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Predicting Maximal Aerobic Capacity (VO2max) from the Critical Velocity Test in Female Collegiate Rowers

Kendall, Kristina L1; Fukuda, David H1; Smith, Abbie E3; Cramer, Joel T2; Stout, Jeffrey R1

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: March 2012 - Volume 26 - Issue 3 - pp 733-738
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318225f3ac

Kendall, KL, Fukuda, DH, Smith, AE, Cramer, JT, and Stout, JR. Predicting maximal aerobic capacity (V̇O2max) from the critical velocity test in female collegiate rowers. J Strength Cond Res 26(3): 733–738, 2012—The objective of this study was to examine the relationship between the critical velocity (CV) test and maximal oxygen consumption (V̇O2max) and develop a regression equation to predict V̇O2max based on the CV test in female collegiate rowers. Thirty-five female (mean ± SD; age, 19.38 ± 1.3 years; height, 170.27 ± 6.07 cm; body mass, 69.58 ± 0.3 1 kg) collegiate rowers performed 2 incremental V̇O2max tests to volitional exhaustion on a Concept II Model D rowing ergometer to determine V̇O2max. After a 72-hour rest period, each rower completed 4 time trials at varying distances for the determination of CV and anaerobic rowing capacity (ARC). A positive correlation was observed between CV and absolute V̇O2max (r = 0.775, p < 0.001) and ARC and absolute V̇O2max (r = 0.414, p = 0.040). Based on the significant correlation analysis, a linear regression equation was developed to predict the absolute V̇O2max from CV and ARC (absolute V̇O2max = 1.579[CV] + 0.008[ARC] − 3.838; standard error of the estimate [SEE] = 0.192 L·min−1). Cross validation analyses were performed using an independent sample of 10 rowers. There was no significant difference between the mean predicted V̇O2max (3.02 L·min−1) and the observed V̇O2max (3.10 L·min−1). The constant error, SEE and validity coefficient (r) were 0.076 L·min−1, 0.144 L·min−1, and 0.72, respectively. The total error value was 0.155 L·min−1. The positive relationship between CV, ARC, and V̇O2max suggests that the CV test may be a practical alternative to measuring the maximal oxygen uptake in the absence of a metabolic cart. Additional studies are needed to validate the regression equation using a larger sample size and different populations (junior- and senior-level female rowers) and to determine the accuracy of the equation in tracking changes after a training intervention.

1Metabolic and Body Composition Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Huston Huffman Center, Norman, Oklahoma; 2Biophysics Laboratory, Department of Health and Exercise Science, University of Oklahoma, Huston Huffman Center, Norman, Oklahoma; and 3Applied Physiology Laboratory, Department of Exercise and Sport Science, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina

Address correspondence to Dr. Jeffrey R. Stout,

© 2012 National Strength and Conditioning Association