This study was designed to develop a simulated swimming exercise (SS) so that peak VO2 would be assessed on swimmers in a laboratory setting. The subjects assumed a prone position on an incline bench and performed arm cranking on a Monark Rehab Trainer while performing a flutter kick against tension supplied by elastic cords. The SS test was compared to four peak VO2 tests: treadmill running (RN), tethered swimming (TW), bicycle ergometry (B), and arm cranking (AC). Eleven male varsity swimmers underwent each of the five VO2 max tests, and maximal cardiorespiratory indicators (HR, VE, VO2, O2 pulse, and RQ) were measured. The percentage of peak VO2 obtained during SS was compared to RN, TW, B, and AC. The SS test achieved 78 percent of RN, 91 percent of TW, 81 percent of B, and 124 percent of AC. There were no significant differences in VO2 in ml/kg.min between SS and TW. As expected, RN and B were significantly higher, while AC was lower. Ten subjects performed the SS test twice on two separate days within one week. The reliability of VO2 max in ml/kg.min was 0.95. the validity of VO2 max in ml/kg.min in the SS test vs. RN was 0.68. The SS test is reliable and can be used as effectively as TW to assess the VO2 max of swimmers in a laboratory setting.
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