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      Reliability of recovery heart rate variability measurements as part of the Lamberts Submaximal Cycle Test and the relationship with training status in trained to elite cyclists


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          To determine if post-exercise heart rate variability, in the form of logged transformed root mean square of successive differences of the R–R intervals (LnRMSSD) can be measured reliably during the recovery from a submaximal cycle test and what the relationship of LnRMSSD is with training status of the cyclists.


          Fourteen male cyclists participated in the reliability part for the study, which included performing six Lamberts Submaximal Cycle Test (LSCT), during which recovery LnRMSSD was measured over 30 s (LnRMSSD 30 s), 60 s LnRMSSD 60 s)and 90 s LnRMSSD 90 s). In addition, fifty male and twenty female cyclists completed a peak power output (PPO) test (including VO 2peak) and 40 km time trial (40 km TT) before which they performed the LSCT as a standardized warm-up. Relationships between the LnRMSSD and PPO, VO 2peak and 40 km TT time were studied.


          Due to the design of the LSCT, submaximal heart and breathing rate were similar at the end of stage 3 of the LSCT, as well as during the recovery periods. The highest reliability was found in LnRMSSD 60 s (ICC: 0.97) with a typical error of the measurement (TEM: 5.8%). In line with this the strongest correlations were found between LnRMSSD 60 s and PPO ( r = 0.93[male]; 0.85[female]), VO 2peak ( r = 0.71[male]; 0.63[female];) and 40 km TT ( r = – 0.83[male]; – 0.63[female]).


          LnRMSSD 60 s can be measured reliably after the LSCT and can predict PPO, VO 2peak and 40 km TT performance well in trained-to-elite cyclists. These findings suggest that recovery LnRMSSD can potentially play an important role in monitoring and fine-tuning training prescriptions in trained-to-elite cyclists.

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          Most cited references38

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          Heart rate variability: Standards of measurement, physiological interpretation, and clinical use

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            Body fat assessed from total body density and its estimation from skinfold thickness: measurements on 481 men and women aged from 16 to 72 years.

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              Guidelines to classify subject groups in sport-science research.

              The aim of this systematic literature review was to outline the various preexperimental maximal cycle-test protocols, terminology, and performance indicators currently used to classify subject groups in sport-science research and to construct a classification system for cycling-related research.

                Author and article information

                Eur J Appl Physiol
                Eur J Appl Physiol
                European Journal of Applied Physiology
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                10 January 2024
                10 January 2024
                : 124
                : 6
                : 1659-1668
                [1 ]Division of Movement Science and Exercise Therapy (MSET), Department of Exercise, Sport and Lifestyle Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, ( https://ror.org/05bk57929) Suidwal Road, Stellenbosch, 7601 South Africa
                [2 ]Department of Sport Science, Sports Research Centre, Miguel Hernández University of Elche, ( https://ror.org/01azzms13) Alicante, Spain
                [3 ]Institute of Sport and Exercise Medicine (ISEM), Department of Exercise, Sport and Lifestyle Medicine, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Stellenbosch University, Tygerberg, South Africa, Stellenbosch University, ( https://ror.org/05bk57929) Tygerberg, South Africa
                [4 ]Department of Research, Sint Maartenskliniek, ( https://ror.org/0454gfp30) Nijmegen, The Netherlands
                [5 ]Neuroscience Institute and Division of Neurosurgery, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town, ( https://ror.org/03p74gp79) Cape Town, South Africa
                [6 ]On AG, Sport Science Laboratory, Zurich, Switzerland
                Author notes

                Communicated by I. Mark Olfert.

                Author information
                © The Author(s) 2024

                Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/.

                : 9 June 2023
                : 27 November 2023
                Funded by: Stellenbosch University
                Original Article
                Custom metadata
                © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2024

                Anatomy & Physiology
                hrv,hrr,peak power,endurance cycling performance,training status,lsct
                Anatomy & Physiology
                hrv, hrr, peak power, endurance cycling performance, training status, lsct


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