Optimal Resistive Forces for Maximizing the Reliability of Leg Muscles’ Capacities Tested on a Cycle Ergometer

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 University of Granada
  • 2 Catholic University of the Most Holy Conception
  • 3 University of Delaware
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This study determined the optimal resistive forces for testing muscle capacities through the standard cycle ergometer test (1 resistive force applied) and a recently developed 2-point method (2 resistive forces used for force-velocity modelling). Twenty-six men were tested twice on maximal sprints performed on a leg cycle ergometer against 5 flywheel resistive forces (R1–R5). The reliability of the cadence and maximum power measured against the 5 individual resistive forces, as well as the reliability of the force-velocity relationship parameters obtained from the selected 2-point methods (R1–R2, R1–R3, R1–R4, and R1–R5), were compared. The reliability of outcomes obtained from individual resistive forces was high except for R5. As a consequence, the combination of R1 (≈175 rpm) and R4 (≈110 rpm) provided the most reliable 2-point method (CV: 1.46%–4.04%; ICC: 0.89–0.96). Although the reliability of power capacity was similar for the R1–R4 2-point method (CV: 3.18%; ICC: 0.96) and the standard test (CV: 3.31%; ICC: 0.95), the 2-point method should be recommended because it also reveals maximum force and velocity capacities. Finally, we conclude that the 2-point method in cycling should be based on 2 distant resistive forces, but avoiding cadences below 110 rpm.

García-Ramos, Torrejón, Morales-Artacho, and Pérez-Castilla are with the Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Sport Sciences, University of Granada, Granada, Spain. García-Ramos is also with the Faculty of Education, CIEDE, Catholic University of the Most Holy Conception, Concepción, Chile. Jaric is with the Department of Kinesiology and Applied Physiology, Biomechanics and Movement Science Graduate Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE.

Address author correspondence to Amador García-Ramos at amagr@ugr.es.
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