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External Responsiveness and Intrasession Reliability of the Rope-Climbing Test

Dhahbi, Wissem; Chamari, Karim; Chèze, Laurence; Behm, David G.; Chaouachi, Anis

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: October 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 10 - p 2952–2958
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001367
Research Note

Dhahbi, W, Chamari, K, Chèze, L, Behm, DG, and Chaouachi, A. External responsiveness and intrasession reliability of the rope-climbing test. J Strength Cond Res 30(10): 2952–2958, 2016—Although the rope-climbing test (RCT) has been validated for upper-body power assessment of Commando soldiers, the external responsiveness and intrasession reliability of the RCT have not been reported. To examine RCT external responsiveness and intrasession reliability, this study consisted of 2 separate phases. Forty male soldiers belonging to the special units of the National Guard, selected on the basis of their training and specialty operations levels, participated in the first phase of the study to identify the discriminant ability of RCT. This group was then divided into anti-terrorism Commandos (21 soldiers) and Intervention-Brigade (19 soldiers). Only the anti-terrorism Commandos participated in the intrasession reliability study. The Commandos were significantly better than the Intervention-Brigade soldiers on execution time (ET), absolute power output (APO), and relative power output (RPO; p < 0.001). The areas under the receiver operator characteristics curves were all higher than 0.70: 0.91, 0.85, and 0.90 for ET, APO, and RPO, respectively. The RCT provided good external responsiveness; thus, RCT was considered to indicate “good” discriminative ability. No significant difference was found between groups in posttest rating of perceived exertion. The intrasession reliability coefficients were excellent for ET, APO, and RPO (intraclass correlation coefficient [3,1] > 0.90). The standard errors of measurement values for the ET, APO, and RPO were all less than 5% (range: 1.29–1.47%). The main findings of this study suggest that RCT is a tool with both high sensitivity and intrasession reliability, allowing the consistent detection of differences in upper-limb power performance between the 2 military groups of different operational capacity levels.

1Tunisian Research Laboratory “Sport Performance Optimisation,” National Center of Medicine and Science in Sports (CNMSS), Tunis, Tunisia;

2Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, ASPETAR, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar;

3University of Tunis El Manar, Science Faculty of Tunis, Tunisia;

4University of Lyon, F-69622, Lyon; IFSTTAR, LBMC, UMR_T9406, Bron; Lyon University 1, Villeurbanne, France;

5University Center of Bioengineering of the Human Neuromusculoskeletal System;

6School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada; and University; and

7Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand (SPRINZ), AUT Millennium Institute, AUT University, Auckland, New Zealand.

Address correspondence to Anis Chaouachi,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.