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Kenneth R. Turley and Jack H. Wilmore

This study investigated whether cardiovascular responses at a given submaximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2, L · min-1) are different between the treadmill (TM) and cycle ergometer (CE). Submaximal cardiovascular measurements were obtained at three work rates on both the TM and CE in 7- to 9-year-old children (12 males and 12 females). Using regression analysis, it was determined that there were no differences between the TM and CE in cardiac output (L · min-1), stroke volume (SV, ml · beat-1) or heart rate (beats · min-1) at a given V̇O2 (L · min-1). There were differences in the total peripheral resistance (TPR, units) and arterial-venous oxygen difference (a-vO2 diff, ml · 100 ml-1) to V̇O2 (L · min-1) relationship. While there were statistically significant differences in TPR and a-vO2 diff between the two modalities, there was substantial overlap of individual values at any given submaximal V̇O2, thus the physiological significance is questionable. Hence, we conclude that in 7- to 9-yearold children there are no differences in submaximal cardiovascular responses between the CE and TM.

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Louisa Beale, Neil S Maxwell, Oliver R Gibson, Rosemary Twomey, Becky Taylor and Andrew Church

Background:

The purpose of this study was to characterize the physiological demands of a riding session comprising different types of recreational horse riding in females.

Methods:

Sixteen female recreational riders (aged 17 to 54 years) completed an incremental cycle ergometer exercise test to determine peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and a 45-minute riding session based upon a British Horse Society Stage 2 riding lesson (including walking, trotting, cantering and work without stirrups). Oxygen consumption (VO2), from which metabolic equivalent (MET) and energy expenditure values were derived, was measured throughout.

Results:

The mean VO2 requirement for trotting/cantering (18.4 ± 5.1 ml·kg-1·min-1; 52 ± 12% VO2peak; 5.3 ± 1.1 METs) was similar to walking/trotting (17.4 ± 5.1 ml·kg-1·min-1; 48 ± 13% VO2peak; 5.0 ± 1.5 METs) and significantly higher than for work without stirrups (14.2 ± 2.9 ml·kg-1·min-1; 41 ± 12% VO2peak; 4.2 ± 0.8 METs) (P = .001).

Conclusion:

The oxygen cost of different activities typically performed in a recreational horse riding session meets the criteria for moderate intensity exercise (3-6 METs) in females, and trotting combined with cantering imposes the highest metabolic demand. Regular riding could contribute to the achievement of the public health recommendations for physical activity in this population.

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Ryan D. Burns, James C. Hannon, Timothy A. Brusseau, Patricia A. Eisenman, Pedro F. Saint-Maurice, Greg J. Welk and Matthew T. Mahar

Cardiorespiratory endurance is a component of health-related fitness. FITNESSGRAM recommends the Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) or One mile Run/Walk (1MRW) to assess cardiorespiratory endurance by estimating VO2 Peak. No research has cross-validated prediction models from both PACER and 1MRW, including the New PACER Model and PACER-Mile Equivalent (PACER-MEQ) using current standards. The purpose of this study was to cross-validate prediction models from PACER and 1MRW against measured VO2 Peak in adolescents. Cardiorespiratory endurance data were collected on 90 adolescents aged 13–16 years (Mean = 14.7 ± 1.3 years; 32 girls, 52 boys) who completed the PACER and 1MRW in addition to a laboratory maximal treadmill test to measure VO2 Peak. Multiple correlations among various models with measured VO2 Peak were considered moderately strong (R = .74–0.78), and prediction error (RMSE) ranged from 5.95 ml·kg-1, min-1 to 8.27 ml·kg-1.min-1. Criterion-referenced agreement into FITNESSGRAM’s Healthy Fitness Zones was considered fair-to-good among models (Kappa = 0.31–0.62; Agreement = 75.5–89.9%; F = 0.08–0.65). In conclusion, prediction models demonstrated moderately strong linear relationships with measured VO2 Peak, fair prediction error, and fair-to-good criterion referenced agreement with measured VO2 Peak into FITNESSGRAM’s Healthy Fitness Zones.

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Jaak Jürimäe, Kaja Haljaste, Antonio Cicchella, Evelin Lätt, Priit Purge, Aire Leppik and Toivo Jürimäe

The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of the energy cost of swimming, body composition, and technical parameters on swimming performance in young swimmers. Twenty-nine swimmers, 15 prepubertal (11.9 ± 0.3 years; Tanner Stages 1−2) and 14 pubertal (14.3 ± 1.4 years; Tanner Stages 3−4) boys participated in the study. The energy cost of swimming (Cs) and stroking parameters were assessed over maximal 400-m front-crawl swimming in a 25m swimming pool. The backward extrapolation technique was used to evaluate peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak). A stroke index (SI; m2 · s−1 · cycles−1) was calculated by multiplying the swimming speed by the stroke length. VO2peak results were compared with VO2peak test in the laboratory (bicycle, 2.86 ± 0.74 L/min, vs. in water, 2.53 ± 0.50 L/min; R2 = .713; p = .0001). Stepwise-regression analyses revealed that SI (R2 = .898), in-water VO2peak (R2 = .358), and arm span (R2 = .454) were the best predictors of swimming performance. The backward-extrapolation method could be used to assess VO2peak in young swimmers. SI, arm span, and VO2peak appear to be the major determinants of front-crawl swimming performance in young swimmers.

