Kapus, J., Kapus, V., & Ušaj, A. (2010). Can high intensity workloads be simulated at moderate intensities by reduced breathing frequency? A paper presented at the XIth International Symposium for Biomechanics and Medicine in Swimming, Oslo, June 16–19, 2010.

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This study compared some respiratory and metabolic responses during constant load exercises with different breathing conditions (spontaneous and reduced breathing frequency) performed at different absolute intensity. Males (N = 8) performed an incremental cycling test twice: First, with spontaneous breathing and second, with reduced breathing frequency at 10 breaths per minute. A constant load test with reduced breathing frequency was then performed to exhaustion at the peak power output obtained during the incremental test with reduced breathing frequency. Finally, the Ss performed a constant load test with the spontaneous breathing. This test was performed to exhaustion at peak power output obtained during the incremental test with spontaneous breathing. Respiratory parameters, metabolic parameters, and oxygen saturation were measured during both constant load tests. Capillary blood samples were taken before and every minute during both constant load tests for measuring lactate concentration and parameters of blood acid-base status.

Regardless of the type of comparison (the data obtained at the defined time or maximum and minimum values during the exercise), there were no significant differences between spontaneous breathing and reduced breathing frequency in all respiratory parameters, metabolic parameters, and oxygen saturation. Lactate concentration and the partial pressure of CO2 were lower in reduced frequency breathing than in spontaneous breathing. Blood pH was similar in both conditions.

Implication. Reduced breathing frequency has no training benefit. Reduced breathing frequency during exercise at a lower absolute intensity does not produce conditions similar to exercise with spontaneous breathing at higher absolute intensity.

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