European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 90, Issue 5–6, pp 608–613 | Cite as

A comparison of respiratory compensation thresholds of anaerobic competitors, aerobic competitors and untrained subjects

  • J. Matt GreenEmail author
  • Thaddeus R. Crews
  • Andrew M. Bosak
  • Willard W. Peveler
Original Article


This study compared respiratory compensation thresholds (RCT) (CO2 inflection point) of competitors in highly aerobic events (aerobic competitors, ARC) (n=16), competitors in highly anaerobic events (anaerobic competitors, ANC) (n=15), and untrained subjects (UT) (n=25). Maximal oxygen consumption (O2max), respiratory compensation threshold as a percentage ofO2max (RCT), andO2 at RCT (O2RCT) were determined during a maximal Bruce treadmill protocol.O2max (ml kg−1 min−1) was significantly greater (P<0.05) for ARC [67.2 (8.5)] than for ANC [50.0 (7.8)] and UT [43.8 (5.4)]. However, the difference between ANC and UT only approached significance (P=0.07). RCT was not significantly different between ARC [76.3 (8.7)] and ANC [80.7 (6.8)] but was significantly lower (P<0.05) for UT [62.5 (8.8)].O2RCT (ml kg−1 min−1) was significantly greater (P<0.05) for ARC [51.6 (11.0)] and ANC [40.2 (6.6)] than for UT [27.4 (5.4)], with a significant difference also between ARC and ANC. While used as a criterion for group assignment, greaterO2max, as well as RCT values in ARC (vs UT), reflect chronic aerobic training adaptations. ANC demonstratedO2max values intermediate to ARC and UT, with RCT very comparable to those found in ARC. The results suggest subjects competitive in highly anaerobic events do not possess excessively highO2max values. These individuals, however, demonstrate a high RCT when values are expressed relative toO2max. Oxygen consumption at the RCT in this group is superior to that in UT but inferior to that in ARC, which likely has important implications regarding performance.


Sprinters Threshold Exercise Training 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Matt Green
    • 1
    Email author
  • Thaddeus R. Crews
    • 1
  • Andrew M. Bosak
    • 2
  • Willard W. Peveler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Physical Education and RecreationWestern Kentucky UniversityBowling GreenUSA
  2. 2.Department of KinesiologyThe University of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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