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Bruce Treadmill Test (Monitor Your General Endurance)

Wednesday, August 03, 2016

Bruce Treadmill Test (Monitor Your General Endurance)

The objective of the Bruce treadmill test is to monitor the development of the athlete's general endurance (VO2max).

Required resources
To undertake this test you will require:
  • Treadmill where speed and grade of slope can be adjusted
  • Stop watch
  • Assistant.
How to conduct the test
Bruce Treadmill Test
The athlete runs on a treadmill to exhaustion. At timed stages during the test the speed (km/hr) and grade of slope (%) of the treadmill are increased as detailed in the table below.


Stage
Time (min)
Speed (km/hr)
Slope
1
0
2.74
10%
2
3
4.02
12%
3
6
5.47
14%
4
9
6.76
16%
5
12
8.05
18%
6
15
8,85
20%
7
18
9.65
22%
8
21
10.46
24%
9
24
11.26
26%
10
27
12.07
28%

The treadmill is set up with the Stage 1 speed (2.74 km/hr) and grade of dope (10%) and the athlete commences the test.

At the appropriate times during the test the speed and slope of the treadmill are adjusted. So after 3 minutes into the test the speed is adjusted to 4.02 km/hr and the slope to 12% after 6 minute into the test the speed is adjusted to 5.47 km/hr and the slope to 14% and so on.

The assistant starts the stop watch at the start of the test and stop 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 - Foster et a/. 1984
From the total walk/run time an estimate of the athlete's VO2max can calculated as follows:

  • VO2max = 14.8 - (1.379 x T) + (0.451 x T2) - (0.012 x T3)
  • "T" is the total time of the test expressed in minutes and fractions of a minute eg 13 minutes 15 seconds = 13.25 minutes.
Active and sedentary women - Pollock et a/. 1982
From the total walk/run time an estimate of the athlete's V02max can be calculated as follows:
  • VO2max = 4.38 x T - 3.9
  • "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.