Evaluation of a maximal predictive cycle ergometer test of aerobic power

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Summary

A maximal predictive cycle ergometer (CE) test for estimating maximal oxygen uptake ( \(\dot V\) O2 max) was evaluated in 15 male and 12 female subjects. The test consisted of pedalling a cycle ergometer (Monark) at 75 rev·min−1, beginning at an intensity of 37.5 watts and increasing by this amount each min until the subject could no longer maintain pedal rate. The highest work rate achieved was recorded as the endpoint of the test and used to construct regression equations to predict \(\dot V\) O2 max. This was compared with two direct measures of \(\dot V\) O2 max [an interrupted treadmill (TM) run and an interrupted CE procedure at 60 rev·min−1] and with the submaximal predictive test of åstrand-Rhyming. When compared to TM \(\dot V\) O2 max, \(\dot V\) O2 measured during the final 30 s of the maximal predictive CE test was 16.0% and 16.2% lower for males and females respectively; compared to \(\dot V\) O2 max determined by the direct CE test, it was lower by 2.9% for males and 5.2% for females. Correlation coefficients for \(\dot V\) O2 max predicted from the maximal predictive CE test and \(\dot V\) O2 max measured directly by CE and TM were 0.89 and 0.87 for males and 0.88 and 0.83 for females (p<0.01), respectively. The \(\dot V\) O2 max predicted from the åstrand-Rhyming test correlated significantly with \(\dot V\) O2 max max measured by CE and TM only in the male group. Test-retest reliability coefficients for intensity (watts) on the maximal predictive CE test were 0.95 and 0.81 for males and females respectively (p<0.01). The data suggest that this CE test gives a reliable and valid estimate of \(\dot V\) O2 max.