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measurement for cardiopulmonary fitness, maximal

YMCA Submaximal Cycle Ergometer Test and

oxygen consumption (VO2max) is physiologically the

Queens College Step Test

highest rate of oxygen transport(American College

of Sports Medicine, 2006). Calculation of VO2max

is used significantly in rehabilitation as well as

Sedgeman, Daniel

sports medicine to determine a person

cardiopulmonary fitness, in order to provide a basis

to design exercise program. However many of the

Undergraduate Research, Department of Wellness

protocols designed to determine VO2max such as

and Human Performance, Southwest Minnesota

the YMCA Submaximal Cycle Ergometer (YMCA)

State University, Marshall, Minnesota

test require extensive equipment and thus protocols

Abstract: such as the Queens College Step Test (QCT) were

developed. To illustrate this fact, for the YMCA

Maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) is

Cycle test, the use of a Monark Ergomedic Cycle

physiologically the highest rate of oxygen

Ergometer is required and ranges in cost between

transport(American College of Sports Medicine,

$2000 and $3000 (, 2009). On the other hand for

2006). The hypothesis for this study is that the

the Queens called step test, a plyometric box of

Pearson’s Correlation coefficients would find

approximately 16 and a fourth inches tall is required

significant correlation between both tests. 15

and ranges in cost $100 to 300 (, 2009). Also, for

healthy men and women college-aged subjects were

the YMCA tests, equipment to measure blood

pressure is needed as well as a heart rate monitor.

used (mean= 21, SD= 2.976095). The YMCA test

However, this does not greatly increase the cost

consisted of a pre-test, a three minute warm up, the

relative to the QCT test because of the relatively

progressively staged test, and a three minute cool

low cost of blood pressure equipment and the QCT

down. The QCT test consisted of a pre-test and the

also required a heart rate monitor. Thus, the

three minute test. Overall, my results from QCT and

purpose of study was to determine the correlation of

the YMCA test did not correlate well to each other

results between the YMCA test and Queens College

(r=0.2010, p-value = 0.472). Men and non-athletes

Step Test (QCT), to provide reasoning for using the

correlated the worst (r=0.1968 and r=-.0643). For

more expensive method, the YMCA Submaximal

women, however, the data correlated much better

Cycle Ergometer (YMCA) test. Therefore, the

for women (r=0.5287, p-value = 0.360) and showed

hypothesis for this study is that is that Pearson’s

moderate correlation with non-college athletes

Correlation coefficients would find significant

(r= 0.5956, p-value = 0.404).

correlation between both tests.

Introduction:

Sedgeman 2

In order to complete this study, 15 healthy Correlation Study Subjects

men and women volunteer subjects were used Variable Mean SD Range

Men

(mean= 21, SD= 2.976095). All subjects were

Age 21.5 3.44 12.00

predominantly college aged students of Southwest

Minnesota State University. Their physical Height (in cm) 183.52 7.65 25.40

characteristics are explained in table 1. Five of the Mass (in kg) 95.50 22.31 65.91

subjects were women, where one was an athlete and Resting Heart Rate 70.80 9.85 30.00

four were not, while 10 of the subjects were men

with an even distribution of athletes and non- Women

athletes. Each subject completed two submaximal

Age 20.00 1.58 4.00

VO2 protocols, both a YMCA test and QCT, which

Height (in cm) 167.64 7.18 15.24

calculate an estimate for VO2max. Before

Mass (in kg) 65.91 15.50 40.91

participation in either test, each subject was given a

survey, as well as an explanation of protocol along Resting Heart Rate 80.00 10.30 22.00

with the inherent risks of both tests. The survey SD = standard deviation

asked the subjects to give a general rate of fitness

and define their present athletic status. YMCA Test –

warm up, the progressively staged test, and a cool

The materials used during the study differed

down. During a pre-test, each subject was given an

depending on test. During the YMCA test, a Polar

explanation of how a Polar heart rate monitor works

heart rate monitor, a blood pressure cuff, a

and was then asked to put on the heart rate monitor.

stethoscope, and a Monark Ergomedic 828E cycle

Each subject was told for their privacy; it is

ergometer were used. During the QCT, a Polar heart

recommended to use the bathroom to put on a heart

rate monitor, an 18” plyometric box, a 2” exercise

rate monitor. Then, each subject was asked to sit in

mat, and an electronic metronome were used. All

order to get accurate measurement for resting heart

materials for this study were used with permission

rate and blood pressure. Next, their resting blood

from the Exercise Science Laboratory, Department

pressure was taken, as well as a record of their

height, mass in kg, age, and gender. Also at this

time, 85% of the subjects maximum heart rate was

calculated ([220-age]*.85). Finally, the subject was

of Wellness and Human Performance at Southwest

brought over to the cycle ergometer and given

Minnesota State University.

