Fitness Testing Tidbits

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Predictors of Running Performance

Fitness Testing for AthletesPeak running speed is a better predictor of running performance (e.g. marathon time) than is either VO2 max or the running economy. Lactate turnpoint and respiratory ventilation threshold (a.k.a. anaerobic threshold) are other variable that accurately predict athletic performance, particularly in running events of 10 to 42 km.

Noakes, T.D.: Implications of exercise testing for prediction of athletic performance, a contemporary perspective, Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 1988; 20 (4): 319-330


Athlete's EKG

Inverted T wave with strong QRS voltage also normal in athlete's. Up to 10% of trained athletes may exhibit 2nd degree heart block

Houston TP, Puffer JC, Rodney WM: The Athletic Heart Syndrome, N Eng J Med, 1985; 313 (1): 24-32

Many arrhythmias observed in athletes can be considered normal for this population and are not related to any pathology. Several of these rhythm and electrocardiographic changes seen in aerobic athletes at rest resolve during exercise. Routine screening for cardiovascular artery disease for asymptomatic athletes is not recommended due to the high rate of false positives. If the athlete is able to exercise at maximal intensity without difficulty, it can be concluded that abnormal ECG changes are likely attributed to the Athletic Heart Syndrome.

Crown LA, Hizon JW, Rodney WM, (1997) The Athlete's Heart, The Team Physician's Handbook, Mosby, 2: 294-303


VO2 max Differences

The aerobic capacity of women is typically about 10-20% less than men (Astrand, 1977).

VO2 max steadily increases during childhood and reaches a peak at around the age of 20, after which it slowly declines.

The VO2 max of a highly trained endurance athlete is about twice that of an average person.


VO2 max Estimate Inaccuracies

An overestimation of VO2 max can result from failure to achieve steady state or rail holding during treadmill testing. Other inaccuracies can result from improperly calibrated ergometers and factors that change mechanical efficiency such as wind, snow, sand, and gait abnormalities.


Black Women & Heart Disease

Compared to white women, black women have a higher incidence of heart disease and they are twice as likely to die from the disease.


Giraffe's BP

Giraffes have the highest blood pressure at 280/180 mm Hg.


Old-time Youth Pushups

Adult pushup test for women performed on kneesIt's remarkable how little fitness is required to be considered 'average' now days. See girl's push-ups norms. In 1945 a score 32 repetitions for high school girls push-ups was only 60th percentile. Keep in mind girls push-ups were with the knees straight (sometimes performed holding on to a 13" high stall bar bench) lowering the body until the chest nearly touched. Interestingly the boy's push-ups were described as what we call dips performed on parallel bars.

Metheny E (1945) Physical performance levels for high school girls, Journal of Health and Physical Education, 16:84.

Willgoose CE (1961) Evaluation in Health Education and Physical Education, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. pg 136-137.


Conversions

Energy
1 Kilopond-meter (kpm) = kgm
1 kcal = 426.8 kpm
1 Joule (J) = 0.101 kgm
Power
1 Watt = 6.12 kpm/min = 1 J/sec
1 kpm/min = 0.163 Watts


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