Optimised and non-optimised high intensity cycle ergometry and running ability in international rugby union players

N.E. Thomas, J.S. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The purpose of this study was to analyze sprint-running times and performance indices obtained using two 30 s friction loaded high intensity cycle ergometry protocols. International rugby union players (n=20) volunteered as subjects. Protocol one consisted of an optimization procedure where subjects were optimized for total body mass (TBMOP). Protocol two used standard loads for cycle ergometry that were non-optimized (87 g/kg body mass, NONOP). Running ability was recorded over distances ranging from 30 to 200 m. Respective peak power outputs (PPO) generated during NONOP and TBMOP were 1088 ± 131 and 1207 ± 165 Watts. Times recorded for the running tests were 4 ± 0.2 s, 6.3 ± 0.3 s, 12.3 ± 0.7 s, 19.3 ± 1 s and 27.1 ± 1.8 s for 30, 50, 100, 150 and 200 m, respectively. Significant differences were observed between power outputs (PPO NONOP v PPO TBMOP P<0.05; EPO NONOP v EPO TBMOP P < 0.05). Differences were also reported for resistances P < 0.01 (6.7 ± 1 kg NONOP v 8.6 ± 1.7 kg TBMOP) and fatigue index (P < 0.01). These results indicate that cycle ergometer optimization protocols produce significantly higher power profiles when compared to standard loads for cycle ergometry. High intensity cycle ergometry is only a moderate predictor of running ability in rugby union players
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-35
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Exercise Physiology Online
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2005
Externally publishedYes



  • cycle ergometry
  • load optimization
  • power output
  • sprint running

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