Different V˙O2max Time-Averaging Intervals in Swimming

Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal.
International Journal of Sports Medicine (Impact Factor: 2.07). 07/2012; 33(12). DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1316362
Source: PubMed


We aimed to determine the effect of sampling interval strategy on V˙O2max assessment to establish a standard time averaging method that allows a better identification of the V˙O2 plateau incidence in swimming. To this end, 3 incremental protocols utilizing different step lengths for each sampling interval were used to compare V˙O2max measurements. 11 trained male swimmers performed 3 repetitions of a front crawl intermittent incremental protocol until exhaustion (increments of 0.05 m.s - 1, with 30 s and 24-48 h intervals between steps and tests, respectively) with 200, 300 and 400-m step lengths. V˙O2 was directly measured, and 6 sampling intervals were compared: bxb and averages of 5, 10, 15, 20 and 30 s. Shorter sampling intervals (≤15 s) allowed the highest incidence of the V˙O2 plateau, independent of the step lengths used; the 200 and 300-m step protocols accounted for higher percentage of V˙O2 plateau incidence, and higher V˙O2max values, compared to the 400-m step protocol. As an optimal sampling interval should be used for the validation of the research findings, and considering that swimmers and coaches prefer less time-consuming protocols, the use of the 10 s time-average interval (once bxb and 5 s samplings present high variability) in a 200-m step incremental protocol for V˙O2max assessment in swimming is suggested.

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    • "However, it should be taken into account that the breath-by-breath gas acquisition could induce a significant variability of the VO 2 values acquired. Moreover, while Sousa et al. [10] evidenced significant differences between the two shortest sampling intervals (breath by breath and 5s), Fernandes et al. [6] only reported significant differences between the breath by breath and time sampling interval of 10, 15 and 20s, and between time sampling interval of 5 and 20s. These apparently incongruent results may be due to the distinct swimming intensities at which both efforts occurred. "
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