Sports Medicine

, Volume 33, Issue 15, pp 1127–1143 | Cite as

Endurance Training and Aerobic Fitness in Young People

  • Georges Baquet
  • Emmanuel Van Praagh
  • Serge Berthoin
Review Article

Abstract

Training-induced adaptations in aerobic fitness have been extensively studied in adults, and some exercise scientists have recommended similar training programmes for young people. However, the subject of the response to aerobic training of children and adolescents is controversial. The effects of exercise training on prepubertal children are particularly debatable. The latter may be partly explained by different training designs, which make comparisons between studies very problematic.

We have analysed the procedures applied to protocol design and training methods to highlight the real impact of aerobic training on the peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2) of healthy children and adolescents. In accordance with previously published reviews on trainability in youngsters, research papers were rejected from the final analysis according to criteria such as the lack of a control group, an unclear training protocol, inappropriate statistical procedures, small sample size, studies with trained or special populations, or with no peak V̇O2 data. Factors such as maturity, group constitution, consistency between training and testing procedures, drop out rates, or attendance were considered, and possible associations with changes in peak V̇O2 with training are discussed.

From 51 studies reviewed, 22 were finally retained. In most of the studies, there was a considerable lack of research regarding circumpubertal individuals in general, and particularly in girls. The results suggest that methodologically listed parameters will exert a potential influence on the magnitude of peak V̇O2 improvement. Even if little difference is reported for each parameter, it is suggested that the sum of errors will result in a significant bias in the assessment of training effects. The characteristics of each training protocol were also analysed to establish their respective potential influence on peak V̇O2 changes. In general, aerobic training leads to a mean improvement of 5–6% in the peak V̇O2 of children or adolescents. When only studies that reported significant training effect were taken into account, the mean improvement in peak V̇O2 rose to 8–10%. Results suggested that intensities higher than 80% of maximal heart rate are necessary to expect a significant improvement in peak V̇O2.

There is clearly a need for longitudinal or cross-sectional studies that investigate the relationship between maturity and training with carefully monitored programmes. Further research is also needed to compare interval training and continuous training.

References

  1. 1.
    Andersen LB, Haraldsdottir J. Changes in CHD risk factors with age: a comparison of Danish adolescents and adults. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1994; 26: 967–72PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Malina RM, Beunen GP, Claessens AL, et al. Fatness and physical fitness of girls 7 to 17 years. Obes Res 1995; 3: 221–31PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bell RD, Macek M, Rutenfranz J, et al. Health indicators and risk factors of cardiovascular diseases during childhood and adolescence. In: Rutenfranz J, Mocellin R, Klimt F, editors. Children and exercise XII. Champaign (IL): Human Kinetics, 1986Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Telama R, Yang X, Laasko L, et al. Physical activity in childhood and adolescence as a predictor of physical activity in young adulthood. Am J Prev Med 1997; 14: 317–23Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Trudeau F, Laurencelle L, Tremblay J, et al. A long-term follow-up of participants in the Trois-Rivières semi-longitudinal study of growth and development. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1998; 10: 366–77Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Janz KF, Dawson JD, Mahoney LT. Increase in physical fitness during childhood improves cardiovascular health during adolescence: the Muscatine study. Int J Sports Med 2002; 23: S15–21PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Cunningham DA, Van Waterschoot BM, Paterson DH, et al. Reliability and reproducibility of maximal oxygen uptake measurement in children. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1977; 9: 104–8Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Rowland TW, Cunningham LN. Oxygen uptake plateau during maximal treadmill exercise in children. Chest 1992; 101: 485–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Rivera-Brown AM, Rivera MA, Frontera WR. Reliability of V̇O2max in adolescent runners: a comparison between plateau achievers and nonachievers. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1995; 7: 203–10Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Armstrong N, Welsman J. Assessment and interpretation of aerobic fitness in children and adolescents. Exerc Sport Sci Rev 1994; 22: 435–76PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kobayashi K, Kitamura K, Miura M, et al. Aerobic power as related to body growth and training in Japanese boys: a longitudinal study. J Appl Physiol 1978; 44: 666–72PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Mirwald RL, Bailey D, Cameron N, et al. Longitudinal comparison of aerobic power in active and inactive boys aged 7.0 to 17.0 years. Ann Hum Biol 1981; 8: 405–14PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Rowland TW. Aerobic response to endurance training in prepubescent children: a critical analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1985; 17: 493–7PubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Sady SP. Cardiorespiratory exercise training in children. Clin Sports Med 1986; 5(3): 493–514PubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Vaccaro P, Mahon A. Cardiorespiratory responses to endurance training in children. Sports Med 1987; 4: 352–63PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Pate RR, Ward DS. Endurance exercise trainability in children and youth. In: Garcia WA, Lombardo JA, Stone JA, editors. Advanced in sports medicine and fitness. Chicago (IL): Year Book Medical Publishers, 1990: 3, 37-55Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Shephard RJ. Effectiveness of training programmes for prepubescent children. Sports Med 1992; 13(3): 194–213PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pate RR, Ward DS. Endurance trainability of children and youths. In: Bar-Or O, editor. The child and the adolescent athlete. Oxford: Blackwell Sciences, 1996: 130–137Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Payne VG, Morrow JR. Exercise and V̇O2max in children: a meta-analysis. Res Q Exerc Sport 1993;64: 305–13PubMedGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Cumming GR, Goulding D, Baggley G. Failure of school physical education to improve cardiorespiratory fitness. CMAJ 1969; 101: 69–73Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Daniels J, Oldridge N. Changes in oxygen consumption of young boys during growth and running training. Med Sci Sports 1971; 3: 161–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Koch G, Eriksson BO. Effect of physical training on pulmonary ventilation and gas exchange during submaximal and maximal work in boys. Scand J Clin Lab Invest 1973; 31: 88–94Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Mocellin R, Wasmund U. Investigation of the influence of a running-training program on the cardiovascular and motor performance capacity in 53 boys and girls of a second and third primary school class. In: Bar-Or O, editor. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium in Pediatric Work Physiology; 1972 Apr 11–13; Netanya. Netanya: Wingate Institute, 1973: 279–85Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Fournier M, Ricci J, Taylor AW, et al. Skeletal muscle adaptation in adolescent boys: sprint and endurance training and detraining. