Methodological considerations for the determination of VO2max in healthy men

Pasquale J. Succi, Brian Benitez, Minyoung Kwak, Haley C. Bergstrom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Purpose: A square-wave verification bout to confirm maximal oxygen uptake (V ˙ O2max) from a graded exercise test (GXT) has been recommended. This study ascertained if a verification bout is necessary to determine V ˙ O2max in moderately trained men. Methods: Ten men (24 ± 4 years) completed familiarization and two treadmill GXTs, followed by a submaximal verification bout to determine V ˙ O2GXT and V ˙ O2verification (highest V ˙ O2 from each testing method). After completing the GXT, subjects rested for 5 min then performed a verification bout at 90% speed and 50% incline at termination of the GXT. The analyses included a 2-way repeated-measures ANOVA, intra-class correlation coefficients (ICC2,1), standard errors of the measurement (SEM), minimal differences (MD), and coefficients of variation (CoV). Results: There was no test (test 1 vs test 2) × method (GXT vs verification) interaction (p = 0.584), or main effect for test (p = 0.320), but there was a main effect for method (p = 0.011). The V ˙ O2GXT (50.9±3.0 mL·kg−1·min−1) was greater than V ˙ O2verification (46.9 ± mL·kg−1·min−1). The V ˙ O2GXT (ICC = 0.988, SEM = 1.0 mL·kg−1 min−1, MD = 2.9 mL kg−1 min−1, CoV = 2.03%) and V ˙ O2verification (ICC = 0.976, SEM = 1.0 mL·kg−1 min−1, MD = 2.7 mL·kg−1·min−1, CoV = 2.03%) demonstrated “excellent” reliability. No subject exceeded the MD for V ˙ O2GXT test–retest or for V ˙ O2verification test–retest, but 50% of subjects had a V ˙ O2GXT that was greater than the V ˙ O2verification (> MD). Conclusion: While V ˙ O2GXT and V ˙ O2verification demonstrated excellent reliability, V ˙ O2GXT from a stand-alone GXT provided higher estimates of V ˙ O2 and, therefore, should be considered V ˙ O2max. The lack of test–retest differences in V ˙ O2GXT above the MD indicated that subjects achieved their highest V ˙ O2 (V ˙ O2max) from a standalone GXT. Therefore, the verification bout may not be required to confirm V ˙ O2max in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)191-199
Number of pages9
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


  • Cardiorespiratory fitness
  • Graded exercise test
  • Reliability
  • Running

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Methodological considerations for the determination of VO2max in healthy men'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this