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Heart Rate Monitors for Elite Athletes?

Heart rate monitors in sportsTrue, heart rate monitors can be a life changing training tool for anyone with a heart condition.  No cardiologist will dispute this fact.  But did you know that heart rate monitors can be an essential training tool for elite athletes?

According to a NY Times article, for nearly a decade, the UConn soccer team has used heart rate monitors during their conditioning drills.  They use these monitors during footwork drills and handling drills, sprinting drills and long runs—they even use them during rest periods.  And by monitoring all facets of their conditioning program (including rest), the team and its trainers were able to gauge “workout intensity”, allowing UConn to create the optimal conditioning program for each player.

In a quote for the NY Times article, Mario Diaz, UConn’s trainer, states that he thinks they’re among the “top 5 percent of the fittest teams in the country,” and that in the 65th or 70th minute of each game the play, they simply “outrun and out endure” their competition.

And if UConn’s 17-3-2 record before the start of the 2011 N.C.A.A. tournament is any indication of the team’s level of fitness, there’s certainly not many teams fitter than this group.

But UConn isn’t the only one using heart rate monitoring conditioning.   The UConn coaches estimate that 10 to 30 percent of all N.C.A.A. soccer teams use similar heart monitoring devices to inform their conditioning program.   After all, not only do heart rate monitors help teams to get in the best shape, but they also help to prevent injuries—especially the type of soft-tissue damage that’s common with over training.

Adding a heart rate monitor to your regime, regardless of previously diagnosed conditions, could be a great way to increase your exercise capacity.  Use the heart rate monitor’s variety of tracking metrics (heart rate, calories burned, etc) to push yourself to further heights.   Remember, you don’t have to be an elite athlete or someone with a heart condition to start using one.   And before you purchase one, speak with a heart specialist, or contact our team.


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