The effect of training on the ability of the multi-stage test to predict the VO2peak of professional AFL players

Marsden, J.F., Williams, P., Wood, R.J., and Finn, J.P., The effect of training on the ability of the multi-stage test to predict the VO2peak of professional AFL players, Proceedings of the 2000 Pre-Olympic Congress: Sports medicine and Physical Education International Congress on Sport Science, 2000

The determination of the relationship between field and laboratory tests has typically involved recreational athletes or university students, measured at a single period in time. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the multi-stage test1 (MST) could accurately predict VO2peak in well-trained athletes and whether this relationship was influenced by training status.

Sixteen professional Australian Football League (AFL) players undertook a MST and treadmill VO2peak test after a six-week non-training period and after a period of 13 weeks of training with a two-week break at 7 weeks. Training consisted of 3-4 running, 3-4 weight training and 2-3 skill sessions per week. The running training predominantly targeted improving the players' aerobic fitness.

There were improvements in both MST and VO2peak scores with training but the magnitude of improvement was only significant with the MST (p<0.000). The results indicate that when the athletes were not undertaking running training, the MST significantly under-predicted VO2peak, (p=0.005). After 13 weeks of running training there was no significant difference between the MST and VO2peak scores, indicating a strong predictive ability of VO2peak by the MST. (**1 p<0.000, **2 p=0.005)

The results suggest the ability of the MST to predict VO2peak is dependent on the running training status of the athlete. This evidence supports the MST as a performance test dependant on the athletes running training status at the time of the test rather than a physiological test of aerobic power. Other investigators2 have suggested that the under-prediction of VO2peak by MST is due to a higher anaerobic component with the MST.

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