Leg strength and the VO2max of older men
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The purpose of the study was to determine if leg strength limits VO2max and the ability to reach a plateau during VO2max test in older men during cycle ergometry. Men aged 70-80 years were randomly selected into a strength training (ST, n=12) 3 times weekly for 16 weeks, followed by 4 weeks detraining or a non-training control group (C, n=12). Leg strength and VO2max were assessed every 4 weeks for 20 weeks; body composition and cardiac function were assessed before and after 16 weeks training and after 4 weeks detraining. Leg strength, upper leg muscle mass (ULMM), arterial-venous O2 difference (a- v¯O2max difference) and VO2max increased in the ST group (95±0.6%, 7±0.7%. 6.2±0.5% and 8±0.8%, respectively; P2max and a- v¯O2max difference returned to pre-training levels. There was no change in the ability of the participants to reach a plateau during VO2max testing over the 20-week study. These findings indicate that leg strength may not limit either VO2max or the ability to plateau during VO2max tests in older men during cycle ergometry.
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