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Bruce Treadmill Test

Testing and measurement are the means of collecting information upon which subsequent performance evaluations and decisions are made but in the analysis we need to bear in mind the factors that may influence the results.

Objective

The objective of the Bruce Treadmill Test (Bruce 1972)[1] is to monitor the development of the athlete's general endurance (VO2 max).

Required Resources

To undertake this test you will require:

  • Treadmill
  • Stopwatch
  • Assistant
AmazonTreadmill

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to run for as long as possible on a treadmill whose speed and slope increments at timed intervals.

  • The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
  • The assistant sets the treadmill up with a speed of 2.74 km/hr. and an incline of 10%  (Stage 1)
  • The assistant gives the command “GO”, starts the stopwatch and the athlete commences the test
  • The assistant, at the appropriate times during the test, adjusts the treadmill's speed and slope as per the table (e.g. after 3 minutes the speed is adjusted to 4.02 km/hr and the slope to 12% and so on)
  • The assistant stops the stopwatch when the athlete is unable to continue and records the time (T).
Stage Time (min) km/hr Incline
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%

Convert treadmill slope

Enter a value, select the parameter (degrees or percent) and then select the "Calculate" button.

Convert = =

Assessment

Active and sedentary men - (Foster et al. 1984)[2]

From the total walk/run time an estimate of the athlete's VO2 max can be calculated as follows:

  • VO2 max = 14.8 - (1.379 × T) + (0.451 × T²) - (0.012 × T³)

"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)[3]

From the total walk/run time an estimate of the athlete's VO2 max can be calculated as follows:

  • VO2 max = 4.38 × T - 3.9

"T" is the total time of the test expressed in minutes and fractions of a minute.

For an estimate of your VO2 max enter the duration of the run and then select the 'Calculate' button.

Time minutes seconds
     
Active and sedentary men mls/kg/min ±3.35 mls/kg/min
Active and sedentary women mls/kg/min ±2.7 mls/kg/min

For an analysis of your VO2 max score see the VO2 max page.

Analysis

Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete's previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete's VO2 max.

Target Group

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

Reliability

Test reliability refers to the degree to which a test is consistent and stable in measuring what it is intended to measure. Reliability will depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. The following link provides a variety of factors that may influence the results and therefore the test reliability.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test actually measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made on the basis of test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor the effect of training on the athlete's physical development. There are published VO2 max tables and the correlation to actual VO2 max is high. For an assessment of your VO2 max see the VO2 max normative data tables.

Advantages

  • Minimal equipment required
  • Simple to set up and conduct

Disadvantages

  • Specialist equipment required
  • Assistant required to administer the test

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Referenced Material

  1. BRUCE, R.A. (1972) Multi-stage treadmill test of maximal and sub maximal exercise. Exercise Testing and Training of apparently Health Individuals: A handbook for physicians
  2. FOSTER et al. (1984) Generalized equations for predicting functional capacity from treadmill performance. American Heart Journal, 107 (6), p. 1229-1234
  3. POLLOCK et al. (1982) Comparative analysis of physiologic responses to three different maximal graded exercise test protocols in healthy women. American Heart Journal, 103 (3), p. 363-373

Page Reference

The reference for this page is:

  • MACKENZIE, B. (2002) Bruce Treadmill Test [WWW] Available from: http://www.brianmac.co.uk/bruce.htm [Accessed

Associated Pages

The following Sports Coach pages should be read in conjunction with this page: