Date of Last Revision

2023-05-03 12:50:31


Exercise Science - PrePhysical Therapy

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Date of Expected Graduation

Spring 2019


In the world of exercise prescription there are two major protocols that are used to test an individual’s aerobic capacity at a submaximal intensity using a stationary bicycle. These protocols require participants to exercise at a constant work rate until a specified hear rate is reached. Data can then be analyzed to determine the participant’s aerobic capacity. The objective of this literature review is to look at these two tests – the Åstrand-Rhyming cycle ergometer test (ARCET) and the YMCA cycle ergometer test – and determine if one is better than the other for different populations and which one an exercise professional should choose when working with patients. The literature that is currently out there has validated both tests as good predictions for aerobic capacity when compared to a full maximal exertion test. A primary area that both tests fall short in is predicting aerobic capacity in ethnicities other than those that were used to build the protocol during development. This typically causes a higher error in prediction for populations such as African-Americans compared to Caucasian populations. Although there is little research directly comparing the two tests together, the current literature points towards the YMCA test having a higher degree of accuracy in its predictions when compared to the ARCET. However, either test can be used in a fitness or clinical setting to predict a patient’s aerobic capacity with the knowledge that there will be some degree in error.

Research Sponsor

Dr. Rachele Kappler

First Reader

Dr. Ronald Otterstetter

Second Reader

Stacey Buser



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