Sedgeman 3

specific instructions to the actual test phases of the last minute of every stage. Finally, the YMCA test

YMCA test protocol.(Powers, 2007) protocol ended with a three minute cool down,

where heart rate and blood pressure recorded at the

First of all, the YMCA test protocol began

end of the three minutes.(Powers, 2007).

with a three minute warm up, where the subject got

acclimated to 50 revolutions per minute cadence In order to calculate the estimation for

constant throughout test. Secondly, YMCA test VO2max during the YMCA test, first of all, all

protocol transition to its test stages, with a plateaued stage heart rates greater than 110 beats

maximum of four. Due to protocol once a subject per minute were plotted against their workloads

heart rate elevated to 85% of max heart rate, they (ml*kg-1*minute-1). Secondly, a regression line of

were not allowed to move up to the next stage best fit was drawn between the data points and

immediately began cool-down after completion of extrapolated to the subject’s maximum heart rate

their current stage. Each subject began to test stage (220-age). Then finally, with the workload

one at a resistance of 0.5 kilograms at stage one and associated with the subjects maximum heart rate,

the resistance increased in the other stages which can be found through the equation of the

depending on heart rate as shown in figure 1. In regression line, a VO2max equation given by Powers

addition, a subject not move onto the next stage & Howly is calculated ( VO2max (ml*min-1) =

until their heart rate plateaued to the point where 1.8ml*kgm-1 x ___kgm*min-1 + [ 7 ml*kg-1min-1 x

their heart rate was less than 5 beats per minute ___kg body mass] ). (Powers, 2007)

different than the previous minute. During each

Queens College Step Test –

stage, heart rate was recorded at the end of every

minute, while blood pressure and ratings of The QCT test consisted of a pre-test and then the

perceived exertion (RPE) was recorded within the test. There was not a mandatory a cool down, but it

Figure #1: Resistance for YMCA Stages was recommended. During a pre-test, each subject

was given a Polar heart rate monitor and followed

the same procedure described in the YMCA test

protocol. Then, each subject was asked to sit in

order to get accurate measurement for resting heart

rate. Next, a record was taken of their resting heart

rate and gender. Finally, the subject was brought

over to the plyometric box set up with the exercise

mat and given specific instructions to the actual test

phases of the YMCA test protocol. (American

Sedgeman 4

F ig

Table #2: Comparison of estimated VO2max scores from the YMCA submaximal test versus the QCT

Men and women

Test Men (n=10) Women (n=5) Athletes (n=6)

(n=15)

YMCA 34.96 4.81 14.94 35.16 4.71 14.67 34.55 5.54 14.6 37.65 2.69 8.33

QCT 40.98 7.49 21.39 45.05 5.35 15.96 32.84 2.73 6.65 46.22 5.73 14.74

Non-Athlete Women

Test Athlete Men (n=5) Non-Athletes (n=9) Non-Athlete Men (n=5)

(n=4)

YMCA 37.59 3.01 8.33 34.25 5.89 14.94 33.71 6.01 14.6 32.81 5.28 14.67

QCT 47.99 4.18 9.24 40.48 6.03 16.77 31.71 1.20 2.4 42.11 5.03 11.34

18"

Correl. r = -0.2659 r2 = 0.0707 r = -0.0643 r2 = 0.0041 r = 0.5956 r2 = 0.3548 r = -0.0932 r2 = 0.0087

Sedgeman 5

First of all, the QCT protocol consists of a female non-athletes. Correlation was calculated by

three minute test, where the subject steps up and entering VO2max scores from YMCA test and the

down (“UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN”) on plyometric QCT into Minitab statistical software and

box of approximately 16.25 inches. Once the three calculating the Pearson correlation coefficient, r;

minute was completed, heart rate was immediately along with a P-value value for each comparison (r2

recorded and then plugged into a VO2max equation. was calculated in Excel). See Table #2 for further

