Step Recovery Test – Doubts

  • Creator
  • #73214

    I have been doing the step test for three days now and have some doubts. Where your HR is supposed to get up to anywhere between 110 and 120.

    How are you supposed to come up HR drop trend if the lower limit and upper limit can vary by day?
    For example.

    Day 1.
    Resting Heart Rate = 60
    Max Heart Rate during stairs = 115
    HR after 1 minute rest = 60
    Drop = 55

    Day 2.
    Resting Heart Rate = 61
    Max Heart Rate during stairs = 110
    HR after 1 minute rest = 62
    Drop = 48

    See what I mean? Am I doing this correctly?

    I’m maybe leaning more towards a test where you lay down, record your resting HR, stand up for a minute, then lay down again and time how long it takes your body to get back to the resting heart rate.
    And having TIME be the measurement of recovery.


Posted In: Mountaineering

  • Keymaster
    Jane Mackay on #73288

    Hi Patrick,

    In an earlier forum post, Scott Johnston gave a more in-depth explanation of how the step-test works:

    First thing in the AM, put on your HR monitor and step up and down on/off a step at a moderate cadence till your HR climbs to somewhere in the range of 100-120 or so. The step cadence should be easy to moderate effort and you probably only need to do this for a minute. Once you elevate the HR to 100+ immediately sit down and note your HR in 1 minute.

    The rate of drop in HR will bear almost a perfect inverse correlation to your recovery state. The faster your HR recovers from the mild stressor the more recovered you are.

    This takes little time, involves very little stress and is very portable. The step height and the cadence need to be the same each test. Establish a base line during a period of low training load and then note your perception when you train following test where the HR recovery is less during the 1 min.

    A slow HR recovery indicates poor recovery. How poor only you can decide by testing yourself. You may find that 10 beats slower recovery will still allow you to train as normal but 15 beats means you need a day off. It’s very individual.

    Recovery State and Techniques for Deciding Base Training Workout Intensities

    Does that help?

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