Long lasting exercise involvement protects against VO2 max and VO2 kinetics decline in moderately active women

They studied the effects of age on different physiological parameters, including those derived from the i) maximal cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET), ii) moderate-intensity step-transitions and iii) tensiomyography (TMG)-derived variables in moderately active women. Twenty-eight women (age range from 19 to 53 y), completed three laboratory visits, including baseline data collection, TMG assessment, V̇O2 max. test via CPET, and a step-transition test from 20 W to a moderate-intensity cycling power output (PO), corresponding to V̇O2 at 90% gas exchange threshold. During the step-transitions breath-by-breath pulmonary oxygen uptake (V̇O2p), near infrared spectroscopy derived muscle deoxygenation (ΔHHb), and beat-by-beat cardiovascular response were continuously monitored. There were no differences observed between the young and middle-aged women in their V̇O2 max. and peak PO, while the HR max. was 12 bpm lower in middle-aged compared to young (p=.016). Also, no differences were observed between the age groups in τV̇O2p, ΔHHb, and τHR during on-transients. The first regression model showed that age did not attenuate the maximal CPET capacity in the studied population (p=.638), while in the second model a faster τV̇O2p, combined with shorter TMG-derived contraction time (Tc) of the vastus lateralis (VL), were associated with a higher V̇O2 max. (~30% of explained variance, p=.039). In conclusion, long lasting exercise involvement protects against a V̇O2 max. and τV̇O2p deterioration in moderately active women. Novelty bullets: • Faster pulmonary τV̇O2p and shorter Tc of the VL explain 33% of the variance in superior V̇O2 max. attainment; • No differences between age groups were found in τV̇O2p, τΔHHb, τHR, during on-transient.

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