Comparison of Step-Wise and Ramp-Wise Incremental Rowing Exercise Tests and 2000-m Rowing Ergometer Performance

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose:

This study examined parameters derived from both an incremental step-wise and a ramp-wise graded rowing exercise test in relation to rowing performance.

Methods:

Discontinuous step-wise incremental rowing to exhaustion established lactate threshold (LT), maximum oxygen consumption (VO2maxSTEP), and power associated with VO2max (W VO2max). A further continuous ramp-wise test was undertaken to derive ventilatory threshold (VT), maximum oxygen consumption (VO2maxRAMP), and maximum minute power (MMW). Results were compared with maximal 2000-m ergometer time-trial power.

Results:

The strongest correlation with 2000-m power was observed for MMW (r = .98, P < .001), followed by W VO2max (r = .96; P < .001). The difference between MMW and W VO2max compared with the mean of MMW/W VO2max showed a widening bias with a greater difference coincident with greater power. However, this bias was reduced when expressed as a ratio term and when a baseline VO2 was accounted for. There were no differences (P = .85) between measures of VO2maxSTEP and VO2maxRAMP; rather, the measures showed strong association (r = .97, P < .001, limits of agreement = −0.43 to 0.33 L/min). The power at LT and VT did not differ (P = .6), and a significant association was observed (r = .73, P = .001, limits of agreement = −54.3 to 20.2 W, SEE = 26.1).

Conclusions:

This study indicates that MMW demonstrates a strong association with ergometer rowing performance and thus may have potential as an influential monitoring tool for rowing athletes.

Ingham, Pringle, and Fudge are with the English Inst. of Sport, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK. Hardman is with the English Inst. of Sport, Bisham Abbey National Sports Centre, Buckinghamshire, UK. Richmond is with Optimal Performance Ltd., Clifton, UK.