Background:Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) is a widely used test in judo research, as also to evaluate competitor’s judo specific physical capabilities. Thus, the purpose of this
study was to identify the physical fitness variables that best predict SJFT performance.
Methods: Thirty-five male experienced judo athletes (age: 23.8 ± 5.7 years, body mass: 79.8 ± 11.9 kg, height 174.5 ± 0.6 cm and body fat: 14.3 ± 4.1%) at national and international
levels took part in the present study. All athletes performed the following tests: a) an upper-body cycle ergometer graded exercise test; 2) a lower-body cycle ergometer graded exercise test; 3) an
upper-body Wingate test; 4) a lower-body Wingate test; 5) a SJFT. In the 1st and 2nd visits athletes performed a graded test and a Wingate test for different body segments on each day, with 45-min
interval between them and in the last visit only the SJFT was performed. All visits were separated by 48 hours and were conducted at the same time of day to minimize circadian variance. The V̇O2peak,
maximum heart rate (HRmax), maximum aerobic power (MAP), and the variables corresponding to onset blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) were determined during the graded exercise test. During the Wingate
tests, peak power (PP) and mean power (MP) relative to body mass were determined. Furthermore, the total number of throws, HR immediately and 1-min after and SJFT index were registered. Four separated
forward multiple linear regression models were used to identify the physical fitness variables that best explained the SJFT performance.
Results: Upper-body VO2peak explained 27% of variance in the total number of throws, while additional 7% was explained by upper-body Wingate test PP. Upper-body maximum HR explained
56% of variance in the HR immediately after the SJFT, while lower-body HR at OBLA accounted for additional 8%. Lower-body maximum HR explained 21% of the variance in the HR-1min after the SJFT, while
peak lactate after the upper-body graded exercise test accounted for additional 12%. Relative upper-body VO2peak accounted alone for 15% of variance in the SJFT index.
Conclusions: Based on these results, the data suggest that generic laboratory tests have a small contribution to predict the SJFT variables.