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Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2011 Feb;36(1):153-60. doi: 10.1139/H10-099.

How to test maximal oxygen uptake: a study on timing and testing procedure of a supramaximal verification test.

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University Outpatient Clinic, Sports Medicine and Sports Orthopaedics, Universtiy of Potsdam, Am Neuen Palais 10, 14469 Potsdam, Germany.


Verification tests are becoming increasingly common for confirming maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) attainment. Yet, timing and testing procedures vary between working groups. The aims of this study were to investigate whether verification tests can be performed after an incremental test or should be performed on a separate day, and whether VO2 max can still be determined within the first testing session in subjects not satisfying the verification criterion. Forty subjects (age, 24 ± 4 years; VO2 max, 50 ± 7 mL·min-1·kg-1) performed a maximal incremental treadmill test and, 10 min afterwards, a verification test (VerifDay1) at 110% of maximal velocity (vmax). The verification criterion was a VerifDay1 peak oxygen uptake (VO2 peak) ≤5.5% higher than the incremental test value. Subjects not achieving the verification criterion performed another verification test at 115% vmax (VerifDay1') 10 min later, trying to confirm VerifDay1 VO2 peak as VO2 max. All other subjects exclusively repeated VerifDay1 on a separate day (VerifDay2). Of the 40 subjects, 6 did not satisfy the verification criterion. In 4 of them, attainment of VO2 max was confirmed by VerifDay1'. VO2 peak was equivalent between VerifDay1 and VerifDay2 (3722 ± 991 mL·min-1 vs. 3752 ± 995 mL·min-1, p = 0.56), whereas time to exhaustion was significantly longer in VerifDay2 (2:06 ± 0:22 min:s vs. 2:42 ± 0:38 min:s, p < 0.001, n = 34). The verification test VO2 peak does not seem to be affected by a preceding maximal incremental test. Incremental and verification tests can therefore be performed within the same testing session. In individuals not achieving the verification criterion, VO2 max can be determined by means of a subsequent, more intense verification test in most but not all cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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