The influence of training on the maximum oxygen uptake and endurance capacity of male and female subjects
thesisposted on 13.09.2012 by Philippa K. Bland
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Many consider that maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) provides a valid measure of fitness in general and endurance capacity in particular. However, in recent years evidence has accumulated suggesting that VO2 max values provide only limited information regarding endurance capacity. This study set out to investigate the influence of training on the maximum oxygen uptake and endurance capacity of male and female subjects. The investigation consisted of three studies. The first described the relationship between VO2 max correlation between VO2 max and Z individuals within the group with differently. The second study examined the influence of short term training on VO2 max and endurance capacity. The increase in VO2 max was small (7%) when contrasted with the large improvement in endurance capacity (478%). The above two studies both indicated that VO2 max alone does not determine endurance capacity. The third study therefore set out to examine which factors influence changes in VO2 max and endurance capacity after a period of endurance training. By adopting a single-leg exercise model (Davies and Sargeant, 1975), this study not only re-examined the relationship between VO2 max and endurance capacity but also attempted to separate local and central adaptations to training. This model was adopted because of the suggestion that increases in endurance capacity are the result of changes in the skeletal muscle (local) (Gollnick et al., 1973). Again, the increases in VO2 max were small when compared with the improvements in endurance capacity. Improvements in the trained leg (TL) were attributed to central and local adaptations to training and in the untrained leg (UTL) to central cardiovascular changes. The large increase in the endurance capacity of the TL (523%) was 404% greater than that seen in the UTL, thus supporting the view that increases in endurance capacity are largely the result of changes in the skeletal muscle rather than improvements in the central cardiovascular system. The findings of this study clearly demonstrate that VO2 max is a poor predictor of endurance capacity. It provides no information regarding an individuals ability to endure exercise, i.e. the ability to sustain a given submaximal work load, both before and after training. It is suggested that the fitness of an individual may be reflected not by their V02 max value but rather by the largest fraction of that value which he or she can utilize during prolonged periods of exercise.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences