Physiological responses to ergometer and on-water incremental rowing tests

Andrew Vogler, Anthony Rice, Christopher Gore

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    28 Citations (Scopus)


    This study evaluated the validity of ergometer tests against thecriterion of on-water rowing and determined the reliability of field measurements by comparing results between ergometer (ERG) and on-water (OW) tests. Methods: Seven male rowers completed incremental tests on a Concept2 rowing ergometer and in a single scull. Average power output, oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), blood lactate concentration (BLa) and distance completed were measured duringeach ERG and OW workload. Data treatment: Linear regression between power output and HR, BLa, VO2 and distanceallowed submaximal results to be compared between ERG and OW tests atequivalent intensities based on five standard power outputs. Submaximal results were analyzed using repeated measure factorial ANOVAs and maximal data useddependent t tests (P < .05), the magnitude of differences were also classified using effect size analyses. The reliability of repeated measurements was established using Typical Error. Results: Differences between ERG and OW submaximal results were not statistically significant for power output, HR, BLa, and VO2, but distancecompleted (P < .001) was higher during the ERG test. However, the magnitude of physiological response differences between the ERG and OW tests varied between individuals. Mean HR at anaerobic threshold showed good agreement between both tests (r = .81), but the standard error of the estimate was 9 beats per minute. Conclusions: Individual variation in physiological response differences between ERG and OW tests meant that training intensity recommendations from the ERG test were not applicable to on-water training for some rowers, but provided appropriate prescriptions for most athletes.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)342-358
    Number of pages17
    JournalInternational Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - Sept 2010


    • Blood lactate threshold
    • Concept2
    • Heart rate
    • Oxygen
    • Training prescription


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