Comparison of an air and mechanical-braked ergometer in the assessment of anaerobic power and capacity

Leicht, Anthony S., Kerr, Rebecca M., and Sinclair, Wade H. (2008) Comparison of an air and mechanical-braked ergometer in the assessment of anaerobic power and capacity. In: Proceedings of the 3rd Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science Conference and the 5th Sports Dietitians Australia Update, p. 160. From: 3rd Australian Association for Exercise and Sports Science Conference and the 5th Sports Dietitians Australia Update, 27-30 March 2008, Melbourne, VIC, Australia.

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Abstract

Traditionally, the determination of anaerobic power and capacity has utilised the 30-second Wingate test using a mechanical-braked ergoemter (ME) with an applied resistance of 7.5% body mass. However, other ergometers such as air-braked ergometers (AE) that increase applied resistance as a function of increased cadence have also been utilised to assess anaerobic power and capacity with no reported comparison between AE and ME. Subsequently, the aim of the current study was to examine the influence of ergometer type on the determination of anaerobic power and capacity. Further, a second aim was to examine the impact of gender on this ergometer comparison.

Methods: Forty-one healthy, university students (19 females, 22 males) with a mean ± SD age, height and mass of 21.6 ± 5.1 yrs, 174.0 ± 9.4cm and 75.9 ± 15.8 kg, respectively, volunteered to participate. All participants provided informed consent in accordance with approval of the local institution ethics committee. Participants completed a 30-second anaerobic cycle test using an air-braked (Repco, Australia) ergometer and monitor (Super-monitor, Repco, Australia) and a second test using a mechanical-braked ergometer (Monark, Sweden) in line with the established Wingate test (i.e. 7.5% body mass). Each test was separated by approximately 7 days with the order of ergometer used randomly determined. Following a standardised 5-min warm up (60-100W), each participant performed the anaerobic cycle test with peak and mean power (W/kg), total work (J/kg), peak heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) determined during the test and peak blood lactate determined post-exercise. Data were analysed using 2-way repeated measures ANOVA (ergometer x gender) with alpha set at 0.05.

Results: Peak HR and RPE were similar between tests with peak HR significantly greater for females compared to males (187.0 ± 9.1 vs. 180.8 ± 9.9 bpm, p<0.05). Peak power, mean power and total work were significantly greater for AE compared to ME (p<0.001) and significantly greater for males compared to females (p<0.001). The mean difference between AE and ME values of peak power, mean power and total work, were similar for males and females (37-41% vs. 33-35%, p>0.05). Peak lactate was significantly greater for AE compared to ME (16.1 ± 3.4 vs. 14.8 ± 2.9 mmol/L; p<0.05) and significantly greater (16.2 ± 3.5 vs. 14.6 ± 2.7 mmol/L; p<0.05) for males compared to females.

Discusion/Conclusion: The current study demonstrated that anaerobic power and capacity were substantially greater when assessed using AE compared to the more traditional ME with the difference between ergometer types unaffected by gender. Variations in resistance settings (i.e. increasing vs. constant resistance) may account for the discrepancy in values between AE and ME. Ergometer type should be considered when comparing anaerobic power and capacity results across populations and/or studies.

Item ID: 12150
Item Type: Conference Item (Presentation)
Related URLs:
ISBN: 978-0-646-48582-9
Date Deposited: 19 Jun 2012 00:47
FoR Codes: 11 MEDICAL AND HEALTH SCIENCES > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology @ 100%
SEO Codes: 95 CULTURAL UNDERSTANDING > 9501 Arts and Leisure > 950102 Organised Sports @ 100%
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