The effect of training frequency on selected physical and hemodynamic parameters in the training and retraining of sedentary adult males

  • MC Opperman
  • GL Strydom
Keywords: Training, detraining, retraining, frequency, physical working capacity, systolic/diastolic blood pressure


In the endeavour to apply exercise as a therapeutic or prophylactic modality, the health professional is challenged by the science of exercise prescription. In order to prescribe the correct “dosage” for a specific problem, the exercise principles (frequency, intensity, duration and time) should be borne in mind. Another frequently asked question to the Biokineticist/ Exercise Physiologist is what the effect of detraining and retraining will be when an interruption occurs in the rehabilitation or conditioning regimen. Hence the aim of this study was to determine the effect of training frequency on some physical and hemodynamic parameters in the training and retraining of adult males. Sixty (60) healthy but sedentary Caucasian males aged 28 – 49 years were recruited to participate in this study. They were randomly selected into 3 groups of 20 each. Groups A and B served as the training groups while group C formed the control group which remained sedentary, and followed their normal lifestyle. The experimental groups (A & B) initially trained for 12 weeks at a training frequency of 3 times a week. This was followed by a detraining and retraining regimen of 12 weeks each. During the retraining period, Groups A and B retrained at a frequency of 2 and 4 times per week respectively. Some physical and hemodynamic parameters were assessed before (baseline) as well as after each phase. The physical working capacity (PWC) results of this study indicated that the experimental groups lost about 50% of the gained benefits after 12 weeks of detraining. With retraining, a frequency of 2 times a week was able to maintain the level of PWC (Group A) while Group B, retraining at a frequency of 4 times a week, improved and exceeded the capacity reached after the initial training phase. The systolic and diastolic blood pressure at rest indicated salutogenic changes following the training and retraining regimens, with deterioration during detraining. However, not all changes were statistically significant. The parameters representing the effectiveness of cardio-vascular functioning during exercise, viz. systolic blood pressure as well as double product at peak (DP peak) workload, reflected statistically significant improvement with a training frequency of 3 times a week. After 12 weeks of detraining, deterioration occurred in all mentioned  parameters, but not to the pre-training level. With retraining, a training frequency of 2 times a week showed improvement (but not significant) in DP peak but not in SBP peak, while retraining at a frequency of 4 times a week resulted in statistically significant improvements.

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print ISSN: 2411-6939