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 (2024) 23, 351 - 357   DOI:

Research article
Assessment of Maximum Oxygen Uptake in Elite Youth Soccer Players: A Comparative Analysis of Smartwatch Technology, Yoyo Intermittent Recovery Test 2, and Respiratory Gas Analysis
Peter Düking1, , Ludwig Ruf2, Stefan Altmann2,3, Maximiliane Thron3, Philipp Kunz4, Billy Sperlich4
Author Information
1 Department of Sports Science and Movement Pedagogy, Technische Universität Braunschweig, Braunschweig, Germany
2 TSG ResearchLab gGmbH, Zuzenhausen, Germany
3 Institute of Sports and Sports Science, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany
4 Integrative and Experimental Exercise Science, Department of Sport Science, University of Würzburg, Würzburg, Germany

Peter Düking
✉ Department of Sports Science and Movement Pedagogy Technische Universität Braunschweig Braunschweig, Germany
Publish Date
Received: 10-01-2024
Accepted: 19-04-2024
Published (online): 01-06-2024

The maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) is a critical factor for endurance performance in soccer. Novel wearable technology may allow frequent assessment of V̇O2max during non-fatiguing warm-up runs of soccer players with minimal interference to soccer practice. The aim of this study was to assess the validity of VO2max provided by a consumer grade smartwatch (Garmin Forerunner 245, Garmin, Olathe, USA, Software:13.00) and the YoYo Intermittent Recovery Run 2 (YYIR2) by comparing it with respiratory gas analysis. 24 trained male youth soccer players performed different tests to assess VO2max: i) a treadmill test employing respiratory gas analysis, ii) YYIR2 and iii) during a non-fatiguing warm-up run of 10 min wearing a smartwatch as recommended by the device-manufacturer on 3 different days within 2 weeks. As the device-manufacturer indicates that validity of smartwatch-derived VO2max may differ with an increase in runs, 16 players performed a second run with the smartwatch to test this claim. The main evidence revealed that the smartwatch showed an ICC of 0.37 [95% CI: -0.25; 0.71] a mean absolute percentage error (MAPE) of 5.58% after one run, as well as an ICC of 0.54 [95% CI: -0.3; 8.4] and a MAPE of 1.06% after the second run with the smartwatch. The YYIR2 showed an ICC of 0.17 [95% CI: -5.7; 0.6]; and MAPE of 4.2%. When using the smartwatch for VO2max assessment in a non-fatiguing run as a warm-up, as suggested by the device manufacturer before soccer practice, the MAPE diminishes after two runs. Therefore, for more accurate VO2max assessment with the smartwatch, we recommend to perform at least two runs to reduce the MAPE and enhance the validity of the findings.

Key words: Data-informed Training, Digital Health, eHealth, Technology, Wearable, mHealth

           Key Points
  • Assessing maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) is relevant for soccer players, but require expensive and time consuming procedures e.g. by employing respiratory gas analysis
  • Selected Smartwatches provide players with VO2max values if worn e.g. during non-fatiguing outdoor runs if sufficient GPS and heart rate data is available
  • The mean absolute percentage error between the Smartwatch estimated VO2max (after 2 runs) and a respiratory gas analyzer was 1.06% in our study.
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