Wang, P.-F., Tu, M.-H., & Fu, L.-L. (2014). Results of graded exercise and specific fitness test of table tennis players. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 46(5), Supplement abstract number 246.

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This study aimed to validate a specific table-tennis test for assessing the aerobic capability of table-tennis players, and to compare the difference between elite and non-elite players in terms of physical fitness. Ss were divided into an elite group (M = 3; F = 3) and non-elite group (M = 9; F = 3) based on current performance status. Ss performed a non-specific graded exercise test on a treadmill. Indirect calorimetry was used to collect cardiopulmonary data and blood lactate concentrations were also determined throughout the test. The specific table-tennis test was evaluated by using a mechanical ball thrower to control the exercise intensity. Each S's forehand topspin was tested in three-position rally table-tennis trials at a frequency of 60 balls per minute. The test was ended when Ss exhibited voluntary exhaustion.

For the specific table-tennis test, exercise time in the elite group was significantly higher than in the non-elite group. There were no significant differences between the two groups for maximum heart rate and blood lactate post-exercise during the specific table-tennis test. There was no significant difference between the two groups in physiological parameters (VO2max, maximum heart rate, and blood lactate) during the graded exercise test.

Implication. A graded exercise test can be used to assess the general fitness of athletes, but a specific table-tennis test can be used to measure the sports-related aerobic capacity of table-tennis players. The specific table-tennis test can also differentiate athletesí aerobic capacity between elite and non-elite performance status.

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