Pulmonary O2 uptake on-kinetics in sprint- and endurance-trained athletes

Nicolas Berger, Andrew M. Jones

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    Pulmonary O2 uptake kinetics during "step" exercise have not been characterized in young, sprint-trained (SPT), athletes. Therefore, the objective of this study was to test the hypotheses that SPT athletes would have (i) slower phase II kinetics and (ii) a greater oxygen uptake "slow component" when compared with endurance-trained (ENT) athletes. Eight sub-elite SPT athletes (mean (± SD) age = 25 (±7) y; mass = 80.3 (±7.3) kg) and 8 sub-elite ENT athletes (age= 28 (±4) y; mass = 73.2 (±5.1) kg) completed a ramp incremental cycle ergometer test, a Wingate 30 s anaerobic sprint test, and repeat "step" transitions in work rate from 20 W to moderate- and severe-intensity cycle exercise, during which pulmonary oxygen uptake was measured breath by breath. The phase II oxygen uptake kinetics were significantly slower in the SPT athletes both for moderate (time constant, τ; SPT 32 (±4) s vs. ENT 17 (±3) s; p < 0.01) and severe (SPT 32 (±12) s vs. ENT 20 (±6) s; p < 0.05) exercise. The amplitude of the slow component (derived by exponential modelling) was not significantly different between the groups (SPT 0.55 (±0.12) L·min-1 vs. ENT 0.50 (±0.22) L·min -1), but the increase in oxygen uptake between 3 and 6 min of severe exercise was greater in the SPT athletes (SPT 0.37 (±0.08) L·min-1 vs. ENT 0.20 (±0.09) L·min-1; p < 0.01). The phase II τ was significantly correlated with indices of aerobic exercise performance (e.g., peak oxygen uptake (moderate-intensity r = -0.88, p < 0.01; severe intensity r = -0.62; p < 0.05), whereas the relative amplitude of the oxygen uptake slow component was significantly correlated with indices of anaerobic exercise performance (e.g., Wingate peak power output; r = 0.77; p < 0.01). Thus, it could be concluded that sub-elite SPT athletes have slower phase II oxygen uptake kinetics and a larger oxygen uptake slow component compared with sub-elite ENT athletes. It appears that indices of aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance differentially influence the fundamental and slow components of the oxygen uptake kinetics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)383-393
    Number of pages11
    JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2007

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