European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 102, Issue 1, pp 67–72 | Cite as

VO2max during successive maximal efforts

  • Carl FosterEmail author
  • Erin Kuffel
  • Nicole Bradley
  • Rebecca A. Battista
  • Glenn Wright
  • John P. Porcari
  • Alejandro Lucia
  • Jos J. deKoning
Original Article


The concept of VO2max has been a defining paradigm in exercise physiology for >75 years. Within the last decade, this concept has been both challenged and defended. The purpose of this study was to test the concept of VO2max by comparing VO2 during a second exercise bout following a preliminary maximal effort exercise bout. The study had two parts. In Study #1, physically active non-athletes performed incremental cycle exercise. After 1-min recovery, a second bout was performed at a higher power output. In Study #2, competitive runners performed incremental treadmill exercise and, after 3-min recovery, a second bout at a higher speed. In Study #1 the highest VO2 (bout 1 vs. bout 2) was not significantly different (3.95 ± 0.75 vs. 4.06 ± 0.75 l min−1). Maximal heart rate was not different (179 ± 14 vs. 180 ± 13 bpm) although maximal V E was higher in the second bout (141 ± 36 vs. 151 ± 34 l min−1). In Study #2 the highest VO2 (bout 1 vs. bout 2) was not significantly different (4.09 ± 0.97 vs. 4.03 ± 1.16 l min−1), nor was maximal heart rate (184 + 6 vs. 181 ± 10 bpm) or maximal V E (126 ± 29 vs. 126 ± 34 l min−1). The results support the concept that the highest VO2 during a maximal incremental exercise bout is unlikely to change during a subsequent exercise bout, despite higher muscular power output. As such, the results support the “classical” view of VO2max.


Exercise testing Oxygen uptake Cycle exercise Treadmill exercise 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Carl Foster
    • 1
    Email author
  • Erin Kuffel
    • 1
  • Nicole Bradley
    • 1
  • Rebecca A. Battista
    • 1
  • Glenn Wright
    • 1
  • John P. Porcari
    • 1
  • Alejandro Lucia
    • 2
  • Jos J. deKoning
    • 1
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of Exercise and Sport ScienceUniversity of Wisconsin-La CrosseLa CrosseUSA
  2. 2.European University of MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Vrije Universitet AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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