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1982; 14: 453–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Benedict GJ, Vaccaro P, Hatfield BD. Physiological effects of an eight week precision jump rope program in children. Am Correct Ther J 1985; 39: 108–11Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Haffor AA, Harrison AC, Catledge-Kirk PA. Anaerobic threshold alterations caused by interval training in 11-year-olds. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1990; 30(1): 53–6Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    Eisenman PA, Golding LA. Comparison of effects of training on V̇O2max in girls and young women. Med Sci Sports 1975; 7: 136–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Stransky AW, Mickelson RJ, VanFleet C, et al. Effects of a swimming regimen on haematological cardiorespiratory and body composition changes in young females. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1979; 19: 347–54PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Rotstein A, Dotan R, Bar-Or O, et al. Effect of training on anaerobic threshold, maximal aerobic power and anaerobic performance of preadolescent boys. Int J Sports Med 1986; 7(5): 281–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Mero A, Kauhanen H, Peltola E, et al. Physiological performance capacity in different prepubescent athletic groups. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1990; 30: 57–66PubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Ekblom B. Effect of physical training in adolescent boys. J Appl Physiol 1969; 27: 350–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Klissouras V, Weber G. Training, growth and heredity. In: Bar-Or O, editor. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium in Pediatric Work Physiology; 1972 Apr 11–13; Netanya. Netanya: Wingate Institute, 1973: 209–16Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Weber G, Kartodihardjo W, Klissouras V. Growth and physical training with reference to heredity. J Appl Physiol 1976; 40: 211–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Brown CH, Harrower JR, Deeter MF. The effects of crosscountry running on preadolescent girls. Med Sci Sports 1972; 4: 1–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Vaccaro P, Clarke DH. Cardiorespiratory alterations in 9 to 11 year-old children following a season of competitive swimming. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1978; 10: 204–7Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Sundberg S, Elovainio R. Cardiorespiratory function in competitive endurance runners aged 12–16 years compared with ordinary boys. Acta Paediatr Scand 1982; 71(6): 987–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Hagberg JM, Goldring D, Ehsani AA, et al. Effect of exercise training on the blood pressure and hemodynamic features of hypertensive adolescents. Am J Cardiol 1983; 52: 763–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Conn CA, Schemmel RA, Smith BW, et al. Plasma and erythrocyte magnesium concentrations and correlations with maximum oxygen consumption in nine- to twelve-year-old competitive swimmers. Magnesium 1988; 7: 27–36PubMedGoogle Scholar
  39. 39.
    Obert P, Courteix D, Blonc S, et al. Evaluation de l’effet d’une pratique sportive intensive sur le potentiel aérobie de la fille prépubère: nécessité d’une spécificité de l’épreuve de laboratoire. Sci Sports 1996; 11: 113–9CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. 40.
    Gatch W, Byrd R. Endurance training and cardiovascular function in 9- and 10-year-old boys. Arch Phys Med Rehabil 1979; 60: 574–7PubMedGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Adeniran SA, Toriola AL. Effects of continuous and interval running programmes on aerobic and anaerobic capacities in schoolgirls aged 13 to 17 years. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1988; 28: 260–6PubMedGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Zakas A, Mandroukas K, Karamouzis M, et al. Physical training, growth hormone and testosterone levels and blood pressure in prepubertal, pubertal and adolescent boys. Scand J Med Sci Sports 1994; 4: 113–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. 43.
    Blessing DL, Keith RE, Williford HN, et al. Blood lipid and physiological responses to endurance training in adolescents. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1995; 7: 192–202Google Scholar
  44. 44.
    Berthoin S, Mantéca F, Lensel-Corbeil G, et al. Effect of a 12-week training programme on maximal aerobic speed (MAS) and running time to exhaustion at 100% of MAS in school students aged 14 to 17-years. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1995; 35: 251–6PubMedGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Obert P, Mandigout S, Vinet A, et al. Effect of aerobic training and detraining on left ventricular dimensions and diastolic function in prepubertal boys and girls. Int J Sports Med 2001; 22: 90–6PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Baquet G, Berthoin S, Van Praagh E. High-intensity aerobic training during a 10 week one-hour physical education cycle: effects on physical fitness of adolescents aged 11 to 16. Int J Sports Med 2001; 22: 295–300PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. 47.