The stepping cadence for men was 24 steps per information.

cadence for women were 22 steps per minute (88

The results of the correlation calculations

beats per minute). The cadence was maintained

show significantly small correlations for the

through the use of an electronic metronome. Since

majority (six out of the eight correlation groups).

the plyometric box available in the exercise science

However, slight and moderate correlations were

laboratory was 18 inches in height, a 2 inch exercise

found for female only correlation groups. This

mat was used to more closely approximate 16.25

implies the YMCA test and QCT are more linearly

(Note: due to the imprint of a foot to the exercise

correlated for women than for men (r= .5287 versus

mat, the exercise mat was really 1 inch thick).

r= .1968 respectively). See Figure 3 below.

In order to calculate the estimation for VO2max

For all subjects, small correlations were

during the QCT, depending on gender, one of two

found (r = 0.2010, p-value = 0.472), which show no

different VO2max equations was calculated. For men,

significant correlation between YMCA test and

QCT. Small correlations were found for athletes

the equation was VO2max = 111.33 - (0.42 X HR),

(r= -0.2123, p-value = 0.686), which show no

For women, the equation was VO2max = 65.81 -

(0.1847 X HR). In both instances, the recorded Figure 3: Graph of QCT predicted VO2max versus

heart rate immediately following a three minute test YMCA predicted VO2max. For men, r = 0.1968. For

was plugged in to HR and the estimated VO2max women, r = 0.5287.

was calculated.(American College of Sports

Medicine, 2008)

Correlation Testing –

significant correlation for athletes between YMCA

The compared data used to calculate

test and QCT. Significantly small correlations were

correlation included the estimated VO2max scores

found for non-athletes (r = -0.0643, p-value =

from the YMCA test versus the QCT included all

0.869) and non-athlete men (r = -0.0932, p-value =

subjects, male subjects, female subjects, athletes,

0.881), which indicates a high indication of no

male athletes, non-athletes, male non-athletes, and

Sedgeman 6

Table #3: Percentile values for VO2max Overall, my results from QCT and the

YMCA QCT YMCA test did not correlate well to each

Subject Gender VO2max Percentile VO2max Percentile other (r=0.2010, p-value = 0.472). The data

(ml kg min

* -1 -

) value

1 (ml kg min value

* -1 -

collected from the study implies that is no

1

)

1 F 26.84 5 30.72 15 significant correlation between the YMCA

2 F 37.93 65 37.37 50 test and the QCT test and thus do not support

3 F 33.97 40 33.12 30

4 F 32.58 30 30.72 15 the office for all subjects, men, athletes, male

5 F 41.44 80 32.3 25 athletes, non-athletes, and male non-athletes.

6 M* 32.18 10 36.15 20 Men and non-athletes correlated the worst

7 M 37.68 20 42.87 40

(r=0.1968 and r=-.0643). For women,

8 M 31.8 5 37.41 20

9 M 32.84 5 52.11 80 however, the data correlated much better for

10 M 37.93 20 50.43 75 women (r=0.5287, p-value = 0.360) and

11 M 32.4 5 45.39 55 showed moderate correlation with non-

12 M 38.34 25 44.13 50

college athletes (r= 0.5956, p-value =

13 M 41.17 40 44.13 50

14 M 26.5 5 47.49 60 0.404) between the YMCA test and the QCT

15 M 40.74 35 50.43 75 test, and thus show some evidence

Mean: 34.96 40.98 supporting the hypothesis. Thus by

SD: 4.81 7.49

examining the data in this study, it is implied

significant correlation for men and non-athletes. that there is not a significant linear relationship

Small correlations were found for men (r = 0.1968, between the YMCA test and the QCT test for men.

p-value = 0.585) and for male athletes (r = -0.2659, Therefore, the data may suggest one of the

p-value = 0.665), which indicate no significant protocols may not be the most accurate estimation

correlation between the YMCA test and QCT for of VO2max.

men and male athletes. For women, slight to

However, regardless what the data implies,

moderate correlations were found (r = 0.5287, p-

there is reasoning to suggest the data in this study

value = 0.360), which indicate some significance

are men is inaccurate. The reasoning behind this is

between both tests for women. For female non-

research showing the reliability of both the YMCA

athletes, Moderate correlations found for female

Submaximal Cycle Ergometer Test and Queens

non-college athletes (r = 0.5956, p-value = 0.404),

College Step Test, the lack of subjects (n<30) and

which indicate mild significance between the

suspected inaccurate percentile ranking in the

YMCA test and QCT for female athletes.

