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A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2007 December;47(4):418-21

language: English

Competition, estimated, and test maximum heart rate

Antonacci L., Mortimer L. F., Rodrigues V. M., Coelho D. B., Soares D. D., Silami-Garcia E.

Center of Sports Excellence (CENESP) School of Physical Education Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy Federal University of Minas Gerais Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, Brazil


Aim. The aim of the present study was to compare the highest heart rate (HR) of soccer players recorded during competition matches with the maximum HR (HRmax) estimated from age and the highest HR recorded in effort tests within a single category (intracategory) and between categories (intercategories).
Methods. The sample was made up of 19 under-17 athletes, 12 under-20 athletes and 14 professional athletes of a Brazilian first division soccer team. Players’ HR was monitored during official competition matches and maximum effort test with a set of HR monitors. The highest HR recorded during competitive matches (MHR1) was considered as the highest HR value attained by each player during matches. HRmax estimated from age (MHR2) was estimated by using the equation HRmax= (220-age). The highest HR recorded in effort tests (MHR3) was determined as being the highest HR value recorded during a maximum effort test (1 000-m run). The Wilcoxon test was used in intracategory statistical analysis. The Kruskal Wallis test was used in intercategory statistical analysis. The significance level adopted was P<0.05.
Results. In all categories, MHR3 was lower than MHR1. Concerning intercategory analysis, the three categories did not exhibit a difference in MHR1 results. Relative to MHR3, the under-17 and under-20 categories were not different from each other. These two categories exhibited larger MHR3 values than the professional one did.
Conclusion. HRmax measured during field tests can be underestimated in relation to that measured during competition activities, maybe because the tests represent an artificial situation for athletes, who do not feel as motivated as during competitions

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