Mader Anaerobic Threshold Test

The Mader Test is an incremental exercise test used to determine the Anaerobic Threshold using blood lactate measures. Blood lactate concentration increases exponentially in relation to exercise intensity, and the point of rapid accumulation is often referred to as the anaerobic threshold. Calculating Anaerobic threshold requires analysis of the lactate/intensity plot. A simpler method was proposed by Mader (1978), using a blood lactate level of 4 mmol/l as the general estimation point of the anaerobic threshold.

purpose: to determine the anaerobic threshold using blood lactate levels.

target population: endurance athletes (middle/long distance runners, cyclists, swimmers, triathletes, rowers)

equipment required: stopwatch, exercise apparatus (swimming pool, running track, treadmill, cycle or rowing ergometer), heart rate monitor, equipment for blood lactate collection and analysis.

pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender, test conditions. Calibrate the ergometer and blood testing equipment. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: This test can be conducted on any equipment or during any exercise mode. Begin at an easy pace, then at pre-determined intervals increase the workload/intensity. Continue each workload for three minutes. At the end of each speed/workload level, capillary blood is collected from the fingertip or from the ear lobe, and the lactate levels are measured. Heart rate should also be taken at the end of each workload.

marathon runners runners use the anaerobic threshold to set training intensities

results: calculate the workload and heart rate which corresponds to 4.0mmol/l blood lactate, and set training intensities accordingly.

accuracy: This test assumes that the anaerobic threshold is at that level of 4.0 mmol/l blood lactate. However, this is just a general estimation and the actual deflection point can vary.

notes: The Conconi Test uses a similar graded exercise test, though only measuring heart rate and determining a deflection point on the heart rate to workload graph.

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