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Katrina Taylor, Jeffrey Seegmiller and Chantal A. Vella

Purpose:

To determine whether a decremental protocol could elicit a higher maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) than an incremental protocol in trained participants. A secondary aim was to examine whether cardiac-output (Q) and stroke-volume (SV) responses differed between decremental and incremental protocols in this sample.

Methods:

Nineteen runners/triathletes were randomized to either the decremental or incremental group. All participants completed an initial incremental VO2max test on a treadmill, followed by a verification phase. The incremental group completed 2 further incremental tests. The decremental group completed a second VO2max test using the decremental protocol, based on their verification phase. The decremental group then completed a final incremental test. During each test, VO2, ventilation, and heart rate were measured, and cardiac variables were estimated with thoracic bioimpedance. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was conducted with an alpha level set at .05.

Results:

There were no significant main effects for group (P = .37) or interaction (P = .10) over time (P = .45). VO2max was similar between the incremental (57.29 ± 8.94 mL · kg–1 · min–1) and decremental (60.82 ± 8.49 mL · kg–1 · min–1) groups over time. Furthermore, Q and SV were similar between the incremental (Q 22.72 ± 5.85 L/min, SV 119.64 ± 33.02 mL/beat) and decremental groups (Q 20.36 ± 4.59 L/min, SV 109.03 ± 24.27 mL/beat) across all 3 trials.

Conclusions:

The findings suggest that the decremental protocol does not elicit higher VO2max than an incremental protocol but may be used as an alternative protocol to measure VO2max in runners and triathletes.

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Nicolas Fabre, Laurent Mourot, Livio Zerbini, Barbara Pellegrini, Lorenzo Bortolan and Federico Schena

This study tested the hypothesis that the DMAX (for maximal distance) method could be applied to ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), to propose a novel method for individual detection of the lactate threshold (LT) using RPE alone during an incremental test to exhaustion. Twenty-one participants performed an incremental test on a cycle ergometer. At the end of each stage, lactate concentration was measured and the participants estimated RPE using the Borg CR100 scale. The intensity corresponding to the fixed lactate values of 2 or 4 mmol · L−1(2mM and 4mM), the ventilatory threshold (VT), the respiratory-compensation point (RCP), and the instant of equality of pulmonary gas exchange (RER=1.00) were determined. Lactate (DMAX La) and RPE (DMAX RPE) thresholds were determined using the DMAX method. Oxygen uptake (VO2), heart rate, and power output measured at DMAX RPE and at DMAX La were not statistically different. Bland-Altman plots showed small bias and good agreements when DMAX RPE was compared with the DMAX La and RER=1.00 methods (bias = −0.05% and −2% of VO2max, respectively). Conversely, VO2 from the DMAX RPE method was lower than VO2 at 4 mM and at RCP and was higher than VO2 at 2 mM and at VT. VO2 at DMAX RPE was strongly correlated with VO2 at DMAX La (r = .97), at RER=1.00 (r = .97), at 2 mM (r = .85), at 4 mM (r = .93), at VT (r = .95), and at RCP (r = .95). The combination of the DMAX method with the RPE responses permitted precise and individualized estimates of LT using the DMAX method.

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Vanessa Martínez-Lagunas and Ulrich Hartmann

Purpose:

To evaluate the validity of the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (YYIR1) for the direct assessment and the indirect estimation of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) in female soccer players compared with a maximal laboratory treadmill test (LTT).

Methods:

Eighteen female soccer players (21.5 ± 3.4 y, 165.6 ± 7.5 cm, 63.3 ± 7.4 kg; mean ± SD) completed an LTT and a YYIR1 in random order (1 wk apart). Their VO2max was directly measured via portable spirometry during both tests and indirectly estimated from a published non-gender-specific formula (YYIR1-F1).

Results:

The measured VO2max values in LTT and YYIR1 were 55.0 ± 5.3 and 49.9 ± 4.9 mL · kg−1 · min−1, respectively, while the estimated VO2max values from YYIR1-F1 corresponded to 45.2 ± 3.4 mL · kg−1 · min−1. Large positive correlations between the VO2max values from YYIR1 and LTT (r = .83, P < .001, 90% confidence interval = .64–.92) and YYIR1-F1 and LTT (r = .67, P = .002, .37–.84) were found. However, the YYIR1 significantly underestimated players’ VO2max by 9.4% compared with LTT (P < .001) with Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement ranging from –20.0% to 1.4%. A significant underestimation from the YYIR1-F1 (P < .001) was also identified (17.8% with Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement ranging from –31.8% to –3.8%).

