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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2000 Jun;32(6):1080-7.

Cardiovascular responses during prolonged exercise at ventilatory threshold in boys and men.

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Human Performance Laboratory, Ball State University, Muncie, IN, USA.



The purpose of this study was to examine the cardiovascular responses during prolonged exercise in boys and men at an intensity set relative to ventilatory threshold (VT).


Eight boys (10-13 yr) and 10 men (18-25 yr) completed an orientation trial, a maximal exercise test, and a 40-min submaximal exercise bout at an intensity equal to the VO2 at VT (approximately 64.5% VO2max).


Heart rate (HR) was higher and stroke volume (SV) was lower in the boys compared with the men (P < or = 0.05). From 10 to 40 min, HR significantly increased 9.5% and 13.6% and SV significantly decreased 8.8% and 11.6% in the boys and men, respectively. Despite the tendency for the changes in HR and SV to be greater in the men, the group-by-time interaction was not significant. Cardiac output was greater in the men (P < or = 0.05) but remained constant over time (P > 0.05). In men, mean arterial blood pressure was higher (P < or = 0.05) and decreased 4.2% over time. In boys, mean arterial blood pressure remained constant, which resulted in a significant group-by-time interaction. Total peripheral resistance (TPR) was significantly higher in the boys and remained constant over time (P > 0.05). From 0 to 40 min, the decrease in plasma volume was significantly greater in the men (-10.2%) than the boys (-5.7%) but was unrelated to the changes in SV in either group (P > 0.05).


In conclusion, the cardiovascular responses during prolonged exercise are similar in boys and men, although there is a tendency for the magnitude of cardiovascular drift to be greater in the men.

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