Date of Award
Master of Arts
Dr. Earl Noble
The effects of an eight week endurance training program were compared between a group of formerly-active subjects (i.e., had participated in activity that demanded an energy expenditure of at least seven METS, for a minimum of three to four months per year for at least two years) and a group of subjects who had never participated in physical training on a regular basis. All subjects were male, 30 to 39 years old and had led relatively sedentary lifestyles for at least the last ten years. Variables measured included VO2 max (both rate and amount of improvement), aerobic (AerT) and anaerobic (AnT) thresholds (relative and absolute values), body weight and estimated body fat, total mean power output per training session and attitude toward physical activity.
Training programs were conducted (employing stationary bicycle ergometers) which were identical for both groups in terms of duration, intensity and frequency. Progressive work tests to exhaustion were administered before, during and after training to measure changes in VO2 max and in the thresholds.
It was observed that the formerly-active group demonstrated a greater and more rapid percentage increase in VO2 max than did the sedentary group; however there were no significant differences between groups in absolute (l.min -1)or relative VO2 max (ml.kg. -1 min -1 ) pre- or post-training. The formerly-active group also maintained lower relative AerT and AnT values throughout the training period. It was concluded that people who were at one time physically active on a regular basis are not more trainable in either absolute (l.min -1)or relative (ml.kg. -1 min -1) VO max than their more sedentary contemporaries although the formerly-active group did demonstrate a greater increase in VO^max when expressed as percent improvement, and also seemed to improve more rapidly in the initial four weeks of training.
Riddell, Donna Jane, "A Comparison of the Trainability of Former Athletes and Sedentary Men, 30-39 Years Old" (1984). Digitized Theses. 3697.