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ORIGINAL ARTICLE  EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS 

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2017 September;57(9):1119-25

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.16.06393-3

Copyright © 2016 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Comparison between continuous and discontinuous incremental treadmill test to assess velocity at V̇O2max

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 Sports Medicine, Don Gnocchi Foundation, Milan, Italy


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BACKGROUND: The velocity associated with maximum aerobic power (vV̇O2max) 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 vV̇O2max 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 vV̇O2max 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 every minute; and R2, 1 km/h every 2 minutes), and one discontinuous SW protocol, in random order, for maximum oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) and vV̇O2max determination. Cardiorespiratory and metabolic parameters were collected breath-by-breath at rest and during exercise.
RESULTS: vV̇O2max was significantly higher in R1 and R2 compared to SW (20.7±0.5, 18.6±0.4, 16.8±0.6 km/h for R1, R2, and SW, respectively; P<0.001). No significant differences were found among protocols for V̇O2max (56.7±1.1, 57.0±1.2, and 56.6±1.2 mL/min/kg 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 V̇O2max values, vV̇O2max 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 vV̇O2max is used for training purposes.


KEY WORDS: Anaerobic threshold - Oxygen consumption - Exercise test - Running

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