Unknown Tool To Improve Your Strength, Muscles and Overall Recovery: Orthostatic Testing

Orthostatic testing  is the difference between the heart rates at supine rest and at standing position. For example, if the average heart rate in a lying position is 56 and at standing 80, the orthostatic heart rate is 24 bpm.

More info at: https://www.polar.com/en/smart-coaching/orthostatic-test

Athletes are often under a lot of pressure to perform well regularly. This pressure can result in the athlete overtraining and/or becoming stressed. The Orthostatic Heart Rate Test is used to monitor the athlete’s state of health.

Required Resources
To perform the Orthostatic Heart Rate Test, you require

Stopwatch
Assistant

How to conduct the test
The athlete lies down and rests for at least 15 minutes
The assistant records the athlete’s pulse rate (bpm) – R1
The athlete stands up
15 seconds later the assistant records the athlete’s pulse rate (bpm) – R2
The assistant records the difference between R1 and R2

Assessment
To obtain your Orthostatic Heart Rate please enter R1 and R2 and then select the calculate button.

If the difference is greater than 15 to 20 beats then it is probable that the athlete has not recovered from the previous days training, is under stress or the onset of a possible cold. The athlete should consider adjusting their training to allow the body to recover.

Alternative Approach
Perform the test as above over 14 days and record your OHR for each day. Review the 14 values and determine a typical range.

Example: An athlete’s 14 OHR values are: 7, 7, 9, 8, 9, 8, 9, 7, 7, 9, 8, 8, 10, 8

7 – 4 off
8 – 5 off
9 – 4 off
10 -1 off
A typical range for this athlete’s OHR is 7 to 9 bpm. If the athlete finds the OHR for a specific day is greater than 9 then review the planned day’s training and consider reducing the load and/or volume of work.

A value above the typical range could indicate the onset of a cold or the body has not recovered from the previous day’s training. Other factors may cause a raised OHR, like a disturbed night, so review the previous 24 hours and see if there was something else that might have contributed to the raised OHR.

Analysis
Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate recovery between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Target Group
This test is suitable for anyone but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability
Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual’s level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.

Validity
Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete’s physical development.

Advantages
Minimal equipment required
Simple to set up and conduct
Can be conducted almost anywhere
Disadvantages
Assistant required to administer the test

Source: https://www.brianmac.co.uk/hrtest.htm

I remember reading in a Flex magazine years ago as an 11 or 12 year old about the importance of checking the heart rate when you first wake after a nights rest.  A higher heart rate might actually be someone moving toward a state of overtraining.  That stuck with me for years and years.

First, I recommend that you establish a baseline that you can compare against over time. Pick a week when you will not be pushing yourself very hard, when you are feeling good, and have a limited amount of stress.

Every morning for one week do the following:

Before getting out of bed, take a 60 second reading of your heart rate either with a heart rate monitor or by taking your pulse.
Stand up and wait 15 seconds.
Measure your standing heart rate for 60 seconds.
Record all three measurements: Prone, standing, and the difference between the two (orthostatic).
This is your baseline.

Next, I suggest that you take a few more measurements – measure the morning after a particularly difficult training session, and then again the next day.

Most importantly, take some daily measurements if you are feeling the effects of a prolonged series of training sessions with little time for recovery, especially if you are showing some of the signs of overtraining.

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