Astrand Cycle Test Instructions

Astrand Cycle Test Instructions

The objective of this Astrand Cycle Test is to monitor the development of the athlete’s aerobic endurance.

Required resources

To undertake this Astrand Cycle Test you will require:
  • Stationary bicycle ergometer (Monarch or similar)
  • Heart rate monitor
  • Stop watch
  • Assistant
Astrand Cycle Test

How to conduct the test

The test is conducted as follows:
  • Athlete to conduct a 10 minute warm up
  • Athlete to fit heart rate monitor and check it is functioning
  • Assistant to record resting heart rate
  • Athlete to adjust the bicycle seat and handle bars
  • Assistant to set initial work rate as follows
    • Sedentary females >40 years – 150 kpm/min (25W)
    • Sedentary females <40 years – 150 to 300 kpm/min (25 to 50W)
    • Active females <40 years – 300 to 450 kpm/min (50 to 75W)
    • Active females >40 years – 450 to 600 kpm/min (75 to 100W)
    • Sedentary males <40 years – 150 to 300 kpm/min (25 to 50W)
    • Sedentary males >40 years – 300 to 600 kpm/min (50 to 100W)
    • Active males <40 years – 600 kpm/min (100W)
    • Active males >40 years – 600 to 900 kpm/min (100 to 150W)
  • Athlete starts exercising at the chosen work rate
  • The assistant records the athlete’s heart rate each minute. It is usual to use the last 10 seconds of each minute (*6) as the value for that minute
  • For participants > 40 years, if heart rate is < 120 bpm after 2 minutes of exercise, increase work rate by 150 to 300 kpm/min (25W to 50W). For participants < 40 years, if heart rate is < 130 bpm, after 2 minutes of exercise, increase work rate by 300 kpm/min (50W)
  • Athlete to keep cycling for 6 minutes at the final work rate
  • Stop the test if heart rate exceeds 170 bpm (or 85% of predicted maximum heart rate).


Analysis of the result this Astrand Cycle Test is by comparing the final workload and the six heart rate readings with the results of previous tests. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement. The steady state heart rate can be looked up on published tables to determine an estimation of VO2max.

Target group

This Astrand Cycle Test is suitable for active athletes but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated.


Reliability would depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual’s level of motivation to perform the test.


There are no published tables to relate results to potential performance in competition.

Mackenzie, Brian. 2005. 101 Perforamnce Evalution Test. Electric World Plc. London.

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