    Bar-Or O, Zwiren L. Physiological effects of increased frequency of physical education classes and of endurance conditioning on 9 to 10 year-old girls and boys. In: Bar-Or O, editor. Proceedings of the Fourth International Symposium in Pediatric Work Physiology; 1972 Apr 11–13; Netanya. Netanya: Wingate Institute, 1973: 183–198Google Scholar
  48. 48.
    Massicotte DR, Macnab RB. Cardiorespiratory adaptations to training at specified intensities in children. Med Sci Sports 1974; 6(4): 242–6PubMedGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Stewart KJ, Gutin B. Effects of physical training on cardiorespiratory fitness in children. Res Q 1976; 47(1): 110–20PubMedGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Lussier L, Buskirk ER. Effects of an endurance training regimen on assessment of work capacity in prepubertal children. Ann N Y Acad Sci 1977; 30: 734–47CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Yoshida T, Ishiko I, Muraoka I. Effect of endurance training on cardiorespiratory functions of 5-year-old children. Int J Sports Med 1980; 1: 91–4CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Gilliam TB, Freedson PS. Effects of a 12 week school physical fitness program on peak V̇O2, body composition and blood lipids in 7 to 9 year old children. Int J Sports Med 1980; 1: 73–8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. 53.
    Becker DM, Vaccaro P. Anaerobic threshold alterations caused by endurance training in young children. J Sports Med 1983; 23: 445–9Google Scholar
  54. 54.
    Savage MP, Petratis M, Thomson WH. Exercise training effects on serum lipids of prepubertal boys and adult men. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1986; 18: 197–204PubMedGoogle Scholar
  55. 55.
    Docherty D, Wenger HA, Collis ML. The effects of resistance training on aerobic and anaerobic power of young boys. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1987; 19: 389–92PubMedGoogle Scholar
  56. 56.
    Mahon AD, Vaccaro P. Ventilatory threshold and V̇O2max changes in children following endurance training. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1989; 21: 425–31PubMedGoogle Scholar
  57. 57.
    Yoshizawa S, Honda H, Urushibara M, et al. Effects of endurance run on circulorespiratory system in young children. J Hum Ergol (Tokyo) 1990; 19: 41–52Google Scholar
  58. 58.
    Rowland TW, Varzeas MR, Walsh CA. Aerobic responses to walking training in sedentary adolescents. J Adolesc Health 1991; 12(1): 30–4PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. 59.
    Rowland TW, Boyajian A. Aerobic response to endurance training in children. Pediatrics 1995; 96(4): 654–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  60. 60.
    Rowland TW, Martel L, Vanderburgh P, et al. The influence of short-term aerobic training on blood lipids in healthy 10–12 year old children. Int J Sports Med 1996; 17(7): 487–92PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. 61.
    McManus AM, Armstrong N, Williams CA. Effect of training on the aerobic power and anaerobic performance of prepubertal girls. Acta Paediatr 1997; 86: 456–9PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. 62.
    Welsman JR, Armstrong N, Withers S. Responses of young girls to two modes of aerobic training. Br J Sports Med 1997; 31: 139–42PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. 63.
    Yoshizawa S, Honda H, Nakamura N, et al. Effects of an 18-month endurance run training program on maximal aerobic power in 4- to 6-year-old girls. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1997; 9: 33–43Google Scholar
  64. 64.
    Tolfrey K, Campbell IG, Batterham AM. Aerobic trainability of prepubertal boys and girls. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1998; 10: 248–63Google Scholar
  65. 65.
    Stoedefalke K, Armstrong N, Kirby BJ, et al. Effect of training on peak oxygen uptake and blood lipids in 13 to 14-year-old girls. Acta Paediatr 2000; 89: 1290–4PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  66. 66.
    Williams CA, Armstrong N, Powell J. Aerobic responses of prepubertal boys to two modes of training. Br J Sports Med 2000; 34: 168–73PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. 67.
    Mandigout S, Lecoq AM, Courteix D, et al. Effect of gender in response to an aerobic training programme in prepubertal children. Acta Paediatr 2001; 90: 9–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  68. 68.
    Baquet G, Berthoin S, Dupont G, et al. Effects of high intensity intermittent training on peak V̇O2 in prepubertal children. Int J Sports Med 2002; 23: 439–44PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  69. 69.
    LeMura LM, Von Duvillard SP, Carlonas R, et al. Can exercise training improve maximal aerobic power (V̇O2max) in children: a meta-analytic review. J Exerc Physiol 1999; 2(3): 1–22Google Scholar
  70. 70.
    Naughton G, Farpour-Lambert NJ, Carlson J, et al. Physiological issues surrounding the performance of adolescent athletes. Sports Med 2000; 30: 309–25PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. 71.
