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Effects of Cadence and Pacing on Power Output During a 3-min All-out Cycling Test: 2406Board #85 June 1 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM

Vanhatalo, Anni; Burnley, Mark

Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2007 - Volume 39 - Issue 5 - p S446
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000274765.02973.0d
F-26 Free Communication/Poster - Cycling Physiology: JUNE 1, 2007 1:00 PM - 6:00PM ROOM: Hall E

University of Wales, Aberystwyth, United Kingdom. Email:

(Sponsor: Prof. Andrew M. Jones, FACSM)

The end test power output (EP) during a 3-min all-out cycling test performed against fixed resistance has been shown to provide an estimate of the maximal steady state. It is not known whether the 3-min test EP is sensitive to protocol manipulation in terms of cadence and pacing.

PURPOSE: To assess the effect of different flywheel resistances and pacing on EP.

METHODS: Nine subjects performed a ramp test and five 3-min all-out tests on an electromagnetic ally braked cycle ergometer. The standard 3-min all-out test was performed against a fixed resistance which was set so that power output equivalent to 50% of the interval between gas exchange threshold and VO2 peak (50%δ) was attained at the subject's preferred cadence (80-90 rpm). For a “high resistance” trial 50%δ power was set to be attained 10 rpm below preferred cadence, and for a “low resistance” trial 10 rpm above preferred cadence. For the two pacing trials the work rate over initial 30 s was kept constant at 100 or 130% of maximum power attained in the ramp test, followed by 2.5 min all-out effort against the standard resistance. EP was calculated as the mean power output over 150–180 s. Parameters were compared using one-way repeated measures ANOVA with specific differences identified using 95% paired samples confidence intervals.

RESULTS: The end test cadences for standard, high and low resistance trials were 88 ±6, 77 ±5 and 95 ± 7 rpm (F2, 8 = 222.61, P < 0.001). There was no effect on EP between the three cadence trials (F2, 8 = 3.26, P = 0.065). However, the EP in the low resistance trial (244 ± 41 W) was lower than in the standard trial (254 ± 40 W), while the EP in the high resistance trial (251 ± 38 W) was not different from the standard trial. Pacing over the initial 30 s of the test had no effect on the EP estimates in comparison to the standard trial (F2, 8=1.24, P = 0.32). Interestingly, the work done above EP during the test was unaffected by the two distinct pacing strategies adopted (14.1 ± 3.7 kJ for 100% and 15.9 ± 5.3 kJ for 130% trial; P = 0.09).

CONCLUSIONS: The 3-min test EP is robust to the manipulation of pacing and cadence, as long as high cadences are avoided.

© 2007 American College of Sports Medicine