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Balke Treadmill Test Instrument

Monday, August 01, 2016

Balke Treadmill Test Instrument

Balke Treadmill Test Instrument

The objective of Balke Treadmill Test is to monitor the development of the athlete's general endurance (VO2max).

Required Resources for Balke Treadmill Test

To undertake this test you will require:
  • Treadmill where speed and grade of slope can be adjusted
  • Stop watch
  • Assistant.

How to conduct the Balke Treadmill Test

Balke Treadmill Test Instrument  
The athlete walks on a treadmill to exhaustion. At timed stages during the test the grade of slope (%) of the treadmill is increased as follows:
1. Active and sedentary men
  • Treadmill speed set at 3.3 mph (5.3km/hr)
  • Start - Grade is 0%
  • After 1 minute - Grade set at 2%
  • After 2 minutes and each minute thereafter the grade is increased by 1%
2. Active and sedentary women
  • Treadmill speed set at 3.0 mph (4.5 km/hr)
  • Start - Grade is 0%
  • After 3 minutes and every 3 minutes thereafter the grade is increased by 2.5%
3. The assistant starts the stop watch at the start of the test and stops it when the athlete is unable to continue - this ideally should be between 9 and 15 minutes.

Analysis

Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Active and sedentary men - Pollock et al. 1976
From the total time an estimate of the athlete's VO2max can be calculated as follows:
VO2max = 1 444 x T + 14.99
"T" is the total time of the test expressed in minutes and fractions of a minute e.g 13 minutes. 15 seconds = 13.25 minutes.

Active and sedentary women - Pollock et al. 1982
From the total time an estimate of the athlete's V02max can be calculated as follows:
VO2max = 1.38 x T + 5.22
"T" is the total time of the test expressed in minutes and fractions of a minute.

Target group

This test is suitable for active and sedentary individuals but not for those where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Reliability would depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test.

Validity

There are published VO2max tables and the correlation to actual VO2max is high.

Reference

Mackenzie, Brian. 2005. 101 Perforamnce Evalution Test. Electric World Plc. London.