YMCA Sub Max Cycle Ergometer Test

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Advantages

  • Cycle ergometer is portable and less expensive
  • Upper body movement is minimal
    • easier to measure exercise heart rate and blood pressure
  • More applicable for measuring cycling performance

Disadvantages

  • Many people may not be accustomed to cycling
    • muscular fatigue may occur prematurely
    • fail to reach true maximum cardio output on max cycle test
    • 10 - 15% underestimation of true VO2 max
  • Blood pressure may be slightly greater compared to treadmill tests
    • due to longer muscular contractions
    • relative intermittent vascular occlusions
  • Accuracy is based on prediction of MHR
    • MHR has a wide range of values at any age (figure 4.13)
    • When using the formula (220-age) in estimating maximum heart rate:
      • SEE ± 12 bpm for younger individuals
      • SEE ± 15 bpm for older individuals
  • Equipment must be well maintained & calibrated
  • Running tests are more applicable for measuring running performance

Sample Format for Submax Test

  • Interview Subject
    • Ask subject:
      • if they have been tested before
      • medications and drugs: medications that affect heart rate will render test invalid
      • musculoskeletal limitations and recent injuries
      • present physical condition (cold, infections)
      • time of last meal or snack
    • Explain purpose of test:
      • predicts cardiorespiratory fitness
      • customize design of exercise prescriptions
      • evaluate the effectiveness of exercise program
      • monitors heart rate and blood pressure responses
    • Explain procedures of test:
      • Explain test only takes client just beyond 75% of predicted maximum heart rate
      • Stop the test if you feel faint, dizzy, or short of breath
        • they are free to stop test for ANY reason
      • Subject's responsibility:
        • ride at 50 rpm
        • give tester a RPE when asked (1-10)
        • keep going until about 75-85% of heart rate max (70% of heart rate reserve)
      • Tester's responsibility:
        • monitor blood pressure and heart rate responses during each 3 minute stage
        • change the resistance on the bike in accordance to heart rate
      • Cool down after test
  • Pretest
    • Write down 75% of max heart rate on test form
    • Take weight
    • Take height
    • Resting blood pressure
    • Resting heart rate
    • Adjust seat height and record for future tests
      • knee is almost straight (5°) in bottom stroke with ankle in neutral position
        • consider subject may sink into seat within the first few minutes
        • test results may be inaccurately low if seat is set too low
        • pedaling position should be comfortable for subject
    • Set metronome at 50 bpm
    • Subject practices pace during warm-up
  • Test
    • Record blood pressure, heart rate, RPE, and workload for each stage
    • See Workload Guides
    • Tension may slip on a mechanically braked cycle and may require attention between workloads
    • See samples below
  • Post test
    • Cool down at work rate equivalent to first stage or lower
      • tester continues to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, signs, and symptoms
    • Plug numbers in computer or graph heart rates and calculate predicted functional capacity
      • Stage A is second to last stage
      • Stage B is last stage completed
      • Both heart rate measurements must be between 110 bpm and 85% of the age predicted heart rate
    • Place information in client file

Sample I

0:00 Start Test 1st Stage
1:00 Take Blood Pressure / RPE
2:00 Find Pulse
2:40 Take Pulse / RPE
3:00 Adjust Resistance 2nd Stage
4:00 Take Blood Pressure / RPE
5:00 Find Pulse
5:40 Take Pulse / RPE
6:00 Adjust Resistance 3rd Stage
7:00 Take Blood Pressure / RPE
8:00 Find Pulse
8:40 Take Pulse / RPE
9:00 Adjust Resistance / Stop Test (Cool Down/RPE)  
15:00 Get Off Bike / RPE

Sample II

  • 0:00
    • Begin test
  • 1:30 / 4:30 / 7:30 / 10:30
    • Take BP
  • 2:30 / 5:30 / 8:30 / 11:30
    • Take HR
  • 2:45 / 5:45 / 8:45 / 11:45
    • Take RPE
  • 3:00 / 6:00 / 9:00 / 12:00
    • Change resistance
  • 75% Predicted Maximum Heart Rate
    • Stop test
    • Cool down

Also see: How to Get Quality Results with Submaximal Cycle Ergometer Fitness Tests DVD

YMCA Cycle Test Calculator

Using the YMCA Cycle Test Calculator and Sample I above as an example:

  • Stage 2 would be used as Stage A
  • Stage 3 would be used as Stage B

Enter each stages respective workload and heart rate at end of each stage


Termination Indications | Men's Workloads | Women's Workloads

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