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Is the measurement of maximal oxygen intake passé?
  1. Roy J Shephard (royjshep{at}
  1. Faculty of Physical Education & Health, University of Toronto, Canada


    A recent and controversial review 1 suggests that the measurement of maximal oxygen intake is passé. The author concludes (p. 554) “It is now time to develop novel testing methods....That the measured VO2max is a relatively poor predictor of both the performance potential of athletes with similar athletic ability and of the changes in performance that occur with continued training should encourage both basic and applied sports scientists to reconsider the real value of this iconic test.”

    A number of the arguments that are advanced in this review seem to need to correction or refutation. Specifically, this riposte will examine whether a maximal treadmill test is an unrealistic procedure for athletes, whether a unimodal approach to testing is appropriate in sports medicine, and whether an alternative laboratory test will be developed to categorize the performance of individual athletes. Comments will also be made on the place of maximal oxygen intake assessment in various areas of science, sports medicine and clinical medicine.

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