How does one calculate VO2Max for the multi-shuttle run test?
To many, this would seem to be a straight forward question. However, there are a number of considerations one must take into account. First of all, one needs to determine which test protocol is being discussed. The test and protocol most commonly used is the maximal 20-m shuttle run test with 1-minute stages that was developed by Leger and Gadoury. In brief, this test has the participant jog/run 20m, stop-pivot and return to the start line in time with an audible signal. The initial stage starts at a speed of 8.5 km/h (5.1 mph) and increases in speed by 0.5 km/h (0.3 mph) each minute. Clients will continue until they are unable to keep pace with the audio signal up to stage 20 (18.0 km/h) or become too fatigued.
The original prediction equation for VO2max in ml•kg-1•min-1, was 6.592 multiplied by the maximal aerobic speed (MAS) associated with the stage completed in km/h then subtract 32.678 (Leger and Gadoury, 1989). For example if an individual completed stage 4, which is equal to 10.0 km/h, their VO2max would be: 6.592 x 10 – 32.678 = 33.242 ml•kg-1•min-1.
Since the original work, a number of investigators have examined the reliability (the ability of the test to provide consistent results) and have found the 20MSR to be highly reliable (r = 0.975; Leger and Lambert, 1982). In addition, Leger and Lambert examined the validity (the ability of the test to predict VO2max) of the test in relation to primarily direct measure of oxygen consumption using a treadmill test protocol. The results have shown a high correlation (r = 0.95) between the two. However, there are still some investigators who believe the test needs to be re-validated and the prediction equation updated, to reflect issues related to gender.
In 2003, Stickland et al. developed new equations based on the results from a sample of 60 males and 62 females. In their equation, they felt that it was better to utilize stage as opposed to MAS, as originally developed. The following equations are the result of this study (if an individual completed stage 4):
- VO2max for males: 2.75 x last ½ stage completed + 28.8 = 39.8 ml•kg-1•min-1
- VO2max for females: 2.85 x last ½ stage completed + 25.1 = 36.5 ml•kg-1•min-1
Recently, Flouris et al. (2005) further refined the prediction equation, for young, healthy males, by directly measuring the VO2 of 40 subjects during the 20MSR and utilizing this information as part of their equation. They produced the following equation (for an individual completing stage 4): VO2max = (10 km.h x 6.65 – 35.8) x 0.95 + 0.182, resulting in 29.347 ml•kg-1•min-1.
As you can see, a simple question this is not. However, you now have the ability to calculate VO2max from the results of the 20MSR. However, most people still use the original prediction equation as this information usually accompanies the audio for conducting the test.
- Flouris, A.D., Metsios, G.S. and Koutedakis, Y. (2005). Enhancing the efficacy of the 20 m multistage shuttle run test. British Journal of Sports Medicine. 39: 166-170.
- Leger, L. and Gadoury, C. (1989). Validity of the maximal 20-m shuttle run test with 1min stages to predict VO2max in adults. Canadian Journal of Sport Sciences. 14: 21-26.
- Leger, L. and Lamert, J. (1982). A maximal multistage 20-m shuttle run test to predict VO2max. European Journal of Applied Physiology. 49: 1-12.
- Stickland, M.K., Petersen, S.R. and Bouffard, M. (2003). Prediction of maximal aerobic power form the 20-m multi-stage shuttle run test. Canadian Journal of Applied Physiology. 28: 272-282.