Conclusions:

The YYIR1 and YYIR1-F1 are not accurate methods for the direct assessment or indirect estimation of VO2max in female soccer players. The YYIR1-F1 lacks gender specificity, which might have been the reason for its larger error.

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Raphael Faiss, Claudia von Orelli, Olivier Dériaz and Grégoire P. Millet

Purpose:

Hypoxia is known to reduce maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) more in trained than in untrained subjects in several lowland sports. Ski mountaineering is practiced mainly at altitude, so elite ski mountaineers spend significantly longer training duration at altitude than their lower-level counterparts. Since acclimatization in hypobaric hypoxia is effective, the authors hypothesized that elite ski mountaineers would exhibit a VO2max decrement in hypoxia similar to that of recreational ski mountaineers.

Methods:

Eleven elite (E, Swiss national team) and 12 recreational (R) ski mountaineers completed an incremental treadmill test to exhaustion in normobaric hypoxia (H, 3000 m, FIO2 14.6% ± 0.1%) and in normoxia (N, 485 m, FIO2 20.9% ± 0.0%). Pulse oxygen saturation in blood (SpO2), VO2max, minute ventilation, and heart rate were recorded.

Results:

At rest, hypoxic ventilatory response was higher (P < .05) in E than in R (1.4 ± 1.9 vs 0.3 ± 0.6 L · min−1 · kg−1). At maximal intensity, SpO2 was significantly lower (P < .01) in E than in R, both in N (91.1% ± 3.3% vs 94.3% ± 2.3%) and in H (76.4% ± 5.4% vs 82.3% ± 3.5%). In both groups, SpO2 was lower (P < .01) in H. Between N and H, VO2max decreased to a greater extent (P < .05) in E than in R (–18% and –12%, P < .01). In E only, the VO2max decrement was significantly correlated with the SpO2 decrement (r = .74, P < .01) but also with VO2max measured in N (r = .64, P < .05).

Conclusion:

Despite a probable better acclimatization to altitude, VO2max was more reduced in E than in R ski mountaineers, confirming previous results observed in lowlander E athletes.

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Michael Wilkinson, Damon Leedale-Brown and Edward M. Winter

Purpose:

This study examined the validity of a squash-specific test designed to assess endurance capability and aerobic power.

Methods:

Eight squash players and eight runners performed, in a counterbalanced order, incremental treadmill (TT) and squash-specific (ST) tests to volitional exhaustion. Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake was determined by a portable analyzer and heart rate was assessed telemetrically. Time to exhaustion was recorded.

Results:

Independent t tests revealed longer time to exhaustion for squash players on the ST than runners (775 ± 103 vs. 607 ± 81 s; P = .003) but no difference between squash players and runners in maximal oxygen uptake ( Vo2max) or maximum heart rate (HRmax). Runners exercised longer on the TT (521 ± 135 vs. 343 ± 115 s; P = .01) and achieved higher Vo2max than squash players (58.6 ± 7.5 vs. 49.6 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .03), with no group difference in HRmax. Paired t tests showed squash players achieved higher Vo2max on the ST than the TT (52.2 ± 7.1 vs. 49.6 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .02). The Vo2max and HRmax of runners did not differ between tests, nor did the HRmax of squash players. ST and TT Vo2max correlated highly in squash players and runners (r = .94, P < .001; r = .88, P = .003).

Conclusions:

The ST discriminated endurance performance between squash players and runners and elicited higher Vo2max in squash players than a nonspecifc test. The results suggest that the ST is a valid assessment of Vo2max and endurance capability in squash players.

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Joanne R. Williams and Neil Armstrong

This investigation set out to estimate exercise intensity and blood lactate corresponding to the maximal lactate steady state (MLaSS) and also examined the relationship between performance at the MLaSS with performance at fixed blood lactate reference values of 2.5 and 4.0 mmol•1−1. Cardiopulmonary responses at peak treadmill exercise and blood lactate reference values were measured in 10 boys and 8 girls ages 13-14 years. The 2.5 mmol•11 reference value represented 84±7% peak VO2 in boys and 82±6% peak VO2 in girls. Corresponding values at the 4.0 mmol•1−1 level were 93±6% and 90±5% peak VO2. MLaSS occurred at 77±7% peak VO2 in boys and 76±7% peak VO2 in girls. Blood lactate at the MLaSS was 2.1±0.5 mmol•l−1 in boys and 2.3±0.6 mmol•l−1 in girls. Cardiopulmonary and heart rate responses at the MLaSS were not significantly different from corresponding responses at the 2.5 mmol•l−1 reference value. In contrast, cardiopulmonary responses at the 4.0 mmol•l−1 reference level were significantly higher than those at the MLaSS. These data indicate that a 2.5 mmol•l−1 criterion for assessing aerobic performance in children may be the most appropriate.