    Kemper HCG, Van de Kop H. Entraînement de la puissance maximale aérobie chez les enfants prépubères et pubères. Sci Sports 1995; 10: 29–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  72. 72.
    Rowland TW. Developmental aspects of physiological function relating to aerobic exercise in children. Sports Med 1990; 10: 255–66PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. 73.
    Siegel PZ, Brackbill RM, Frazier EL, et al. Behavioral risk surveillance, 1986–1990. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep 1991; 40: 1–22Google Scholar
  74. 74.
    Armstrong N, Kirby BJ, McManus AM. Aerobic fitness of prepubescent children. Ann Hum Biol 1995; 22: 427–44PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. 75.
    Falgairette G, Duché P, Bedu M, et al. Bioenergetic characteristics in prepubertal swimmers: comparison with active and nonactive boys. Int J Sports Med 1993; 14: 444–8PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  76. 76.
    Magel JR, Foglia GF, McArdle WD, et al. Specificity of swim training on maximum oxygen uptake. J Appl Physiol 1975; 38: 151–5PubMedGoogle Scholar
  77. 77.
    McArdle WD, Magel JR, Delio DJ, et al. Specificity of run training on V̇O2max and heart rate changes during running and swimming. Med Sci Sports 1978; 10(1): 16–20PubMedGoogle Scholar
  78. 78.
    Gergley TJ, McArdle WD, Dejesus P, et al. Specificity of arm training on aerobic power during swimming and running. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1984; 19: 49–54Google Scholar
  79. 79.
    Léger L, Mercier D, Gadoury C, et al. The multistage 20 metre shuttle run test for aerobic fitness. J Sports Sci 1988; 6: 93–101PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  80. 80.
    Turley KR, Wilmore JH. Cardiovascular responses to treadmill and cycle ergometer exercise in children and adults. J Appl Physiol 1997; 83: 948–57PubMedGoogle Scholar
  81. 81.
    Billat V, Koralsztein JP. Significance of the velocity at V̇O2max and time to exhaustion at this velocity. Sports Med 1996; 22: 90–108PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  82. 82.
    Leger L, Boucher R. An indirect continuous running multistage field test: the Université de Montréal Track Test. Can J Appl Sport Sci 1980; 5: 77–84PubMedGoogle Scholar
  83. 83.
    Berthoin S, Baquet G, Rabita J, et al. Validity of the Université de Montreal Track Test to assess the velocity associated with peak oxygen uptake for adolescents. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1999; 39: 107–12PubMedGoogle Scholar
  84. 84.
    Katch VL, Sady SS, Freedson P. Biological variability in maximum aerobic power. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1982; 14: 21–5PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  85. 85.
    Wenger HA, Bell GJ. The interactions of intensity, frequency and duration of exercise training altering cardiorespiratory fitness. Sports Med 1986; 3: 346–56PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  86. 86.
    Kemper HCG, Verschuur R, Ras KGA, et al. Effect of 5-versus 3-lessons-a-week physical education program upon physical development of 12 and 13-year old schoolboys. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 1976; 16(4): 319–26PubMedGoogle Scholar
  87. 87.
    Klausen K, Rasmussen B. Effect of five physical education lessons a week on some anthropometric and physiological variables in school children. In: Telama R, Varstala J, Tiainen J, et al., editors. Research in school physical education. Proceedings of the International Symposium on Research in School Physical Education; 1982 Nov 18–21; Jyvaskyla. Jyvaskyla: Foundation for Promotion of Physical Culture and Health, 1983: 203–9Google Scholar
  88. 88.
    Stratton G. Children’s heart rate during physical education lessons: a review. Pediatr Exerc Sci 1996; 8: 215–33Google Scholar
  89. 89.
    American College of Sports Medicine. ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Baltimore (MD): Williams and Wilkins, 1995Google Scholar
  90. 90.
    Baquet G, Berthoin S, Van Praagh E. Are intensified physical education sessions able to elicit heart rate at a sufficient level to promote adolescents physical fitness. Res Q Exerc Sport 2002; 73(3): 282–8PubMedGoogle Scholar
  91. 91.
    Bailey RC, Olson J, Pepper SL, et al. The level and tempo of children’s physical activities: an observation study. Med Sci Sports Exerc 1995; 27: 1033–41PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  92. 92.
    Dupont G, Blondel N, Lensel G, et al. Critical velocity and time spent at V̇O2max for short intermittent runs at supramaximal velocities. Can J Appl Physiol 2002; 27(2): 103–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Adis Data Information BV 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Georges Baquet
    • 1
  • Emmanuel Van Praagh
    • 2
  • Serge Berthoin
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratoire d’Etudes de la Motricité Humaine, Faculty of Sports Sciences and Physical EducationUniversity of Lille 2RonchinFrance
  2. 2.Faculty of Sports SciencesBlaise Pascal UniversityClermont-FerrandFrance

Personalised recommendations