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Lieselot Decroix, Kevin De Pauw, Carl Foster and Romain Meeusen

Aim:

To review current cycling-related sport-science literature to formulate guidelines to classify female subject groups and to compare this classification system for female subject groups with the classification system for male subject groups.

Methods:

A database of 82 papers that described female subject groups containing information on preexperimental maximal cycle-protocol designs, terminology, biometrical and physiological parameters, and cycling experience was analyzed. Subject groups were divided into performance levels (PLs), according to the nomenclature. Body mass, body-mass index, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), peak power output (PPO), and training status were compared between PLs and between female and male PLs.

Results:

Five female PLs were defined, representing untrained, active, trained, well-trained, and professional female subjects. VO2max and PPO significantly increased with PL, except for PL3 and PL4 (P < .01). For each PL, significant differences were observed in absolute and relative VO2max and PPO between male and female subject groups. Relative VO2max is the most cited parameter for female subject groups and is proposed as the principal parameter to classify the groups.

Conclusion:

This systematic review shows the large variety in the description of female subject groups in the existing literature. The authors propose a standardized preexperimental testing protocol and guidelines to classify female subject groups into 5 PLs based on relative VO2max, relative PPO, training status, absolute VO2max, and absolute PPO.

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Linda S. Pescatello, Loretta DiPietro, Ann E. Fargo, Adrian M. Ostfeld and Ethan R. Nadel

The cross-sectional relationship between physical activity, physical fitness, and measures of resting hemodynamic function and adiposity was examined in 11 women and 14 men, all of whom were in good health (M age = 69.3 yrs). Resting diastolic blood pressure (DBP) differed significantly by quartiles of both weekly energy expenditure and estimated VO2max. Subjects whose energy expenditure was above the 50th percentile had significantly lower DBP than less active subjects, independent of age, gender, and VO2max, whereas those above the 75th percentile of VO2max had lower DBP and mean arterial pressure compared to less fit subjects, independent of age, gender, and weekly energy expenditure. There were no significant differences in the body mass index or percent body fat by quartile of weekly energy expenditure or estimated VO2max in the multivariable analysis. Mean waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) differed by level of weekly energy expenditure, independent of age, gender, and VO2max; individuals who reported a threshold of energy expenditure ≥6,099 kcal/wk had less relative abdominal fat than those reporting less activity. There were no significant independent differences in mean WHR or the central-to-peripheral skinfold ratio between quartiles of VO2max.

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Philo U. Saunders, Amanda J. Cox, Will G. Hopkins and David B. Pyne

It is unclear whether physiological measures monitored in an incremental treadmill test during a training season provide useful diagnostic information about changes in distance running performance.

Purpose:

To quantify the relationship between changes in physiological measures and performance (peak running speed) over a training season.

Methods:

Well-trained distance runners (34 males; VO2max 64 ± 6 mL⋅kg-1⋅min-1, mean ± SD) completed four incremental treadmill tests over 17 wk. The tests provided values of peak running speed, VO2max, running economy, and lactate threshold (as speed and %VO2max). The physiological measures were included in simple and multiple linear regression models to quantify the relationship between changes in these measures and changes in peak speed.

Results:

The typical within-subject variation in peak speed from test to test was 2.5%, whereas those for physiological measures were VO2max (mL⋅min-1⋅kg-1) 3.0%, economy (m⋅kg⋅mL–1) 3.6%, lactate threshold (%VO2max) 8.7%, and body mass 1.8%. In simple models these typical changes predicted the following changes in performance: VO2max 1.4%, economy 0.8%, lactate threshold –0.3%, and body mass –0.2% (90% confidence limits ~±0.7%); the corresponding correlations with performance were 0.57, 0.33, –0.05, and –0.13 respectively (~±0.20). In a multiple linear regression model, the contribution of each physiological variable to performance changed little after adjustment for the other variables.

Conclusion:

Change in VO2max in an incremental test during a running season is a good predictor of change in peak running speed, change in running economy is a moderate predictor, and lactate threshold and body mass provide little additional information.

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Kerry McGawley and Hans-Christer Holmberg

Purpose:

Cross-country-ski races place complex demands on athletes, with events lasting between approximately 3 min and 2 h. The aim of the current study was to compare the aerobic and anaerobic measures derived from a short time trial (TT) between male and female skiers using diagonal cross-country skiing.

