Effect of exercise intensity on post-exercise oxygen consumption and heart rate recovery
Heart rate after a standardized test varies with a change in training status, possibly compromising the accuracy of measuring changes in heart rate recovery (HRR). The aim of this study was to determine if a change in the exercise intensity would result in a change in heart rate recovery and/or the accuracy of the heart rate recovery measurement. 31 subjects performed 4 submaximal running tests (HIMS). Based on the heart rate after the first HIMS, subjects either completed 4 identical HIMS (SAME (n=9)), 2 standard and 2 faster HIMS (FASTER (n=10)) or 2 standard and 2 slower HIMS (SLOWER (n=12)). Although no changes in heart rate recovery were found when the HIMS protocol was adapted, lower coefficients of variation (CV) and typical errors of measurement (TEM) were found in the SLOWER (CV: 11 ± 7 to 5 ± 3% ( P=0.025)), TEM: 6 to 3 beats and FASTER group (CV: 11 ± 7 to 4 ± 3% ( P=0.048), TEM: 7 to 3 beats). To ensure the highest level of sensitivity in detecting meaningful changes in HRR over time, submaximal testing protocols should target exercise intensities ranging in-between 86-93% of heart rate maximum.