Individual versus Standardized Running Protocols in the Determination of VO2max


The purpose of this study was to determine whether an individually designed incremental exercise protocol results in greater rates of oxygen uptake (VO2max) than standardized testing. Fourteen well-trained, male runners performed five incremental protocols in randomized order to measure their VO2max: i) an incremental test (INCS+I) with pre-defined increases in speed (2 min at 8.64 km·h−1, then a rise of 1.44 km·h−1 every 30 s up to 14.4 km·h−1) and thereafter inclination (0.5° every 30 s); ii) an incremental test (INCI) at constant speed (14.4 km·h−1) and increasing inclination (2° every 2 min from the initial 0°); iii) an incremental test (INCS) at constant inclination (0°) and increasing speed (0.5 km·h−1 every 30 s from the initial 12.0 km·h−1); iv) a graded exercise protocol (GXP) at a 1° incline with increasing speed (initially 8.64 km·h−1 + 1.44 km·h−1 every 5 min); v) an individual exercise protocol (INDXP) in which the runner chose the inclination and speed. VO2max was lowest (-4.2%) during the GXP (p = 0.01; d = 0.06-0.61) compared to all other tests. The highest rating of perceived exertion, heart rate, ventilation and end-exercise blood lactate concentration were similar between the different protocols (p < 0.05). The time to exhaustion ranged from 7 min 18 sec (INCS) to 25 min 30 sec (GXP) (p = 0.01).The VO2max attained by employing an individual treadmill protocol does not differ from the values derived from various standardized incremental protocols.

Key points

  • The mean maximum oxygen uptake during the GXP was lower than for all other tests.
  • Differences in the maximum rate of oxygen uptake between the various protocols exhibited considerable inter-individual variation.
  • From the current findings, it can be concluded that well trained athletes are able to perform an individually designed treadmill running protocol.
Key words: Maximum oxygen uptake, aerobic power, treadmill running, ramp test, treadmill protocol

Autor / Fonte:J Sports Sci Med. 2015 Jun; 14(2): 386–393. Published online 2015 May 8.