Effect of Intensity of Aerobic Training on VO2max

Shannan E. Gormley; David P. Swain; Renee High; Robert J. Spina; Elizabeth A. Dowling; Ushasri S. Kotipalli; Ramya Gandrakota

Disclosures

Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2008;40(7):1336-1343. 

In This Article

Results

The baseline descriptive characteristics of the subjects are presented in Table 2 . Although the inclusion criterion for age was 18-44 yr, the actual age range was 18-31 yr. Each group contained similar numbers of male and female subjects: control (8 females, 5 males), moderate (9 females, 5 males), vigorous (10 females, 5 males), and near-maximal (9 females, 4 males). There were no significant differences observed at baseline between any of the groups for age, height, mass, BMI, or percent body fat. Further, there were no significant changes for any of the anthropometric variables after training.

Of the 55 participants who completed the study, all attended at least 90% of the training sessions: moderate (93.8 ± 2.8%), vigorous (93.3 ± 2.3%), and near-maximal (94.4 ± 4.5%). There was no significant difference in adherence across groups. Participants in each group achieved the prescribed exercise intensity. The moderate-intensity group achieved a mean HRR of 50.3 ± 0.5%; the vigorous-intensity group, 74.4 ± 1.0%; the near-maximal-intensity group, 92.1 ± 4.0% during the work interval and 51.5 ± 1.5% during the recovery interval.

Within each week of training, there was no difference in the work performed on the ergometer by the three training groups. Results for weeks 1, 3, and 6 are as follows. Week 1: 346 ± 158 kJ, moderate-intensity group; 345 ± 199 kJ, vigorous-intensity group; 320 ± 145 kJ, near-maximal-intensity group (P = 0.90). Week 3: 972 ± 546 kJ, moderate-intensity group; 949 ± 404 kJ, vigorous-intensity group; 1008 ± 317 kJ, near-maximal-intensity group (P = 0.94). Week 6: 1034 ± 449 kJ, moderate-intensity group; 1017 ± 321 kJ, vigorous-intensity group; 1032 ± 385 kJ, near-maximal-intensity group (P = 0.99).

Complete logs of outside physical activity were available from 13 subjects in the control group and 10 subjects each in the three training groups. Data were analyzed for weeks 1, 3, and 6, and there were no differences between the four subject groups. Week 1: 15.3 ± 11.9 MET·h, control group; 10.6 ± 10.1 MET·h, moderate-intensity group; 11.6 ± 19.4 MET·h, vigorous-intensity group; 25.0 ± 23.7 MET·h, near-maximal-intensity group (P = 0.23). Week 3: 15.6 ± 12.9 MET·h, control group; 14.0 ± 10.6 MET·h, moderate-intensity group; 14.0 ± 15.1 MET·h, vigorous-intensity group; 23.4 ± 26.1 MET·h, near-maximal-intensity group (P = 0.55). Week 6: 7.1 ± 8.2 MET·h, control group; 11.2 ± 11.7 MET·h, moderate-intensity group; 6.0 ± 7.4 MET·h, vigorous-intensity group; 17.7 ± 20.8 MET·h, near-maximal-intensity group (P = 0.17). Although a very slight trend for greater physical activity by the near-maximal-intensity group was observed, this did not reach statistical significance due to the large variation between individuals, with some subjects in each group having no physical activity and others having high amounts.

V˙O2max significantly increased in all three exercise groups, as seen in Table 3 . The initial V˙O2max for the vigorous-intensity group was significantly lower than the control group. To control for baseline values, percent changes in V˙O2max were analyzed by one-way ANOVA. As shown in Figure 1, there were significant percent increases in the moderate- (10.0%), the vigorous- (14.3%), and the near-maximal-intensity (20.6%) groups versus baseline. Percent increases in V˙O2max for each group were all significantly different from each other.

Percent changes (mean ± SE) in V˙O2max after training. *Significantly different from baseline (P < 0.05). **Significant difference between groups (P < 0.05).

There were no significant differences in the baseline resting HR between moderate (67 ± 6 bpm), vigorous (66 ± 10 bpm), near-maximal (64 ± 8 bpm), and control (67 ± 12 bpm) groups. There were no differences after training: moderate (67 ± 10 bpm), vigorous (66 ± 11 bpm), near-maximal (65 ± 10 bpm), and control (67 ± 9 bpm).

There were no significant differences in the baseline systolic BP between moderate (107 ± 13 mm Hg), vigorous (111 ± 12 mm Hg), near-maximal (106 ± 12 mm Hg), and control (109 ± 14 mm Hg) groups. There were no differences after training: moderate (108 ± 13 mm Hg), vigorous (112 ± 10 mm Hg), near-maximal (108 ± 13 mm Hg), and control (106 ± 12 mm Hg). Similarly, there were no significant differences in baseline diastolic BP between moderate (64 ± 6 mm Hg), vigorous (70 ± 9 mm Hg), near-maximal (64 ± 7 mm Hg), and control (63 ± 5 mm Hg) groups. There were no differences after training: moderate (66 ± 6 mm Hg), vigorous (69 ± 6 mm Hg), near-maximal (62 ± 6 mm Hg), and control (63 ± 6 mm Hg).

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