This paper deals with the measurement of aerobic and anaerobic power in children, and how these capacities are affected by growth and training. The type of tests available, the selection of ergometer, establishment of criteria for determining whether a maximal value has been attained, and the limitations of the various expressions of maximal values are discussed. Aerobic capacity, when expressed in liters per minute, has been observed to increase with growth; when expressed relative to body weight, aerobic capacity has been shown to remain the same or decrease with age. Anaerobic capacity increases with age no matter how the values are expressed. Limited evidence suggests that training during prepubescence does not increase aerobic capacity beyond that expected from growth. Several methodological limitations of longitudinal studies are examined.
Linda D. Zwiren
Bart C. Bongers, Maarten S. Werkman, Donna Blokland, Maria J.C. Eijsermans, Patrick van der Torre, Bart Bartels, Olaf Verschuren and Tim Takken
To determine criterion validity of the pediatric running-based anaerobic sprint test (RAST) as a nonsophisticated field test for evaluating anaerobic performance in healthy children and adolescents.
Data from 65 healthy children (28 boys and 37 girls between 6 and 18 years of age, mean ± SD age: 10.0 ± 2.8 years) who completed both the pediatric RAST and the 30-s Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) on a cycle ergometer in a randomized order were analyzed. Peak power (PP) and mean power (MP) were the primary outcome measures for both tests.
There were no significant sex-differences in PP and MP attained at the pediatric RAST and the WAnT. Age was strongly correlated to pediatric RAST and WAnT performance (Spearman’s rho values ranging from 0.85 to 0.90, with p < .001 for all coefficients). We found high correlation coefficients between pediatric RAST performance and WAnT performance for both PP (Spearman’s rho: 0.86; p < .001) and MP (Spearman’s rho: 0.91; p < .001).
The pediatric RAST can be used as a valid and nonsophisticated field test for the assessment of anaerobic performance in healthy children and adolescents. For clinical evaluative purposes, we suggest to use MP of the pediatric RAST when assessing glycolytic power in the absence of the WAnT.
Michael Chia, Neil Armstrong and David Childs
Twenty-five girls and 25 boys (mean age 9.7 ± 0.3 years) each completed a 20- and 30-s Wingate Anaerobic Test (WAnT). Oxygen uptake during the WAnTs, and postexercise blood lactate samples were obtained. Inertia and load-adjusted power variables were higher (18.6–20.1% for peak, and 6.7–7.5% for mean power outputs, p < .05) than the unadjusted values for both the 20- and 30-s WAnTs. The adjusted peak power values were higher (7.7–11.6%, p < .05) in both WAnTs when integrated over 1-s than over 5-s time periods. The aerobic contributions to the tests were lower (p < .05) in the 20-s WAnT (13.7–35.7%) than in the 30-s WAnT (17.7–44.3%) for assumed mechanical efficiencies of 13% and 30%. Postexercise blood lactate concentration after the WAnTs peaked by 2 min. No gender differences (p > .05) in anaerobic performances or peak blood lactate values were detected.
Roy C.M. Mulder, Dionne A. Noordhof, Katherine R. Malterer, Carl Foster and Jos J. de Koning
Previous research showed that gross efficiency (GE) declines during exercise and therefore influences the expenditure of anaerobic and aerobic resources.
To calculate the anaerobic work produced during cycling time trials of different length, with and without a GE correction.
Anaerobic work was calculated in 18 trained competitive cyclists during 4 time trials (500, 1000, 2000, and 4000-m). Two additional time trials (1000 and 4000 m) that were stopped at 50% of the corresponding “full” time trial were performed to study the rate of the decline in GE.
Correcting for a declining GE during time-trial exercise resulted in a significant (P < .001) increase in anaerobically attributable work of 30%, with a 95% confidence interval of [25%, 36%]. A significant interaction effect between calculation method (constant GE, declining GE) and distance (500, 1000, 2000, 4000 m) was found (P < .001). Further analysis revealed that the constant-GE calculation method was different from the declining method for all distances and that anaerobic work calculated assuming a constant GE did not result in equal values for anaerobic work calculated over different time-trial distances (P < .001). However, correcting for a declining GE resulted in a constant value for anaerobically attributable work (P = .18).
Anaerobic work calculated during short time trials (<4000 m) with a correction for a declining GE is increased by 30% [25%, 36%] and may represent anaerobic energy contributions during high-intensity exercise better than calculating anaerobic work assuming a constant GE.
Yvonne Baillie, Matt Wyon and Andrew Head
This study looked at the physiological effects of performance in Highland-dance competition to consider whether the traditional methods used during class and rehearsal provide an appropriate training stimulus toward this performance.
Nine championship standard, female Highland dancers (age 14.2 ± 1.47 years) had their heart rate and blood lactate concentrations measured before and after 3 dances during a championship competition. Heart rate was also measured during the same 3 dances in rehearsal and during class.
