The aim of this study was to compare asynchronous (AS Y) arm cranking (cranks at 180° relative to each other) with synchronous (SYN) arm cranking (parallel crank setting) during the 30 s Wingate anaerobic test.
Thirty-two physically active men (aged 22.1 ± 2.4 y) completed two Wingate tests (one ASY and one SYN) separated by 4 d in a randomized counterbalanced order. The Wingate tests were completed on a modified electromagnetically braked cycle ergometer. Performance measures assessed during the two tests include peak power, mean power, minimum power, time to peak power, rate to fatigue and maximum cadence (RPMmax). Blood lactate concentration was also measured before and 5 min after the tests.
Peak and mean power (both absolute and relative to body weight) during SYN arm cranking were significantly (p < 0.001) less than during ASY arm cranking. Rate to fatigue and RPMmax were also significantly (p = 0.012) lower during SYN arm cranking compared with ASY arm cranking. No significant difference was found between test conditions for minimum power, time to peak power or blood lactate concentration.
These findings demonstrate that ASY arm cranking results in higher peak and mean anaerobic power compared with SYN arm cranking during the Wingate test. Therefore, an ASY arm crank configuration should be used to assess anaerobic power in most individuals although specific population groups may require further testing to determine which crank configuration is most suitable for the Wingate test.