We examined the reproducibility of performance and physiological responses on a squash-specific incremental test.
Eight trained squash players habituated to procedures with two prior visits performed an incremental squash test to volitional exhaustion on two occasions 7 days apart. Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake ( Vo2) and heart rate were determined continuously using a portable telemetric system. Blood lactate concentration at the end of 4-min stages was assessed to determine lactate threshold. Once threshold was determined, test speed was increased every minute until volitional exhaustion for assessment of maximal oxygen uptake (Vo2max), maximum heart rate (HRmax), and performance time. Economy was taken as the 60-s mean of Vo2 in the final minute of the fourth stage (below lactate threshold for all participants). Typical error of measurement (TEM) with associated 90% confidence intervals, limits of agreement, paired sample t tests, and least products regression were used to assess the reproducibility of scores.
Performance time (TEM 27 s, 4%, 90% CI 19 to 49 s) Vo2max (TEM 2.4 mL·kg−1·min−1, 4.7%, 90% CI 1.7 to 4.3 mL·kg−1·min−1), maximum heart rate (TEM 2 beats·min−1, 1.3%, 90% CI 2 to 4 beats·min−1), and economy (TEM 1.6 mL·kg−1·min−1, 4.1%, 90% CI 1.1 to 2.8 mL·kg−1·min−1) were reproducible.
The results suggest that endurance performance and physiological responses to a squash-specific fitness test are reproducible.
Wilkinson is with the Division of Sport Science, Sports Performance Research Group, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England; Leedale-Brown is with Reflex Squash and Fitness, Wilmington, DE; and Winter is with the Centre for Sport and Exercise Science, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, England.