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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2016 Apr 13

language: English

Comparison between continuous and discontinuous incremental treadmill test to assess the velocity at VO2max

Andrea RIBOLI 1, Emiliano CÈ 1, Susanna RAMPICHINI 1, Massimo VENTURELLI 1, Giampietro ALBERTI 1, Eloisa LIMONTA 1, Arsenio VEICSTEINAS 1, 2, Fabio ESPOSITO 1, 2

1 Department of Biomedical Sciences for Health (SCIBIS), University of Milan, Milan, Italy; 2 Center of Sport Medicine, Don Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy


BACKGROUND: The velocity associated with maximum aerobic power (vVO2max) is an important physiological parameter, which is utilized to determine relative workloads on the field. The testing modality adopted to evaluate it, though, may cause differences in vVO2 max assessment and, in turn, in training intensity. The aim of the study was to compare two different testing modalities (continuous incremental ramp and discontinuous square wave (SW) protocols) for vVO2 max assessment on the treadmill.
METHODS: Seventeen physically active participants performed three maximum incremental tests on a treadmill: two continuous ramp protocols, with different ramp slopes (R1, 1 km·h-1 per min; and R2, 1 km·h-1 every 2 min), and one discontinuous SW protocol, in random order, for maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) and vVO2 max determination. Cardiorespiratory and metabolic parameters were collected breath-by-breath at rest and during exercise.
RESULTS: vVO2 max was significantly higher in R1 and R2 compared to SW (20.7±0.5, 18.6±0.4, 16.8±0.6 km·h-1 for R1, R2, and SW, respectively; P<0.001). No significant differences were found among protocols for VO2 max (56.7±1.1, 57.0±1.2, and 56.6±1.2 ml·min-1·kg-1 for SW, R1, R2, respectively) as well as for expiratory ventilation, carbon dioxide production, blood lactate concentration, and heart rate.
CONCLUSIONS: In spite of similar VO2 max values, v VO2 max was higher during continuous incremental ramp tests compared to SW possibly due to the longer time for cardiorespiratory and metabolic adjustments, suggesting different aerobic and anaerobic metabolism involvement. The differences among protocols should be considered when vVO2 max is used for training purposes.

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