European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 115, Issue 1, pp 197–204 | Cite as

Validity and reliability of critical power field testing

  • B. Karsten
  • S. A. Jobson
  • J. Hopker
  • L. Stevens
  • C. Beedie
Original Article



To test the validity and reliability of field critical power (CP).


Laboratory CP tests comprised three exhaustive trials at intensities of 80, 100 and 105 % maximal aerobic power and CP results were compared with those determined from the field. Experiment 1: cyclists performed three CP field tests which comprised maximal efforts of 12, 7 and 3 min with a 30 min recovery between efforts. Experiment 2: cyclists performed 3 × 3, 3 × 7 and 3 × 12 min individual maximal efforts in a randomised order in the field. Experiment 3: the highest 3, 7 and 12 min power outputs were extracted from field training and racing data.


Standard error of the estimate of CP was 4.5, 5.8 and 5.2 % for experiments 1–3, respectively. Limits of agreement for CP were −26 to 29, 26 to 53 and −34 to 44 W for experiments 1–3, respectively. Mean coefficient of variation in field CP was 2.4, 6.5 and 3.5 % for experiments 1–3, respectively. Intraclass correlation coefficients of the three repeated trials for CP were 0.99, 0.96 and 0.99 for experiments 1–3, respectively.


Results suggest field-testing using the different protocols from this research study, produce both valid and reliable CP values.


Critical power Critical velocity Field-testing capacity Reliability Validity 



Coefficient of variation (%)


Critical power


Intraclass correlation coefficient


Limits of agreement


Maximal aerobic power (W)


Power output (W)


Standard error of the estimate


Time to exhaustion

\(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2\hbox{max} }\)

Maximal aerobic capacity (mL min−1)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • B. Karsten
    • 1
  • S. A. Jobson
    • 2
  • J. Hopker
    • 3
  • L. Stevens
    • 1
  • C. Beedie
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Life and Sport ScienceUniversity of GreenwichKentUK
  2. 2.Department of Sport StudiesUniversity of WinchesterHampshireUK
  3. 3.School of Sport and Exercise SciencesUniversity of KentKentUK
  4. 4.Department of Sport and Exercise ScienceAberystwyth UniversityWalesUK

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