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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 82, Issue 4, pp 326–332 | Cite as

The effect of age on the power/duration relationship and the intensity-domain limits in sedentary men

  • J. Alberto Neder
  • Paul W. Jones
  • Luiz E. Nery
  • Brian J. Whipp
  • J. Alberto Neder
ORIGINAL ARTICLE

Abstract

The time to fatigue (t) in response to high-intensity constant-load exercise decreases hyperbolically with increasing power (), at least in active and younger individuals [i.e. (−θF)t=W′, where θF is the critical power asymptote and W′ is the curvature constant]. Little is known, however, about the combined effects of age and sedetarity on these parameters. We therefore evaluated 17 non-trained males (9 aged 60–75 years and 8 aged below 30 years) who underwent ramp-incremental cycle ergometry and, on different days, 4 high-intensity constant-load tests to t. Compared to their younger counterparts, the older subjects presented significantly lower maximum oxygen uptake (i.e. the maximum value of oxygen uptake attained at the end of a progressive exercise with the subject exerting a presumably maximal effort, μO2), estimated lactate threshold (O2θL), O2θF, and W′ (P < 0.05). Interestingly, however, both O2θL and O2θF, when expressed as a percentage of μO2, were higher in older than in younger men [61.8 (6.2)% versus 45.4 (4.6)% and 87.8 (7.3)% versus 79.0 (8.2)%, P < 0.05, respectively]. Therefore, age was associated with an increase in the relative magnitude of the “moderate”, sub-θL exercise-intensity domain (+30.4%), mainly at the expense of the “very-heavy”, supra-θF domain (−56%). Our results demonstrate that age and sedentarity are associated with: (1) marked reductions in both the aerobic (θF) and anaerobic (W′) determinants of the /t relationship, and (2) changes in either the absolute or relative magnitudes of the exercise-intensity domains. These findings are consistent with the notion that endurance-related parameters are less diminished with ageing than the maximal capacity, thereby mitigating the deleterious effects of senescence in the functional capacity.

Key words Critical power Ageing Oxygen consumption Exercise 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. Alberto Neder
    • 1
  • Paul W. Jones
    • 3
  • Luiz E. Nery
    • 4
  • Brian J. Whipp
    • 2
  • J. Alberto Neder
    • 2
  1. 1.Centre for Exercise Science and Medicine, Institute of Biomedical and Life Sciences, West Medical Building, University of Glasgow, Glasgow G12 8QQ, UK Tel.: +44-141-3306287; Fax: +44-141-3303250GB
  2. 2.Department of Physiology, St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, Tooting London SW19 2UT, UKGB
  3. 3.Department of Medicine, Division of Physiological Medicine, St. George's Hospital Medical School, University of London, Cranmer Terrace, Tooting, London SW19 2UT, UKGB
  4. 4.Department of Medicine, Respiratory Division, Universidade Federal de São Paulo – Escola Paulista de Medicina (UNIFESP-EPM), Rua Botucatu, 740-30 andar, CEP: 04023-062, São Paulo, BrazilBR

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