Veloergometry is a diagnostic method that examines the body’s response to gradual physical exertion. The results make it possible to compare the patient’s physical form with the age and sex averages and to check development in a repeated examination. Veloergometry can detect latent cardiovascular disease at an early stage. If you have symptoms or abnormalities suggestive of heart disease on the cardiac stress test, your doctor will refer you to a cardiologist.
Veloergometry is the right way to start training, especially if the person has not been exercising before or has been physically inactive for a long time (6-12 months). Cardiac stress test is a good diagnostic method to supplement your blood count and resting ECG (heart film) results to check your heart health. Experts recommend that each person takes a stress test at least once in their lifetime. Even enthusiasts are advised to check their health from time to time in order to support their training process and monitor sports development and the effect of training on physical fitness.
The purpose of the cardiac stress test is not simply to determine your maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) and compare the results with your neighbor, but to obtain valuable information about individual stress capacity and resilience. Following recommendations of specialists, it is possible to train in individual heart rate zones after in order to develop your aerobic endurance safely and strengthen cardiovascular health.
Medihub veloergometry can be used to determine:
- general physical ability or aerobic endurance;
- physical fitness of the beginner;
- the development of an athlete and the effectiveness of training.
How is a cardiac stress test performed?
Veloergometry is performed by a sports doctor and assisted by a sports physiotherapist. Before accessing the stress test, the subject must read and sign a consent form explaining the risks and contraindications. In preparation for the test, disposable electrodes are affixed to the subject’s chest. A 12-lead resting ECG is performed before the test, since a normal resting ECG is a prerequisite for continuing with the cardiac stress test. During veloergometry, the workload increases in steps of 25 or 50 W. The duration of each step is 2-3 minutes to reach a steady state.
Depending on the patient’s wishes, previous cardiac stress tests, health condition and chosen sport type, the load on the cycling ergometer is gradually increased. Your doctor will monitor your cardiovascular adjustment on an ECG during exercise and recovery. At each exercise level, heart rate (SLS) is recorded, blood pressure (RR) is measured, and the patient’s subjective effort (RPE) is asked. The cardiac stress test is terminated when the maximum result is achieved or when the subject is feeling unwell. The doctor will terminate the test if the patient’s health deteriorates or if the desired result is achieved. At the end of the exercise test, the ECG, heart rate and blood pressure is monitored for 5 minutes to assess the body’s ability to recover. After veloergometry, the physiotherapist or doctor will summarize the results of the test. Based on the summary, it is possible to make recommendations for further training and achievement of individual goals.
Based on the results of the cardiac stress test, the performance indicators are assessed:
- Maximum load W and load capacity W / kg;
- PWC 170 and PWC 170 / kg: shows exercise capacity at a heart rate of 170 beats per minute;
- MET: shows how many times the subject is able to increase their oxygen consumption compared to rest. The higher the MET, the better the person’s endurance or aerobic performance. 1 MET = 3.5 ml O2 min / kg.
- Maximum oxygen consumption or VO2max *: Maximum oxygen consumption (oxygen ceiling) characterizes the body’s resistance to long-term exercise. The higher the maximum oxygen consumption, the better the endurance or aerobic performance.
* Maximum oxygen consumption VO2max is calculated in the cardiac stress test by the indirect method.
Veloergometry for amateur and competitive athletes
In addition to the usual cardiac stress test, Medihub offers amateur and competitive athletes as well as motivated beginners the opportunity to measure lactate levels in blood. Lactate (often called lactic acid) is an intermediate in the metabolism of anaerobic carbohydrates. The concentration increases in the muscles under intense exercise. The more trained a person is, the longer the body can withstand intense exercise without increasing lactate levels. Both beginners and experienced athletes can use the lactate test to find out their personal recommended training intensity zones, i.e. the heart rate of the aerobic and anaerobic thresholds. The theoretical heart rate for the aerobic threshold is determined at 2 mmol / l and the heart rate for anaerobic at 3 mmol / l. If the goal is to train on a veloergometer, the recommended power (W) is also determined. A repeat test (e.g. 3, 6 or 12 months later) can be used to check the effectiveness of current training program and the effect on metabolism. Lactate levels are determined once from the capillary blood before the start of the cardiac stress test and at the end of each load level. For this the specialist has to prick the ear. The result of the analysis is determined in 13 seconds.