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Report on Bruce Protocol/graded Exercise Test

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The Bruce test protocol is a non-invasive test used to evaluate patients who is suspected of having heart disease. It is called a stress test or exercise tolerance test in clinical settings. The Bruce protocol is one of the common methods used today for figure out an individual V02 max. This test protocol uses a formula rather than using direct measurements that require the gathering and measurement of the volume and oxygen concentration of inhaled and exhaled air. This test helps the tester to determine how much oxygen is being used by the individual.

The Bruce Protocol is said to be a maximal exercise test is a test that show how an individual works to the point of complete exhaustion with the use of a treadmill, and speed and incline is increased at every three minutes. According to Al-Rahammeh (2010), “V02 max is the highest rate of oxygen that an individual can take up and use during exercise involving large muscle groups. ” It is deemed by most physiologists as the foremost indicator of cardiovascular and respiratory fitness. In the laboratory setting, a graded exercise test (GXT) is the most accurate way to figure out V02 max performed to volitional exhaustion on a motorized treadmill or cycle ergometer while air exhaled is examined continuously by gas analyzer.

The purpose of this experimental lab was to procure and to estimate the validity of anticipating the subject’s maximal 02 uptake (V02 max). O hypothesized that there will be a solid connection between rate of perceived exertion (RPE) and V02 which will permit his V02 max to be forecast and that in turn will get better with practice.

The subject was a 37 year old Occupational Therapist who volunteered for this lab experiment. He was quite familiar with this test since he’s done it before. He is very active and works out at the gym at least 3-4 times a week. The subject is 6 feet and weighs 200 pounds, with a BMI of 18, which will classify him as being healthy. Materials:

  • Treadmill
  • Stopwatch
  • A 12-lead electrocardiograph (ECG) machine and leads
  • Sticking tape
  • Clips.


I started the participant test at 2. 5 mile per hour (mph) at a 0% grade; ; I considered that to be his warm-up period, which lasted for about two minutes. The rate of perceived exertion (RPE), heart rate, and percent hemoglobin saturation was obtained with one minute left in this stage. His rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was acquired by me holding up a Borg scale and with him giving me his number. A pulse oximeter was used to record heart rate and percent hemoglobin. Mr. Tut was then asked if he would be able to move on to the next stage which was three minutes. This second stage lasted for three minutes with the speed being doubled along with a one percent grade. Same measurements were obtained at the last minute of this stage. The grade and speed increased with each stage of the test, until the participant stated that he could not complete the next stage. After the last stage was completed the participant did a cool down at 2. 5 mile per hour (mph) at a 0 % grade for three minutes, the same measurements were taken during his last minute of the cool down stage.


It would be quite interesting to compare his numbers with other participants that are around his age and who are around the same fitness level as this participant. This test can also be used to compare individuals of different fitness levels to see the differences in their varying VO2max. It showed that VO2 increased when heart rate increased. The participants completed the test in six stages which included a warm-up and a cool-down stage.

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