Which do you think is more effective?
There are so many factors that can influence heart rate. Medications, stress, fatigue, not to mention that the formulas they use to figure MHR are not considered accurate. Research has shown that RPE/Talk test to be just as effective as monitors although, I do feel that monitoring has a place in training.
I think one has to differentiate who the client is. Are we referring to an apparently healthy individual or someone with a diagnosed cardiovascular disease whose heart rate MUST be monitored.
In a clinical setting both are utilized. If it is straight up heart rate training then there is no clinical thresholds (as far as intensity is concerned) that one has to adhere. Heart rate and RPE has to be monitored if, let’s say, the doctors order say the the client’s heart rate has to remain 10-15 beats below the client’s ischemic threshold.
I don’t see the point of RPE if a well-conditioned client is wearing a heart rate monitor and the personal trainer has performed the right assessments on their client, knows their client’s heart rate at the low and high ends and has designed a program specifically around those parameters.
In a nutshell both have a place depends upon the client and their health status.
I love the talk test when a machine or monitor isn’t around. like hiking if you hit a big hill, or in the middle of a circuit.
I usually ask What did you have for breakfast or how did work go today and then count the words they say. That way they don’t know your doing it.
So context determines which one is best.
I like the talk test mainly because it makes your client pay attention to what is happening with them during their exercise session. HR is fine, but as the previous answers have suggested, the prediction are based on a statistical regression that is most likely not accurate for all individuals. The talk test is very specifically geared of your client right now.