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Purpose:

This study examined the validity of a squash-specific test designed to assess endurance capability and aerobic power.

Methods:

Eight squash players and eight runners performed, in a counterbalanced order, incremental treadmill (TT) and squash-specific (ST) tests to volitional exhaustion. Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake was determined by a portable analyzer and heart rate was assessed telemetrically. Time to exhaustion was recorded.

Results:

Independent t tests revealed longer time to exhaustion for squash players on the ST than runners (775 ± 103 vs. 607 ± 81 s; P = .003) but no difference between squash players and runners in maximal oxygen uptake ( Vo2max) or maximum heart rate (HRmax). Runners exercised longer on the TT (521 ± 135 vs. 343 ± 115 s; P = .01) and achieved higher Vo2max than squash players (58.6 ± 7.5 vs. 49.6 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .03), with no group difference in HRmax. Paired t tests showed squash players achieved higher Vo2max on the ST than the TT (52.2 ± 7.1 vs. 49.6 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .02). The Vo2max and HRmax of runners did not differ between tests, nor did the HRmax of squash players. ST and TT Vo2max correlated highly in squash players and runners (r = .94, P < .001; r = .88, P = .003).

Conclusions:

The ST discriminated endurance performance between squash players and runners and elicited higher Vo2max in squash players than a nonspecifc test. The results suggest that the ST is a valid assessment of Vo2max and endurance capability in squash players.

Wilkinson is with the Division of Sport Science, Sports Performance Research Group, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; Leedale-Brown is with Refex Squash and Fitness, Wilmington, DE; and Winter is with the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffeld Hallam University, Sheffeld, England.