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Using a site-specific technical error to establish training responsiveness: a preliminary explorative study

Authors Weatherwax RM, Harris NK, Kilding AE, Dalleck LC

Received 28 October 2017

Accepted for publication 11 January 2018

Published 8 March 2018 Volume 2018:9 Pages 47—53


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Prof. Dr. Andreas Imhoff

Ryan M Weatherwax,1,2 Nigel K Harris,1 Andrew E Kilding,3 Lance C Dalleck2

1Auckland University of Technology, Human Potential Center, Auckland, New Zealand; 2Western State Colorado University, Recreation and Exercise & Sport Science, Gunnison, CO, USA; 3Auckland University of Technology, Sports Performance Research Institute New Zealand, Auckland, New Zealand

Background: Even though cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF) training elicits numerous health benefits, not all individuals have positive training responses following a structured CRF intervention. It has been suggested that the technical error (TE), a combination of biological variability and measurement error, should be used to establish specific training responsiveness criteria to gain further insight on the effectiveness of the training program. To date, most training interventions use an absolute change or a TE from previous findings, which do not take into consideration the training site and equipment used to establish training outcomes or the specific cohort being evaluated. The purpose of this investigation was to retrospectively analyze training responsive­ness of two CRF training interventions using two common criteria and a site-specific TE.
Methods: Sixteen men and women completed two maximal graded exercise tests and verification bouts to identify maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and establish a site-specific TE. The TE was then used to retrospectively analyze training responsiveness in comparison to commonly used criteria: percent change of >0% and >+5.6% in VO2max.
Results: The TE was found to be 7.7% for relative VO2max. χ2 testing showed significant differences in all training criteria for each intervention and pooled data from both interventions, except between %Δ >0 and %Δ >+7.7% in one of the investigations. Training nonresponsiveness ranged from 11.5% to 34.6%.
Conclusion: Findings from the present study support the utility of site-specific TE criterion to quantify training responsiveness. A similar methodology of establishing a site-specific and even cohort specific TE should be considered to establish when true cardiorespiratory training adaptations occur.

Keywords: training responders, training nonresponders, cardiorespiratory fitness, exercise training

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