ENDURANCE – PHYSIOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS – AGING


2 RESEARCH ARTICLES


PHYSIOLOGICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF AN AGING OLYMPIC ATHLETE – 2014


Nybo L, Schmidt JF, Fritzdorf S, Nordsborg NB
PURPOSE
– Investigate the physiological basis of continued world-class performance of a world-class rower who won medals (3 gold and 2 bronze) at five consecutive Olympic Games
METHODS
– From the age of 19 to 40 yr, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max), peak HR, blood lactate, and rowing ergometer performance were assessed annually
RESULTS
– 
During the first years of his elite career (from age 19 to 24), VO2 max increased from 5.5 to approximately 5.9 L · min(-1) (78 mL · min(-1) · kg(-1))
– Average power during 6-min maximal rowing increased from 420 to approximately 460 W
– Although his HRmax declined by approx. 20 bpm during the 20-yr period, maximal aerobic power, evaluated both as VO2 max and 6-min test performance, was maintained until 40
– Peak lactate levels remained unchanged and average power outputs during 10-s, 60-s, and 60-min ergometer tests were all maintained at approx 800 W, 700 W, 350 W, respectively, indicating that he was able to preserve both aerobic and anaerobic exercise performances
– Echocardiographic analyses revealed a left ventricular mass of 198 g and left ventricular end-diastolic diameter of 5.8 cm
CONCLUSIONS
– Until the age of 40 a steady increase in the oxygen pulse may have compensated for the significant decline in the maximal heart frequency
– Maintenance of aerobic and anaerobic exercise capacities allowed this Olympic athlete to compete at the highest level for almost 2 decades


LONG TERM AEROBIC EXERCISE IS ASSOCIATED WITH GREATER MUSCLE STRENGTH THROUGHOUT THE LIFE SPAN – 2012


Justin D. Crane1Lauren G. MacNeil2 and Mark A. Tarnopolsky
METHODS
– To study the effects of long-term aerobic exercise on muscle strength
– 74 sedentary (SED) or highly aerobically active (ACT) men and women from within three distinct age groups
a) young: 20–39 years
b) middle: 40–64 years
c) older: 65–86 years
– tested their aerobic capacity, isometric grip and knee extensor strength, and dynamic 1 repetition maximum knee extension.
RESULTS
– As expected, ACT subjects had greater maximal oxygen uptake and peak aerobic power output compared with SED subjects
– Grip strength relative to body weight declined with age and was greater in ACT compared with SED subjects in both hands
– Similarly, relative maximal isometric knee extension torque declined with age and was higher in ACT versus SED individuals in both legs
– Absolute and relative 1 repetition maximum knee extension declined with age and were greater in ACT versus SED groups
– Knee extensor strength was associated with a greater amount of leg lean mass in the ACT subjects
SUMMARY
– long-term aerobic exercise appears to reduce age-related reductions in muscle strength in addition to its cardiorespiratory and metabolic benefits


 

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