Aerobic Capacity Tests

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  • Aerobic Capacity Tests
    • Direct Gas Analysis
      • Subject performs continuous exercise at progressive intensities to exhaustion.
      • Expired air is captured by a mask with a tube connected to a flow meter and gas analyser.
        • The relative concentrations of oxygen and carbon dioxide in expired air to inspired air are measured.
      • Disadvantages
        • Maximal test to exhaustion
        • Cannot be used with the elderly or those with health conditions
        • Access to specialist equipment is required
      • Advantages
        • Accurate, valid and reliable measure
        • Direct objective measurement of VO2 Max
        • Test performed during different exercises (e.g. running, cycling, rowing), including laboratory and field settings
    • NCF multi-stage fitness test
      • Subject performs a continuous 20m shuttle run test at progressive intensities to exhaustion.
        • Each 20m shuttle will be timed to an audio cue. the test is over when the subject cannot complete the shuttle in the allotted time.
          • A level and a shuttle number will be given which predicts VO2 max from the standardised comparison table.
      • Advantages
        • Large groups can perform the test at the same time.
        • Simple and cheap equipment required
        • Published tables of VO2 max equivalents
      • Disadvantages
        • Test is not sport specific (e.g. rowers or cyclists maybe at a disadvantage)
        • Cannot be used with the elderly or those with health conditions
        • Maximal test to exhaustion limited by subject motivation
        • Prediction of VO2 max, not measurement
    • Cooper 12-minute run
      • Subject performs continuous running to achieve maximum distance within 12 minutes.
        • Usually performed on a 400m running track with cones placed at intervals. time left per lap is called to the performer.
      • At the end of the 12 minutes, the test ends and total distance is recorded. This is a maximum intensity test which using a simple calculation can predict VO2 max.
      • Disadvantages
        • Cannot be used with the elderly or those with health conditions
        • Maximal test to exhaustion limited by subject motivation
        • Test is not sport specific (e.g. rowers or cyclists maybe at a disadvantage)
        • Prediction of VO2 max, not measurement
      • Advantages
        • Simple and cheap equipment required
        • A subject can administer their own test
        • published tables of norm data and simple VO2 max calculation
        • Large groups can perform the test at the same time in a field-based setting
    • Queen's College step test
      • Disadvantages
        • Prediction of VO2 max not a measurement
        • HR recovery will be affected by prior exercise, food and fluid intake
        • Test is not sport specific (e.g. rowers or cyclists maybe at a disadvantage)
        • Step height may disadvantage shorter subjects.
      • Advantages
        • Sub-maximal test
        • Simple and cheap equipment required
        • HR daily monitored
        • published tables of norm data and simple VO2 max calculation
      • Subject performs continuous stepping on and off a box 41.3cm high for a period of 3 minutes.
        • Steps will be taken at a rate of 23 steps/min for men (96 beats/minute on a metronome) and 22 steps/minute for women (88 beats/minute on a metronome)
          • HR is taken five seconds after completing the test for 15 seconds. HR recovery is used to predict VO2 max with a simple equation.

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