European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 1251–1260 | Cite as

Determination of critical power in trained rowers using a three-minute all-out rowing test

  • Ching-Feng Cheng
  • Yi-Shan Yang
  • Hui-Mei Lin
  • Chia-Lun LeeEmail author
  • Chun-Yi Wang
Original Article


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the hyperbolic relationship between power output and time to exhaustion (work − time and power − [1/time] models) could be estimated from a modified version of a three-minute all-out rowing test (3-min RT), and to investigate the test–retest reliability of the 3-min RT. Eighteen male rowers volunteered to participate in this study and underwent an incremental exercise test (IRT), three constant-work rate tests to establish the critical power (CP) and the curvature constant (W′), and two 3-min RTs against a fixed resistance to estimate the end-test power (EP) and work-done-above-EP (WEP) on a rowing ergometer. Peak \( \left( {\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{peak}}}} } \right) \) and maximal \( \left( {\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2\max } } \right) \) oxygen uptakes were calculated as the highest 30 s average achieved during the 3-min RT and IRT tests. The results showed that EP and WEP determinations, based on the 3-min RT, have moderate reproducibility (P = 0.002). EP (269 ± 39 W) was significantly correlated with CP (work − time, 272 ± 30 W; power − [1/time], 276 ± 32 W) (P = 0.000), with no significant differences observed between the EP and CP values (P = 0.474). However, WEP did not significantly correlate with W′ (P = 0.254), and was significantly higher than the W′ values. There was a significant correlation between the \( \dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{ 2 {\text{peak}}}} \) (60 ± 3 ml kg−1 min−1) and \( \dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2\max } \) (61 ± 4 ml kg−1 min−1) (P = 0.003). These results indicate that the 3-min RT has moderate reliability, and is able to appropriately estimate the aerobic capacity in rowers, particularly for the CP and \( \dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2\max } \) parameters.


Exercise intensity Exercise testing Aerobic capacity Indoor rowing 



The authors would like to thank the participants who gave their time and effort to undertake the study. The authors also would like to thank Polypact International Co., Ltd., who sponsored the Cortex metabolic analysis system. Our gratitude goes to the Academic Paper Editing Clinic, National Taiwan Normal University.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ching-Feng Cheng
    • 1
  • Yi-Shan Yang
    • 2
  • Hui-Mei Lin
    • 3
  • Chia-Lun Lee
    • 4
    Email author
  • Chun-Yi Wang
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Athletic PerformanceNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan
  2. 2.Chih Ping Senior High SchoolTaoyuanTaiwan
  3. 3.Department of Sports Science-AquaticTaipei Physical Education CollegeTaipeiTaiwan
  4. 4.Department of Recreational Sports ManagementYu Da UniversityChaoChiao TownshipTaiwan
  5. 5.Department of Physical EducationNational Taiwan Normal UniversityTaipeiTaiwan

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