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PWC-170 Cycle Test

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

Objective

The primary purpose of the PWC170 test (Cambell et al. 2001)[1] is to predict the power output (watts) at a projected heart rate of 170 beats per minute (bpm).

Required Resources

To conduct this test, you will require:

• Bicycle ergometer
• Heart rate monitor
• Stopwatch
• Assistant

How to conduct the test

This test requires the athlete to cycle for 6 minutes while maintaining their heart rate between 120-140bpm and the following a 10-minute rest cycle for another 6 minutes while maintaining their heart rate between 150-170bpm.

• The athlete warms up for 10 minutes
• The athlete starts cycling
• The assistant adjusts the load on the bicycle ergometer to raise the athlete's heart rate to between 120-140bpm
• The assistant resets the power output to zero and starts the stopwatch
• After 6 minutes the assistant records the power output (P1) and the athlete's average heart rate (H1)
• The athlete rests for 10 minutes
• The athlete starts cycling
• The assistant adjusts the load on the bicycle ergometer to raise the athlete's heart rate to between 150-170bpm
• The assistant resets the power output to zero and starts the stopwatch
• After 6 minutes the assistant records the power output (P2) and the athlete's average heart rate (H2)

Assessment

I have been unable to locate any normative data for this test.

For each session, enter the heart rate and power output and then select the 'Calculate' button.

 1st session Heart Rate bpm Power watts 2nd session Heart Rate bpm Power watts Power at 170bpm watts

The mathematical approach to determining the power output at 170 bpm is the Polynomial Approximation method.

Power output = (((P1 × H2) - (P2 × H1)) ÷ (H2 - H1)) + (170 × ((P1 - P2) ÷ (H1 - H2)))

Example

An athlete produces the following test results:

• Session 1 - average heart rate of 130 bpm (H1) and a power output of 100 watts (P1))
• Session 2 - average heart rate of 153 bpm (H2) and a power output of 150 watts (P2)

Power output = (((100 × 153) - (150 × 130)) ÷ (153-130)) + (170 × ((100-150) ÷ (130-153))

Power output = ((15300 - 19500) ÷ 23) + (170 × (-50 ÷ -23))

Power output = -182.61 + 369.57

Power at 170bpm = 186.96 watts

Analysis

Analysis of the test result compares 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 projected heart rate of 170 beats per minute (bpm).

Target Group

This test is suitable for sprint cyclists and sprinters but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability

Test reliability refers to how 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 various factors that may influence the results and therefore, the test reliability.

Validity

Test validity refers to the degree to which the test measures what it claims to measure and the extent to which inferences, conclusions, and decisions made based on test scores are appropriate and meaningful. This test provides a means to monitor training on the athlete's physical development.

• Minimal equipment required
• Simple to set up and conduct

• Specialist equipment required
• Assistant required to administer the test