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Emergence of the verification phase procedure for confirming ‘true’V̇O2max

Midgley, A. W.; Carroll, S.


A. W. Midgley


Traditional VO2max criteria are typically based on attainment of a VO2 plateau, and threshold values for the respiratory exchange ratio, heart rate and blood lactate concentration. Despite long-standing criticisms directed at these criteria, their use remains widespread. This article discusses an alternative procedure, termed the verification phase, for confirming the attainment of true VO2max. Following a continuous incremental exercise test to the limit of tolerance and appropriate recovery period, the verification phase is performed and is characterized by a supramaximal square wave exercise bout. Consistent peak VO2 values in the incremental and verification phases, confirms that a true VO2max has been attained. Six recent studies investigated the utility of the verification phase for evaluating true VO2max. These studies consistently found small insignificant mean differences between the maximal VO2 attained in the incremental and verification phases. However, this group mean approach does not identify individual subjects who may not have attained a true VO2max. Notably, only one of the six studies reported a criterion threshold to verify the VO2max of individual subjects. Further research is required to investigate the utility of different verification phase procedures and to establish a suitable verification criterion threshold for confirming true VO2max.


Midgley, A. W., & Carroll, S. (2009). Emergence of the verification phase procedure for confirming ‘true’V̇O2max. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, 19(3), 313-322.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Nov 21, 2008
Online Publication Date Apr 22, 2009
Publication Date 2009-06
Journal Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Print ISSN 0905-7188
Electronic ISSN 1600-0838
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 19
Issue 3
Pages 313-322
Keywords Criteria; Maximal oxygen uptake; Plateau; Testing
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