Transfer effects in endurance exercise

Adaptations in trained and untrained muscles
  • K. Rösler
  • H. Hoppeler
  • K. E. Conley
  • H. Claassen
  • P. Gehr
  • H. Howald


The effects of 8 weeks of bicycle endurance training (5 x /week for 30 min) on maximal oxygen uptake capacity (\(\dot V_{O_{2max} } \)) during arm and leg ergometry, and on the ultrastructure of an untrained arm muscle (m. deltoideus), and a trained leg muscle (m. vastus lateralis) were studied. With the training, leg-\(\dot V_{O_{2max} } \) for bicycling increased by +13%, while the capillary per fiber ratio and the volume density of mitochondria in m. vastus lateralis increased by +15% and +40%, respectively. In contrast, the untrained m. deltoideus showed an unchanged capillary per fiber ratio and a decreased mitochondrial volume density (−17%). Despite this decrease of mitochondrial volume arm-\(\dot V_{O_{2max} } \) increased by +9%. It seems unlikely that the observed discrepancy can be explained by cardiovascular adaptations, since arm cranking did not fully tax the cardiovascular system (arm-\(\dot V_{O_{2max} } \)/leg-\(\dot V_{O_{2max} } \): 0.74 and 0.71 before and after training, respectively). Thus neither cardiovascular adaptations nor local structural changes in the untrained muscles could explain the increased arm-\(\dot V_{O_{2max} } \). However, the enhanced capacity for lactate clearance after endurance training could be sufficient to account for the larger\(\dot V_{O_{2max} } \) during arm cranking. We propose that an increased net oxidation of lactate might be responsible for the increased arm-\(\dot V_{O_{2max} } \) found after bicycle endurance training.

Key words

Endurance exercise Central vs peripheral adaptations Muscle ultrastructure Transfer effect Bicycling 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • K. Rösler
    • 1
  • H. Hoppeler
    • 1
  • K. E. Conley
    • 1
  • H. Claassen
    • 1
  • P. Gehr
    • 1
  • H. Howald
    • 2
  1. 1.Anatomisches InstitutUniversitÄt BernBernSwitzerland
  2. 2.Research Institute of the Swiss School for Physical Education and SportsMagglingenSwitzerland

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