Saturday, 13 Jul 2024

Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test

The Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test, also known as the Astrand Test, is a submaximal cycle ergometer aerobic fitness test. It measures the relationship between heart rate during exercise and the percentage of maximal aerobic capacity. This test has been widely used since its development by P.-O. Åstrand and I. Ryhming in 1954 and subsequent modifications.

Test Procedure and Equipment

For the Astrand Test, you will need a cycle ergometer, a clock or stopwatch, a heart rate monitor, and an optional ECG monitor. The subject warms up on the cycle ergometer for 2 to 3 minutes with no resistance and a cadence of 50. Following this, the subject pedals for 6 minutes at a workload chosen to elicit a steady-state heart rate between 125 and 170 bpm. Heart rate is recorded every minute during the test.

Scoring and Estimation of VO2max

The lower the steady-state heart rate, the better the fitness level. The steady-state heart rate and workload are looked up on a nomogram to determine an estimation of VO2max. There is also a formula that the nomogram is based on, which takes into account gender and the workload in kg.m/min.

Advantages and Disadvantages

The Astrand Test is a simple test to administer, reasonably accurate, and suitable for ECG monitoring during exercise. However, it may be influenced by the variability in maximum heart rate between individuals. It tends to underestimate the fitness of individuals with a high maximum heart rate and overestimate fitness with advancing age.

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Q: How is the Astrand Test different from other cycling tests?
The Astrand Test is a submaximal test that specifically measures the relationship between heart rate and aerobic capacity. Other cycling tests, such as the YMCA Cycle Ergometer submaximal test, may have different protocols and focus on different aspects of fitness.

Q: Is the Astrand Test suitable for everyone?
The Astrand Test is generally suitable for individuals of various fitness levels. However, it is always recommended to consult with a healthcare professional before engaging in any exercise test.

Q: How valid is the Astrand Test in estimating VO2max?
The correlation between the Astrand Test and VO2max is approximately 0.85 – 0.90, indicating a reasonably high validity.


The Astrand-Rhyming Cycle Ergometer Test is a popular submaximal test for measuring aerobic fitness. It involves pedaling on a cycle ergometer for 6 minutes at a workload that aims to achieve a steady-state heart rate between 125 and 170 bpm. The test provides an estimation of VO2max, which is an indicator of aerobic capacity. While the test is simple to administer and reasonably accurate, it may be influenced by individual variations in maximum heart rate and age. Overall, the Astrand Test is a valuable tool for assessing aerobic fitness levels. Visit for more information.

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