Methods:

Twenty-four highly trained cross-country skiers (12 male and 12 female, age 17.4 ± 1.4 y, body mass 68.2 ± 8.9 kg, height 174 ± 8 cm) participated. The submaximal VO2–speed relationship and VO2max were derived from an incremental ramp test to exhaustion (RAMP), while the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD), peak VO2, and performance time were measured during a 600-m TT.

Results:

The female skiers took longer to complete the TT than the males (209 ± 9 s vs 166 ± 7 s, P < .001) and exhibited a lower relative anaerobic contribution (20% ± 4% vs 24% ± 3%, P = .015) and a higher fractional utilization of VO2max (84% ± 4% vs 79% ± 5%, P = .007) than males. Although there was no significant difference in AOD between the sexes (40.9 ± 9.5 and 47.3 ± 7.4 mL/kg for females and males, respectively; P = .079), the mean difference ± 90% confidence intervals of 6.4 ± 6.0 mL/kg reflected a likely practical difference (ES = 0.72). The peak VO2 during the TT was significantly higher than VO2max during the RAMP for all participants combined (62.3 ± 6.8 vs 60.5 ± 7.2 mL · kg−1 · min−1, P = .011), and the mean difference ± 90% confidence intervals of 1.8 ± 1.1 mL · kg−1 · min−1 reflected a possible practical difference (ES = 0.25).

Conclusions:

These results show that performance and physiological responses to a self-paced TT lasting approximately 3 min differ between sexes. In addition, a TT may provide a valid measure of VO2max.

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Stephen J. Bailey, Anni Vanhatalo, Matthew I. Black, Fred J. DiMenna and Andrew M. Jones

Purpose:

To assess whether combining prior “priming” exercise with an all-out pacing strategy is more effective at improving oxygen-uptake (V̇O2) kinetics and cycling performance than either intervention administered independently.

Methods:

Nine men completed target-work cycling performance trials using a self-paced or all-out pacing strategy with or without prior severe-intensity (70%Δ) priming exercise. Breath-by-breath pulmonary V̇O2 and cycling power output were measured during all trials.

Results:

Compared with the self-paced unprimed control trial (22 ± 5 s), the V̇O2 mean response time (MRT) was shorter (V̇O2 kinetics were faster) with all-out pacing (17 ± 4 s) and priming (17 ± 3 s), with the lowest V̇O2 MRT observed when all-out pacing and priming were combined (15 ± 4 s) (P < .05). However, total O2 consumed and end-exercise V̇O2 were only higher than the control condition in the primed trials (P < .05). Similarly, cycling performance was improved compared with control (98 ± 11 s) in the self-paced primed (93 ± 8 s) and all-out primed (92 ± 8 s) trials (P < .05) but not the all-out unprimed trial (97 ± 5 s; P > .05).

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that combining an all-out start with severe-intensity priming exercise additively improves V̇O2 MRT but not total O2 consumption and cycling performance since these were improved by a similar magnitude in both primed trials relative to the self-paced unprimed control condition. Therefore, these results support the use of priming exercise as a precompetition intervention to improve oxidative metabolism and performance during short-duration high-intensity cycling exercise, independent of the pacing strategy adopted.

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Shelby L. Francis, Ajay Singhvi, Eva Tsalikian, Michael J. Tansey and Kathleen F. Janz

Purpose:

Determining fitness is important when assessing adolescents with type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM). Submaximal tests estimate fitness, but none have been validated in this population. This study cross-validates the Ebbeling and Nemeth equations to predict fitness (VO2max (ml/kg/min)) in adolescents with T1DM.

Methods:

Adolescents with T1DM (n = 20) completed a maximal treadmill test using indirect calorimetry. Participants completed one 4-min stage between 2.0 and 4.5 mph and 5% grade (Ebbeling/Nemeth protocol). Speed and grade were then increased until exhaustion. Predicted VO2max was calculated using the Ebbeling and Nemeth equations and compared with observed VO2max using paired t tests. Pearson correlation coefficients, 95% confidence intervals, coefficients of determination (R2), and total error (TE) were calculated.

Results:

The mean observed VO2max was 47.0 ml/kg/min (SD = 6.9); the Ebbeling and Nemeth mean predictions were 42.4 (SD = 9.4) and 43.5 ml/kg/min (SD = 6.9), respectively. Paired t tests resulted in statistically significant (p < .01) mean differences between observed and predicted VO2max for both predictions. The association between the Ebbeling prediction and observed VO2max was r = .90 (95% CI = 0.76, 0.96), R 2 = .81, and TE = 6.5 ml/kg/min. The association between the Nemeth prediction and observed VO2max was r = .81 (95% CI = 0.57, 0.92), R 2 = .66, and TE = 5.6 ml/kg/min.

Conclusion:

The Nemeth submaximal treadmill protocol provides a better estimate of fitness than the Ebbeling in adolescents with T1DM.