Cycling power outputs predict functional threshold power and maximum oxygen uptake

Denham, Joshua ORCID: and Scott-Hamilton, John and Hagstrom, Amanda D. and Gray, Adrian J. (2021) Cycling power outputs predict functional threshold power and maximum oxygen uptake. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 34 (12). pp. 3489-3497. ISSN 1064-8011


Functional threshold power (FTP) has emerged as a correlate of lactate threshold and is commonly assessed by recreational and professional cyclists for tailored exercise programing. To identify whether results from traditional aerobic and anaerobic cycling tests could predict FTP and V̇o2max, we analyzed the association between estimated FTP, maximum oxygen uptake (V̇o2max [ml·kg−1·min−1]) and power outputs obtained from a maximal cycle ergometry cardiopulmonary exercise test (CPET), and a 30-second Wingate test in a heterogeneous cohort of cycle-trained and untrained individuals (N = 40, mean ± SD; age: 32.6 ± 10.6 years; relative V̇o2max: 46.8 ± 9.1 ml·kg−1·min−1). The accuracy and sensitivity of the prediction equations were also assessed in young men (N = 11) before and after a 6-week sprint interval training intervention. Moderate-to-strong positive correlations were observed between FTP, relative V̇o2max, and power outputs achieved during incremental and 30-second Wingate cycling tests (r = 0.39–0.965, all p ≤ .05). Whilst maximum power achieved during incremental cycle testing (Pmax) and relative V̇o2max were predictors of FTP (r2 = 0.93), age and FTP (W·kg−1) estimated relative V̇o2max (r2 = 0.80). Our findings confirm that FTP predominantly relies on aerobic metabolism and indicate that both prediction models are sensitive enough to detect meaningful exercise-induced changes in FTP and V̇o2max. Thus, coaches should consider limiting the time and load demands placed on athletes by conducting a maximal cycle ergometry CPET to estimate FTP. In addition, a 20-minute FTP test is a convenient method to assess V̇o2max and is particularly relevant for exercise professionals without access to expensive CPET equipment.

Statistics for USQ ePrint 43629
Statistics for this ePrint Item
Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Permanent restricted access to Published version in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: No Faculty
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2021 03:01
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2021 23:34
Uncontrolled Keywords: cardiorespiratory fitness, anaerobic power, endurance training, FTP, sprint interval training, high-intensity interval training
Fields of Research (2008): 11 Medical and Health Sciences > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science > 110602 Exercise Physiology
Fields of Research (2020): 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology
Identification Number or DOI:

Actions (login required)

View Item Archive Repository Staff Only