Introduction: Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) is an important measurement for athletic performance. A common method of VO2max prediction is the Foster equation (MSSE, 1996). This equation produces accurate predictions in a normal population, however, significant difference has been noted between predicted and measured VO2max values when testing athletes. While other studies have produced new equations for athletes in general or even for soccer players, to our knowledge none have made one specifically for American-style football players. Purpose: The aim of this study is to develop an accurate VO2max prediction equation for collegiate American-style football athletes for testing on the treadmill with the standard Bruce protocol. Methods: Over 13 years, a total of 413 collegiate American football players (age: 18.5±1.15 yrs, height: 186.8±7.0 cm, weight 102.1±20.8 kg) were assessed for VO2max (Medical Graphics, Corp® Metabolic Cart) using the standard Bruce treadmill protocol. Linear regression analysis (JMP v. 12) determined which factor out of height, weight, or time spent on the test had a greater impact on VO2max. The linear regression analysis of the most significant factor against VO2max produced a prediction equation. Predicted VO2max was calculated using these data in both the Foster equation and this novel equation. Predicted values were compared to actual measured values with a t-test. α=0.05 for all statistical tests. Results: Of all the factors, time had the strongest relationship (p<0.0001; r2=0.6464). The linear regression between VO2max and time produced a prediction equation: VO2max= -3.546 + 3.904(time in minutes). Both the Foster equation and this new equation were significantly and positively correlated with the actual VO2max values (Foster=0.805, New r=0.804). However, t-tests indicate that the Foster equation results were significantly different from the measured values (p=0.0007), and the new model’s results were not significantly different (p=1.0). Conclusion: The Foster equation is not a reliable predictor of VO2max as assessed on a treadmill in collegiate American-style football athletes. This new equation is more accurate to predict VO2max in this population.
Johnson, Kalen A.; McLaughlin, Kelsey; Martin, Steven E.; Green, John S. Ph.D.; and Crouse, Stephen F.
"Predicting VO2max in Collegiate American-Style Football Athletes,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Conference Proceedings: Vol. 2:
8, Article 105.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijesab/vol2/iss8/105