The impact of cadence variations upon the submaximal prediction of VO2-peak using the YMCA test.
University of Wales
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The direct measurement of peak oxygen consumption (VO2-peak) is considered to be the gold standard measurement of aerobic fitness. However, due to its exhaustive nature this approach is not suitable for all populations; including the elderly or diseased (George et al., 2000). Therefore, several submaximal protocols have been devised in an attempt to predict VO2-peak, one such test, the YMCA test (Golding et al., 1989) requires individuals to cycle at a cadence of 50 rev•min-1. However, evidence suggests this cadence is too slow to permit a valid assessment of VO2-peak (McNaughton and Thomas, 1996). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to explore the validity of the YMCA submaximal VO2 protocol, by investigating the impact three different cadences (i.e., 50, 70 and 90 rev•min-1) had upon the accuracy of the prediction of VO2-peak. Following ethical approval, 9 healthy participants 5 males and 4 females (mean [±s], age 21 ± 1 yrs, body mass 72.6 ± 7.2 kg, height 1.74 ± 0.11 m) volunteered to participate. Each participant was required to complete a graded VO2-peak test and three submaximal YMCA tests, at cadences of 50, 70 and 90 rev•min-1. All tests were completed on a cycle ergometer (Lode, medical technology, Groningen, Netherlands) and respiratory data during the VO2-peak test were collected using an on-line gas analysis system (Oxycon Pro, Jaeger at Viasys). Direct and predicted measurements of VO2-peak, work rate, ratings of perceived exertion and heart rate were recorded for analysis. A one-way repeated measures ANOVA test revealed no significant difference (P > 0.05) between the mean (±s) of directly measured and the three predicted values of VO2-peak.This was the case irrespective of whether an age predicted HRmax of 220-age or 210-age was used. A significant correlation (P < 0.05) was found between the measured and predicted values of VO2-peak using 50 rev•min-1 with an estimated HRmax of 220-age (r = 0.76) and 210-age (r = 0.76), 70 rev•min-1 with a HRmax of 210-age (r = 0.71) and at 90 rev•min-1 (P < 0.01) with an estimated HRmax of 220-age (r = 0.93) and 210-age (r = 0.96). The degree of error in the magnitude of estimates was found to range from 10-13% when using cadences of 50 and 70 rev•min-1, but this was reduced to less than 6% when 90 rev•min-1 was used. The findings of the present study are in support of the existing literature, and suggest that a cadence of 50 rev•min-1 does not permit an accurate submaximal estimation of VO2-peak compared to the use of 90rev•min-1.
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