Incremental exercise test for the evaluation of peak oxygen consumption in paralympic swimmers

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Souza, Helton de Sa [UNIFESP]
Alves, Eduardo da Silva [UNIFESP]
Ortega, Luciana
Silva, Andressa [UNIFESP]
Esteves, Andrea Maculano [UNIFESP]
Schwingel, Paulo Adriano
Vital, Roberto
Rocha, Edilson Alves da
Rodrigues, Bruno
Lira, Fabio Santos de [UNIFESP]
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BACKGROUND: Peak oxygen consumption (VO(2)peak) is a fundamental parameter used to evaluate physical capacity. The objective of this study was to explore two types of incremental exercise tests used to determine VO(2)peak in four Paralympic swimmers: arm ergometer testing in the laboratory and testing in the swimming pool. METHODS: On two different days, the VO(2)peak values of the four athletes were measured in a swimming pool and by a cycle ergometer. The protocols identified the VO(2)peak by progressive loading until the volitional exhaustion maximum was reached. The results were analyzed using the paired Student's t-test, Cohen's d effect sizes and a linear regression. RESULTS: The results showed that the VO(2)peak values obtained using the swimming pool protocol were higher (P=0.02) than those obtained by the arm ergometer (45.8 +/- 19.2 vs. 30.4 +/- 15.5
P=0.02), with a large effect size (d=3.20). When analyzing swimmers 1, 2, 3 and 4 individually, differences of 22.4%, 33.8%, 60.1% and 27.1% were observed, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: Field tests similar to the competitive setting are a more accurate way to determine the aerobic capacity of Paralympic swimmers. This approach provides more sensitive data that enable better direction of training, consequently facilitating improved performance.
Journal Of Sports Medicine And Physical Fitness. Turin, v. 56, n. 4, p. 368-375, 2016.