Validity and reliability of the Hexoskin® wearable biometric vest during maximal aerobic power testing in elite cyclists

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Abstract

The purpose of this study was to investigate the validity and reliability of the Hexoskin® vest for measuring respiration and heart rate (HR) in elite cyclists during a progressive test to exhaustion. Ten male elite cyclists (age 28.8 ± 12.5 yr, height 179.3 ± 6.0 cm, weight 73.2 ± 9.1 kg, V˙ O2max 60.7 ± 7.8 ml.kg.min-1, mean ± SD) conducted a maximal aerobic cycle ergometer test using a ramped protocol (starting at 100W with 25W increments each min to failure) during two separate occasions over a 3-4 day period. Compared to the criterion measure (Metamax 3B) the Hexoskin® vest showed mainly small typical errors (1.3-6.2%) for HR and breathing frequency (f), but larger typical errors (9.5-19.6%) for minute ventilation (V˙E) during the progressive test to exhaustion. The typical error indicating the reliability of the Hexoskin® vest at moderate intensity exercise between tests was small for HR (2.6-2.9%) and f (2.5-3.2%) but slightly larger for V˙E (5.3-7.9%). We conclude that the Hexoskin® vest is sufficiently valid and reliable for measurements of HR and f in elite athletes during high intensity cycling but the calculated V˙E value the Hexoskin® vest produces during such exercise should be used with caution due to the lower validity and reliability of this variable.

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