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Aerobic capacity testing can be beneficial to coaches, physical educators, and trainers in the process of designing aerobic training programs. However, testing in a laboratory can be costly. Polar heart rate monitors provide a fitness test that estimates aerobic capacity without having to use expensive equipment. The purpose of this study was to determine the efficacy of the Polar fitness test in comparison to the laboratory test. Eighteen college age students completed the Polar fitness test along with a laboratory test for aerobic capacity. The laboratory test consisted of a maximal Bruce protocol treadmill test while the subject was connected to a metabolic cart. The study found that the Polar fitness test provides results that are not statistically different from the metabolic cart results (t = 1.681, p = 0.111). Additionally, the 2 tests were strongly correlated (r = 0.545, p = 0.019). This indicates that the Polar fitness test may be an appropriate means of aerobic capacity testing for those not needing the accuracy of expensive laboratory equipment.
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