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Purpose: To propose and validate new taekwondo-specific cardiopulmonary exercise tests. Methods: Twelve male national-level taekwondo athletes (age 20 [2] y, body mass 67.5 [5.7] kg, height 175 [8] cm, and training experience 7 [3] y) performed 3 separate exercise tests in a randomized counterbalanced order: (1) a treadmill running cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET) and (2) continuous and (3) interval taekwondo-specific cardiopulmonary exercise tests (cTKDet and iTKDet, respectively). The CPET was administered using an individualized ramp protocol. Taekwondo tests comprised sequences of turning kicks performed on a stationary target. The impacts were recorded via an electronic scoring sensor used in official competition. Stages on the cTKDet and iTKDet lasted 1 min and progressively reduced the kick interval duration. These were guided by a sound signal, starting with 4.6 s between kicks and reducing by 0.4 s every minute until the test ended. Oxygen uptake (V˙O2), heart rate (HR), capillary blood lactate, and ratings of perceived exertion were measured. Results: Modest differences were identified in V˙O2max between the tests (F2,22 = 3.54; P = .046; effect size [ES] = 0.16). Maximal HR (HRmax) was higher during both taekwondo tests (F2,22 = 14.3; P = .001; ES = 1.14) compared with CPET. Specific tests also yielded higher responses in the first ventilatory threshold V˙O2 (F2,22 = 6.5; P = .04; ES = 0.27) and HR (F2,22 = 12.3; P < .001; ES = 1.06), and HR at the second ventilatory threshold (F2,22 = 5.7; P = .02; ES = 0.72). Conclusions: Taekwondo-specific cardiopulmonary tests enhance the validity of some cardiopulmonary responses and might therefore be considered to optimize routine diagnostic testing and training prescription for this athletic group.

Hausen, Soares, Araujo, Esteves, and Gurgel are with the Graduate Program on Cardiovascular Sciences, and Hausen, Soares, Araujo, Esteves, Julio, Tauil, Junca, Porto, and Gurgel the Biomechanics Research Group, Fluminense Federal University, Niterói, Brazil. Porto is also with Physical Education and Sports Inst, Rio de Janeiro State University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Franchini is with the Martial Arts and Combat Sports Research Group, School of Physical Education and Sport, University of São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil. Bridge is with Sport and Exercise Research Group, Dept of Sport & Physical Activity, Edge Hill University, Ormskirk, United Kingdom.

Gurgel (jonasgurgel@terra.com.br) is corresponding author.
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