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Among other aspects, aerobic fitness is indispensable for performance in slalom canoe.


To propose the maximal-lactate steady-state (MLSS) and critical-force (CF) tests using a tethered canoe system as new strategies for aerobic evaluation in elite slalom kayakers. In addition, the relationship between the aerobic parameters from these tests and the kayakers’ performances was studied.


Twelve male elite slalom kayakers from the Brazilian national team participated in this study. All tests were conducted using a tethered canoe system to obtain the force records. The CF test was applied on 4 d and analyzed by hyperbolic (CFhyper) and linear (CFlin) mathematical models. The MLSS intensity (MLSSint) was obtained by three 30-min continuous tests. The time of a simulated race was considered the performance index.


No difference (P < .05) between CFhyper (65.9 ± 1.6 N) and MLSSint (60.3 ± 2.5 N) was observed; however, CFlin (71.1 ± 1.7 N) was higher than MLSSint. An inverse and significant correlation was obtained between MLSSint and performance (r = –.67, P < .05).


In summary, MLSS and CF tests on a tethered canoe system may be used for aerobic assessment of elite slalom kayakers. In addition, CFhyper may be used as an alternative low-cost and noninvasive method to estimate MLSSint, which is related with slalom kayakers’ performance.

The authors are with the Laboratory of Applied Sport Physiology, University of Campinas, Limeira, Brazil.

Ferrari ( is corresponding author.