Ready, E. A., & Quinney, H. A. (1982). Alterations in anaerobic threshold as the result of endurance training and detraining. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 14, 292-296.

Male volunteers (N = 21; 18-32 yr.) were tested and randomly assigned to an experimental (N = 12) or control (N = 9) group. The experimental exercise group trained for 9 weeks on a cycle ergometer for 30 min, four times per week at an exercise intensity of 80% VO2max. A 9-week period after exercise ceased was also monitored. Testing was done prior to and every three weeks for the 18 weeks.

VO2max improved 40.5% in the exercise group but also by 12.3% in the control group. Only after 9 weeks of detraining did a significant loss in VO2max occur although a considerable amount of the training gains were still evident. Anaerobic threshold (ANT) improved by 70.4% in the training group over the 9-week period. Significant gradual increases occurred at the 3, 6, and 9-week evaluations. Significant reductions occurred during detraining at the 6 and 9-week intervals. However, 37.1% of the ANT change was still present at the last assessment. ANT did not change for the control group in training or detraining.

Implication. With aerobic training in sedentary individuals, VO2max and ANT change considerably. The rate of reversal in inactive detraining is much slower than its development in the training stage. Aerobic gains are lost much slower than they are gained. This suggests how long "break" periods can be before training has to restart.

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