Validation of the 12-min swim as a field test of peak aerobic power in young men

Donovan S. Conley, Kirk J. Cureton, Don R. Dengel, Peter G. Weyand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


The purposes of this study were to validate the 12-min swim as a field test of VO2peak and to compare its validity with that of the 12-min run. Thirty-six young men completed 12-min swim, 12-min run, tethered swimming (TS) VO2peak, and treadmill running (TR) VO2peak tests within 3 wk. Mean (+SD) 12-min swim and run distances were 581 ± 88 and 2797 ± 290 m, and mean TS and TR VO2peak values were 50.3 ± 6.2 and 57.2 ± 5.5 ml-kg BW-1-min-1, respectively. Correlation coefficients and standard errors of estimate for predictions of TS VO2peak from the 12-min swim (0.40 and 5.7 ml-kg BW-1-min-1) and run (0.74 and 4.2 ml-kg BW-1.min-1) and for predictions of TR VO2peak from the 12-min swim (0.38 and 5.1 ml-kg BW-1.min-1.) and run (0.88 and 2.6 mlkg BW-1.-min-1) indicated that the 12-min run was a more accurate predictor of TS or TR VO2peak than the 12-min swim. We conclude that the 12-min swim has relatively low validity as a field test of peak aerobic power and that it should not be considered an equally valid alternative to the 12-min run in young male recreational swimmers. However, the accuracy of predicting VO2peak from the 12-min swim is as good as some other commonly used methods, and, therefore, it may be adequate for fitness classification in situations in which a high level of accuracy is not needed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)766-773
Number of pages8
JournalMedicine and science in sports and exercise
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 1991


  • Aerobic capacity
  • Exertion
  • Metabolism
  • Oxygen consumption
  • Physical fitness
  • Running
  • Swimming


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