Determination of critical power in trained rowers using a three-minute all-out rowing test

Ching Feng Cheng, Yi Shan Yang, Hui Mei Lin, Chia Lun Lee*, Chun Yi Wang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

40 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to determine whether the hyperbolic relationship between power output and time to exhaustion (work - time and power - [1/time] models) could be estimated from a modified version of a three-minute all-out rowing test (3-min RT), and to investigate the test-retest reliability of the 3-min RT. Eighteen male rowers volunteered to participate in this study and underwent an incremental exercise test (IRT), three constant-work rate tests to establish the critical power (CP) and the curvature constant (W′), and two 3-min RTs against a fixed resistance to estimate the end-test power (EP) and work-done-above-EP (WEP) on a rowing ergometer. Peak (VO 2peak) and maximal (VO 2max) oxygen uptakes were calculated as the highest 30 s average achieved during the 3-min RT and IRT tests. The results showed that EP and WEP determinations, based on the 3-min RT, have moderate reproducibility (P = 0.002). EP (269 ± 39 W) was significantly correlated with CP (work - time, 272 ± 30 W; power - [1/time], 276 ± 32 W) (P = 0.000), with no significant differences observed between the EP and CP values (P = 0.474). However, WEP did not significantly correlate with W′ (P = 0.254), and was significantly higher than the W′ values. There was a significant correlation between the VO 2peak (60 ± 3 ml kg -1 min -1) and VO 2max (61 ± 4 ml kg -1 min -1) (P = 0.003). These results indicate that the 3-min RT has moderate reliability, and is able to appropriately estimate the aerobic capacity in rowers, particularly for the CP and VO 2 max parameters.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1251-1260
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2012 Apr


  • Aerobic capacity
  • Exercise intensity
  • Exercise testing
  • Indoor rowing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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