Bruce Protocol Tests

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Maximal oxygen uptake is defined as the region in which oxygen consumption plateaus or increases only slightly with additional increases in exercise intensity. Maximal oxygen uptake is also known as maximal oxygen consumption, maximal aerobic power, aerobic capacity, or VO2 max. The maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) is a measure of a subject's ability to take in and utilize oxygen during exercise. A subject with a greater VO2 max value will exhibit greater potential to sustain high intensity exercise for an extended length of time. Theoretically, subjects with greater VO2 max values possess greater concentrations of hemoglobin in the blood, thus enabling them to utilize more oxygen during intense exercise.

The first VO2 Max test performed was the YMCA Bike Test. This test was performed on a cycle ergometer which was calibrated by the test administer. The bike test predicts maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) based upon the steady-state heart rate during exercise. Heart rate is measured in how many beats per 15 seconds and multiplied by 4 and then recorded. The initial resistance load is .5 kp and may increase based on heart rate measurements at the end of the third minute. Subsequently, the resistance load is then increased every three minutes (i.e., load settings based on a chart) until the end of the test. VO2 max may be determined from the estimated workload at maximal heart rate. This is determined graphically from two points on a scale of heart rate vs. workload produced which is plotted on a graph.

The second test performed was the Bruce Treadmill Test. This test protocol is used to obtain VO2 max measurements and is ultimately the most popular among the testing of athletes. The main strength of this test is that it is a direct measure of maximal oxygen consumption. This test indicates a subject's aptitude for success in prolonged events as well as the level of health of subjects' cardiovascular and respiratory systems....
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