Lactate Threshold Comparison in Anaerobic vs. Aerobic Athletes and Untrained Subjects

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Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

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This study compared VO2 max, lactate threshold (LT) and VO2 at LT (VO2LT) among aerobic athletes (ARA) (n=10), anaerobic athletes (ANA) (n=9) and untrained participants (UTS) (n=7). From a treadmill test to exhaustion, VO2 max and LT (4 mmol·L-1 blood lactate concentration) were assessed. Analysis of variance showed VO2 max (ml·kg-1·min-1) was significantly greater for ARA (67.6 ± 9.4) than ANA (53.4 ± 6.4) and UTS (44.9 + 6.9), with ANA significantly greater than UTS. LT for ARA (82.9 + 6.4) was not significantly different than ANA (77.5 + 13.1). However, ARA and ANA were significantly greater than UTS (66.8 + 5.4). VO2LT (ml·kg-1·min-1) was significantly greater for ARA (55.9 + 7.7) and ANA (41.5 + 8.6) than for UTS (29.9 + 4.1) with ANA significantly greater than UTS. Although used to establish groups, VO2 max for ARA (vs. UTS) reflect aerobic training adaptations. Similarly high LT would be expected in ARA. Modest VO2 max for ANA reflects only a mild stimulus to oxidative pathways (plausibly occurring during recovery from repeated high-intensity efforts). However, anaerobic training may provide a stimulus adequate to increase LT. Elevated LT with moderate changes in VO2 max for ANA provide indirect evidence that differential mechanisms alter VO2 max and LT. Still, VO2 at LT would have the greatest implication with regards to aerobic performance. From a practical standpoint, training approaches may be enhanced with a greater understanding of the impact of anaerobic training on LT. Future research should more directly examine threshold-altering mechanisms between these groups of athletes.


This article was originally published in International Journal of Exercise Science. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


International Journal of Exercise Science

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.