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John S. Carlson and Geraldine A. Naughton

The purpose of this study was to determine the anaerobic capacity of children using the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit technique (AOD). Eighteen healthy children (9 boys, 9 girls) with a mean age of 10.6 years volunteered as subjects. Peak oxygen uptake and submaximal steady-state oxygen uptake tests were conducted against progressive constant work rates on a Cybex cycle ergometer. Supramaximal work rates were predicted from the linear regression of submaximal steady-state work rates and oxygen uptakes to equal 110, 130, and 150% of peak oxygen uptake. Results indicated a significant interaction in the responses of both sexes when the accumulated oxygen deficit data were expressed in both absolute and relative terms. The profile of accumulated oxygen deficits across the three intensities indicated a downward shift in the girls responses between the 110 and 150% supramaximal tests. This trend was not evident in the boys’ responses. Intraclass correlations conducted on test-retest data indicated that compared to the boys, the reliability of the girls in the accumulated oxygen deficits in liters and ml·kg−1 was poorer.

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Geraldine A. Naughton and John S. Carlson

A definitive measure for assessing the energy contribution of anaerobic pathways during exhaustive exercise remains inconclusive. The accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD) has been used in several studies to estimate energy contribution. The underlying assumptions of the AOD measure have been criticized for underestimating the true contribution of anaerobic metabolism in high intensity exercise. Indeed, the AOD measure has been the subject of much controversy. Several of the physiological exercise responses of children may lead to an even greater underestimation of the anaerobic energy contribution to high intensity exercise in children than adults when AOD measures are calculated.

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Michael Doherty

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of acute caffeine ingestion on the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAOD) and short-term running performance. Nine well-trained males performed a preliminary assessment and. at least 4 days later, a supramaximal run to exhaustion. Their VO2max values were determined, and the MAOD test at an exercise intensity equivalent to 125% VO2max was performed. Caffeine (5 mg ⋅ kg−1) or placebo was administered 1 hr prior to the MAOD in a double-blind, randomized cross-over study. In comparison to the placebo condition, subjects in the caffeine condition developed a significantly greater MAOD and increased their run lime to exhaustion. However, posl-MAOD blood lactate concentration ([HLa]) was not different between trials for caffeine and placebo. Caffeine ingestion can be an effective ergogenic aid for short-term, supramaximal running performance and can increase MAOD. However, these results do not appear to be related to an increased [HLa).

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Daniel Muniz-Pumares, Charles Pedlar, Richard J. Godfrey and Mark Glaister

Purpose:

The aim of the study was to determine the effect of supramaximal exercise intensity during constant work-rate cycling to exhaustion on the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD) and to determine the test–retest reliability of AOD.

Methods:

Twenty-one trained male cyclists and triathletes (mean ± SD for age and maximal oxygen uptake [V̇O2max] were 41 ± 7 y and 4.53 ± 0.54 L/min, respectively) performed initial tests to determine the linear relationship between V̇O2 and power output, and V̇O2max. In subsequent trials, AOD was determined from exhaustive square-wave cycling trials at 105%, 112.5% (in duplicate), 120%, and 127.5% V̇O2max.

Results:

Exercise intensity had an effect (P = .011) on the AOD (3.84 ± 1.11, 4.23 ± 0.96, 4.09 ± 0.87, and 3.93 ± 0.89 L at 105%, 112.5%, 120%, and 127.5% V̇O2max, respectively). Specifically, AOD at 112.5% V̇O2max was greater than at 105% V̇O2max (P = .033) and at 127.5% V̇O2max (P = .022), but there were no differences between the AOD at 112.5% and 120% V̇O2max. In 76% of the participants, the maximal AOD occurred at 112.5% or 120% V̇O2max. The reliability statistics of the AOD at 112.5% V̇O2max, determined as intraclass correlation coefficient and coefficient of variation, were .927 and 8.72%, respectively.

Conclusions:

The AOD, determined from square-wave cycling bouts to exhaustion, peaks at intensities of 112.5–120% V̇O2max. Moreover, the AOD at 112.5% V̇O2max exhibits an 8.72% test–retest reliability.

