Comparison of constant load exercise intensity for verification of maximal oxygen uptake following a graded exercise test in older adults

Ian R. Villanueva, John C. Campbell, Serena M. Medina, Theresa M. Jorgensen, Shannon L. Wilson, Siddhartha S. Angadi, Glenn A. Gaesser, Jared M. Dickinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) declines with advancing age and is a predictor of morbidity and mortality risk. The purpose here was to assess the utility of constant load tests performed either above or below peak work rate obtained from a graded exercise test for verification of VO2max in older adults. Twenty-two healthy older adults (9M, 13F, 67 ± 6 years, BMI: 26.3 ± 5.1 kg·m−2) participated in the study. Participants were asked to complete two experimental trials in a randomized, counterbalanced cross-over design. Both trials (cycle ergometer) consisted of (1) an identical graded exercise test (ramp) and (2) a constant load test at either 85% (CL85; n = 22) or 110% (CL110; n = 20) of the peak work rate achieved during the associated ramp (performed 10-min post ramp). No significant differences were observed for peak VO2 (L·min−1) between CL85 (1.86 ± 0.72; p = 0.679) or CL110 (1.79 ± 0.73; p = 0.200) and the associated ramp (Ramp85, 1.85 ± 0.73; Ramp110, 1.85 ± 0.57). Using the study participant's mean coefficient of variation in peak VO2 between the two identical ramp tests (2.9%) to compare individual differences between constant load tests and the associated ramp revealed 19/22 (86%) of participants achieved a peak VO2 during CL85 that was similar or higher versus the ramp, while only 13/20 (65%) of participants achieved a peak VO2 during CL110 that was similar or higher versus the ramp. These data indicate that if a verification of VO2max is warranted when testing older adults, a constant load effort at 85% of ramp peak power may be more likely to verify VO2max as compared to an effort at 110% of ramp peak power.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere15037
JournalPhysiological reports
Volume9
Issue number18
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • VOmax
  • VOpeak
  • aerobic power
  • aging
  • exercise physiology
  • verification

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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