Document Detail

Maximal and submaximal exercise performance at altitude.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  9715971     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
BACKGROUND: Exercise performance data of numerous altitude research studies and competitive sporting events of the last four decades are reviewed. METHODS: The primary focus is on the wide interindividual variation associated with maximal and submaximal exercise performance that occurs at different altitudes and for different periods of time at altitude. RESULTS: Fitness level, pre-exposure resident altitude, gender, and duration of altitude exposure are qualitatively assessed to determine their contribution to the overall variability. Of these, pre-altitude exposure fitness level difference contributes the most variability and gender difference contributes the least. It is also determined that beginning at an altitude of 580 m, maximal aerobic power (VO2max reduced and does not improve with extended exposure as long as the individual's level of fitness level is not altered significantly by increases in activity, exercise training or by altitude-induced physical deterioration. Submaximal exercise performance is also impaired at altitude. CONCLUSION: By assessing the performance of elite athletes, who are performing at an "all-out" effort in precisely timed events for which they are trained, it is determined that: a) the magnitude of submaximal exercise impairment is proportional to both the elevation and exercise duration at a given altitude; and b) submaximal exercise performance at altitude can improve with continued exposure without an increase in VO2max. Muscle strength, maximal muscle power, and anaerobic performance at altitude are not affected as long as muscle mass is maintained. In addition, performance is not impaired in athletic activities that have a minimal aerobic component and can be performed at high velocity (e.g., sprints).
C S Fulco; P B Rock; A Cymerman
Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Aviation, space, and environmental medicine     Volume:  69     ISSN:  0095-6562     ISO Abbreviation:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Publication Date:  1998 Aug 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1998-10-08     Completed Date:  1998-10-08     Revised Date:  2004-11-17    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7501714     Medline TA:  Aviat Space Environ Med     Country:  UNITED STATES    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  793-801     Citation Subset:  IM; S    
Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760-5007, USA.
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MeSH Terms
Exercise / physiology*
Muscle, Skeletal / physiology
Oxygen Consumption*
Physical Fitness
Sports / physiology*

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