A Conconi test, used in sports medicine, is a test which is supposed to provide a person's maximum heart rate during both aerobic and anaerobic activities. By measuring a person's heart rate at different exercise levels, one can calculate the maximum heart rate. This is because a person's heart rate generally follows a linear progression, making calculation easier. The practicality and accuracy of the Conconi test has been debated for years, and there is good evidence on both sides of the debate. Regardless, the Conconi test is still used widely today. If you plan to perform the Conconi test, the primary concern should be safety. Read on for information on how to safely conduct a Conconi test.
To perform a Conconi test, you need a quality heart rate monitor, a treadmill, and a stopwatch. Once ready, the participant must place the heart rate monitor on his or her body and set it to record every five seconds. When that is finished, he or she must begin jogging lightly on the treadmill to warm up. This can take anywhere from five to 10 minutes.
An assistant must record the time it takes the runner to travel 200 meters. After that increment, the runner's speed must be increased and the heart rate monitored. The goal of the Conconi test is to gradually increase speed until the participant can no longer continue, usually at a length between 2.5 and 4 kilometers. At this point, the participant can record his or her heart rate one last time.
Once the runner has his or her heart rate recorded at different intervals, the results can be plotted on a graph. After an initial rise in heart rate, most people see a flattening before another rise. The flattening is the participant's anaerobic threshold. Aerobic threshold is this number minus 20. Thus, a runner with an anaerobic threshold of 180 has an aerobic threshold of 160.