School or Research Centre
School of Medical and Health Sciences / Centre for Human Performance
Severe-intensity constant work rate (CWR) cycling tests simulate the high-intensity competition environment and are useful for monitoring training progression and adaptation, yet impose significant physiological and psychological strain, require substantial recovery, and may disrupt athlete training or competition preparation. A brief, minimally fatiguing test providing comparable information is desirable.
Purpose: To determine whether physiological variables measured during, and functional decline in maximal power output immediately after, a 2-min CWR test can act as a proxy for 4-min test outcomes.
Methods: Physiological stress (V̇O2 kinetics, heart rate, blood lactate concentrations ([La-]b)) was monitored and performance fatigability was estimated (as pre-to-post-CWR changes in 10-s sprint power) during 2- and 4-min CWR tests in 16 high-level cyclists (V̇O2peak=64.4±6.0 ml∙kg-1∙min-1). The relationship between the 2- and 4-min CWR tests and the physiological variables that best relate to the performance fatigability were investigated.
Results: The 2-min CWR test evoked a smaller decline in sprint mechanical power (32% vs. 47%, p < 0.001). Both the physiological variables (r=0.66-0.96) and sprint mechanical power (r=0.67-0.92) were independently and strongly correlated between 2- and 4-min tests. Differences in V̇O2peak and [La-]b in both CWR tests were strongly associated with the decline in sprint mechanical power.
Conclusion: Strong correlations between 2- and 4-min severe-intensity CWR test outcomes indicated that the shorter test can be used as a proxy for the longer test. A shorter test may be more practical within the elite performance environment due to lower physiological stress and performance fatigability and should have less impact on subsequent training and competition preparation.
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du Plessis, C., Andrews, M., Mitchell, L. J., Cochrane Wilkie, J., King, T., & Blazevich, A. J. (2022). Shorter CWR cycling tests as proxies for longer tests in highly trained cyclists [dataset]. Dryad. https://ro.ecu.edu.au/datasets/115
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