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"Medicina Sportiva" No.14 - 2008 The 15-th Sports Medicine Balkan Congress
VARIA


PHYSICAL ASSESSMENT WITH TECHNOGYM FITNESS EQUIPMENT

Fabrizio Cecchinelli,  Simonetta Senni, Benvenuti Paolo, Silvano Zanuso
Technogym Medical-Scientific Research Department Gambettola, Italy


The assessment of the physical fitness is of paramount importance in sport medicine as well as in clinical setting. The maximum oxygen consumption (VO2 max) measurement can be used to evaluate the efficiency of the subject's cardiovascular system. The VO2 max is an expression of the organism's maximum capacity to take in and use oxygen per unit of time. The main factors that influence this value can be broken down into central factors, responsible for oxygen intake and transport, and peripheral factors , responsible for the cellular use of oxygen. The VO2 max can be influenced by the level and type of workout, gender (higher values for men) and age, and differs according to which muscle groups are used during the test. Checking the VO 2 max periodically gives continuous feedback on the effects of the training program and the subject's level of adaptation to the workload.
Maximum aerobic power can be measured directly, using sophisticated and costly equipment that continuously monitors oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, pulmonary ventilation and heart rate (HR). The test method is to increase workloads step by step until the subject is completely exhausted. It is, therefore, a maximum test calling for a high level of commitment from the subject, and requires highly specialized personnel. The VO2 max is calculated either as an absolute value (l/min) or in relation to the subject's body weight (ml/min/kg).
As an alternative, the maximum aerobic power can be measured indirectly, the correlation between VO 2 and heart rate has led to the development of indirect methods that require simple, less costly and therefore more widely accessible equipment. These methods are useful for reliable, large-scale checking of aerobic metabolism efficiency as measured in health and fitness clubs
In a physical exercise of increasing intensity, the relationship between the cardiac output trend (Q), which represents the quantity of blood the heart pumps into circulation per unit of time (minute), and the workload, or VO2, is generally linear. The cardiac output is given by the product of the systolic output (SO), which represents the quantity of blood that the heart pumps into circulation with each beat, and the heart rate:  Q = SO*HR
Since the VO2 = Q X (CaO2 - CvO2), the VO2 presents a linear correlation with HR.
The CPR (Constant Pulse Rate)  system, which adjusts the workload to keep the heart rate constant, has also led to the development of new methods of testing VO2 max and new ways of programming cardiovascular training. The most used protocols will be analysed. (Bruce, Balke, Anstrand, Naughton, ACSM metabolic equation). Practical indirect test will be carried out on treadmill and bike.





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