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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 13  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 39-41

Maximal exercise testing as an evaluation tool in assessment of cardiovascular system adaptability in trained athletes


1 Department of Anesthesiology, Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Andhra Pradesh, India
2 Department of Physiology, Basaveshwara Medical College, Chitradurga, Andhra Pradesh, India
3 Department of Physiology, PES Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Kuppam, Andhra Pradesh, India

Date of Web Publication28-May-2013

Correspondence Address:
Amrith Pakkala
Dept of Physiology, PES IMSR, Kuppam
India
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DOI: 10.4103/1319-6308.112235

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  Abstract 

Background: There are conflicting opinions about the degree of adaptability of the cardiovascular system in delivering the physiological needs in case of severe exercise. Role of the normal cardiovascular system in delivering oxygen to meet the demands of various degrees of exercise has been a topic of considerable debate. One view holds that the cardiovascular system is not normally the most limiting factor in the delivery of oxygen, others hold the absence of structural adaptability to physical training cause of limitation of the cardiovascular system. Methods: Cardiovascular functions were assessed after maximal exercise testing by recording parameters like maximum heart rate, delta heart rate, recovery heart rate and maximum oxygen pulse in two groups' viz., athletes and non-athletes. Results: On studying the differences in cardiovascular functions in two groups of non-athletes and athletes, there was no significant difference in maximum heart rate. The other parameters like delta heart rate and maximum oxygen pulse were on the higher side in trained subjects while the recovery heart rate was significantly lower in the athlete group which was consistently maintained after exercise testing. Based on these findings it is suggested that there is a higher adaptability of the cardiovascular system to the training stimulus in the form of better VO2 max (maximum oxygen consumption), faster recovery of the exercise heart rate, and a lesser risk for cardiovascular mortality as suggested by the higher delta heart rate.

Keywords: Delta heart rate, maximal exercise testing, maximum heart rate, maximum oxygen pulse


How to cite this article:
Raghavendra T, Pakkala A, Ganashree C P. Maximal exercise testing as an evaluation tool in assessment of cardiovascular system adaptability in trained athletes. Saudi J Sports Med 2013;13:39-41

How to cite this URL:
Raghavendra T, Pakkala A, Ganashree C P. Maximal exercise testing as an evaluation tool in assessment of cardiovascular system adaptability in trained athletes. Saudi J Sports Med [serial online] 2013 [cited 2022 Jan 24];13:39-41. Available from: https://www.sjosm.org/text.asp?2013/13/1/39/112235


  Introduction Top


On considering the various available opinions about the degree of adaptability of the cardiovascular system in delivering the physiological needs in case of severe exercise, it is difficult to understand the most limiting factor in the delivery of oxygen to the muscles during maximal muscle aerobic metabolism. [1] Some consider the pulmonary system as the most limiting factor whereas others hold this opinion of the cardiovascular system.

Mechanical constraints on exercise hyperpnoea have been studied as a factor limiting performance in endurance athletes'. [2] Others have considered the absence of structural adaptability to physical training as one of the "weaknesses" inherent in the healthy pulmonary system response to exercise. [3]

Ventilatory functions are an important part of functional diagnostics, [4],[5] aiding selection and optimization of training and early diagnosis of sports pathology. Assessment of exercise response of dynamic lung functions in the healthy pulmonary system in the trained and the untrained has a role in clearing gaps in the above areas. Similarly, assessment of cardiovascular functions by maximal exercise testing is useful in bringing out the adaptability of this system to the exercise stimulus.


  Materials and Methods Top


The present study was conducted in the department of physiology, Karnataka Institute of Medical Sciences, Hubli after obtaining ethical clearance as a part of cardio-pulmonary efficiency studies on two groups of non-athletes (n = 30) and athletes (n = 30) comparable in age and sex.

Informed consent was obtained and clinical examination to rule out any underlying disease was done. Healthy young adult males between 19 and 25 years who regularly undergo training and participate in competitive middle distance (800 meters, 1500 meters) running events for at least past 3 years were considered in the athlete group whereas the non-athlete group did not have any such regular exercise program. Smoking, clinical evidence of anemia, obesity, involvement of the cardio-respiratory system was considered as exclusion criteria.

Detailed procedure of sub maximal and maximal exercise treadmill test was explained to the subjects and informed consent was obtained.

After sub maximal exercise VO 2 max (maximum oxygen consumption) was assessed indirectly by using Astrand's nomogram.

The subjects were afterwards made to undergo maximal exercise testing. Maximal heart rate was determined by electrocardiogram. The delta heart rate was the difference between the maximal heart rate and the resting heart rate. The recovery heart rate was recorded after a period of 1 min from the cessation of maximal exercise. Lead II is selected in the E.C.G. machine and E.C.G. is recorded for 15 s.

Recovery heart rate is obtained by using the formula,

Recovery Heart Rate (HR) = 15 - s HR × 4

Maximum oxygen pulse was calculated by using the formula,



All these sets of recordings were done on both the non-athlete as well as the athlete groups.

Statistical analysis was done using unpaired students t-test, P value of < 0.01 was considered as significant.


  Results and Discussion Top


Considerable information can be obtained by studying the exercise response of dynamic lung functions in untrained and trained subjects.

On comparing the anthropometric data of the two study groups it is clear that the age and sex matched subjects have no statistically significant difference in height, weight and Body Mass Index taking a P value of < 0.01 as significant [Table 1].
Table 1: Comparison of anthropometric data and VO2 max of non-athletes and athletes with statistical analysis1

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VO 2 max values were higher in athletes and was statistically significant (P < 0.001). This observation is expected in view of the training stimulus and adaptability of both the pulmonary system and the cardio vascular system. VO 2 max is an objective index of the functional capacity of the body's ability to generate power [Table 2].
Table 2: Comparison of cardiovascular efficiency parameters of non athletes and athletes with statistical
analysis2


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The lower resting heart rate is attributable to the higher vagal tone in athletes and supports the hypothesis that endurance training modifies heart rate control through neurocardiac mechanisms.

There is no significant difference in the maximal heart rate between the two groups; this indicates a better stroke volume in athletes increasing their VO 2 max.

The higher delta heart rate in athletes suggests that this group is at a lesser risk for cardiovascular mortality.

The faster recovery in athletes is due to the higher vagal tone in this group. Maximum oxygen pulse is an index representing both stroke volume and average A-V oxygen difference; a higher value in athletes suggests that training increases both stroke volume and average A-V oxygen difference.

 
  References Top

1.Guyton AC. Sports physiology. In: Guyton AC, Hall JE, editors. Text Book of Medical Physiology. 11 th ed. Saunders; 2006:1061-62.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.Johnson BD, Saupe KW, Dempsey JA. Mechanical constraints on exercise hyperpnea in endurance athletes. J Appl Physiol 1992;73:874-86.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
3.Dempsey JA, Johnson BD, Saupe KW. Adaptations and limitations in the pulmonary system during exercise. Chest 1990;97:81S-7S.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
4.Andziulis A, Gocentas A, Jascaniniene N, Jaszczanin J, Juozulynas A, Radzijewska M. Respiratory function dynamics in individuals with increased motor activity during standard exercise testing. Fiziol Zh 2005;51:86-7  Back to cited text no. 4
    
5.Seaton A. Pulmonary function testing. In, Seaton A, Seaton D, Leitch AG, editors. Crofton and Douglas's Respiratory Diseases. 5 th ed. Oxford: Oxford University press; 2000. p. 43-5.  Back to cited text no. 5
    



 
 
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  [Table 1], [Table 2]



 

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