Janz, K. F., & Mahoney, L. T. (1996). Three year follow-up of changes in aerobic fitness during puberty: The Muscatine Study. Medicine and Science in Exercise and Sports, 28(5), Supplement abstract 63.

Growth characteristics in 123 children were measured after three years of growth into adolescence. During puberty, it was found that children who gained the greatest amount of muscle tissue (including cardiac muscle) experienced the greatest improvements in aerobic fitness. Measures of aerobic fitness prior to puberty tended to predict fitness during puberty.

Implication. Strategies which promote aerobic fitness in pre-pubertal children will tend to have some carry-over effect into adolescence. Lasting attitudes towards training for sports could be established prior to puberty.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.