Validity and Reliability of the 3-Minute All-Out Test in National and International Competitive Swimmers

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To assess the concurrent and predictive validity of the 3-minute all-out test (3MT) against conventional methods (CM) of determining critical speed (CS) and curvature constant (D′) and to examine the test–retest reliability of the 3MT in highly trained swimmers. Methods: Thirteen highly trained swimmers (age 16 [2] y, weight 64.7 [8.5] kg, height 1.76 [0.07] m) completed 4 time trials and two 3MTs over 2 wk. The distance–time (DT) and speed–1/time (1/T) models were used to determine CS and D′ from 4 time trials. CS3MT and D3MT were determined as the mean speed in the final 30 s of 3MT and as the speed–time integral above CS, respectively. Results: CS3MT (1.33 [0.06] m·s−1) did not differ from CSCM (1.33 [0.06] m·s−1, P > .05) and correlated nearly perfectly with CSCM (r = .95, P < .0001). D3MT (19.50 [3.52] m) was lower than DDT (23.30 [6.24] m, P < .05) and D1/T (22.15 [5.75] m, P = .09). Correlations between D3MT and DCM were very large (r = .79, P = .002). CS and D′ between the two 3MT trials were not different (CS mean change = −0.009 m·s−1, P = .102; D′ mean change = 0.82 m, P = .221). Correlations between the two 3MT trials were nearly perfect and very large for CS (r = .97) and D′ (r = .87, P < .05), respectively, with coefficients of variation of 0.9% for CS and 9.1% for D′. Conclusion: The 3MT is a valid protocol for estimation of CS and produces high test–retest reliability for CS and D′ in highly trained swimmers.

Piatrikova, Gonzalez, and Williams are with the Dept for Health, University of Bath, Bath, United Kingdom. Sousa is with the Research Center for Sports, Exercise and Human Development, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro, Vila Real, Portugal, and the University Inst of Maia, ISMAI, Maia, Portugal.

Piatrikova (e.piatrikova@bath.ac.uk) is corresponding author.
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