Special Issue "Exercise Physiology: New Frontiers for Exercise Testing and Prescription"

A special issue of Sports (ISSN 2075-4663).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 May 2021).

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Robert W. Pettitt
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Rocky Mountain University Health Professions, Provo, UT 84606 USA
Interests: 3-min all-out exercise test; critical speed; critical power; VO2max
Prof. Dr. Brandon J. Sawyer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Point Loma Nazarene University, San Diego, CA 92106 USA
Interests: VO2max, High-Intensity Interval Training, Compensatory responses to exercise, Vascular function and exercise

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Within the past decade, research on exercise testing has refined exercise prescription across newly defined exercise intensity domains. These domains are demarcated by the gas exchange/lactate threshold (GET/LT), critical power (CP), or critical speed (CS) in running, whereby exercise exceeding CP/CS and/or the maximal lactate steady state (MLSS), will evoke the attainment of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max). Key testing advances include the 3-min all-out exercise test for the determination of CP/CS and the verification bout for determination of “true” VO2max. These metrics enable the prediction of exercising performance, provide refined exercise prescription, and are useful in monitoring training adaptations. The Special Issue is soliciting original research and review articles related to these trending areas in exercise testing and prescription. We encourage submissions using and evaluating these testing procedures as well as other novel procedures in all populations including healthy subjects of all ages, athletes, sedentary individuals, and individuals with risk factors or those with diagnosed chronic disease.

Prof. Dr. Robert W. Pettitt
Prof. Dr. Brandon J. Sawyer
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sports is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • 3-min all-out exercise test
  • critical speed
  • critical power
  • exercise intensity domains
  • gas exchange threshold
  • heavy domain
  • moderate domain, severe domain, VO2 slow component
  • VO2max
  • verification

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effect of Player Role and Competition Level on Player Demands in Basketball
Sports 2021, 9(3), 38; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9030038 - 08 Mar 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 3160
Abstract
This study compared basketball training and match demands between player roles (starters, in-rotation bench players, out-rotation bench players) and between competition levels (semi-professional, professional). Thirty-seven players from one professional women’s team, one semi-professional women’s team, and one semi-professional men’s team wore accelerometers during [...] Read more.
This study compared basketball training and match demands between player roles (starters, in-rotation bench players, out-rotation bench players) and between competition levels (semi-professional, professional). Thirty-seven players from one professional women’s team, one semi-professional women’s team, and one semi-professional men’s team wore accelerometers during training and matches throughout a competitive season. All teams were used for player role comparisons and the women’s teams were used to compare competition levels. Match and training session average intensity and volume, and durations of relative exercise intensities (inactive, light, moderate-vigorous, maximal, supramaximal) were calculated. Compared to out-rotation bench players, starters experienced twice the average match intensity and volume, spent 50% less match time being inactive, and spent 1.7–4.2× more match time in all other activity categories (p < 0.01). Compared to in-rotation bench players, starters experienced 1.2× greater average match intensity and volume, spent 17% less match time being inactive, and spent 1.4–1.5× more match time performing moderate-vigorous and maximal activity (p < 0.01). No differences in match demands were found between women’s competition levels, however the professional team experienced double the cumulative weekly training volume of the semi-professional team and spent 1.6–2.1× more cumulative weekly time in all activity categories (p < 0.01). To improve performance and reduce injury risk, players should prepare for the greatest match demands they could encounter during a season while considering potential changes to their role. Additionally, players might need their training volume managed when transitioning from a semi-professional to a professional season to reduce the injury risk from sharp increases in training demands. Full article
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Article
Determining the Optimal Workrate for Cycle Ergometer Verification Phase Testing in Males with Obesity
Sports 2021, 9(2), 30; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9020030 - 20 Feb 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1573
