The effects of training on the metabolic and respiratory profile of high-intensity cycle ergometer exercise

D C Poole, S A Ward, B J Whipp
European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology 1990, 59 (6): 421-9
The tolerable work duration (t) for high-intensity cycling is well described as a hyperbolic function of power (W): W = (W'.t-1) + Wa, where Wa is the upper limit for sustainable power (lying between maximum W and the threshold for sustained blood [lactate] increase, theta lac), and W' is a constant which defines the amount of work which can be performed greater than Wa. As training increases the tolerable duration of high-intensity cycling, we explored whether this reflected an alteration of Wa, W' or both. Before and after a 7-week regimen of intense interval cycle-training by healthy males, we estimated ( ) theta lac and determined maximum O2 uptake (mu VO2); Wa; W'; and the temporal profiles of pulmonary gas exchange, blood gas, acid-base and metabolic response to constant-load cycling at and above Wa. Although training increased theta lac (24%), mu VO2 (15%) and Wa (15%), W' was unaffected. For exercise at Wa, a steady state was attained for VO2, [lactate] and pH both pre- and post-training, despite blood [norepinephrine] and [epinephrine] ([NE], [E]) and rectal temperature continuing to rise. For exercise greater than Wa, there was a progressive increase in VO2 (resulting in mu VO2 at fatigue), [lactate], [NE], [E] and rectal temperature, and a progressive decrease for pH. We conclude that the increased endurance capacity for high-intensity exercise following training reflects an increased W asymptote of the W-t relationship with no effect on its curvature; consequently, there is no appreciable change in the amount of work which can be performed above Wa.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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