Sousa, A. C., Figueiredo, P., de Jesus, K., Colaco, P., Oliveira, E., Vilas-Boas, J. P., & Fernandes, R. (2014). Oxygen uptake kinetics at 100% of VO2max: Comparison between cyclic sports. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 46(5), Supplement abstract number 372.

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This study compared the VO2 kinetics of swimmers (N = 8), rowers (N = 8), runners (N = 8), and cyclists (N = 8) during a square wave exercise transition from rest to 100% VO2max intensity. Ss performed: i) an incremental protocol to assess VO2max and its correspondent velocity/power; and ii) a square wave exercise from rest to 100% of VO2max velocity/power to assess its time to exhaustion. Ventilatory parameters were collected breath-by-breath (averaged 5s) using a portable and telemetric gas analyzer. A double-exponential equation and a nonlinear least squares method were implemented for baseline VO2, exponential terms amplitudes (1 and 2), time delays (1 and 2), and time constants (1 and 2) assessment, representing the VO2 kinetics fast and slow components.

Amplitude 1 was lower in swimming compared with rowing and running, and higher in running compared with rowing and cycling. Time constant 1 was higher in swimming compared with the other sports and in cyclists compared with runners. No differences were observed between groups regarding the other VO2 kinetic parameters.

Implication. Swimmers presented slower VO2 kinetics (~45% longer) compared with the other sports. This may be explained by the traditional prone supine position adopted by the swimmers and the higher percentage of active muscular mass. These could potentially compromise muscle perfusion, representing a significant limitation to VO2 kinetics.

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