Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2011) 10, 498 - 501

Research article
Effects of High Intensity Training by Heart Rate or Power in Recreational Cyclists
Michael E. Robinson1,2, , Jeff Plasschaert2, Nkaku R. Kisaalita1
Author Information
1 Center for Pain Research and Behavioral Health, University of Florida,
2 Shands Sport Performance Center at University of Florida Orthopaedics and Sports Medicine Institute, USA

Michael E. Robinson
✉ Dept. of Clinical and Health Psychology, PO Box 100165 HSC University of Florida, Gainesville, Fl 32610-0165, USA
Publish Date
Received: 20-02-2011
Accepted: 07-06-2011
Published (online): 01-09-2011
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Technological advances in interval training for cyclists have led to the development of both heart rate (HR) monitors and powermeters (PM). Despite the growing popularity of PM use, the superiority of PM-based training has not been established. The aim of the present study was to investigate the relative effectiveness of HR-based versus PM-based interval training on 20 km time trial (20km TT), lactate threshold (LT) power, and peak aerobic capacity (VO2max) in recreational cyclists. Participants (n =20; M age=33.9, SD =13) completed a baseline 20km TT to establish their VO2max and LT and were then randomly assigned to either HR-determined or PM-determined training sessions. Over a period of up to 5 weeks participants completed 7.2 (± 1.1) interval training sessions at their specific LT for their respective interval training method. Repeated measures analyses of variances (ANOVAs) showed that both HR-based and PM-based training groups significantly improved their LT power (F(1,16) = 28., p < 0.01, eta2 = 0.63) and 20km TT time (F(1,16) = 4.92, p = 0.04, eta2 = 0.24) at posttest, showing a 17 watt increase (9.8%) and a near 3-and-a-half minute improvement (7.8%) in 20km TT completion time. There were no significant group (HR vs. PM) x time (baseline vs. posttest) interactions for 20km TT completion time, LT power, or VO2max ratings. Our results coincide with the literature supporting the effectiveness of interval training for endurance athletes. Furthermore, our findings indicate that there is no empirical evidence for the superiority of any single type of device in the implementation of interval training. This study indicates that there are no noticeable advantages to using PM to increase performance in the average recreational cyclist, suggesting that low cost HR monitor are equally capable as training devices.

Key words: Power, hear rate, training

           Key Points
  • Interval training improves performance for recreational cyclists as measure by changes in lactate threshold watts and 20km time trial time
  • No evidence of superiority of either heart monitor training and power meter training
  • Low cost heart rate monitors are equally capable as training devices
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