Work Capacity of Athlete Measured in Bike Test (Aug, 1938)

Work Capacity of Athlete Measured in Bike Test
How much work can an athlete turn out, and what does it cost him in oxygen consumption and heart effort? A group of Stanford University athletes has set out to measure their work-output capacity and “fuel” consumption while pedaling a test bicycle. The driving sprocket of the “bike” is connected to a dynamometer which translates leg effort into horsepower. Over the subject’s head is placed a copper helmet into which measured air is pumped, then exhausted air from the lungs is piped away to be measured for oxygen depletion and production of carbon dioxide. One forty-five minute bicycle pumping test showed that the student breathed twenty gallons of air per minute and his pulse was 195 beats per minute, sending seven and one-fourth gallons of blood through the heart each minute. His work output was one-quarter horsepower.

1 comment
  1. muskrat says: February 28, 20077:35 pm

    They’re still doing pretty much the same test, with the same technology today. (Without the dorky helmet).
    The Journal of Applied Physiology published a study of Lance Armstrong back in 2005. And found that Lance is in fact, not human.

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