The predictability of the maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) was studied using progressive and steady state protocols for cycle ergometry and bench stepping. The subjects were 12 healthy men, 23-58 years old. Prediction of VO2 max was made by extrapolation of the heart rate and O2 uptake at several sub-maximal work-loads using the least squares regression technique. The four sub-maximal procedures underestimated the measured VO2 max by between 0.13-0.55 l.min-1. The differences between the measured and predicted values were statistically significant for the tests involving the steady state protocol. The correlation coefficients between the predicted VO2 max for each of the submaximal tests, and the measured VO2 max, were significant at the .05 level. The results indicate that for a group of male subjects VO2 max can be predicted using the progressive protocol on either the cycle ergometer or stepping bench. Individual predictions are liable to considerable error.
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