Before I get out of bed on the day of my training I plan on taking my resting heart rate. I will do it then because It will be most truthful because it guarantees that I wont have been active before taking this rest rate. This I can analyse at the end of my training programme. I will put this data into a graph to see whether my resting heart rate has gone down. If it has gone down it means I am benefiting from the training programme as my heart is becoming more efficient in pumping blood round the body and therefore has to pump less often.
I also plan to take my heart rate during a set point in each training session. In Tuesday’s training session, I plan to take my heart rate just after my circuit, having just done the ‘low-back stabilizers’. I can tabulate this and can time how long it takes my heart to get back to its rest rate post exercise and compare this every session. I also plan to take my heart rate straight after my anaerobic/speed work so I can work out how hard my heart has to work when I’m sprinting.
I was going to time how long it took my heart to get back to rest rate after the anaerobic work, but I realized that suddenly stopping after strenuous exercise puts a strain on the heart, so it would be dangerous to do that. As an alternative I am going to check to see if there is a difference in the percentage of maximum heart rate. If this figure goes up, it shows I am having to work harder than the session before, showing negative results, whereas if it goes down, my heart is working more efficiently, pumping blood round my body with more ease, showing positive results.
Whilst at my sessions at the gym, I plan to do the same thing. I plan to take my heart rate just after my FSP (weights) circuit. I can tabulate this and work out what percentage of my maximum heart rate I am working at. I also plan to take my heart rate straight after my anaerobic work so I can work out how hard my heart has to work when I’m doing this interval/ anaerobic work, and to compare how long it takes my heart to recover completely after each anaerobic session. On both sessions, both at school and at the gym, after my anaerobic sections I plan on seeing what my heart rate is whilst I have been recovering for 1 minute.
Your resting heart rate indicates your basic fitness level. The more well-conditioned your body, the less effort and fewer beats per minute it takes your heart to pump blood to your body at rest. My heart had a rest rate of 70 before I started the training programme. Next I checked it had a negative result, and had risen to 71 BPM. I took this to be an anomaly or to be down to slight inaccuracy as it is unlikely that the first training session had a negative result on my heart and general fitness. Then, gradually my rest rate improved, and decreased as far as 67 BPM. Following that, I was off school and too ill to train for a week (2 sessions) so that had a negative result on my training and my rest rate increased to the original 70 BPM, which then the session after had decreased by 1BPM to being 69BPM. Overall the training programme had a positive outcome on decreasing my rest rate and therefore improving my overall fitness.
The time taken for your heart to fully recover, and return to rest rate post exercise was recorded by me as a way of checking whether my general cardiac fitness had improved. The longer it takes my heart to return to rest rate, the less used to exercise my heart is. If my heart recovers from exercise quickly, it is stronger, more used to exercise and more efficient. There was a steady improvement in the time it took my heart to return to rest rate after exercise. Prior to training it took my heart 5.32 minutes to return to rest rate. It improved steadily until I stopped training for a week due to illness. During that week the time it took increased, showing a negative result. I conclude that if I had been training for that week, and was not ill, the results would follow the trend- there would be a steady improvement in the time it took my heart to return to rest rate.
The percentage of maximum heart rate after anaerobic/ speed work steadily decreased throughout the training sessions. This is good because it means my heart doesn’t have to beat as fast in order to get blood around my body, it is more efficient at pumping blood, therefore doesn’t have to do it as often. At first, I was using 82% of my maximum heart rate during the anaerobic exercise. This went steadily down by 1% each session for the next 2 sessions. Then in the 4th session of session type 1, it plummeted down by 3%, to be using 77% of my max. heart rate. After that I was ill for a week and missed a session type 1 session. When I got back into my training I was back up to using 82% of my max. heart rate. This is the same as it was on the 2nd session of this type. This shows fast reversibility and demonstrates that if you stop training, very quickly your fitness levels drop.
This aerobic session had a very steady improvement in the maximum heart rate used. Every session the percentage of maximum heart rate used decreased by 1%. When I was ill and did not train for one session of each type, reversibility meant that I backtracked by 2 sessions, so my percentage of maximum heart rate used went back up to 65%. This demonstrates improvement followed by reversibility. There is vast improvement followed by a plateau where there is no change, which is followed by another vast improvement. The reversibility factor only reverses one session; it reverses by 2% of my maximum heart rate.