Long maximal incremental tests accurately assess aerobic fitness in class II and III obese men

PLoS One. 2015 Apr 13;10(4):e0124180. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0124180. eCollection 2015.


This study aimed to compare two different maximal incremental tests with different time durations [a maximal incremental ramp test with a short time duration (8-12 min) (STest) and a maximal incremental test with a longer time duration (20-25 min) (LTest)] to investigate whether an LTest accurately assesses aerobic fitness in class II and III obese men. Twenty obese men (BMI≥35 kg.m-2) without secondary pathologies (mean±SE; 36.7±1.9 yr; 41.8±0.7 kg*m-2) completed an STest (warm-up: 40 W; increment: 20 W*min-1) and an LTest [warm-up: 20% of the peak power output (PPO) reached during the STest; increment: 10% PPO every 5 min until 70% PPO was reached or until the respiratory exchange ratio reached 1.0, followed by 15 W.min-1 until exhaustion] on a cycle-ergometer to assess the peak oxygen uptake [Formula: see text] and peak heart rate (HRpeak) of each test. There were no significant differences in [Formula: see text] (STest: 3.1±0.1 L*min-1; LTest: 3.0±0.1 L*min-1) and HRpeak (STest: 174±4 bpm; LTest: 173±4 bpm) between the two tests. Bland-Altman plot analyses showed good agreement and Pearson product-moment and intra-class correlation coefficients showed a strong correlation between [Formula: see text] (r=0.81 for both; p≤0.001) and HRpeak (r=0.95 for both; p≤0.001) during both tests. [Formula: see text] and HRpeak assessments were not compromised by test duration in class II and III obese men. Therefore, we suggest that the LTest is a feasible test that accurately assesses aerobic fitness and may allow for the exercise intensity prescription and individualization that will lead to improved therapeutic approaches in treating obesity and severe obesity.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold / physiology*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test / methods*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Obesity / physiopathology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Time Factors

Grants and funding

The authors have no support or funding to report.