Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

En Bloc Analysis of Exhaustive Exercise and Recovery Phases during the Cycle Ergometer Test

Academic journal article Journal of Physical Education and Sport

En Bloc Analysis of Exhaustive Exercise and Recovery Phases during the Cycle Ergometer Test

Article excerpt

(ProQuest: ... denotes formulae omitted.)


The heart rate (HR) recovery time profile during and after load (P) exercise training indicates cardiovascular fitness and the health of participants. The HR variability during the recovery phase is closely related to the degree of intensity and duration of the load in exercise training (Grazzi et al. 2005,Vaverka et al.2015; Etxebarria et al. 2014). Regardless of the body position before and after the exercise phase, the measured HR fall might not reach the baseline values after 5 minutes (Barak et al. 2011) or 15 minutes (Barak et al. 2010) of recovery after short-term submaximal cycling on an ergometer with an intensity of 80% of individual peak HR values.

When limiting individual maximal power output in the exercise phase to 70%, the HR gradually decreases during the recovery phase and returns to the pre-exercise levels after 30 minutes of recovery (Javorka et al. 2002). The kinetics of the HR during exercise and recovery has been estimated by various models analyzing both exercise and recovery phases separately, and the HR recovery alone (Arduini et al. 2011, Baig et al.2010, Stirling et al. 2008, Su et al. 2010).

Our study was aimed to apply a system approach to en bloc analysis of the load and recovery phases, using a mathematical model with the minimum number of parameters, and in the form of a differential equation relating load effect on the HR time profile. The proposed dynamic model assumes that the load (P) exercise phase is finished at the point of maximal exhaustion and that in the recovery phase the HR does not return to its baseline within 15 minutes after completion of the exercise in the cycle ergometer test.



A group of thirty four sportsmen and nine sportswomen (aged 19 to 26 years) with no health problems volunteered to participate in this study. The subjects' basic characteristics are summarized in Table 1. All the sportsmen actively participated in football (n = 14) and other kinds of sport, i.e. floorball (n = 5), basketball (n = 2), volleyball (n = 2), baseball (n = 1), shooting (n = 4), strength training (n = 3), cycling (n = 2) and swimming (n = 1). The sportswomen participated only recreationally in aerobics (n = 5), strength training (n = 2) and shooting (n = 2) and in mandatory physical education of 2 hours per week. The procedures and protocols for the study were performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments, or with comparable ethical standards.

Cycle ergometer testing protocol

Prior to exercise testing, each participant was informed of the procedure for the exercise load test. The exercise tests to evaluate the HR and maximal oxygen uptake, VO2max, were carried out in the sports centre of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering of the Slovak University of Technology, Bratislava, using a cycle ergometer (TUNTURI, Almere, Norway, software T-ware 2) A protocol with a maximal load (Pmax) was applied; participants were presented with increasing loads up to maximal effort and the maximal cardiovascular capacity of the volunteer. All of the participants were given progressive loads on an electrically controlled cycle ergometer starting at 50 W. Subsequently, the load was increased in steps of 20 W every minute without a break until the maximal exhaustion of the participant. Each participant was asked to maintain a pedalling frequency of 60 revolutions per minute. Objective indicators included the maximal heart rate (HRmax) over measured time tmax according to the age and gender of the participant.

The protocol included measurements of blood pressure and HR both during the exercise and the inactive recovery phase, recorded five times at intervals of three minutes after completing the exercise on the ergometer. The inactive recovery phase consisted of the participants sitting at rest for 15 minutes with measurements of the aforementioned physiological values at the listed time intervals. …

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