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Consensus on the exercise protocol used to measure Fatmax (exercise intensity corresponding to maximum fat oxidation (MFO)) in children has not been reached. The present study compared Fatmax estimated using the 3 min incremental cycling protocol (3-INC) and a protocol consisting of several 10 min constant work rate exercise bouts (10-CWR) in 26 prepubertal children. Group Fatmax values were the same for 3-INC and 10-CWR (55% VO2peak) and 95% limits of agreement (LoA) were ± 7% VO2peak. Group MFO values were similar between protocols, although 95% LoA were -94 to 113 mg·min−1. While 3-INC provides a valid estimation of Fatmax compared with 10-CWR, caution should be exercised when estimating MFO in prepubertal children.
Zakrzewski and Tolfrey are with the School of Sport, Exercise, and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK.