18 Jun A Better Treadmill Test: fit.test
fit.test: a better method than the Bruce protocol for VO2max testing on a treadmill
fit.test will empower you as an exercise professional to provide a premium service for your clients in aerobic fitness testing (VO2max) on a treadmill, or a cycle ergometer or step bench if they suit you better. I’m here to show you how to use fit test to conduct a better treadmill test to estimate VO2max for your clients, and then to compare it to other methods. A big difference is that fit.test empowers you to individualise your tests. By that I mean that you are not locked into the standard tests that are so often unsuited to your client. Why wouldn’t you want to individualise your services and provide a premium service easily and stand out from the crowd? I will help you to do that. fit.test uses a multi-stage individualised approach to aerobic exercise testing and programming based on a reliable method of estimating VO2max.
fit.test puts you in control of your client’s effort levels
Most treadmill test protocols prescribe intensities that are either too hard or too easy for your clients. If the workloads are too easy, then this will underestimate an individual’s exercise capacity. And it means that when you design an exercise plan for that individual, they’re probably going to under exercise and under exert and they won’t receive the full benefits. If the workloads are too hard, then this will make the test very uncomfortable for your client and could even make the test unsafe.
fit.test is designed as a “Goldilocks” because it INDIVIDUALISES the intensities to each client. My videos will show you how.
fit.test puts you in control of the intensity progressions for a treadmill test
fit.test gets over all of these problems by empowering you to customise your exercise tests and then individualise your exercise plans and fit test. fit.test makes these two tasks very easy and ideally suited to each individual client.
Another big problem with the standard treadmill tests is that they prescribe the size of each increment in exercise intensity, causing the increments to often be too large (uncomfortable for your client and maybe even unsafe), or too small (too easy which extends the length of the assessment without adding any value). As for intensities, the wrong increments can make the assessment of VO2max and exercise programming very difficult.
Why the Bruce treadmill test is not the best test for assessing VO2max
I want to talk about the Bruce Protocol. So to those of you who are familiar with the Bruce treadmill test, or even those who aren’t, the test consists of large steps in exercise intensity for each 3 minutes stage. In clinical settings such as cardiology, the Bruce Protocol is well suited for stress testing….. but not for exercise physiologists who seek to prescribe exercise with high levels of precision. fit.test will give you the tools needed to do just that.
Here is what can happen often with the Bruce test: a client can go from feeling fine at one stage and then go immediately to feeling very fatigued or exhausted or develop adverse symptoms at the very next stage. This is very unlikely to happen with fit.test that can be set up for small increments even if you start at the same starting level as for the Bruce. fit.test allows you to stop at fatigue before exhaustion or adverse signs or symptoms arise. But fit.test also allows to go all the way to exhaustion if that suits your client.
Referring to the diagram above, I start my treadmill test at a speed equivalent to “very very light” or “very light”; I use ratings of perceived exertion (RPE 6-20 Borg point scale or 0-10 point scale; it doesn’t matter which one) to find the speed corresponding to RPE “very very light” to “very light” for that client (RPE 7-9 on the 6-20 point scale; RPE 1-2 on the 0-10 point scale). I use the same approach for most clients even though the actual intensities (speeds) will be different to meet each client’s needs. Then I gradually progress the intensity each minute by either increasing gradient on the treadmill for a walking test (say 1-2% increase per minute) or increasing speed for a running test (say 0.5-1.0 kph increase per minute) until you reach your stopping point (say RPE 13-15 for a submaximal test or RPE 16-19 for a maximal test on the 6-20 point scale). fit.test will estimate VO2max even for a submaximal test and so you have a lot of flexibility in the way that you test your clients on a treadmill. The diagrams below show a maximal test on the left and a submaximal test on the right.
fit.test works brilliantly for either maximal or submaximal tests
Summary: 1. fit.test gives you complete control over the exercise test on a treadmill: the starting intensity, the size and type of the progressions, and the stopping intensity. 2. fit.test will estimate VO2max even for a submaximal test and so you have a lot of flexibility in the way that you test your clients on a treadmill.
So that’s really all I wanted to share with you on this video on how to use fit test to produce better treadmill testing and therefore better programming for walking and running for your clients. If you have any questions about this video or anything else on fit test, you can email me: [email protected]
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