Stationary roller versus velodrome for maximal cycling test: A comparison
The present study aimed to compare the acute cardio-respiratory responses of elite cyclists to a maximal progressive exercise carried out in two different conditions: in a laboratory (using a braked roller) and in an uncovered velodrome. In both testing conditions, ten elite male cyclists (age, 22.3 ± 3.9 years) performed a maximal discontinuous progressive test of 6 minutes per level with 150 W of initial load and increasing 50 W at each level until exhaustion. The heart rate and the ventilation parameters were measured breath-by-breath using a portable metabolic cart gas analysis system with telemetry data transmission. In the first 4 levels of effort, no significant differences were found between the two test conditions regarding VO2, (p=0.193), heart rate (p=0.973) and pedaling cadence (p=0.116). Comparing the maximum values achieved by each athlete in both exercise conditions, significant differences were found for heart rate (p=0.008) and pedaling cadence (p=0.005) but not for VO2max and peak power. Each variable showed a strong correlation between both assessements (VO2, r=0.984, p=0,000; heart rate, r=0.944, p=0.005; pedaling cadence, r=0.900, p=0.014). The amount of variability explained by the linear regression model for both cardio-respiratory parameters also showed a good fit value close to one (VO2max,r2=0.968; heart rate, r2=0.892). Our results suggest that identical cycling protocols conducted in different testing conditions with the same bike leads to equivalent performance but significantly different pedaling cadence and heart rate responses.
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