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

Summary

The purposes of this study were firstly to determine the relationship between the peak power output (W peak) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) attained during a laboratory cycling test to exhaustion, and secondly to assess the relationship betweenW peak 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 whichW max andVO2max were determined. For the second part of the study 19 cyclists completed a maximal test for the determination ofW peak, and also a 20-km cycling time trial. Highly significant relationships were obtained betweenW peak andVO2max (r=0.97,P<0.0001) and betweenW peak and 20-km cycle time (r= −0.91,P<0.001). Thus,W peak 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 fromW peak, and thatW peak is a valid predictor of 20-km cycle time.

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Correspondence to John A. Hawley.

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Hawley, J.A., Noakes, T.D. Peak power output predicts maximal oxygen uptake and performance time in trained cyclists. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 65, 79–83 (1992). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF01466278

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Key words

  • Cycling performance
  • Cycle ergometry
  • Maximal workload
  • Muscle power
  • Maximal oxygen uptake