Accurate prediction of VO2max in cycle ergometry

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1990 Oct;22(5):704-12. doi: 10.1249/00005768-199010000-00024.


Numerous equations exist for predicting VO2max from the duration (an analog of maximal work rate, Wmax) of a treadmill graded exercise test (GXT). Since a similar equation for cycle ergometry (CE) was not available, we saw the need to develop such an equation, hypothesizing that CE VO2max could be accurately predicted due to its more direct relationship with W. Thus, healthy, sedentary males (N = 115) and females (N = 116), aged 20-70 yr, were given a 15 W.min-1 CE GXT. The following multiple linear regression equations which predict VO2max (ml.min-1) from the independent variables of Wmax (W), body weight (kg), and age (yr) were derived from our subjects: Males: Y = 10.51 (W) + 6.35 (kg) - 10.49 (yr) + 519.3 ml.min-1; R = 0.939, SEE = 212 ml.min-1. Females: Y = 9.39 (W) + 7.7 (kg) - 5.88 (yr) + 136.7 ml.min-1; R = 0.932, SEE = 147 ml.min-1 Using the 95% confidence limits as examples of worst case errors, our equations predict VO2max to within 10% of its true value. Internal (double cross-validation) and external cross-validation analyses yielded r values ranging between 0.920 and 0.950 for the male and female regression equations. These results indicate that use of the equations generated in this study for a 15 W.min-1 CE GXT provides accurate estimates of VO2max.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Body Weight
  • Exercise Test*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Oxygen Consumption*
  • Physical Exertion
  • Regression Analysis