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to assess the validity of verification phase (VP) testing and a 3 min all-out test to determine critical power (CP) in males with obesity. Nine young adult males with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to assess the validity of verification phase (VP) testing and a 3 min all-out test to determine critical power (CP) in males with obesity. Nine young adult males with a body mass index (BMI) ≥ 30 kg·m−2 completed a cycle ergometer ramp-style VO2max test, four randomized VP tests at 80, 90, 100, and 105% of maximum wattage attained during the ramp test, and a 3 min all-out test. There was a significant main effect for VO2max across all five tests (p = 0.049). Individually, 8 of 9 participants attained a higher VO2max (L/min) during a VP test compared to the ramp test. A trend (p = 0.06) was observed for VO2max during the 90% VP test (3.61 ± 0.54 L/min) when compared to the ramp test (3.37 ± 0.39 L/min). A significantly higher VO2max (p = 0.016) was found in the VP tests that occurred below 130% of CP wattage (N = 15, VO2max = 3.76 ± 0.52 L/min) compared to those that were above (N = 21, VO2max = 3.36 ± 0.41 L/min). Our findings suggest submaximal VP tests at 90% may elicit the highest VO2max in males with obesity and there may be merit in using % of CP wattage to determine optimal VP intensity. Full article
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Article
Quantification and Verification of Cardiorespiratory Fitness in Adults with Prehypertension
Sports 2021, 9(1), 9; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9010009 - 11 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1439
Abstract
Background: Low cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with increased risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis in adults with prehypertension. The purpose of this study was to quantify cardiorespiratory fitness and to examine the utility of supramaximal constant-load verification testing for validating maximal oxygen uptake (VO [...] Read more.
Background: Low cardiorespiratory fitness is associated with increased risk of hypertension and atherosclerosis in adults with prehypertension. The purpose of this study was to quantify cardiorespiratory fitness and to examine the utility of supramaximal constant-load verification testing for validating maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) attainment in adults with prehypertension. Methods: Eleven adults (four women) with prehypertension (22.5 ± 2.9 y; body mass index (BMI): 24.6 ± 3.2 kg·m2) underwent an incremental exercise test followed 15 min later by a verification test at 105% of maximal work rate on a cycle ergometer. Results: There was no statistical difference in VO2 between the incremental (2.23 ± 0.54 L·min−1) and verification tests (2.28 ± 0.54 L·min−1; p = 0.180). Only three out of eleven participants had a higher VO2 during the verification when compared with the incremental test. If the verification test had not been conducted, one participant would have been incorrectly classified as having low cardiorespiratory fitness based on incremental test results alone. Conclusions: Verification testing validates the attainment of VO2max and can potentially reduce the over-diagnosis of functional impairment (i.e., deconditioning) in adults with prehypertension. Full article
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Article
Supra-Versus Submaximal Cycle Ergometer Verification of VO2max in Males and Females
Sports 2020, 8(12), 163; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8120163 - 12 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1606
Abstract
This study was designed to determine the optimal intensity for verification phase testing (VP) in healthy, young adults. Thirty one young, active participants (16 females) completed a cycle ergometer graded exercise test (GXT) VO2max test and 4 VP tests at 80, 90, [...] Read more.
This study was designed to determine the optimal intensity for verification phase testing (VP) in healthy, young adults. Thirty one young, active participants (16 females) completed a cycle ergometer graded exercise test (GXT) VO2max test and 4 VP tests at 80, 90, 100, and 105% of the maximum wattage achieved during the GXT. GXT and VP VO2max values showed a significant test x sex interaction (p = 0.02). The males elicited significantly higher VO2max values during the GXT, 80%, and 90% when compared to the 105%, (105 vs. GXT: p = 0.05; 105% vs. 80%: p < 0.01; 105% vs. 90%: p = 0.02). There were no significant differences in VO2max across the tests in the females (p > 0.05); 80% of the males achieved their highest VP VO2max during a submaximal VP test compared to only 37.5% of the females. A secondary study conducted showed excellent reliability (ICCs > 0.90) and low variation (CVs < 3%) for the 90% VP. Our findings show that a submaximal verification phase intensity is ideal for young healthy males to elicit the highest VO2max during cycle ergometer testing. For females, a range of intensities (80–105%) produce similar VO2max values. However, the 80% VP yields an unnecessarily high time to exhaustion. Full article
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Article
Predicting Maximal Oxygen Uptake Using the 3-Minute All-Out Test in High-Intensity Functional Training Athletes
Sports 2020, 8(12), 155; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports8120155 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1639
Abstract
Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and critical speed (CS) are key fatigue-related measurements that demonstrate a relationship to one another and are indicative of athletic endurance performance. This is especially true for those that participate in competitive fitness events. However, the accessibility [...] Read more.
Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and critical speed (CS) are key fatigue-related measurements that demonstrate a relationship to one another and are indicative of athletic endurance performance. This is especially true for those that participate in competitive fitness events. However, the accessibility to a metabolic analyzer to accurately measure VO2max is expensive and time intensive, whereas CS may be measured in the field using a 3 min all-out test (3MT). Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between VO2max and CS in high-intensity functional training (HIFT) athletes. Twenty-five male and female (age: 27.6 ± 4.5 years; height: 174.5 ± 18.3 cm; weight: 77.4 ± 14.8 kg; body fat: 15.7 ± 6.5%) HIFT athletes performed a 3MT as well as a graded exercise test with 48 h between measurements. True VO2max was determined using a square-wave supramaximal verification phase and CS was measured as the average speed of the last 30 s of the 3MT. A statistically significant and positive correlation was observed between relative VO2max and CS values (r = 0.819, p < 0.001). Based on the significant correlation, a linear regression analysis was completed, including sex, in order to develop a VO2max prediction equation (VO2max (mL/kg/min) = 8.449(CS) + 4.387(F = 0, M = 1) + 14.683; standard error of the estimate = 3.34 mL/kg/min). Observed (47.71 ± 6.54 mL/kg/min) and predicted (47.71 ± 5.7 mL/kg/min) VO2max values were compared using a dependent t-test and no significant difference was displayed between the observed and predicted values (p = 1.000). The typical error, coefficient of variation, and intraclass correlation coefficient were 2.26 mL/kg/min, 4.90%, and 0.864, respectively. The positive and significant relationship between VO2max and CS suggests that the 3MT may be a practical alternative to predicting maximal oxygen uptake when time and access to a metabolic analyzer is limited. Full article
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Review

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Review
Utility of Verification Testing to Confirm Attainment of Maximal Oxygen Uptake in Unhealthy Participants: A Perspective Review
Sports 2021, 9(8), 108; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9080108 - 30 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1308
Abstract
Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) is strongly associated with endurance performance as well as health risk. Despite the fact that VO2max has been measured in exercise physiology for over a century, robust procedures to ensure that VO2max is [...] Read more.
Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) is strongly associated with endurance performance as well as health risk. Despite the fact that VO2max has been measured in exercise physiology for over a century, robust procedures to ensure that VO2max is attained at the end of graded exercise testing (GXT) do not exist. This shortcoming led to development of an additional bout referred to as a verification test (VER) completed after incremental exercise or on the following day. Workloads used during VER can be either submaximal or supramaximal depending on the population tested. Identifying a true VO2max value in unhealthy individuals at risk for or having chronic disease seems to be more paramount than in healthy and active persons, who face much lower risk of premature morbidity and mortality. This review summarized existing findings from 19 studies including 783 individuals regarding efficacy of VER in unhealthy individuals to determine its efficacy and feasibility in eliciting a ‘true’ VO2max in this sample. Results demonstrated that VER is a safe and suitable approach to confirm attainment of VO2max in unhealthy adults and children, as in most studies VER-derived VO2max is similar of that obtained in GXT. However, many individuals reveal higher VO2max in response to VER and protocols used across studies vary, which merits additional work identifying if an optimal VER protocol exists to elicit ‘true’ VO2max in this particular population. Full article
Review
Optimization of the Critical Speed Concept for Tactical Professionals: A Brief Review
Sports 2021, 9(8), 106; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9080106 - 27 Jul 2021
Viewed by 1322
Abstract
Tactical professionals often depend on their physical ability and fitness to perform and complete occupational tasks to successfully provide public services or survive on the battlefield. Critical speed (CS), or maximal aerobic steady-state, is a purported measure that predicts performance, prescribes exercise, and [...] Read more.
