Peak power output predicts maximal oxygen uptake and performance time in trained cyclists

  • John A. Hawley
  • Timothy D. Noakes


The purposes of this study were firstly to determine the relationship between the peak power output (Wpeak) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) attained during a laboratory cycling test to exhaustion, and secondly to assess the relationship betweenWpeak and times in a 20-km cycling trial. One hundred trained cyclists (54 men, 46 women) participated in the first part of this investigation. Each cyclist performed a minimum of one maximal test during whichWmax andVO2max were determined. For the second part of the study 19 cyclists completed a maximal test for the determination ofWpeak, and also a 20-km cycling time trial. Highly significant relationships were obtained betweenWpeak andVO2max (r=0.97,P<0.0001) and betweenWpeak and 20-km cycle time (r= −0.91,P<0.001). Thus,Wpeak explained 94% of the variance in measuredVO2max and 82% of the variability in cycle time over 20 km. We concluded that for trained cyclists, theVO2max can be accurately predicted fromWpeak, and thatWpeak is a valid predictor of 20-km cycle time.

Key words

Cycling performance Cycle ergometry Maximal workload Muscle power Maximal oxygen uptake 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • John A. Hawley
    • 1
  • Timothy D. Noakes
    • 1
  1. 1.Liberty Life Chair of Exercise and Sports Science and the MRC/UCT Bioenergetics of Exercise Research Unit, Department of PhysiologyUniversity of Cape Town Medical School, ObservatorySouth Africa

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