International Journal of Exercise Science 16(4): 912-923, 2023. The purpose of this study was to assess the test-retest reliability of a 4-minute all-out critical force test in well-trained rock climbers. Thirteen rock climbers (n=4 females) completed a familiarization session and two all-out critical force tests on different days. During each trial, participants completed 24 repetitions of 7s right-handed, maximal effort hangs from a 20mm edge interspersed with 3 s rest. The end-test force (EF; i.e., critical force), impulse above EF (IEF), and peak force achieved durin g the test were analyzed with paired t-tests to determine differences between trials. Intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC), coefficient of variation (CV), and Bland-Altman analysis were performed to quantify the relative and absolute reliability of the measure, respectively. The level of significance for this study was set at p<0.05. There were no significant differences between trials for any of the reported variables (P≥0.455). For EF, IEF, and peak force, ICC was 0.848, 0.820, and 0.938, respectively; and CV was 21.0%, 13.2%, and 5.6%, respectively. Bland-Altman analyses showed a mean relative bias of -2.3%, -2.8%, and -1.3%, with 95% limits of agreement (LoA) of -62.6% to 58.1%, -40.5% to 30.9%, and -17.2% to 14.6% for EF, IEF, and peak force, respectively, however linear regression revealed a significant proportional bias for EF (p = 0.026, R2 = 0.377). The reliability of this protocol was good to excellent for all parameters; however, there was larger intra-individual variability for EF and IEF. This study suggests that when using the 4-min all-out critical force test in rock climbers, coaches and athletes should be aware that there may be a trade-off between the test’s practicality and the precision of its results.

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