluate I realize that at its best heart rate is a very gross measure. The biggest thing you have to worry about heart rate is if there is none. Heart response with healthy athletes is quite predictable. For example with a professional soccer team in the age range from 18 to 28 doing short rest intervals at 70% effort in all probability will have a heart rate that averages 170 beats per minute during the work and drops to around 130 beats per minute during the rest. I really do not need a heart rate monitor to determine this. What about basing training heart rate on a percentage of maximum heart rate? The question is what maximum heart rate, the training maximum heart rate or the competition maximum heart rate. They can be quite different. Formulas used to predict maximum heart rate are notorious for they inaccuracy. So what is the value of heart rate monitoring?

Vern Gambetta

Vern Gambetta

Director at Gambetta Sports Training Systems
Vern is the Director of Gambetta Sports Training Systems. He has been the a conditioning coach for several MLS teams as well as the conditioning consultant to the US Men's World Cup Soccer team. Vern is the former Director of Conditioning for the Chicago White Sox and New York Mets. He has lectured and conducted clinics in Canada, Japan, Australia and Europe and has authored six books and over one hundred articles related to coaching and sport performance in a variety of sports. He has a BA in teaching with a coaching minor and an MA in Education with an emphasis in physical education from Stanford University.
Vern Gambetta

@coachgambetta

Athletic Development Coach & Consultant. Founder of GAIN Network. Proud dad. Love to read everything.
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