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This study examined the influence of test duration and anaerobic capacity on VO2max and the occurrence of a VO2 plateau during treadmill exercise in 25 boys (10.4 ± 0.8 years). Protocols with 1-min (P1) and 2-min (P2) stages, but identical speed and grade changes, were used to manipulate test duration. On separate days, VO2max was measured on P1 and P2, and 200-m run time was assessed. At maximal exercise, VO2, heart rate (HR), and pulmonary ventilation (VE) were similar between protocols, however, respiratory exchange ratio (RER) and treadmill elevation were higher (p < .05) on P1 than on P2. Plateau achievement was not significantly different. On P1, there were no differences between plateau achievers and nonachievers. On P2, test duration and 200-m run time were superior (p < .05), and relative VO2max tended to be higher (p < .10) in plateau achievers. Indices of aerobic and anaerobic capacity may influence plateau achievement on long, but not short duration tests.
The authors are with the Human Performance Lab at Ball State University, Muncie, IN 47306.