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Gabrielle Ringenberg, Jill M. Maples and Rachel A. Tinius

Background: Submaximal exercise tests use heart rate responses to low-to-moderate intensity activity in order to predict cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max). Currently used tests may be inappropriate for obese populations as obese women have altered heart rate responses to exercise. The purpose of this study is to test the validity of the Modified Bruce Protocol submaximal treadmill test in obese women. Methods: Normal-weight (NW) women and obese (OB) women completed the Modified Bruce submaximal treadmill test (to predict VO2max using previously validated equations) and a maximal graded exercise test on a treadmill using the Standard Bruce Protocol (to obtain an actual VO2max) on two separate occasions. The relationships between actual and predicted VO2max values were analyzed using correlation coefficients. Results: 9 NW (age: 23.1 ± 8.0 y, body fat: 23.5 ± 4.9%) and 9 OB (age: 22.0 ± 4.8 y, body fat: 36.9 ± 4.4%) women participated. Actual and predicted VO2max values were not correlated among the OB women (r = 0.48, P = .23) but were positively correlated among the NW women (r = 0.71, P = .03). When actual VO2max was expressed per kilogram lean body mass, the relationships between actual and predicted VO2max remained (OB: r = .20, P = .60; NW: r = .80, P = .009). Conclusions: Protocols for predicting fitness in NW women do not appear to be valid in OB women. Separate equations should be considered in order to maximize the accuracy of exercise testing in OB women, and thus improve health care providers’ ability to evaluate patients and tailor exercise prescriptions.

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Gina Sobrero, Scott Arnett, Mark Schafer, Whitley Stone, T. A. Tolbert, Amanda Salyer-Funk, Jason Crandall, Lauren B. Farley, Josh Brown, Scott Lyons, Travis Esslinger, Keri Esslinger and Jill Maples

High intensity functional training (HIFT) emphasizes constantly varied, high intensity, functional activity by programming strength and conditioning exercises, gymnastics, Olympic weightlifting, and specialty movements. Conversely, traditional circuit training (TCT) programs aim to improve muscular fitness by utilizing the progressive overload principle, similar movements weekly, and specified work-to-rest ratios. The purpose of this investigation was to determine if differences exist in health and performance measures in women participating in HIFT or TCT after a six-week training program. Recreationally active women were randomly assigned to a HIFT (n = 8, age 26.0 + 7.3 yrs) or TCT (n = 11, age 26.3 + 9.6 yrs) group. Participants trained three days a week for six weeks with certified trainers. Investigators examined body composition (BC), aerobic and anaerobic capacity, muscular strength, endurance, flexibility, power, and agility. Repeated-measures ANOVA were used for statistical analyses with an alpha level of 0.05. Both groups increased body mass (p = .011), and improved muscular endurance (p < .000), upper body strength (p = .007), lower body power (p = .029) and agility (p = .003). In addition, the HIFT group decreased body fat (BF) %, while the TCT group increased BF% (p = .011). No changes were observed in aerobic or anaerobic capacity, flexibility, upper body power, or lower body stair climbing power. Newer, high intensity functional exercise programs such as HIFT may have better results on BC and similar effects when compared with TCT programs on health and fitness variables such as musculoskeletal strength and performance.