Examination of the Validity of Submaximal Exercise Tests to Assess Maximal Oxygen Uptake

Publication Date


Document Type



Kinesiology & Recreation


Kristen Lagally

Mentor Department

Kinesiology & Recreation


There are a variety of methods for determining cardiovascular fitness, or VO2max, which is an important component of overall health. Submaximal assessments are quicker, less expensive, and less effortful for clients. However, they also tend to be less accurate than maximal tests. The purpose of this research study is to examine the accuracy of common submaximal exercise tests that predict VO2max by comparing the results to those from a direct maximal measurement of VO2max. To do this, physically active adult subjects are asked to perform three submaximal tests (2 cycle ergometer and one bench step) and one maximal exercise test while oxygen consumption is measured to provide a criterion measure of cardiovascular fitness. Heart rate, blood pressure and ratings of perceived exertion are measured throughout each test. Tests are performed in a random order on separate days at approximately the same time of day. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) is predicted from the submaximal tests and compared to the actual maximal oxygen uptake values recorded during the maximal test.


O'Donnell-undergraduate, Hasselbring-graduate

This document is currently not available here.