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A mixed cross-sectional longitudinal design was used to study the effect of growth and physical maturation on peak aerobic and anaerobic mechanical power. Subjects were divided into three groups based on Tanner staging: 16 prepubertal (PP, Stage 1), 15 midpubertal (MP, Stages 2, 3, 4), and 5 late pubertal (LP, Stage 5). Aerobic and anaerobic power were observed every 6 months for IS months. Peak mechanical aerobic power and peak oxygen consumption were determined using a progressive cycle ergometer test. Anaerobic power indices were derived from the Wingate Anaerobic Test. There was no difference in peak mechanical aerobic power (in W · kg−1) among the maturation groups, nor with chronological age. There was a significant difference in peak and mean anaerobic power (in W · kg−1) among maturation groups, but the increase with chronological age was not statistically significant. There was a significant correlation between aerobic and anaerobic power (in Watt) during each session among the PP and MP boys but not among the LP boys. This may suggest that the child’s metabolic specialization into either an aerobic or anaerobic performer begins in late puberty.
Bareket Falk is with the Ribstein Center for Research and Sports Medicine, Wingate Institute, Netanya, 47205, Israel. Oded Bar-Or is with the Children’s Exercise and Nutrition Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ont., Canada L8N 3Z5.