"Black hole " 🇬🇧
Do you feel tired of your training, do you often suffer from a cold, affected by different injures or have a lack of motivation? The reason for this may be an over-intensive training without the necessary recovery periods.
I have used heart rate training in my planning for about 7 years. The last 4 years active in the daily life use. Over the past few years, I have come across a "black hole" concept when I read a number of studies and articles. This caught my attention tremendously and I began to study it and use the method in my heart rate based exercises and training.
This "black hole" refers to the threshold or heart rate area where the lactic acid begins to feel. This means a heart rate zone that is about 80-90% of the maximum heart rate. According to the theory, it eats all the power and utility of low and high-level training and requires almost the same recovery time as the high heart rate training.
I was recently in Finland to hold training sessions for boxing coaches in Finland and I made the following example:
I have two different boxers, one average boxer and one elite boxer, both of them are of the same age and in the example both practice the same time and exercise. Their physical condition is as follows:
Elite boxer; V02-max 60-63, in practice, with a cooper value around 3200-3400 m or runs 3,000m in 10.45 min-11.15 min.
The average boxer; V02-max 52-54, cooper's value around 2800-2900 m or runs 3000m in 12.30-13.00 min.
V02MAX means the maximum oxygen capability, it´s one good way to infer the athlete's physical condition. In practice, an elite boxer with good condition will lower the heart rate faster to the lower level while average boxers heart rate will remain at the upper level as the recovery does not take place due to poor condition, and thus time increases in the heart rate zone that is the "black hole" area.
When this idea is moved into practice and these boxers are placed in a training for a regular exercise without a heart rate monitor, it is easy for a boxer without the necessary oxygenation capability to perform a so called "black hole" training.
In this article, I will give you an example of what heart rate monitor tells you when it is used in the exercise with two different boxers. The example clearly shows the differences between the average boxer and the top boxer's performance. The exercise was an ordinary boxing exercise, where there was no sparring in the gym.
The duration of the exercise was 90 min. The result was clear, the average boxer had a heart beat in the black hole area 30 minutes more than the top boxer. The top boxer had only 14 minutes at the acid threshold, so over 30 minutes less working in the black hole zone.
What does this tell you then?
I am a coach of the national team level, and when I ask the boxer to evaluate their training session and workout pace almost everyone says the pace is tough or very hard.
When we add to this the martial arts culture, which is unfortunately often "train hard fight easy", we know that we have created a state in which the athlete is subjected to excessive stress and general insight that "always give their all in" is the right principle.
If the boxer has an average of four to five exercises per week and each or most of these exercises are performed at the same intense at the black hole heart rate it´s likely to end in overtraining. The athlete ends up in overtraining because the necessary long rest does not take place and the athlete has not sufficient time to recover.
This means that if I do not plan exercises and do not follow the duration and effectiveness of the exercise you have no way of preventing overtraining, illness and future injuries due to congestion and too little recovery.
What can you do?
By knowing and tracking the athlete's heart rate, one can be aware of the intensity which the body works, and so can also be a carefully planned exercise program, targets and recovery periods that are based on real pulse and load tracking.
If I have a boxer who can not run for example a traditional cooper test (12min.) 2800-3000m women / 3000-3200m men, then I would really consider that the boxer starting the career first with fitness training, which is precisely intended to exceed the required level of 2800-3000m women and men 3000-3200m. Only then will the heart rate and fitness be sufficient to keep the basic training away from the "black hole" area.
Lise Sandebjer tells of her experiences in a heart rate based exercise plan:
"For me many years of training based on heart rate control has been a great benefit and the method has taught me to know my body, how it reacts when it's healthy or sick, or when it's in the top condition or maybe becoming overtrained.
As an athlete (with an average workout per year more than 900 hours) it is important to be able to influence and monitor the level and development of my training. I can monitor the level of my training more accurately and data collection and documenting is easy. For training to be effective, it is important to know at what level I am, and knowing my body will also help me influence my training.
I can immediately feel when the body's heart rate is 70, 80 or 90% of maximum heart rate and when I feel that I am about 85% I can if I want to raise the intensity, if the exercise is meant to be a "hard training", or lower the intensity if the case is that the exercises should be low intensity.
I know how "black hole" training exercise "consumes" my body. A "black hole" is a pretty good description of what's going on in the body when it is stressed in most of the 80-90% of the heart rate zone without the necessary recovery. This happened before my coach and I started to understand that my exercise should be designed according to my heart rate. Now days we can easily avoid the fatigue and mental weariness that to much black hole training causes."
Finally, this could be summarized in a few words, which a Olympian winner said:
"I'm training hard or low, never in the middle"