Assessment of Critical Power with Children

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Samantha G. Fawkner
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Neil Armstrong
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The purpose of this study was to examine methods of assessing Critical Power (CP) with children. Eight boys and 9 girls (10.3 – 0.4 yrs) completed 3 cycle tests in one day, each at a different constant power output predicted to induce fatigue in 2 to 15 min. Time to exhaustion was recorded, and order of the tests was randomized, with 3 hours recovery between tests. The children repeated these tests and 2 additional tests with at least 24 hr recovery between each test. CP was determined using least squares linear regression analysis of the power — t−1 relationship, for the single day (CP1), the 5 tests from different days (CP2), and the repeated 3 tests from different days (CP3). The 95% limits of agreement (range of percentage differences) were −15.4 to 13.1% (CP1 v CP2), −16.8 to 13.5% (CP1 v CP3), and −8.4 to 6.7% (CP2 v CP3). CP is a robust measure even when only 3 tests are completed in a single day and may be used to provide a simple and useful parameter of exercise intensity for constant load exercise with children.

The authors are with the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre, School of Sport and Health Sciences, University Of Exeter, Exeter, UK.

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