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Maximal accumulated oxygen deficit must be calculated using 10-min time periods

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Purpose: The accumulated O2, calculated by an extrapolation procedure from measurements of the O2 uptake at moderate powers, has been suggested as a measure of the anaerobic energy release during high intensity exercise. While some suggest that repeated 10-min bouts are required to establish the relationships in question, other use bouts of shorter durations. The purpose of this study was to examine how different exercise durations influence the calculated accumulated O2 deficit. Methods: Eight endurance trained male cyclists with the following characteristics (Mean ± SE): age, 25 ± 3 yr; weight, 69.9 ± 1.7 kg; height, 178.2 ± 1.0 cm; and V̇O(2max) 57.5 ± 2.4 mL · kg-1 · min-1 volunteered for participation in this study. The O2 uptake was measured at 2-4, 4-6, 6-8, and 8-10 min of exercise at ten different constant powers. These O2 uptakes were used to establish four relationships between the power and O2 demand for each subject. On a separate day the subjects cycled at a power of 336 ± 42 W (corresponding to about 110% of the maximal O2 uptake) for 296 ± 43 s to exhaustion while the O2 uptake was measured continuously. For each subject the accumulated O2 deficit was determined from the different relationships. Results: The accumulated O2 deficit determined from the relationships from the 2 to 4-min exercises in the pretests were significantly less than the value calculated from the relationships obtained after the 8-10 min of exercise at constant power, the values being 39.6 ± 11.6 mL O2 eq · kg-1 and 53.4 ± 14.6 mL O2 eq · kg-1, respectively. Conclusions: This study suggests that reducing the exercise duration used in the pretests to establish the relationships between power and O2 demand from 10 min may lead to a too low accumulated O2 deficit.




Buck, D., & McNaughton, L. (1999). Maximal accumulated oxygen deficit must be calculated using 10-min time periods. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(9), 1346–1349.

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