Mahler, D., Andrea, B., & Ward, J. (1987). Comparison of exercise performance on rowing and cycle ergometer. Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, 58,41-46.

It was found that both trained and untrained rowers had lower VO2max on a Concept II ergometer than on a bicycle ergometer. This suggested that the cramped body position during rowing might limit ventilation.

Physiological variables at anaerobic threshold were consistently greater for trained rowers which indicates that rowers achieved a specific training effect which was not observed from VO2max variables on the bicycle ergometer.

Implication. This study indicates that testing for aerobic variables has to be sport specific and that it is wrong to infer training statuses from one form of exercise (e.g., treadmill or bicycle) to another form (e.g., swimming or rowing). VO2max testing must be sport specific.

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