15 Jun fit.test: a better way to do CYCLE ERGOMETER tests
fit.test provides better cycle ergometer tests for VO2max than the YMCA test or the Astrand-Rhyming test
fit.test provides exercise professionals with powerful tools to conduct better cycle ergometer tests to estimate VO2max. Much better than either the YMCA cycle ergometry test or the Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test.
fit.test provides exercise professionals with better cycle ergometer tests for VO2max
Hi, I’m Steve Selig, the founder of fit.test and in this post I’m going to show you how to use fit.test to conduct high quality cycle ergometers aerobic fitness testing.
But before I do that, I want to outline some of the problems that you could encounter with some of the published cycle ergometers tests. And I’d like to start first with the YMCA cycle ergometry test. I certainly give the YMCA test a tick for using multi stage testing, but it’s limited in that it only uses four stages, including very much a preliminary first stage. But that’s not my main concern. My major concern is that ALL participants start at the same intensity (150 kg.m/min) and the progressions are only based on heart rates. This results in unreliable, inappropriate and sometimes unsafe progressions for anyone whose heart rate responses to exercise is blunted (e.g. beta blocked or calcium channel blocked clients). And almost anyone whose heart rates do not follow the look up tables (which is many many individuals!).
If the heart rate was very low at the end of the first stage of the YMCA, then the person would proceed to the highest workload for the second stage, so they would go from 150 to 750. The intention of the YMCA is to progress to much higher workloads for individuals with low exercise heart rates, but this is entirely inappropriate for clients whose HRs are blunted by medications, chronic disease (e.g. arrhythmias) or devices such as pacemakers.
So I don’t like the fact that people with very low heart rates in that first stage go to a very high workload on the second stage.
The second major problem that I have with the YMCA cycle ergometer test is the test recommends that you don’t proceed exceed 85% of age-predicted HRmax. I want to give you an example of why I find that a problem: I just mentioned this before, and that is that if someone’s exercise HRs are blunted, then 85% of age-predicted HRmax may actually be well over their 100% of attainable HRmax, making that the test unsafe.
I now want to go onto the Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test which is a very different test. It essentially uses a single stage test, with a nomogram as shown over on my post, which I will go through in a few minutes in a couple of minutes. So this is based on a single stage test and it’s based on the principle that the lower the heart rates during exercise or during recovery from exercise, then the higher the level of fitness. Again, this creates very serious errors of estimation of VO2max for many individuals. And the test using the nomogram is very clunky. My video takes you through all of the clunkiness of the nomogram. fit.test avoids all of this!
Another problem with the Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test is the very arbitrary discrimination between men and women. And the same nomogram is also used for their STEP tests with different step heights used for men and women. A far better approach for step tests is to use higher steps for fitter and/or taller individuals which is how fit.test works.
So now I want to show you how fit.test is used for high quality cycle ergometer tests of VO2max. As you porobably know by now, I recommend that all tests for VO2max are customized to the individual’s fitness, health and circumstances and this included my cycle ergometer protocols using fit.test. All of my tests are based on appropriate starting intensities, progressions and stopping intensities. In other words, individualising all exercise tests. Why wouldn’t you want to do that for your clients?
Another really strong feature of fit.test is you have total control over the use and interpretation of all heart rates up to an individual’s HRpeak, whether that coincide with age-predicted HRpeak or is affected by medications, chronic disease or devices such as pacemakers. EVERY other app on the market ignores this very important individual factor and so renders their estimations of VO2max inaccurate at best.
In the example that I ave given in this post, the client had an estimated VO2peak = 28.4 ml/kg/min and this coincided with HRpeak = 155 bpm = 92% of age-predicted HRpeak (167 bpm). This is quite common and a feature of fit.test.
There’s a lot of different methods available within the fit.test subscriber area for you to precisely prescribe exercise for your clients, based on each client’s actual test data, not look up tables or lots of assumptions.
So that’s all I really have to say to you in relation to using fit test to provide high quality cycle ergometer tests, which then linked beautifully to the creation of individualized exercise plans. When you do that using cycling or some other mode of exercise such as walking,or jogging. I wish you well and if you have any questions at all, please get back to me on [email protected].
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