Since the end of 2021, ForLife – Management für den Körper, a German company focusing on emergency response services, has been using the Firstbeat Sports solution for performance diagnostics, training management, and job-oriented rehabilitation. They use the solution in various ways, including both physical fitness and recruitment tests, primarily for fire brigades.
For ForLife performance diagnostician Michael Gissinger, employing a monitoring system used by professional team sports reflects his interest in and concern for additional safety. This is important because the realistic exercises and performance tests of the fire brigade can definitely lead to very high peak loads.
“When we can track performance data in real time, it offers our subjects an additional level of safety. Should certain parameters be significantly exceeded, we can end an exercise early when in doubt.”
The Firstbeat Sports Sensor has a great advantage in that it is small, lightweight and hardly disturbs the test persons. The biometric data is also automatically recorded once the monitoring system has been set up. Whenever the sensors are within range, the measured values are transmitted to the receiving station where the data can be assessed in real time.
“The increased demand for the Firstbeat Sports system from fire, police and disaster response teams clearly underscores the need for live data in these areas. Evaluating objective stress parameters in extreme situations and then training in a targeted manner enables the best preparation for possible emergencies,” says Christoph Rottensteiner, Manager Professional Sports Europe.
New Approaches in the Field of Training Management
This is particularly helpful for physical ability tests, i.e. realistic training scenarios wearing a breathing apparatus, and gives more flexibility with the exercise setup. For example, longer distances can be covered or the floor can be changed. For the exercises inside buildings, where conventional measurement technology often reaches its limits, you can now monitor completely independent of the exercise selection and duration.
In addition, the evaluation of the measured values offers completely new approaches in the area of training management, with capturing heart rate variability (HRV) playing an important role. In contrast to the pure heart rate measurement, which only allows statements to be made about increasing and decreasing physical stress, the HRV also provides a look into mental stress or recovery states.
“The live monitoring of the subjects is really impressive,” Gissinger continues. “Not only subjectively observing the load, but also being able to read the parameters measured in real time on the screen is really fun.”
Furthermore, a connection is established between the so-called internal and external load data. Firstbeat Sports metrics such as Movement Load and Movement Intensity provide a connection point to movement quality.
The ForLife team is currently preparing for their first use of the Firstbeat Sports system in the next physical fitness tests. You can get insights here, for example.
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