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Aerobic power and pubertal peak height velocity in Belgian boys

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To determine the cardiorespiratory response to maximal exercise before, during and after the pubescent growth spurt, thirty boys were tested at yearly intervals over a period of six consecutive years. For each individual, peak height velocity (PHV) was determined. The age at PHV (¯X= 13.6 years) was taken as a standard of maturation. The results from all subjects at 1.5 and 0.5 years before and 0.5 and 1.5 years after PHV are presented. The highest oxygen uptake (\(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } \)) obtained during an incremental bicycle ergometer test to voluntary exhaustion was taken as peak oxygen uptake (\(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } \) peak). Across each of the four years studied, mean \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } \) peak (min=49.6; max=52.5 ml·kg−1·min−1) and mean heart rate (HR) at \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } \) peak (min=190; max=192) did not change significantly as a function of PHV. On the other hand, the respiratory quotient at \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } \) peak increased considerably from mean minima and maxima of 0.99 and 1.01 before PHV to 1.07 and 1.10 after PHV. Ventilatory equivalent for \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } \) (\((\dot V_{\text{E}} /\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } )\)), taken as an indicator of ventilatory economy, seemed to be unaffected by the maturation process. The steepest increase in circumpubertal oxygen pulse was found one year after PHV. Average stability coefficients (¯r), calculated from the inter-years correlations were high for height (¯r=0.95), weight (¯r=0.92), HR at \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } \) peak (¯r=0.74), \(\dot V_{{\text{O}}_{\text{2}} } \) peak in 1/min (¯r=0.71), oxygen pulse (¯r=0.68) and tidal volume (¯r=0.64).

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Correspondence to Bavo Vanden Eynde.

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Vanden Eynde, B., Vienne, D., Vuylsteke-Wauters, M. et al. Aerobic power and pubertal peak height velocity in Belgian boys. Europ. J. Appl. Physiol. 57, 430–434 (1988). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00417989

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Key words

  • Boys
  • Peak height velocity
  • Longitudinal study
  • Peak oxygen uptake level
  • Stability coefficients