A comparison of practical assessment methods to determine treadmill, cycle, and elliptical ergometer V̇O2 peak

Ryan J. Mays, Nicholas F. Boér, Lisa M. Mealey, Kevin H. Kim, Fredric L. Goss

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15 Scopus citations


This investigation compared estimated and predicted peak oxygen consumption (V̇O2peak) and maximal heart rate (HRmax) among the treadmill, cycle ergometer, and elliptical ergometer. Seventeen women (mean ± SE: 21.9 ± 0.3 y) exercised to exhaustion on all modalities. American College of Sports Medicine metabolic equations were used to estimate V̇O2peak. Digital displays on the elliptical ergometer were used to estimate V̇O2peak. Two individual linear regression methods were used to predict V̇O2peak: (a) 2 steady state heart rate (HR) responses up to 85% of agepredicted HRmax and (b) multiple steady state/nonsteady state HR responses up to 85% of age-predicted HRmax. Estimated V̇O2 peakfor the treadmill (46.3 ± 1.3 ml.kg -1 min -1) and the elliptical ergometer (44.4 ± 1.0 ml.kg -1 min -1) did not differ. The cycle ergometer estimated V̇O2peak (36.5 ± 1.0 ml.kg -1 min -1) was lower (p < 0.001) than the estimated V̇O 2peak values for the treadmill and elliptical ergometer. Elliptical ergometer V̇O2peak predicted from steady-state (51.4 ±.8 ml.kg -1.min -1) and steady-state/nonsteady-state (50.3 ± 2.0 ml.kg -1 min -1) models were higher than estimated elliptical ergometer V̇O2peak, p < 0.01. HR max, and estimates of V̇O2peak were similar between the treadmill and elliptical ergometer; thus, crossmodal exercise prescriptions may be generated. The use of digital display estimates of submaximal oxygen uptake for the elliptical ergometer may not be an accurate method for predicting V̇O2peak. Health-fitness professionals should use caution when utilizing submaximal elliptical ergometer digital display estimates to predict V̇O2peak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1325-1331
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2010


  • ACSM equations
  • Nonsteady-state exercise

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