Tactical professionals often depend on their physical ability and fitness to perform and complete occupational tasks to successfully provide public services or survive on the battlefield. Critical speed (CS), or maximal aerobic steady-state, is a purported measure that predicts performance, prescribes exercise, and detects training adaptions with application to tactical professionals. The CS concept has the versatility to adapt to training with load carriage as an integrated bioenergetic system approach for assessment. The aims of this review are to: (1) provide an overview of tactical populations and the CS concept; (2) describe the different methods and equipment used in CS testing; (3) review the literature on CS associated with tactical occupational tasks; and (4) demonstrate the use of CS-derived exercise prescriptions for tactical populations. Full article
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Review
Genetic Factors That Could Affect Concussion Risk in Elite Rugby
Sports 2021, 9(2), 19; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9020019 - 22 Jan 2021
Viewed by 2338
Abstract
Elite rugby league and union have some of the highest reported rates of concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) in professional sport due in part to their full-contact high-velocity collision-based nature. Currently, concussions are the most commonly reported match injury during the tackle for [...] Read more.
Elite rugby league and union have some of the highest reported rates of concussion (mild traumatic brain injury) in professional sport due in part to their full-contact high-velocity collision-based nature. Currently, concussions are the most commonly reported match injury during the tackle for both the ball carrier and the tackler (8–28 concussions per 1000 player match hours) and reports exist of reduced cognitive function and long-term health consequences that can end a playing career and produce continued ill health. Concussion is a complex phenotype, influenced by environmental factors and an individual’s genetic predisposition. This article reviews concussion incidence within elite rugby and addresses the biomechanics and pathophysiology of concussion and how genetic predisposition may influence incidence, severity and outcome. Associations have been reported between a variety of genetic variants and traumatic brain injury. However, little effort has been devoted to the study of genetic associations with concussion within elite rugby players. Due to a growing understanding of the molecular characteristics underpinning the pathophysiology of concussion, investigating genetic variation within elite rugby is a viable and worthy proposition. Therefore, we propose from this review that several genetic variants within or near candidate genes of interest, namely APOE, MAPT, IL6R, COMT, SLC6A4, 5-HTTLPR, DRD2, DRD4, ANKK1, BDNF and GRIN2A, warrant further study within elite rugby and other sports involving high-velocity collisions. Full article
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Review
Applications of the Critical Power Model to Dynamic Constant External Resistance Exercise: A Brief Review of the Critical Load Test
Sports 2021, 9(2), 15; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/sports9020015 - 21 Jan 2021
Viewed by 1598
Abstract
The study and application of the critical power (CP) concept has spanned many decades. The CP test provides estimates of two distinct parameters, CP and W′, that describe aerobic and anaerobic metabolic capacities, respectively. Various mathematical models have been used to estimate the [...] Read more.
The study and application of the critical power (CP) concept has spanned many decades. The CP test provides estimates of two distinct parameters, CP and W′, that describe aerobic and anaerobic metabolic capacities, respectively. Various mathematical models have been used to estimate the CP and W′ parameters across exercise modalities. Recently, the CP model has been applied to dynamic constant external resistance (DCER) exercises. The same hyperbolic relationship that has been established across various continuous, whole-body, dynamic movements has also been demonstrated for upper-, lower-, and whole-body DCER exercises. The asymptote of the load versus repetition relationship is defined as the critical load (CL) and the curvature constant is L′. The CL and L′ can be estimated from the same linear and non-linear mathematical models used to derive the CP. The aims of this review are to (1) provide an overview of the CP concept across continuous, dynamic exercise modalities; (2) describe the recent applications of the model to DCER exercise; (3) demonstrate how the mathematical modeling of DCER exercise can be applied to further our understanding of fatigue and individual performance capabilities; and (4) make initial recommendations regarding the methodology for estimating the parameters of the CL test. Full article
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