Assessing criterion and longitudinal validity of submaximal heart rate indices as measures of cardiorespiratory fitness: a preliminary study in football

Tzlil Sushan*, Ric Lovell, Shaun J. McLaren, Antonio Dello Iacono, Adriano Arguedas-Soley

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

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Abstract

Objectives
To evaluate the criterion and longitudinal validity of field- and laboratory-derived heart rate (HR) indices of resting and submaximal fitness tests (SMFTs) as measures of cardiorespiratory fitness.

Design
Observational, repeated measures.

Methods
Twenty-nine semi-professional footballers participated. Laboratory assessments took place at the start and end of a preseason training period, whereby resting, SMFT HR-derived indices, and criterion measures of cardiorespiratory fitness (running economy [RE], maximal oxygen uptake [V̇ O2 max] and aerobic speed [MAS]) were collected. Throughout this training period, two field-based SMFT protocols, prescribed at different intensities, were administered weekly. Individual slopes were calculated from the analysis of within-athlete change scores. Associations between laboratory and field measures were assessed via Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) and linear regression models.

Results
Relationships between SMFT HR-derived indices from laboratory and field were very-large for exercise HR (r = 0.74 to 0.87) and moderate to very-large for HR recovery (0.43 to 0.76). Moderate to very-large inverse relationships were observed between exercise HR and HR recovery with V̇ O2 max and MAS (−0.41 to −0.78), whereas resting HR showed no substantial relationships. Changes in exercise HR showed large and very-large inverse correlations with preseason changes in V̇ O2 max (−0.54 to −0.60) and MAS (−0.64 to −0.83). Relationships between changes in HR recovery and maximal cardiorespiratory criterion measures were moderate to large (−0.32 to −0.63).

Conclusion
SMFT exercise HR is a valid proxy measure of cardiorespiratory fitness irrespective of test setting, whereas the validity of HRR remains elusive and appears to vary between exercise intensities.
Original languageEnglish
Specialist publicationJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
PublisherElsevier Inc.
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 23 Apr 2024

Keywords

  • submaximal fitness tests
  • team sports
  • monitoring
  • testing
  • exercise heart rate
  • heart rate recovery

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