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PWC Test (Physical Working Capacity)

PWC-Test stands for Physical Working Capacity Test. It is one of the test procedures in performance diagnostics to appraise the test person’s aerobe performance capacity. The position of fix heart rate thresholds in the heart rate performance diagram is used as the test criterion. The heart rate thresholds PWC130, PWC150 and PWC170 are the common and empirically established parameters according to the respective target test group, ranging from rehabilitation over amateur, competitive- to high-performance-sports athletes.

Comfortable configuration of PWC-Test


The Cyclus2 ergometer features a control unit especially designed for the ergometry of PWC testing. The device offers a comfortable configuration of the load scheme and easy setup of the heart rate threshold to be diagnosed. A level protocol is used for the load scheme of the PWC test. The test ends when the first load level at a heart rate of greater than or equal to the threshold heart rate (e.g. 130 heartbeats per minute at PWC130) is fully completed. The PWC test is, unlike the OBLA Test, a measure of training progress without total exhaustion. It is a submaximal test.

Automatic analysis of the PWC Tests


The heart rate is controlled by the ergometry control unit and recorded by the Cyclus2 . Once the threshold value is reached the ergometry stops and the measurement values are calculated and shown on the display. High quality colour print-outs of the test protocol can be obtained directly from the high performance ergometer, alternatively it can be saved as PDF file. All test data can be stored onto a USB stick for further applications.

The test result, which is the mathematically calculated performance at the threshold heart rate, is related to the test person’s body weight and consequently converts to an individual value. The result is compared to previous values from scientific charts by the diagnostician in order to assess the physical performance of the test person according to gender and body weight. Repeating the test after a training unit determines how the physical fitness has evolved since the last test. Competitive- and high-performance-sports athletes commonly use OBLA Test during which the performance is determined primarily by the metabolic parameters lactate and/or oxygen up-take. In addition the aforementioned heart rate thresholds are commonly measured during OBLA Test.

Cyclus2 Brochure (PDF)
Cyclus2 Brochure (PDF)
Tests and Training (PDF)
Tests and Training (PDF)

Literature reference PWC Test

  • Buskies, W./Boeckh-Behrens, W.U.:
    Gesundheitsorientiertes Fitnesstraining. Band 2. Ausdauertraining, Ernährung, Entspannung. 3. Aufl Lüneburg: Wehdemeier und Pusch, 1998
  • Neumann, G.:
    Ausdauerbelastung. Ein sportmedizinischer Ratgeber. Leipzig, Heidelberg: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1991
  • Neumann, G./Schüler, K.-P.:
    Sportmedizinische Funktionsdiagnostik. Sportmed. Schriftenreihe 29. 2 Aufl. Leipzig, Heidelberg: Johann Ambrosius Barth, 1994
  • Kindermann, W.:
    Ergometrie - Empfehlungen für die ärztliche Praxis. In: Deutsche Zeitschrift für Sportmedizin 38, 244-268, 1987