JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCE & MEDICINE
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Research article  


AGE-ASSOCIATED CHANGES IN VO2 AND POWER OUTPUT - A CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDY OF ENDURANCE TRAINED NEW ZEALAND CYCLISTS


Stephen J. Brown1, Helen J. Ryan1 and Julie A. Brown2

1Institute of Food, Nutrition, and Human Health, Massey University Auckland, 2Faculty of Medical and Health Sciences, Auckland University, New Zealand.


Received   03 June 2007
Accepted   09 August 2007
Published   01 December 2007

© Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2007) 6, 477- 483
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ABSTRACT
Age-associated changes in power and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) were studied in a cross section of endurance trained cyclists. Subjects (n = 56) performed incremental cycling exercise, during which capillary blood lactate [La-] was measured. Power output increased by 30 Watts during each 5 minutes stage, with initial power output based on individual ability. When [La-] was >4.5 mmol·L-1, subjects were given a 10 min recovery at a power output approximately 50% below estimated power at [La-]4mmol. Subjects then performed an incremental test (1 minute stages) to VO2max. Decline in VO2max was 0.65 ml·kg-1·min-1·year-1 (r = -0.72, p < 0.01) for males, and 0.39 ml·kg-1·min-1·year-1 (r = -0.54, p < 0.05) for females. Power at VO2max decreased by 0.048 W kg-1·year-1 (r = -0.72, p < 0.01) in males. Power at [La-]4mmol decreased by 0.044 W kg-1 year-1 (r = -0.76, p < 0.01) in males, and by 0.019 W kg-1·year-1 (r = -0.53, p < 0.05) in females. Heart rate at VO2max (HRmax) showed a weaker correlation with age in males (r = -0.36, p < 0.05). The age-associated changes in maximum aerobic power and sub-maximal power were gender- specific, thus suggesting different age-related effects on the systems which support exercise in males and females.

KEY WORDS: Maximal oxygen consumption, aging, exercise, performance.


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