Severe-intensity constant-work-rate cycling indicates that ramp incremental cycling underestimates Vo2max in a heterogeneous cohort of sedentary individuals

Avigdor D. Arad, Kaitlyn Bishop, Deena Adimoolam, Jeanine B. Albu, Fred J. DiMenna

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations

Abstract

In the absence of a Vo2-work-rate plateau, debate continues regarding the best way to verify that the peak Vo2 achieved during incremental exercise (Vo2peak) is the “true Vo2max.” Oft-used “secondary criteria” have been questioned in conjunction with the contention that a severe-intensity constant-work-rate “verification bout” should be considered the “gold standard.” The purpose of this study was to compare the Vo2peak during ramp incremental cycling (RAMP-INC) by a heterogeneous (with respect to body composition and sex) cohort of sedentary individuals with the Vo2peak during severe-intensity constant-work-rate cycling (CWR) performed after RAMP-INC at the highest work rate achieved. A secondary purpose was to determine the degree to which traditional and newly-proposed age-dependent secondary criteria (RER, HR) identified RAMP-INC which CWR confirmed were characterized by a submaximal Vo2peak. Thirty-five healthy male (n = 19: 33.4 ± 6.3 yrs) and female (26.8 ± 3.6 yrs) sedentary participants performed RAMP-INC followed by CWR. The Vo2peak values from the two tests were correlated (r = 0.96; p < 0.01; mean CV = 24%); however, Vo2peak for CWR was significantly greater (29.6 ± 7.2 v. 28.6 ± 6.8 mL·min-1·kg-1; p < 0.01) with a mean bias of 0.98 mL·min-1·kg-1 (z = -2.9, p < 0.01). Both traditional and newly-proposed criterion values for RER were achieved during RAMP-INC by 33 of 35 participants (including 21 of 23 who registered a higher Vo2peak on CWR). The traditional HR criterion value was achieved on only seven tests (three of which were confirmed to be characterized by a submaximal Vo2peak) while use of less stringent newly-proposed criteria resulted in acceptance of an additional seven tests of which five were confirmed to be submaximal. Severe-intensity CWR to limit of tolerance indicates that RAMP-INC underestimates Vo2max in sedentary individuals and both traditional and newly-proposed secondary criteria are ineffective for identifying such tests.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0235567
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume15
Issue number7 July
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2020

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