Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2023) 22, 68 - 74   DOI:

Research article
Easy Prediction of the Maximal Lactate Steady-State in Young and Older Men and Women
Silvia Pogliaghi1, , Massimo Teso1, Luca Ferrari1, Jan Boone3, Juan M. Murias2, Alessandro L. Colosio3
Author Information
1 Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Verona, Italy
2 Faculty of Kinesiology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada
3 Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium

Silvia Pogliaghi
✉ MD, PhD Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, University of Verona, Italy
Publish Date
Received: 17-10-2022
Accepted: 15-01-2023
Published (online): 01-03-2023

Maximal Lactate steady-state (MLSS) demarcates sustainable from unsustainable exercise and is used for evaluation/monitoring of exercise capacity. Still, its determination is physically challenging and time-consuming. This investigation aimed at validating a simple, submaximal approach based on blood lactate accumulation ([Δlactate]) at the third minute of cycling in a large cohort of men and women of different ages. 68 healthy adults (40♂, 28♀, 43 ± 17 years (range 19-78), VO2max 45 ± 11 ml-1·kg-1·min-1 (25-68)) performed 3-5 constant power output (PO) trials with a target duration of 30 minutes to determine the PO corresponding to MLSS. During each trial, [Δlactate] was calculated as the difference between the third minute and baseline. A multiple linear regression was computed to estimate MLSS based on [Δlactate], subjects` gender, age and the trial PO. The estimated MLSS was compared to the measured value by paired t-test, correlation, and Bland-Altman analysis. The group mean value of estimated MLSS was 180 ± 51 W, not significantly different from (p = 0.98) and highly correlated with (R2 = 0.89) measured MLSS (180 ± 54 watts). The bias between values was 0.17 watts, and imprecision 18.2 watts. This simple, submaximal, time- and cost-efficient test accurately and precisely predicts MLSS across different samples of healthy individuals (adjusted R2 = 0.88) and offers a practical and valid alternative to the traditional MLSS determination.

Key words: Cycling, maximal metabolic steady state, critical power, blood lactate, aging, functional test

           Key Points
  • Lactate accumulation from a submaximal test can be used to predict the maximal lactate steady state (MLSS).
  • This approach was previously proposed in young men, and it is here extended to women and elderly people.
  • Within the limitations of lactate measurements, this 3-min submaximal test offers an economical and practical approach to obtain a first estimate of the MLSS.
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