Accuracy of heart rate-based zone training using predicted versus measured maximal heart rate
Leonard, Amanda J.
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Predicted maximal heart rate (PMHR) equations are used in a variety of settings for exercise prescription. However, their efficacy is often questioned in the literature. The purpose of this study was to examine the accuracy of heart rate-based zone training using PMHR versus measured maximal heart rates (MMHR). Twenty-six college-aged subjects participated in the current study. Subjects reported to the laboratory for two separate testing sessions; a PMHR-based zone training session and a maximal treadmill test to determine MMHR. No significant difference was found between MMHR and PMHR and the correlation between the two values was r=0.45. Eighty-two percent (150\182) of the time subjects were in the correct PHMR zone based on their MMHR. When subjects were not in the correct zone, their heart rated (HR) were not off by a large range (1-8 bpm) and were only off by one zone. In conclusion, the current study suggests that for college-aged students, using PMHR to define training zones is fairly accurate; the majority of the time subjects will be in the correct HR zone. However, for those who cannot attain specific zones, we advise the usage of an RPE scale in conjunction with an age PMHR equation.