Know the Bruce protocol to calculate your oxygen consumption

There are different ways to measure and increase the strength and capacity of the body for training. But you should always keep in mind that achieving a physical state at the level of elite athletes is not a goal that can be achieved overnight, since this requires effort, discipline, commitment and dedication.

It is normal that, when starting a new routine and leaving a sedentary lifestyle aside to start an active life, the muscles are not prepared and there is a high demand for oxygen consumption.

All this causes a feeling of weakness and gives the idea of ​​not being able to continue with the activity. However, over time, better performance is obtained, so the objectives can be met and new goals can be set.

For many, accompanying exercise with another dynamic activity is a way that helps stimulate sports capacity or skills. In fact, it has been proven that listening to music during workouts is positive for better performance.

This statement is based on the results of a study in which the Bruce test was used as a mechanism to measure the person’s performance in an activity in silence, as opposed to the same exercise routine but listening to music.

According to the results, during the musical training there was a greater distance traveled in kilometers. That is, somehow, the stimulation of rhythm and melodies allow people to perform better.

What is the Bruce test?

Possibly, if you do not practice sports regularly or train for competitions professionally, you are not very clear about what the Bruce test means. To help you, we must mention other test modalities such as the Cooper test or the beep test, which are usually more popular.

The Bruce test belongs to a protocol that is used to measure the effort and capacity that athletes present during the activity. Through this test, it is possible to control and estimate oxygen consumption. Thus, it is possible to obtain a result of the physical form and performance in the sports activity that each individual has.

In other words, the Bruce test is a test with which the level of work of the athlete can be calculated. In addition, it is one of the studies used in stress tests. Through this modality, the athlete can know the maximum oxygen consumption or VO2 MAX.

The results obtained in this test provide a parameter that allows the athlete to define the training, based on their needs. Therefore, the test is considered a useful and necessary tool.

How is the test done?

The person subjected to the Bruce test must climb on a treadmill for a maximum time of 21 minutes. During this period, the runner will be monitored through an electrocardiogram that measures the function, frequency, size and speed of the chambers, as well as the speed of the heartbeat and, in general, all the electrical activity of the heart. In addition, a control is carried out in the measurement of blood pressure.

To develop this study, there are differentiated stages, because there is an increase in the level of inclination and speed of the machine. Thus, the entire process is controlled.

What are the stages of the test?

The test is divided into seven stages, where the variables of time, speed and incline differ.

For stage one, with zero minutes, a speed of 2.7 km/h is maintained at an incline level of 10%. Going to stage two, with three minutes on the treadmill, the speed is increased to 4 km/h and an incline of 12%. Upon reaching stage three, after six minutes of activity, the speed increases to 5.4 km/h with an incline of 14%.

For the fourth stage, at nine minutes, the speed is 6.7 km/h with an incline percentage of 16%. While for the fifth stage, with 12 minutes on the treadmill, the speed is 8 km/h with an incline of 18%. In the sixth stage with 15 minutes, the speed is 8.8 km/h and 20% incline. To finish, the seventh stage is at 18 minutes and the speed is positioned at 9.6 km/h, with an incline level of 22%.

In this way, each station is fulfilled in three minutes. In each stage the incline and speed increase, so the physical activity becomes more complex as time goes by.

Alternative to do the Bruce test

Also, the Bruce test can be practiced in a modified version. To do this, two stages are added to the initial protocol. Both sessions should be three minutes long and run at a lower intensity, but these should be added at the start. The first is done without incline, at a speed of 2.7 km/h. After three minutes, it is passed to the next phase with a 5% incline, at the same speed of 2.7 km/h.

This test ends when the runner is no longer able to keep up with the pace involved in the stage in relation to time, speed and incline. When getting off the treadmill, the time spent on the treadmill should be recorded.

On the other hand, if you want to know an approximation of the maximum oxygen volume, it is necessary to apply some equations that vary depending on sex and physical form. For male athletes, the formula is VO2 MAX: 3.778 x (time) + 0.19. For sedentary men, the formula changes to VO2 MAX = 3.778 x (time) + 0.19. On the other hand, in the case of adults in a healthy state, the formula to apply is: VO2 max = 6.70 – 2.82 x (men = 1/ women = 2) + 0.056.

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