Validation of ice skating protocol to predict aerobic power in hockey players
Petrella, Nicholas J.
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Validation ofan Ice Skating Protocol to Predict Aerobic Power in Hockey Players In assessing the physiological capacity of ice hockey players, researchers have often reported the outcomes from different anaerobic skate tests, and the general physical fitness of participants. However, with respect to measuring the aerobic power of ice hockey players, few studies have reported a sport-specific protocol, and currently there is a lack of cohort-specific information describing aerobic power based on evaluations using an on-ice protocol. The Faught Aerobic Skating Test (FAST) uses an on-ice continuous skating protocol to induce a physical stress on a participant's aerobic energy system. The FAST incorporates the principle of increasing workloads at measured time intervals during a continuous skating exercise. Regression analysis was used to determine the estimate of aerobic power within gender and age level. Data were collected on 532 hockey players, (males=384, females=148) ranging in age between 9 and 25 years. Participants completed a laboratory test to measure aerobic power using a modified Bruce protocol, and the on-ice FAST. Regression equations were developed for six male and female, age-specific cohorts separately. The most consistent predictors were weight and final stage completed on the FAST. These results support the application of the FAST to estimate aerobic power among hockey players with R^ values ranging from 0.174 to 0.396 and SEE ranging from 5.65 to 8.58 ml kg' min'' depending on the cohort. Thus we conclude that FAST to be an accurate predictor of aerobic power in age and gender-specific hockey playing cohorts.