The purpose of this study was to evaluate the heart rate (HR) responses of specific Taekwondo training activities, practiced by experienced practitioners in a natural training environment. Eight male experienced Taekwondo practitioners, with 3-13 years (5.4 +/- 3.2 years) experience took part in a 5-day Taekwondo training camp. Continuous HR measures were recorded at 5-second intervals during 6 training sessions; each session was observed and notated, and a diary of training activities was recorded. The HR responses were assimilated into 8 fundamental training activities for analysis: elastics, technical combinations, step sparring, pad work, forms, basic techniques and forms, sparring drills, and free sparring. Taekwondo training elicited HR into 64.7-81.4% of HR maximum (%HRmax). Moderate relative exercise intensities (64.7-69.4%HRmax) were elicited by elastics, technical combinations, and step sparring. The remaining 5 training activities elicited hard relative exercise intensities (74.7-81.4%HRmax). One-way repeated-measures analysis of variance with post hoc analysis revealed that elastics, technical combinations, and step sparring elicited significantly lower relative intensities than the remaining training activities (p > 0.05). Furthermore, forms, basic techniques and forms, sparring drills, and free sparring elicited significantly higher relative intensities than the remaining training activities (p > 0.05). In conclusion, all Taekwondo training activities in this study seemed suitable for cardiovascular conditioning, although different training activities stressed the cardiovascular system to different degrees. Practically, this suggests coaches need to structure Taekwondo training sessions based not only on the technical and tactical needs of practitioners but also in a manner that enables sufficient cardiovascular conditioning for competition.
(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association