is a simple non-maximal cycle ergometer test for estimation of cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max). It is low risk, easily administrated and requires neither advanced laboratory equipment nor expertise knowledge in work physiology. The test is suitable in situations when a maximal test is not feasible, for example in health evaluations. The test is described in detail on www.gih.se/ekblombaktest, where an excel application is also available for prediction by the Ekblom-Bak method.


Professor Åstrand submaximal cycle test

The Åstrand Test, a cycle test devised by professor Per-Olof Åstrand, a pioneer in modern exercise physiology at the Swedish School of Sport and Health Sciences (GIH) in Stockholm. The objective of the 6-minute submaximal cycle test is to monitor the VO2 max, which is beneficial for athletes as well as for medical rehabilitation as patients do not need to perform at maximum capacity.

Based around the same principle and with modern technology, Monark Exercise is one of the leading manufacturers of ergometers for testing and training. The bikes can handle extreme loads and are the obvious choice amongst athletes with tough demands on their training and for researchers in sports medicine. For medical use, the product range is especially beneficial as it can be controlled by different ECG systems.

Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test

The Astrand Test is a submaximal cycle ergometer aerobic fitness test best suited in rehabilitation and health purposes.

  • equipment required: cycle ergometer, clock or stopwatch, heart rate monitor, ECG monitor (optional)
  • description: Athletes pedal on a cycle ergometer at a constant workload for 7 minutes. Heart rate is measured every minute, and the steady state heart rate is determined.
  • scoring: Generally the lower the heart beat the better your fitness. The steady state heart rate is looked up on published tablesto determine an estimation of VO2max.
  • advantages: simple test to administer, reasonably accurate and appropriate for ECG monitoring during exercise.



The Wingate Anaerobic test is arguably one of the most famous laboratory fitness tests. It is commonly performed on a cycle ergometer, and is primarily used to measure an individual’s anaerobic capacity and anaerobic power outputs. In its simplest form, this test can be conducted using only a Monark cycle ergometer and a stopwatch. As this test only requires the participant to cycle at maximal effort for 30-seconds, its simplicity and time-effectiveness means it is an extremely popular testing protocol. Though this test is predominantly performed on a cycle ergometer, it can also be performed on an arm crank ergometer.

Originally based on the Cumming’s test, this test was developed at the Wingate Institute in Israel during the early 1970s. Since then, it has undergone modifications, and has also been used as a basis to design newer tests of a similar nature.


The Wingate test is capable of identifying two primary measures: anaerobic capacity; and anaerobic power outputs. These values are vital factors in sports which demand short-duration maximal efforts. As a result, this particular test may be a useful assessment tool for athletes who compete in sports of a similar nature.

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