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Myriam Guerra, Kenneth H. Pitetti and Bo Fernhall

The purpose of this study was to determine if the regression formula developed for the 20-m shuttle run test (20 MST) for children and adolescents with mild mental retardation (MR), used to predict cardiovascular fitness (V̇O2peak), is valid for adolescents with Down syndrome (DS). Twenty-six adolescents (mean age = 15.3 ± 2.7 yr) with DS (15 males, 11 females) completed a maximal treadmill protocol (measured V̇O2peak) and a 20 MST (predicted V̇O2peak). There was a significant difference (p < .01) between the means of the measured (25.5 ± 5.2 ml·kg-1-·min-1) and the predicted (33.5 ± 3.9 ml·kg-1·min-1) V̇O2peak, respectively. In addition, there was a low relationship between measured and predicted values (r = .54). The results of this study indicate that the regression formula developed for children and adolescents with MR to predict V̇O2peak was not valid in this sample of adolescents with DS.

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George T. Hardison Jr., Richard G. Israel and Grant W. Somes

The purpose of this study was to identify the most desirable cranking rate to be used by paraplegic individuals during submaximal arm training programs. Eleven healthy paraplegic males (M age = 28.8 years) with lesion levels ranging from T4 to T12 served as subjects. Arm exercise loads for the four submaximal cranking rates studied (50, 60, 70, and 80 rpm) were set to elicit 60% of peak V̇O2. Duration of the submaximal tests was 15 min. V̇E, V̇O2, RER, HR, and differentiated RPE were recorded each minute throughout the 15-min test. A randomized block ANOVA and Duncan’s post hoc analysis indicated that 80 rpm produced significantly higher (p <.05) values for HR, absolute V̇O2, V̇E, V̇CO2, and V̇E/V̇O2 than any other rates. Cranking at 70 rpm resulted in significantly higher (p <.05) values for O2 pulse, while relative V̇O2 was significantly higher (p <05) at 70 rpm than at all other rates except 80 rpm. RPE was significantly higher (p <.05) at 50 rpm than at 60 or 70 rpm, with no difference between 50 and 80 or 60, 70, and 80. The authors concluded that 70 rpm was the most appropriate cranking rate for paraplegic males to use during arm training programs.

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Ralph K.L. Rogers, Tony Reybrouck, Maria Weymans, Monique Dumoulin, Marc Gewillig and Paul Vaccaro

This study assessed the relationship between the VO2 measured at ventilatory threshold (VT) and the VO2 measured at the point of deflection from linearity of heart rate (HRD). Twelve children (10 boys and 2 girls) with a mean age of 11.3 years (±4.8) performed a graded exercise test to determine VT and HRD. All children had undergone surgical repair for d-transposition of the great arteries at approximately 13 months of age. Because of failure to demonstrate HRD, the data from 4 patients were excluded from statistical analysis. For the remaining 8 patients there was no significant difference between mean VO2 (ml/kg/min) at VT and HRD (26.6 ± 6.4 vs. 26.3 ± 6.8; p > 0.25). Linear regression analysis revealed a correlation of r = 0.92 between the VO2 measured at VT and the VO2 measured at HRD. Only 8 of the 12 patients (66%) in this study satisfied criteria needed to identify the HRD. Therefore HRD may be an accurate predictor of VT in most but not all children who have had surgery for d-transposition of the great arteries.

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Ian G. Campbell, Clyde Williams and Henryk K.A. Lakomy

The purpose was to examine selected physiological responses of endurance-trained male wheelchair athletes in different Paralympic racing classes (T2, n = 3; T3, n = 8; T4, n = 7) during a 10-km treadmill time trial (TM:10-km). Peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2 peak) was determined, and a TM:10-km was completed on a motorized treadmill. From this, % V̇O2peak utilized and the relationship between V̇O2peak and TM:10-km were established. During the TM:10-km, the following dependent variables were examined: propulsion speed, oxygen uptake, respiratory exchange ratio, and heart rate. The results showed athletes utilize a high % V̇O2peak (78.4 –13.6%) during the TM:10-km. There was a moderate correlation (r = -.57, p < .01) between VO2peak and TM:10-km. No physiological differences were found between the paraplegic racing classes (T3, T4), which suggests that there is some justification in amalgamating these racing classes for endurance events.