Long maximal incremental tests accurately assess aerobic fitness in class II and III obese men

Stefano Lanzi, Franco Codecasa, Mauro Cornacchia, Sabrina Maestrini, Paolo Capodaglio, Amelia Brunani, Paolo Fanari, Alberto Salvadori, Davide Malatesta

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This study aimed to compare two different maximal incremental tests with different time durations [a maximal incremental ramp test with a short time duration (8-12 min) (STest) and a maximal incremental test with a longer time duration (20-25 min) (LTest)] to investigate whether an LTest accurately assesses aerobic fitness in class II and III obese men. Twenty obese men (BMI ≥35 kg·m-2) without secondary pathologies (mean±SE; 36.7±1.9 yr; 41.8±0.7 kg∗m-2) completed an STest (warm-up: 40 W; increment: 20 W∗min-1) and an LTest [warm-up: 20% of the peak power output (PPO) reached during the STest; increment: 10% PPO every 5 min until 70% PPO was reached or until the respiratory exchange ratio reached 1.0, followed by 15 W.min-1 until exhaustion] on a cycle-ergometer to assess the peak oxygen uptake V O2peak and peak heart rate (HRpeak) of each test. There were no significant differences in V O2peak (STest: 3.1±0.1 L∗min-1; LTest: 3.0±0.1 L∗min-1) and HRpeak (STest: 174±4 bpm; LTest: 173 ±4 bpm) between the two tests. Bland-Altman plot analyses showed good agreement and Pearson product-moment and intra-class correlation coefficients showed a strong correlation between V O2peak (r=0.81 for both; p≤0.001) and HRpeak (r=0.95 for both; p≤ 0.001) during both tests. V O2peak and HRpeak assessments were not compromised by test duration in class II and III obese men. Therefore, we suggest that the LTest is a feasible test that accurately assesses aerobic fitness and may allow for the exercise intensity prescription and individualization that will lead to improved therapeutic approaches in treating obesity and severe obesity.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0124180
JournalPLoS One
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 13 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Medicine(all)


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