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Int J Sports Med. 2012 Dec;33(12):1010-5. doi: 10.1055/s-0032-1316362. Epub 2012 Jul 12.

Different VO2max time-averaging intervals in swimming.

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Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal.

Erratum in

  • Int J Sports Med. 2012 Dec;33(12):e1.


We aimed to determine the effect of sampling interval strategy on VO(2max) assessment to establish a standard time averaging method that allows a better identification of the VO(2) plateau incidence in swimming. To this end, 3 incremental protocols utilizing different step lengths for each sampling interval were used to compare VO(2max)measurements. 11 trained male swimmers performed 3 repetitions of a front crawl intermittent incremental protocol until exhaustion (increments of 0.05 m.s(-1), with 30 s and 24-48 h intervals between steps and tests, respectively) with 200, 300 and 400-m step lengths. VO(2) was directly measured, and 6 sampling intervals were compared: bxb and averages of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 s. Shorter sampling intervals (≤ 15 s) allowed the highest incidence of the VO(2) plateau, independent of the step lengths used; the 200 and 300-m step protocols accounted for higher percentage of VO(2) plateau incidence, and higher VO(2max) values, compared to the 400-m step protocol. As an optimal sampling interval should be used for the validation of the research findings, and considering that swimmers and coaches prefer less time-consuming protocols, the use of the 10 s time-average interval (once bxb and 5 s samplings present high variability) in a 200-m step incremental protocol for VO(2max) assessment in swimming is suggested.

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