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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Edward T. Howley, PhD (University of Texas El Paso College of Health Sciences)
Description: This book summarizes the use of heart rate monitoring to achieve fitness and performance goals in a wide variety of exercises and sports.
Purpose: The purpose is to present the most current, definitive, and practical information on the use of heart rate monitors as aids in achieving health, fitness, and performance goals. This is accomplished by providing examples of how heart rate monitors may be used in a wide variety of exercise programs.
Audience: The editor indicates that this book was written for health and fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and coaches. The contributors have been directly involved in the use of heart rate monitors in the various training programs presented.
Features: The first two chapters provide a general introduction into the use of heart rate monitoring in training. This is followed by seven chapters dealing with the use of heart rate monitors in walking, running, cycling, in-line skating, multisport, circuit, and group-exercise training. The last chapter focuses on the use of computer technology to help plan and track training programs. Most chapters provide a range of workouts to address participant needs from the low-end to the high-end of the fitness and performance scale. The book summarizes information on a wide variety of exercise modes that may be of interest to a reader wanting an overview on this topic. However, the reader needs to be aware that some contributors use the straight percentage of maximal heart rate method to calculate a "training heart rate zone" and others use the Karvonen (heart rate range) method. This can be confusing for those getting started in this area.
Assessment: The contributors are qualified to write in their respective areas, and the health-related fitness information is consistent with current standards. The brief nature of each chapter limits the detail that can be provided on the various modes of training. However, most contributors refer to other books that provide extensive detail on a particular mode of training. In some chapters the emphasis on the "science" (or number-crunching aspect) of using heart rate data for training purposes takes away from the "art" (or common sense side) of an exercise prescription. The chapter on running programs provides an appropriate balance in this regard.