Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2011) 10, 546 - 552

Research article
VO2 Off Transient Kinetics in Extreme Intensity Swimming
Ana Sousa1, Pedro Figueiredo1, Kari L. Keskinen2, Ferran A. Rodríguez3, Leandro Machado1, João P. Vilas-Boas1, Ricardo J. Fernandes1, 
Author Information
1 Centre of Research, Education, Innovation and Intervention in Sport, Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Portugal
2 Finnish Society of Sport Sciences, Finland
3 National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Ricardo J. Fernandes
✉ Faculty of Sport, University of Porto, Rua Plácido Costa, 91, 4200, Portugal
Publish Date
Received: 18-04-2011
Accepted: 20-07-2011
Published (online): 01-09-2011
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Inconsistencies about dynamic asymmetry between the on- and off- transient responses in oxygen uptake are found in the literature. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to characterize the oxygen uptake off-transient kinetics during a maximal 200-m front crawl effort, as examining the degree to which the on/off regularity of the oxygen uptake kinetics response was preserved. Eight high level male swimmers performed a 200-m front crawl at maximal speed during which oxygen uptake was directly measured through breath-by-breath oxymetry (averaged every 5 s). This apparatus was connected to the swimmer by a low hydrodynamic resistance respiratory snorkel and valve system. Results: The on- and off-transient phases were symmetrical in shape (mirror image) once they were adequately fitted by a single-exponential regression models, and no slow component for the oxygen uptake response was developed. Mean (± SD) peak oxygen uptake was 69.0 (± 6.3) mL·kg-1·min-1, significantly correlated with time constant of the off- transient period (r = 0.76, p < 0.05) but not with any of the other oxygen off-transient kinetic parameters studied. A direct relationship between time constant of the off-transient period and mean swimming speed of the 200-m (r = 0.77, p < 0.05), and with the amplitude of the fast component of the effort period (r = 0.72, p < 0.05) were observed. The mean amplitude and time constant of the off-transient period values were significantly greater than the respective on- transient. In conclusion, although an asymmetry between the on- and off kinetic parameters was verified, both the 200-m effort and the respectively recovery period were better characterized by a single exponential regression model.

Key words: Swimming, oxygen uptake kinetics, recovery, front crawl

           Key Points
  • The VO slow component was not observed in the recovery period of swimming extreme efforts;
  • The on and off transient periods were better fitted by a single exponential function, and so, these effort and recovery periods of swimming extreme efforts are symmetrical;
  • The rate of VO decline during the recovery period may be due to not only the magnitude of oxygen debt but also the VOpeak obtained during the effort period.
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