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Predicting VO2max From Treadmill Performance in American-Style Football Athletes

Crouse, Stephen F.1; Tolson, Homer1; Lytle, Jason1; Johnson, Kalen A.1; Martin, Steven E.1; Green, John S.1; Oliver, Jonathan2; Carbuhn, Aaron3; Lambert, Bradley4; Bramhall, Joe P.5

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: April 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 4 - p 1028–1034
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003071
Methodological Report

Crouse, SF, Tolson, H, Lytle, J, Johnson, KA, Martin, SE, Green, JS, Oliver, J, Carbuhn, A, Lambert, B, and Bramhall, JP. Predicting V[Combining Dot Above]O2max from treadmill performance in American-style football athletes. J Strength Cond Res 33(4): 1028–1034, 2019—Prediction equations are often used to estimate V[Combining Dot Above]O2max in the general population but are lacking for American-style football (ASF) athletes. We sought to develop a regression model to estimate V[Combining Dot Above]O2max from treadmill exercise time in ASF athletes and compare our football V[Combining Dot Above]O2max model with 2 published prediction equations (Foster et al., 1984, and Bruce, 1973). American-style football athletes (N = 472, age = 18 ± 1 year, height = 186.1 ± 8.2 cm, and body mass = 101.8 ± 20.4 kg) underwent treadmill exercise to voluntary exhaustion (Bruce protocol). Maximal exercise time was recorded in minutes (Tmin), and V[Combining Dot Above]O2max was simultaneously measured (M-V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, mlO2·kg−1·min−1) by an automated gas-analysis system. Athletes were then randomly divided into validation and cross-validation groups (n = 236). Linear regression yielded estimates of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max from Tmin as follows: validation V[Combining Dot Above]O2max = 4.012 × Tmin − 4.628 (r2 = 0.678, p < 0.001, and SEE = 4.07); cross-validation V[Combining Dot Above]O2max = 4.025 × Tmin − 4.693 (r2 = 0.661, p < 0.001, and SEE = −4.16). These equations had a cross-validation coefficient of 0.813 and a double cross-validation coefficient of 0.823. Differences between the slopes of the 2 equations were not significant (t-test, p = 0.9603). Because validation and cross-validation groups were not statistically different on any variables measured (multivariate analysis of variance, p > 0.05), all athletes were combined to yield our final prediction equation: football V[Combining Dot Above]O2max = 4.017 × Tmin − 4.644 (r2 = 0.670, p < 0.001, and SEE = 4.11). Repeated-measures analysis of variance demonstrated significant differences (p < 0.001) in estimates of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max among Foster (44.1 ± 6.1), Bruce (47.1 ± 5.5), and our football (45.1 ± 5.8) equations. Foster and Bruce V[Combining Dot Above]O2max estimates were also significantly different from M-V[Combining Dot Above]O2max (

diff = −0.975 and 1.995, respectively, p < 0.001). V[Combining Dot Above]O2max of ASF athletes can be reasonably estimated by our football prediction equation using maximal treadmill time as the predictor.

1Department of Health and Kinesiology, Applied Exercise Science Laboratory, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas;

2Department of Kinesiology, Texas Christian University, Ft. Worth, Texas;

3Department Dietetics and Nutrition, University of Kansas Medical Center, Kansas City, Kansas;

4Department of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, Methodist Hospital, Houston, Texas; and

5Department of Athletics, Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas

Address correspondence to Dr. Stephen F. Crouse,

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.