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Comparing Tests for Maximal Oxygen Consumption

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Comparing Tests for Maximal Oxygen Consumption
Abstract:
Maximal oxygen consumption (VO₂max) is an excellent indicator of a person’s physical fitness level. It can also be used for many other things including diagnostic tools for physicians. In this study, two different methods of collecting maximal oxygen uptake scores were compared. The first being the predicted VO₂max score attained via the Rockport test and the second being indirect calorimetry VO₂max score attained through cycle ergometer and an attached metabolic cart. Ten males and nine females of similar ages participated in both the Rockport and Indirect Calorimetry tests. It was found that the Rockport predicted tests significantly overestimated the VO₂max scores for males by 14% and females by 16% possibly due to the variability the test is subjected to. The Indirect Calorimetry was therefore deemed the more accurate test. It was also discovered that there were significant individual differences in the data due to many differing factors, including sex, body composition, heredity and physical prowess.
Introduction:
Maximal oxygen consumption (VO₂max) refers to the maximum capacity of an individual body to transport and use oxygen during intense incremental exercise. VO₂max is achieved when the workload continues to increase but the oxygen uptake has halted and achieved a steady state or “plateau”.
Achieveing a high VO₂max can be influenced by a multitude of intertwining physiological factors, including increased pulmonary, cardiovascular and neuromuscular functions, increased mitochondrial density and size, and increase capillary density reaching skeletal muscle [ (McArdle, Katch, & Katch, 2010) ].
Vo₂ max can be measured directly through several different methods. These include incremental tests to exhaustion using a treadmill, cycle ergometer, or rowing ergometer, collectively referred to as indirect calorimetry. Indirect calorimetry measures the amount of oxygen in the expired air. In this study a cycle ergometer was used alongside a



References: McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2010). Exercise Physiology; Nutrition, Energy, and Human Performance (seventh ed.). Philadelphia : Lipincott Williams & Wilkins. Formal Lab Report: Comparing Tests for Maximal Oxygen Consumption March 16th 2012 PEKN 2P97 – Muscle Physiology and Exercise Metabolism, Dr. S. Peters TA: Geoff Hartley

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