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01.09.2009 | Original Article | Ausgabe 1/2009

European Journal of Applied Physiology 1/2009

Respiratory compensation and blood pH regulation during variable intensity exercise in trained versus untrained subjects

European Journal of Applied Physiology > Ausgabe 1/2009
Juan Del Coso, Nassim Hamouti, Roberto Aguado-Jimenez, Ricardo Mora-Rodriguez


To determine whether endurance-trained cyclists (T; n = 10) have a superior blood-respiratory buffering for metabolic acidosis relative to untrained subjects (UT; n = 10) during variable intensity exercise (VAR). On three occasions, T and UT pedaled for 24 min alternating high- and low-intensities as percentage of their second ventilatory threshold (VT2): VARLOW 87.5–37.5% VT2, VARMODERATE 125–25% VT2, and VARHIGH 162.5–12.5% VT2 to complete the same amount of work. Before and just after each VAR trial, maximal cycling power (PMAX) was assessed. For each trial, the respiratory compensation for exercise acidosis (ventilatory equivalent for CO2) and the final blood pH, lactate and bicarbonate concentrations were similar for T and UT subjects. However, after VARHIGH, UT reduced PMAX (−14 ± 1%; P < 0.05) while T did not. Our data suggest that endurance training confers adaptations to withstand the low pH provoked by VAR without losing cycling power, although this response is not due to differences in blood-respiratory buffering.

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