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Aerobic exercise training performed at the intensity eliciting maximal fat oxidation (Fatmax) has been shown to improve the metabolic profile of obese patients. However, limited information is available on the reproducibility of Fatmax and related physiological measures. The aim of this study was to assess the intra-individual variability of: a) Fat max measurements determined using three different data analysis approaches and b) fat and carbohydrate oxidation rates at rest and at each stage of an individualized graded test. Fifteen healthy males [body mass index 23.1±0.6 kg/m2, maximal oxygen consumption (V̇ O 2max) 52.0±2.0 ml/kg/min] completed a maximal test and two identical submaximal incremental tests on ergocycle (30-min rest followed by 5-min stages with increments of 7.5% of the maximal power output). Fat and carbohydrate oxidation rates were determined using indirect calorimetry. Fatmax was determined with three approaches: the sine model (SIN), measured values (MV) and 3rd polynomial curve (P3). Intra-individual coefficients of variation (CVs) and limits of agreement were calculated. CV for Fatmax determined with SIN was 16.4% and tended to be lower than with P3 and MV (18.6% and 20.8%, respectively). Limits of agreement for Fat max were -2±27% of V̇ O2max with SIN, -4±32 with P3 and -4±28 with MV. CVs of oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide production and respiratory exchange rate were15%), regardless of the data analysis approach employed. Further research on the determinants of the variability of Fatmax and fat oxidation rates is required.
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