South African Journal of Sports Medicine

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Impact of training status on maximal oxygen uptake criteria attainment during running

CJ Christie, BI Lock


Objectives. The aims of this study were to assess whether training status influenced maximal physiological and perceptual responses and whether certain maximal criteria were more sensitive for individuals with different levels of training. Methods. Males who were either trained (N=8) or untrained (N=9) underwent a maximal treadmill test to assess whether the
criteria to indicate VO2 max were training-specific.

Results. VO2 max was significantly higher in the trained ( compared with the untrained group (54.5 Only 11% of the trained and 56% of the untrained individuals achieved a plateau in the oxygen uptake curve. Peak treadmill running speed was significantly faster and total test time significantly longer in the trained group. In contrast, peak lactate, although maximal for both groups, was significantly higher in the untrained group (13.5 mmol.l-1 compared with 10.3 mmol.l-1). The other responses were not different between the groups. Noteworthy is that none of the subjects achieved all of the criteria indicating a maximal effort. The criteria most achieved in both samples
were HRmax, RPEmax and Lamax with the latter being the most
attained in the untrained group and RPEmax being mostly attained
by the trained group.

Conclusions. The criteria used to indicate attainment of VO2 max may be limited and may differ when comparing a heterogeneous training sample. Although VO2 max was significantly higher in the trained group, responses were different for O2 plateau attainment and Lamax but similar for the other British Association of Sports Sciences criteria. It may be concluded that the physiological variables coinciding with maximal effort may differ in individuals with different levels of training.
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