Validity of a new sport-specific endurance test in artistic gymnastics

Bessem Mkaouer, Samiha Amara, Raja Bouguezzi, Abderraouf Ben Abderrahmen, Helmi Chaabene*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: General and particularly sport-specific testing is an integral aspect of performance optimization in artistic gymnastics. In artistic gymnastics, however, only non-specific field tests have been used to assess endurance performance (e.g., Multistage Shuttle Run Test; Cooper's Test). Methods: This study aimed to examine the validity of a new sport-specific endurance test in artistic gymnastics. Fourteen elite-level gymnasts (i.e., eight males and six females) participated in this study. The newly developed artistic gymnastics-specific endurance test (AGSET) was conducted on two different occasions seven days apart to determine its reliability. To assess the concurrent validity of AGSET, participants performed the multistage shuttle run test (MSRT). Maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were directly assessed using a portable gas analyzer system during both protocols. Additionally, the total time maintained (TTM) during the AGSET, maximum heart rate (HRmax), maximal aerobic speed (MAS), and blood lactate concentration (BLa) during the two protocols were collected. Results: The main findings indicated that all variables derived from the AGSET (i.e., VO2max, MAS, HRmax, BLa, and RER) displayed very good relative (all intraclass correlation coefficients [ICC] > 0.90) and absolute (all typical errors of measurement [TEM] < 5%) reliability. Further, results showed that the ability of the AGSET to detect small changes in VO2max, MAS, BLa, and RER was good (smallest worthwhile change [SWC0.2] > TEM), except HRmax (SWC0.2 < TEM). Additionally, results showed a nearly perfect association between the VO2max values derived from the AGSET and MSRT (r = 0.985; coefficient of determination [R²] = 97%) with no statistically significant differences (p>0.05). The mean (bias) ± 95% limits of agreement between the two protocols were 0.28 ± 0.55 mlminkg-1. Discussion: AGSET seems to present very good reliability and concurrent validity for assessing endurance performance in elite artistic gymnastics. In addition, the newly developed protocol presents a good ability to detect small changes in performance.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1159807
JournalFrontiers in Sports and Active Living
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • aerobic endurance
  • artistic gymnastics
  • assessment
  • elite athletes
  • field test
  • physical fitness
  • reliability
  • validity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Anthropology
  • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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