Date of Completion


Degree Type

Honors Thesis - Campus Access


Health & Human Sciences (HHSC)

First Advisor

Silvie Grote, MS, MA, RCEP


During exercise the sympathetic nervous system controls body function, but after exercise the sympathetic nervous system withdraws and the parasympathetic nervous system takes over to restore the body to a resting state. The rate at which this happens is measured by heart rate recovery or heart rate variability post-exercise. PURPOSE: The goal of this study was to compare recovery heart rates of anaerobically trained and aerobically trained cyclists. METHODS: Anaerobically trained track cyclists (n=10) and aerobically trained road cyclists (n=15) underwent a maximal oxygen uptake test and heart rates were recorded at 1 and 2 minutes after exercise. HRRec was calculated by (HRmax-HRmin1/2)/(HRmax-HRresting) to obtain a relative change and as a simple difference between max HR at HR at minutes 1 and 2. RESULTS: The road cyclists showed faster HRRec at both minutes (25±12 bpm at minute 1, 64±11 bpm at minute 2) than the track cyclists (22 ± 8 bpm at minute 1, 53 ± 15 bpm at minute 2), but these findings were not statistically significant (P=0.50 at minute 1, P=0.052 at minute 2) CONCLUSIONS: Training mode did not have a significant effect on the speed of heart rate recovery in trained cyclists. Greater variability in recovery heart rate at minute 2 suggests that heart rate should be monitored longer than one minute of recovery for a better analysis of post-exercise autonomic shift.