YMCA. The suspected inaccurate percentile

ranking for men is clear when examining the

Discussion:

percentile for men. The fact that there is not one

percentile value in the 40th percentile for active

Sedgeman 7

college aged men is on realistic, especially since Therefore, the results of my study have more

five of the men are athletes. As for the lack of validity in reference to correlation of VO2max

subjects, since number of subjects is less than 30, it results between the YMCA Submaximal Cycle

lowers the significant of the research. Ergometer Test and Queens College Step Test.

Thus, in order to achieve the results, their many

Finally, because of the research showing the

areas for further study. First of all, increasing the

reliability of the YMCA test and QCT, it therefore

number of subjects (n>30 for both men and women)

lessons the reliability of the data in this study for

will increase the significant of the research.

men and may increase the reliability for women. In

Secondly, by running a grated exercise test to find

Zwiren et al, 1991 from the Research Quarterly for

VO2max, it will allow the possibility to compare its

Exercise and Sport, a study was conducted with 40

results to the submaximal tests. Thirdly, I could run

healthy women and QCT. It found the Queen’s

more submaximal VO2 tests and have the ability to

college step test had the lowest correlation with a

run more correlation data. Finally, by incorporating

graded exercise test (r = 0.55), when compared to 2

a familiarization trial, I may be able to improve my

run and walk tests. It also cited other studies that

results.

found low correlation between step tests estimations

and measured VO2max. In summary, their results Appendix:

show some validity to the QCT, as well as give

Figure #4

reason why to my correlation for women was R =

0.528 between the YMCA and QCT. In Chatterjee

et al, 2004 from the British Journal of Sports

Medicine, a study was conducted with 30 sedentary

men dealing with the QCT. It found a significant

correlation between the prediction of VO2max by

the QCT and the direct measurement of VO2max

(r = 0.95). Thus, it showed that the QCT was a

good estimation of VO2max. Finally, Beekley et al,

2004 in the Research Quarterly of Exercise and

Sport conducted the study with 55 men and 47

women dealing with the YMCA test. For men, the

study showed a moderate correlation between the

YMCA test and VO2max (r=0.63). For women, the

study showed a high correlation between the Figure #5

Sedgeman 8

Figure #6 Acknowledgments:

for their time, as well as Candice Conway and

Girish Rajkarnikar for their help as lab assistants.

Also, thank you to Professors Brent Jeffers and

Judy Pitzl for your time and considerations.

Bibliography:

American College of Sports Medicine. (2008). ACSM's health-related physical fitness assessment manual.

Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

American College of Sports Medicine. (2006). ACSM's resource manual for guidelines for exercise testing and

prescription. Baltimore: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

Beekley, M. D., Brechue, W. F., deHoyos, D. V., Garzaella, L., Werber-Zion, G., & Pollock, M. L. (2004).

Cross-Validation of the YMCA Submaximal Cycle Ergometer Test for Dick VO2max. Research Quarterly for

Exercise and Sport , 337-342.

Chatterjee, S., Chatterjee, P., Mukherjee, P., & Bandyopadhyay. (2004). Validity of Queen's College step test

for use with young Indian men. British Journal of Sports Medicine , 38, 289-291.

Monark Ergomedic 828E - Google product search. (2009). Retrieved April 27, 2009, from Google:

http://www.google.com/products?q=Monark+Ergomedic+828E&hl=en

Plyometric boxes- Google product search. (2009). Retrieved April 27, 2009, from Google:

http://www.google.com/products?q=plyometric+boxes

Sedgeman 9

Powers, S. K., & Howly, E. T. (2007). Exercise Physiology: Theory and Application to Fitness and

Performance. New York: Mc Graw Hill.

Zwiren, L. D., Freedson, P. S., Ward, A., Wilke, S., & Rippe, J. M. (1991). Estimation of VO2max: an

comparison analysis of five exercise tests. Research Quarterly of Exercise and Sport , 62, 73-78.

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