Anaerobic threshold alterations caused by endurance training in middle-aged men

J. A. Davis, M. H. Frank, B. J. Whipp, K. Wasserman


Nine previously sedentary middle-aged males underwent cycle endurance training 45 min/day for 9 wk with an average attendance of 4.1 days/wk. Seven males served as controls. Before and after the training period, the subjects performed three cycle ergometer tests. Work rate was incremented by 15 W/min, to the limit of the subjects' tolerance, in the first two tests; the third test consisted of contant-load cycling at an O2 uptake (VO2) just below the pretraining anaerobic threshold (AT). After training, the AT increased significantly by 44%, expressed as absolute VO2, and by 15%, expressed relative to VO2 max. Significant increases were also noted in VO2max (25%), maximal minute ventilation (19%), and maximal work rate (28%). The test-retest correlation coefficients for the AT (%VO2max) were 0.91, pre- and posttraining. Training did not alter steady-state VO2 during the submaximal exercise test whereas significant decreases occurred in CO2 output, VE, respiratory quotient, and VE/VO2. No changes occurred in the control subjects during this period. These results demonstrate that the AT is profoundly influenced by endurance training in previously sedentary middle-aged males.