Hahn, A. G., Ryan-Tanner, R., Lawton, E. W., & Pierce, S. J. (1998). Correlation between submaximal and maximal oxygen consumption in internationally successful rowers. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 30(5), Supplement abstract 284.

Internationally successful female rowers (N = 12) performed an exhaustive discontinuous incremental test (7 x 4-min stages) on a Concept II rowing ergometer. Throughout the test, VO2 was measured and earlobe blood was evaluated for lactate concentration. Regression equations were calculated for each rower to determine the relationships between VO2, La, and work rate.

Significant correlations between both measures and VO2peak were revealed for all but the lowest work level, the size of the correlations increasing as work rate increased. The highest correlations occurred at the highest intensity. Rowers with high peak VO2peak had lower blood lactates at all submaximal work rates. Body mass was not significantly correlated with VO2peak at any work rate.

It was concluded that VO2 at submaximal work rates merely reflects the extent to which energy demands are met from aerobic as opposed to anaerobic metabolism, and provides no direct information on the efficiency of stroke propulsion.

Implication. Submaximal physiological tests measuring aerobic parameters and lactate levels do not tell anything about stroking efficiency at maximal work rates.

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