European Journal of Applied Physiology 112: 711-723. 

Buchheit, M., Simpson, M.B., Al Haddad, H., Bourdon, P.C. and Mendez-Villanueva, A., 2012.


The aim of the present study was to verify the validity of using exercise heart rate (HRex), HR recovery (HRR) and post-exercise HR variability (HRV) during and after a submaximal running test to predict changes in physical performance over an entire competitive season in highly trained young soccer players. Sixty-five complete data sets were analyzed comparing two consecutive testing sessions (3–4 months apart) collected on 46 players (age 15.1 ± 1.5 years). Physical performance tests included a 5-min run at 9 km h−1 followed by a seated 5-min recovery period to measure HRex, HRR and HRV, a counter movement jump, acceleration and maximal sprinting speed obtained during a 40-m sprint with 10-m splits, repeated-sprint performance and an incremental running test to estimate maximal cardiorespiratory function (end test velocity V Vam-Eval). Possible changes in physical performance were examined for the players presenting a substantial change in HR measures over two consecutive testing sessions (greater than 3, 13 and 10% for HRex, HRR and HRV, respectively).