How do you test for maximum heart rate?
This question came up in response to my review of the sports science methodologies being used at Petchyindee Muay Thai in Bangkok…
Keeping it short and sweet, here’s my favourite approach to testing for maximum heart rate (so you know what percentage of maximum you’re really working too).
Maximum Heart Rate Test
~ Disclaimer – if you die doing this test, don’t blame me! ;) ~
After 5-10 minutes warming up, it’s as simple as putting on your hear rate chest strap, start recording heart rate, and carry out the following at flat-out 100% maximum intensity:
1. Sprint running (ideally up an incline) or pad work for 2mins, with 1 min rest – check max heart rate)
2. Sprint running or pad work for 2mins, with 1 min rest – check max heart rate, is it higher? If no, record this as your maximum heart rate, but if yes, go again!
3. Sprint running or pad work for 2mins, with 1 min rest – check max heart rate, is it higher? If no, record this as your maximum heart rate, but if yes, go again etc, etc!
This is a very strong training stimulus!
It’ll take your body longer to recover from this than you realise. To be productive, don’t plan to too much else in the way of other training on the same day.
This format is also what Joel Jamieson calls “Cardiac Power Intervals”, and something I use in my online program as you get closer to a fight. As a training method, it’s to be used sparingly, and at the right time.
Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning
Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), a Muay Thai coach, podcast host, and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.
Don helps ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength & Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai.
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