Cardiorespiratory adaptation with short term training in older men

  • Devin Govindasamy
  • Donald H. Paterson
  • Marc J. Poulin
  • David A. Cunningham


The purpose of this study was to assess the rate of training-induced cardiorespiratory adaptations in older men [mean (SD), 66.5 (1.2) years]. The eight subjects trained an average of 4.3 (0.3) times each week. The walk/jog training was in two phases with 4 weeks (phase 1) at a speed to elicit 70% of pre-training maximal oxygen consumption (\(\dot VO_{2\max } \)), and 5 weeks (phase 2) at 80%. Maximal exercise treadmill tests and a standardized submaximal protocol were performed prior to training, at weekly intervals during the training programme, and after training.\(\dot VO_{2\max } \) (ml·kg−1·min−1) increased significantly over both phases: 6.6% after the first 4 weeks, and an additional 5.2% after the final 5 weeks. The weekly changes in\(\dot VO_{2\max } \) over phase 1 were well fitted by an exponential association curve (r=0.75). The half-time for the rate of adaptation was 13.8 days, or 8.3 training sessions. Over phase 2, the change in\(\dot VO_{2\max } \) did not plateau and a time course could not be determined. Submaximal exercise heart rate (fc) was reduced a significant 10 beats · min−1 after the first 4 weeks, and a further 6 beats · min−1 over the final 5 weeks. Thefc reductions showed half-times of 9.1 days (phase 1) and 9.8 days (phase 2) (or 5-6 training sessions). The anaerobic ventilation threshold was increased 13.9% over the 9 weeks of training and the respiratory exchange ratio during constant load heavy exercise was significantly reduced; however, these changes could not be described by an exponential time course. Thus, short-term exercise training of older men resulted in significant and rapid cardiorespiratory improvements.

Key words

Ageing Training Maximal oxygen uptake Submaximal exercise heart rate Ventilation threshold 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Devin Govindasamy
    • 1
  • Donald H. Paterson
    • 1
  • Marc J. Poulin
    • 1
  • David A. Cunningham
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Faculty of Kinesiology, Centre for Activity and Ageing affiliated with the Faculty of Kinesiology of the University of Western Ontario and the Lawson Research Institute of the St. Joseph's Health CentreThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, Centre for Activity and Ageing affiliated with the Faculty of Kinesiology of the University of Western Ontario and the Lawson Research Institute of the St. Joseph's Health CentreThe University of Western OntarioLondonCanada

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