Predicting v o max from Treadmill Performance in American-Style Football Athletes

Stephen F. Crouse, Homer Tolson, Jason Lytle, Kalen A. Johnson, Steven E. Martin, John S. Green, Jonathan Oliver, Aaron Carbuhn, Bradley Lambert, Joe P. Bramhall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Crouse, SF, Tolson, H, Lytle, J, Johnson, KA, Martin, SE, Green, JS, Oliver, J, Carbuhn, A, Lambert, B, and Bramhall, JP. Predicting Vomax from treadmill performance in American-style football athletes. J Strength Cond Res 33(4): 1028-1034, 2019 - Prediction equations are often used to estimate Vomax in the general population but are lacking for American-style football (ASF) athletes. We sought to develop a regression model to estimate Vomax from treadmill exercise time in ASF athletes and compare our football Vomax model with 2 published prediction equations (Foster et al., 1984, and Bruce, 1973). American-style football athletes (N = 472, age = 18 ± 1 year, height = 186.1 ± 8.2 cm, and body mass = 101.8 ± 20.4 kg) underwent treadmill exercise to voluntary exhaustion (Bruce protocol). Maximal exercise time was recorded in minutes (Tmin), and Vomax was simultaneously measured (M-Vomax, mlO·kg-1·min-1) by an automated gas-analysis system. Athletes were then randomly divided into validation and cross-validation groups (n = 236). Linear regression yielded estimates of Vomax from Tmin as follows: validation Vomax = 4.012 × Tmin - 4.628 (r2 = 0.678, p < 0.001, and SEE = 4.07); cross-validation Vomax = 4.025 × Tmin - 4.693 (r2 = 0.661, p < 0.001, and SEE = -4.16). These equations had a cross-validation coefficient of 0.813 and a double cross-validation coefficient of 0.823. Differences between the slopes of the 2 equations were not significant (t-test, p = 0.9603). Because validation and cross-validation groups were not statistically different on any variables measured (multivariate analysis of variance, p > 0.05), all athletes were combined to yield our final prediction equation: football Vomax = 4.017 × Tmin - 4.644 (r2 = 0.670, p < 0.001, and SEE = 4.11). Repeated-measures analysis of variance demonstrated significant differences (p < 0.001) in estimates of Vomax among Foster (44.1 ± 6.1), Bruce (47.1 ± 5.5), and our football (45.1 ± 5.8) equations. Foster and Bruce Vomax estimates were also significantly different from M-Vomax (diff = -0.975 and 1.995, respectively, p < 0.001). Vomax of ASF athletes can be reasonably estimated by our football prediction equation using maximal treadmill time as the predictor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1028-1034
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2019


  • aerobic power
  • maximum aerobic capacity
  • oxygen uptake
  • physical fitness
  • sports medicine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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