Relationship between VO2 peak, cycle economy, and mitochondrial respiration in untrained/trained

Academic Article


  • Aerobic capacity is negatively related to locomotion economy. The purpose of this paper is to determine what effect aerobic exercise training has on the relationship between net cycling oxygen uptake (inverse of economy) and aerobic capacity [peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak)], as well as what role mitochondrial coupled and uncoupled respiration may play in whole body aerobic capacity and cycling economy. Cycling net oxygen uptake and V O2peak were evaluated on 31 premenopausal women before exercise training (baseline) and after 8-16 wk of aerobic training. Muscle tissue was collected from 15 subjects at baseline and post-training. Mitochondrial respiration assays were performed using high-resolution respirometry. Pre-(r = 0.46, P < 0.01) and postexercise training (r = 0.62, P < 0.01) VO2 peak and cycling net oxygen uptake were related. In addition, uncoupled and coupled fat respiration were related both at baseline (r = 0.62, P < 0.01) and post-training (r = 0.89, P < 01). Post-training coupled (r = 0.74, P < 0.01) and uncoupled carbohydrate respiration (r = 0.52, P < 05) were related to cycle net oxygen uptake. In addition, correlations between VO2 peak and cycle net oxygen uptake persist both at baseline and after training, even after adjusting for submaximal cycle respiratory quotient (an index of fat oxidation). These results suggest that the negative relationship between locomotion economy and aerobic capacity is increased following exercise training. In addition, it is proposed that at least one of the primary factors influencing this relationship has its foundation within the mitochondria. Strong relationships between coupled and uncoupled respiration appear to be contributing factors for this relationship. NEW & NOTEWORTHY The negative relationship between cycle economy and aerobic capacity is increased following exercise training. The strong relationship between coupled and uncoupled respiration, especially after training, appears to be contributing to this negative relationship between aerobic capacity and cycling economy, suggesting that mitochondrial economy is not increased following aerobic exercise training. These results are suggestive that training programs designed to improve locomotion economy should focus on changing biomechanics.
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    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Hunter GR; Moellering DR; Windham ST; Mathis SL; Bamman MM; Fisher G
  • Start Page

  • 1562
  • End Page

  • 1568
  • Volume

  • 127
  • Issue

  • 6