Age-Related Changes in Maximal Power and Maximal Heart Rate Recorded during a Ramped Test in 114 Cyclists Age 15–73 Years

in Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
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This study assessed age-related changes in power and heart rate in 114 competitive male cyclists age 15–73 years. Participants completed a maximal Kingcycle™ ergometer test with maximal ramped minute power (RMPmax, W) recorded as the highest average power during any 60 s and maximal heart rate (HRmax, beats/min) as the highest value during the test. From age 15 to 29 (n = 38) RMPmax increased by 7.2 W/year (r = .53, SE 49 W, p < .05). From age 30 to 73 (n = 78) RMPmax declined by 2.4 W/year (r = –.49, SE 49 W, p < .05). Heart rate decreased across the full age range by 0.66 beats · min–1 · year–1 (r = –.75, SE 9 beats/min, p < .05). Age accounted for only 25% of the variance in RMPmax but 56% in HRmax. RMPmax was shown to peak at age 30, then decline with age, whereas HRmax declined across the full age range.

Balmer and Potter are with Sport Studies, Deanery of Sciences and Social Sciences, Liverpool Hope University College, Liverpool, L16 9JD, UK. Bird is with the Centre for Population Health, Melbourne University, St Albans, Victoria 3021, Australia. Davison is with the Dept. of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK, PO1 2DT.