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Rodrigo De Araujo Bonetti De Poli, Willian Eiji Miyagi, Fabio Yuzo Nakamura and Alessandro Moura Zagatto

The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of acute caffeine supplementation on anaerobic capacity determined by the alternative maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAODALT) in running effort. Eighteen recreational male runners [29 ± 7years; total body mass 72.1 ± 5.8 kg; height 176.0 ± 5.4cm; maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) 55.8 ± 4.2 ml·kg-1 ·min-1] underwent a graded exercise test. Caffeine (6 mg·kg-1) or a placebo were administered 1 hr before the supramaximal effort at 115% of the intensity associated with VO2max in a double-blind, randomized cross-over study, for MAODALT assessment. The time to exhaustion under caffeine condition (130.2 ± 24.5s) was 11.3% higher (p = .01) than placebo condition (118.8 ± 24.9 s) and the qualitative inference for substantial changes showed a very likely positive effect (93%). The net participation of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway was significantly higher in the caffeine condition (p = .02) and showed a likely positive effect (90%) of 15.3% with caffeine supplementation. The time constant of abrupt decay of excess postexercise oxygen consumption (τ1) was significantly different between caffeine and placebo conditions (p = .03) and showed a likely negative effect (90%), decreasing -8.0% with caffeine supplementation. The oxygen equivalents estimated from the glycolytic and phosphagen metabolic pathways showed a possibly positive effect (68%) and possibly negative effect (78%) in the qualitative inference with caffeine ingestion, respectively. However, the MAODALT did not differ under the caffeine or placebo conditions (p = .68). Therefore, we can conclude that acute caffeine ingestion does not modify the MAODALT, reinforcing the robustness of this method. However, caffeine ingestion can alter the glycolytic and phosphagen metabolic pathway contributions to MAODALT.

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Daniel A. Keir, Raphaël Zory, Céline Boudreau-Larivière and Olivier Serresse

Objectives:

Mechanical efficiency (ME) describes the ratio between mechanical (P MECH) and metabolic (P MET) power. The purpose of the study was to include an estimation of anaerobic energy expenditure (AnE) into the quantification of P MET using the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD) and to examine its effect on the value of ME in treadmill running at submaximal, maximal, and supramaximal running speeds.

Methods:

Participants (N = 11) underwent a graded maximal exercise test to determine velocity at peak oxygen uptake (vVO2peak). On 4 separate occasions, subjects ran for 6 min at speeds corresponding to 50%, 70%, 90%, and 110% of vVO2peak. During each testing session, P MET was measured from pulmonary oxygen uptake (VO2p) using opencircuit spirometry and was quantified in 2 ways: from VO2p and an estimate of AnE (from the AOD method) and from VO2p only. P MECH was determined from kinematic analyses.

Results:

ME at 50%, 70%, 90%, and 110% of vVO2peak was 59.9% ± 11.9%, 55.4% ± 12.2%, 51.5% ± 6.8%, and 52.9% ± 7.5%, respectively, when AnE was included in the calculation of P MET. The exclusion of AnE yielded significantly greater values of ME at all speeds: 62.9% ± 11.4%, 62.4% ± 12.6%, 55.1% ± 6.2%, and 64.2% ± 8.4%; P = .001 (for 50%, 70%, 90%, and 110% of vVO2peak, respectively).

Conclusions:

The data suggest that an estimate of AnE should be considered in the computation of P MET when determining ME of treadmill running, as its exclusion leads to overestimations of ME values.

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Jonathan Watkins, Simon Platt, Erik Andersson and Kerry McGawley

Purpose:

The aim of the current study was to investigate pacing strategies and the distribution of physiological resources in best vs worst performances during a series of 4-min self-paced running time trials (RunTTs).

Methods:

Five male and 5 female recreational runners (age 32 ± 7 y) completed a submaximal ramp test and 5 RunTTs on a motor-driven treadmill fitted with a speed-controlling laser system. The supramaximal oxygen-uptake (V̇O2) demand was estimated by linear extrapolation from the submaximal relationship between V̇O2 and speed, enabling computation of the accumulated oxygen deficit.

