Assessment of aerobic and anaerobic capacity in relation to 100 metre freestyle swimming performance and validity of arm ergometry tests
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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The aim of this investigation was to further examine the relationship between upperbody anaerobic power and cardiorespiratory parameters and sprint swimming performance. Nine highly trained male sprint swimmers performed an upper-body Wingate and VO2 peak test, on an adapted leg ergometer and specific arm ergometer respectively. It was envisaged that findings would provide greater understanding of the predictive validity of arm ergometry in the 100 metres freestyle. Results indicated that no significant relationships existed between all parameters measured (peak aerobic power, VO2 peak, maximum heart rate during VO2 peak test, peak anaerobic power, anaerobic mean power or Fatigue index) and performance (r = -0.45, r = -0.13, r = -0.61, r = -0.65, r = -0.33 and r = -0.19 respectively). It was shown that sprint swimmers are capable of producing high levels of anaerobic power (group mean, 587.78 W). Moreover highly significant relationships were observed between peak, anaerobic and aerobic power (r = 0.75) and between sprint time and heart rate immediately following the corresponding performance (r = -0.88). Consequently it is suggested that power is an important factor in sprint swimming and that swimmers possessing high peak anaerobic power concurrently possess high peak aerobic power. Additionally heart rate seems to be a significant indicator of performance in highly trained subjects. However, as arm crank tests were not significantly related to performance, a further indication of this study is that arm ergometry is not a valid measure of sprint freestyle performance among highly trained sprint swimmers.
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