Repeated-measures analysis of variance showed significant differences in pre dance lactate concentrations between the first dance (Highland Fling, 1.4 ± 0.3 mM/L), the second dance (Sword dance, 2.3 ± 0.8 mM/L), and the third dance (Sean Truibhas, 3.5 ± 1.8 mM/L; F 2,16 = 11.72, P < .01. This, coupled with a significant rise in lactate concentration during the dances (F 1,8 = 76.75, P < .001), resulted in a final post dance lactate concentration of 7.3 ± 2.96 mM/L. Heart-rate data during competition, rehearsal, and class (195.0 ± 6.5, 172.6 ± 5.4, and 151.9 ± 7.4 beats/min, respectively) showed significant differences between all 3 (F2,16 = 107.1, P < .001); these are comparable to research on other dance forms.
Given the disparity between the anaerobic predominance of competition and the aerobic predominance during class, it is suggested that the class does not provide an appropriate training stimulus as preparation for competitive performance in Highland dance.
Georgine Gaisl and Peter Hofmann
Ethical and logistical limitations preclude the routine determination of anaerobic threshold in children by invasive measurement of blood lactate concentrations or ventilatory parameters. A noninvasive field test developed by Conconi can be used to determine anaerobic threshold through analysis of the heart rate curve during increased exercise workloads. Although this test was initially evaluated in adult athletes, recent data indicate that the Conconi test is applicable to children in both laboratory and field settings. Close correlation with lactate-derived anaerobic threshold appears to be possible when utilizing standard testing protocols.
Emmanuel Van Praagh
This review summarizes the research relating anaerobic function to growth among children and adolescents. Pediatric practitioners and scientists are always struck by the impressive accumulation of results relating to the cardiopulmonary system. However, anaerobic fitness has received much less research attention. This is surprising, considering that high-intensity exercises lasting only a few seconds is a more “natural” pattern during growth than prolonged low-intensity exercises. In anaerobic tasks or sport events such as sprint running, sprint swimming, sprint cycling, jumping, or throwing, the child’s performance is distinctly lower than that of the adult. This partly reflects the child’s lesser ability to generate mechanical energy from chemical energy sources during short-term intensive work or exercise. Because both intramuscular high energy phosphate kinetics and muscle cross-section vary during growth and maturation, this review examines some developmental aspects of energetic- and mechanical factors involved in anaerobic performance. Anaerobic muscle function and performance are quantitative traits influenced by several determinants such as genetic factors, age and gender, muscle fiber characteristics, hormonal and training factors. Because of ethical and methodological constraints when investigating healthy children, this review also includes fundamental work done on some animal models.
Melissa J. Crowe, Anthony S. Leicht and Warwick L. Spinks
This study investigated the effects of caffeine on repeated, anaerobic exercise using a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. Seventeen subjects (five female) underwent cognitive (reaction time, number recall) and blood (glucose, potassium, catecholamines, lactate) testing before and after consuming caffeine (6 mg/kg), placebo, or nothing (control). An exercise test (two 60 s maximal cycling bouts) was conducted 90 min after caffeine/placebo consumption. Plasma caffeine concentrations significantly increased after caffeine ingestion, however, there were no positive effects on cognitive or blood parameters except a significant decrease in plasma potassium concentrations at rest. Potentially negative effects of caffeine included significantly higher blood lactate compared to control and significantly slower time to peak power in exercise bout 2 compared to control and placebo. Caffeine had no significant effect on peak power, work output, RPE, or peak heart rate. In conclusion, caffeine had no ergogenic effect on repeated, maximal cycling bouts and may be detrimental to anaerobic performance.
David C. Buttifant, John S. Carlson and Geraldine A. Naughton
Anaerobic characteristics of preadolescent asthmatic and nonasthmatic males were measured using the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD) on 10 asthmatics (mean age = 10.9 years) and 10 nonasthmatics (mean age = 11.1 years). Subjects ran to exhaustion at speeds that were 110% and 130% of their V̇O2 peak. Mean AOD values for 110% and 130% were 53.23 ± 4.02 and 50.60 ± 2. 81 ml · kg−1, respectively, for the asthmatic children’s and 51.59 ± 2.66 and 47.04 ± 3.44 ml · kg−1, respectively, for the nonasthmatic children. There were no statistically significant differences in anaerobic characteristics measured by AOD values (p > .05) between intensities and groups. FEV1 data revealed that there was no bronchoconstriction occurring in either group under either of the test intensity conditions for up to 15 min postexercise.
Moran Sagiv, Michael Sagiv, Ehud Goldhammer and David Ben-Sira
Left ventricular function was evaluated in 14 adolescents (13.1 ± 1 years) at maximal oxygen uptake and at peak Wingate anaerobic test by means of echocardiography. Significant (p < .05) differences between aerobic and Wingate test bouts were found for: cardiac output (15.5 ± 1.2 and 12.2 ± 1.1 L/min, respectively); left ventricular end-systolic pressure—volume ratio (5.2 ± 0.8 and 6.0 ± 0.7, respectively); ejection fraction (72.2 ± 5.2 and 65.2 ± 5.1%, respectively); and mean arterial blood pressure (102.9 ± 10.8 and 111.1 ± 11.3 mmHg, respectively). Data suggest that left ventricular function at peak Wingate anaerobic test was markedly lower from that observed at peak aerobic exercise as a result of a higher afterload response.