Results:

There were no significant differences between the 5 RunTTs for any of the performance, physiological, or subjective responses (P > .05). The trial-to-trial variability in pacing (ie, separate quarters) was typically low, with an average within-athlete coefficient of variation of 3.3%, being highest at the start and end of the 4 min. Total distance covered and distance covered over the first and last 2 min for best and worst performances were 1137 ± 94 and 1090 ± 89 (P < .001), 565 ± 53 and 526 ± 40 m (P = .002), and 572 ± 47 and 565 ± 54 m (P = .346), respectively.

Conclusions:

Negative pacing strategies were evident during both the best and the worst performances of the RunTT. Best performances were characterized by more aggressive pacing over the first 2 min compared with worst performances. In addition, the relatively low trial-to-trial variability in running speed suggests that pacing strategies are similar during a series of 4-min self-paced running time trials.

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Thomas Losnegard, Martin Andersen, Matt Spencer and Jostein Hallén

Purpose:

To investigate the effects of an active and a passive recovery protocol on physiological responses and performance between 2 heats in sprint cross-country skiing.

Methods:

Ten elite male skiers (22 ± 3 y, 184 ± 4 cm, 79 ± 7 kg) undertook 2 experimental test sessions that both consisted of 2 heats with 25 min between start of the first and second heats. The heats were conducted as an 800-m time trial (6°, >3.5 m/s, ~205 s) and included measurements of oxygen uptake (VO2) and accumulated oxygen deficit. The active recovery trial involved 2 min standing/walking, 16 min jogging (58% ± 5% of VO2peak), and 3 min standing/walking. The passive recovery trial involved 15 min sitting, 3 min walk/jog (~ 30% of VO2peak), and 3 min standing/walking. Blood lactate concentration and heart rate were monitored throughout the recovery periods.

Results:

The increased 800-m time between heat 1 and heat 2 was trivial after active recovery (effect size [ES] = 0.1, P = .64) and small after passive recovery (ES = 0.4, P = .14). The 1.2% ± 2.1% (mean ± 90% CL) difference between protocols was not significant (ES = 0.3, P = .3). In heat 2, peak and average VO2 was increased after the active recovery protocol.

Conclusions:

Neither passive recovery nor running at ~58% of VO2peak between 2 heats changed performance significantly.

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Kerry McGawley and Hans-Christer Holmberg

Purpose:

Cross-country-ski races place complex demands on athletes, with events lasting between approximately 3 min and 2 h. The aim of the current study was to compare the aerobic and anaerobic measures derived from a short time trial (TT) between male and female skiers using diagonal cross-country skiing.

Methods:

Twenty-four highly trained cross-country skiers (12 male and 12 female, age 17.4 ± 1.4 y, body mass 68.2 ± 8.9 kg, height 174 ± 8 cm) participated. The submaximal VO2–speed relationship and VO2max were derived from an incremental ramp test to exhaustion (RAMP), while the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD), peak VO2, and performance time were measured during a 600-m TT.

Results:

The female skiers took longer to complete the TT than the males (209 ± 9 s vs 166 ± 7 s, P < .001) and exhibited a lower relative anaerobic contribution (20% ± 4% vs 24% ± 3%, P = .015) and a higher fractional utilization of VO2max (84% ± 4% vs 79% ± 5%, P = .007) than males. Although there was no significant difference in AOD between the sexes (40.9 ± 9.5 and 47.3 ± 7.4 mL/kg for females and males, respectively; P = .079), the mean difference ± 90% confidence intervals of 6.4 ± 6.0 mL/kg reflected a likely practical difference (ES = 0.72). The peak VO2 during the TT was significantly higher than VO2max during the RAMP for all participants combined (62.3 ± 6.8 vs 60.5 ± 7.2 mL · kg−1 · min−1, P = .011), and the mean difference ± 90% confidence intervals of 1.8 ± 1.1 mL · kg−1 · min−1 reflected a possible practical difference (ES = 0.25).

Conclusions:

These results show that performance and physiological responses to a self-paced TT lasting approximately 3 min differ between sexes. In addition, a TT may provide a valid measure of VO2max.

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Yongming Li, Margot Niessen, Xiaoping Chen and Ulrich Hartmann

) duration in controlled conditions (ie, in the laboratory) and with the very same subjects. The energy contributions are usually calculated into either 2 or 3 components in most high-intensity sports or exercises. The 2-component method (ie, maximal accumulated oxygen deficit, MAOD) 12 , 13 is based on the