And for most of us this is as good as it will get as anything more accurate is expensive and for pro sports. If you have nothing at all available, well I think 8.5/10 in terms of RPE (rate of perceived exertion) might be a good barometer.
This type of training I also believe could be of huge benefit to combat athletes who very often rely on a really efficient aerobic system to recover from flurries or high intensity bursts and also to stay fresh and sharp. But it’s arguable they spend a huge amount of time at or around Lactate Threshold within the sport itself. Wrestling and other close contact drills may well suit this approach as well but would need heart rate equipment.
Within field sport there are game based possibilities too but again heart rate monitoring and careful planning of game constraints might be needed. The problem with games based approach in a lot of cases is work rate and the variance of physical attributes and abilities. That’s why despite the rush to do absolutely everything with the ball these days, sometimes practically you are actually better off developing more rounded athletes and skills through more rudimentary means. A games based approach is very do-able but will take careful planning. You will need to constrain the game sufficiently to make players engaged. A game possibly where players are monitored for involvement and must get on the ball within 20 second blocks or a run to a corner pole must happen after some marker decided by the coach.
However I think something like using these Med Ball/Jump Circuits could hit a few birds with one stone. Seeing as we are always looking for “bang for buck” this may be an approach worth exploring further. These can also be utilized on the field. You can even play games or have relays etc to add some intrinsic motivation.
I would really love comment, critique and thoughts from sports scientists, S&C Coaches or anyone at all that may have a view or interest in this subject. I am always looking to merge athletic development, sports specific fitness and skill acquisition together to provide more efficient solutions for my teams and athletes alik.