Sensitivity of heart rate and psychometric measures to monitor physical performance in handball

Buchheit, M. Sensitivity of heart rate and psychometric measures to monitor physical performance in handball. Int J Sports Med, 2014, In press. Full text herecropped-bandeauAbstract  The aim of the present study was to examine whether monthly resting heart rate (HR), HR variability (HRV) and psychometric measures can be used to monitor changes in physical performance in highly-trained adolescent handball players. Data were collected in 37 adolescent players (training 10±2.1 h.wk-1) at 11 occasions from September to May during the in-season period, and included an estimation of training status (resting HR and HRV, the profile of mood state (POMS) questionnaire), and three physical performance tests (a 10-m sprint, a counter movement jump and a graded aerobic intermittent test, 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test). The sensitivity of HR and psychometric measures to changes in physical performance was poor (<20%), irrespective of the training status markers and the performance measures. The specificity was however strong (>75%) irrespective of the markers and the performance measures. Finally, the difference in physical performance between players with better vs. worse estimated training status were all almost certainly trivial. The present results highlight the limitation of monthly measures of resting HR, HRV and perceived mood and fatigue to predict in-season changes in physical performance in highly-trained adolescent handball players. This suggests that more frequent monitoring might be required, and/or that other markers might need to be considered. Key words: heart rate variability; POMS; speed tests; counter movement jump, 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test; progressive statistics.

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