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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2007 Oct;101(3):377-83. Epub 2007 Jul 28.

Improvement of VO2max by cardiac output and oxygen extraction adaptation during intermittent versus continuous endurance training.

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CHRU of Strasbourg, Physiology and Functional Explorations Department, Civil Hospital, BP 426, 67091, Strasbourg, France.


Improvement of exercise capacity by continuous (CT) versus interval training (IT) remains debated. We tested the hypothesis that CT and IT might improve peripheral and/or central adaptations, respectively, by randomly assigning 10 healthy subjects to two periods of 24 trainings sessions over 8 weeks in a cross-over design, separated by 12 weeks of detraining. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), cardiac output (Qmax) and maximal arteriovenous oxygen difference (Da-vO2max) were obtained during an exhaustive incremental test before and after each training period. VO2max and Qmax increased only after IT (from 26.3 +/- 1.6 to 35.2 +/- 3.8 ml min(-1) kg(-1) and from 17.5 +/- 1.3 to 19.5 +/- 1.8 l min(-1), respectively; P < 0.01). Da-vO2max increased after both protocols (from 11.0 +/- 0.8 to 12.7 +/- 1.0; P < 0.01 and from 11.0 +/- 0.8 to 12.1 +/- 1.0 ml 100 ml(-1), P < 0.05 in CT and IT, respectively). At submaximal intensity a significant rightward shift of the Q/Da-vO2 relationship appeared only after CT. These results suggest that in isoenergetic training, central and peripheral adaptations in oxygen transport and utilization are training-modality dependant. IT improves both central and peripheral components of Da-vO2max whereas CT is mainly associated with greater oxygen extraction.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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