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Heart Rate Deflection Point Relates to Second Ventilatory Threshold in a Tennis Test

Baiget, Ernest1; Fernández-Fernández, Jaime2; Iglesias, Xavier3; Rodríguez, Ferran A.3

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research:
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000664
Original Research

Abstract: Baiget, E, Fernández-Fernández, J, Iglesias, X, and Rodríguez, FA. Heart rate deflection point relates to second ventilatory threshold in a tennis test. J Strength Cond Res 29(3): 765–771, 2015—The relationship between heart rate deflection point (HRDP) and the second ventilatory threshold (VT2) has been studied in continuous sports, but never in a tennis-specific test. The aim of the study was to assess the relationships between HRDP and the VT2, and between the maximal test performance and the maximal oxygen uptake (

) in an on-court specific endurance tennis test. Thirty-five high-level tennis players performed a progressive tennis-specific field test to exhaustion to determine HRDP, VT2, and

. Ventilatory gas exchange parameters were continuously recorded by a portable telemetric breath-by-breath gas exchange measurement system. Heart rate deflection point was identified at the point at which the slope values of the linear portion of the time/heart rate (HR) relationship began to decline and was successfully determined in 91.4% of the players. High correlations (r = 0.79–0.96; p < 0.001) between physiological (HR and oxygen uptake [

]) and performance (Time, Stage, and Frequency of balls [Ballf]) variables corresponding to HRDP and VT2 were observed. Frequency of balls at the HRDP (BallfHRDP) was detected at 19.8 ± 1.7 shots per minute. Paired t-test showed no significant differences in HR (178.9 ± 8.5 vs. 177.9 ± 8.7 b·min−1 for HRDP vs. HRVT2, respectively) at intensities corresponding to HRDP and VT2. Maximal test performance and

were moderately correlated (r = 0.56; p < 0.001). Heart rate deflection point obtained from this specific tennis test can be used to determine the VT2, and the BallfHRDP can be used as a practical performance variable to prescribe on-court specific aerobic training at or near VT2.

Author Information

1Sport Performance Analysis Research Group, University of Vic, Barcelona, Spain;

2Sports Research Center, Miguel Hernandez University, Elche, Spain; and

3INEFC-Barcelona Research Group on Sport Sciences, Barcelona, Spain

Address correspondence to Ernest Baiget,

Copyright © 2015 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.