Assess Your Anaerobic and Aerobic Threshold Rates Using The Conconi Test

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Assess Your Anaerobic and Aerobic Threshold Rates Using The Conconi Test

Assess Your Anaerobic and Aerobic Threshold Rates Using The Conconi Test. This article will discusses the conconi test that can used for test our anaerobic and aerobic ability. The Conconi test (Conconi et al, 1982) is a simple method for measuring the approximate values of an individual's anaerobic and aerobic threshold rates.

Required resources
To perform the test you require:
  • Heart Rate Monitor (HRM) which records your heart rate for subsequent analysis
  • 400 metre track or treadmill
  • Stop watch
  • Assistant to record your 200 metre times.
Conducting the Conconi test on a 400m Track
In the Conconi test the athlete increases their speed gradually every 200 metres and the time, at each 200 metre point, is recorded. This gradual increase in speed every 200 metres is maintained until the athlete is unable to maintain the pace.

Before you start the test you need to determine your starting speed and how much you increment your speed by every 200 metres. The total distance covered by the test should be between 2.5 km and 4 km to ensure sufficient information is available for subsequent calculations.

Speed versus heart rate is then plotted on a graph from which the athlete's anaerobic threshold can be determined.
  • Perform a 5 to 10 minute warm up program.
  • Set the HRM to use a 5 second recording interval.
  • Start the HRM watch at the starting point.
  • Every 200 metres record the time.
  • Every 200 metres increase your speed.
  • End the test when you can no longer maintain the pace.
  • Stop the HRM recording.
  • Perform a 10 minute warm down program.
Conducting the Conconi test on a treadmill
  • Perform a 5 to 10 minute warm up program
  • Set the HRM to use a 5 second recording interval
  • Start the treadmill speed at the required start speed
  • Start the HRM stop watch
  • Record the time every 200 metres
  • Increase the treadmill speed every 200 metres by 0.5km/hr
  • End the test when you have reached your maximum heart rate or you can continue no longer
  • Stop the HRM recording
  • Perform a 10 minute warm down program.
Calculation of anaerobic threshold
From the HRM determine the heart rate at each recorded time interval. Determine the speed for each 200 metres and then for each 200 metres plot speed versus heart rate on a graph. You will find the graph gradually rises to start with and then flattens before rising again. This flattening in the graph indicates the athlete's anaerobic threshold. In the example conconi graph below this flattening appears to be around 182 bpm.
Conconi Test
Calculation of aerobic threshold
A good estimate for aerobic threshold has proved to be the anaerobic threshold minus 20 bpm. In the example above this would be 182 - 20 = 162 bpm.

Analysis of the result is by comparing it with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement.

Target group
This test is suitable for endurance athletes and players of endurance sports (eg football, rugby) but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.

Reliability would depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual's level of motivation to perform the test. It has been shown that there is a lack of reliability in Conconi's heart rate deflection point (Jones, A and Doust J[1995]).

There are no published tables to relate results to potential performance in competition.

Mackenzie, Brian. 2005. 101 Performance Evaluation Test. Electric World Plc. London.

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