Comparison of sport-specific and non-specific exercise testing in inline speed skating

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PURPOSE: The most effective way to measure exercise performance in inline speed skating (ISS) has yet to be established. Generally most athletes are examined by means of traditional but unspecific cycling (CYC) or running (RUN) testing. The present study investigates whether a sport--specific incremental test in ISS reveals different results.

METHODS: Eight male top level inline speed skaters (age: 30 ± 4 years; 65.4 ± 6.3 ml∙kg--1∙min--1, training: 12--14 h/week) performed three incremental exhaustive tests in a randomized order (ergometer CYC, field RUN, field ISS). During the tests, heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (VO2) VO2) energy expenditure (EE) and blood lactate concentration (BLC) were measured.

RESULTS: Analysis of variance revealed no significant differences for peak HR (187 ± 9, 191 ± 9, 190 ± 9; p=0.75), BLC (10.9 ± 2.3, 10.8 ± 2.4, 8.5 ± 3.2; p=0.25), VO2 (VO2( 65.4 ± 6.3, 66.8 ± 3.5, 66.4 ± 6.5; p=0.91)) and EE (1371 ± 165, 1335 ± 93, 1439 ± 196; p=0.51) between ISS and CYC or RUN test. Similar results appeared for HR and VO2 VO2 at submaximal intensities (2 and 4 mmol∙L-1 BLC; p≥0.05). Small to moderate effect sizes 0.3-0.87 and considerable variability of differences between the exercise modes (mean bias range between 1% and 17% with 95% limits of agreement between 3% and 33%) among submaximal and maximal results limit the comparability of the three tests.

CONCLUSIONS: Consequently, CYC and RUN tests may be considered as qualified alternatives for a challenging ISS test. However a sport-specific test should be conducted in cases of doubt, or when precision is required (e.g. for elite athletes or scientific studies).

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Journal of sports medicine and physical fitness
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)406 - 414
Number of pages9
Publication statusPublished - 04.2016


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