VO2max, protocol duration, and the VO2 plateau

Byung-Kon Yoon, Len Kravitz, Robert Robergs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

117 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to compare V[spacing dot above]O2max, V[spacing dot above]O2-time slopes at the end of the protocol (last 30 s), and the presence of a V[spacing dot above]O2 plateau (V[spacing dot above]O2-time slope < 0.05 L.min-1 during the last 30 s) across four protocol durations (5, 8, 12, and 16 min) during incremental cycling exercise to V[spacing dot above]O2max. Methods: Eight male (23.8 +/- 3.2 yr) and eight female (26.0 +/- 8.9 yr) subjects of moderate to high fitness levels participated in the study. Results: V[spacing dot above]O2max was significantly higher in men than in women for each protocol duration, with main effect means of 4.23 versus 2.84 L.min-1, respectively. For women, V[spacing dot above]O2max did not differ between any protocol duration. For men, V[spacing dot above]O2max for the 8-min protocol (4.44 +/- 0.39 L.min-1) was significantly higher than for all other protocol durations. Analysis of covariance, using the highest V[spacing dot above]O2max as the covariate, removed all protocol-duration significance for men. The V[spacing dot above]O2 slope for the final 30 s of each test was significantly lower for the 16-min protocol compared with the 5-min protocol, for both men and women. The ventilation threshold across four protocols was similar, at approximately 76 % of V[spacing dot above]O2max for both men and women. Conclusions: The protocol duration of tests to V[spacing dot above]O2max should be between 8 and 10 min for healthy, moderately to highly trained subjects.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1186-1192
Number of pages7
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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