BACKGROUND: The purpose of this study is to examine the response of VO2, ventilatory threshold, and energy supply to incremental endurance exercise. The energy source for exercising muscle is indicated by the respiratory exchange ratio (RER), the ratio of volume of carbon dioxide produced to the volume of oxygen used. RER, together with ventilatory threshold, is important for identifying the workout zones of individuals as fat burning versus carbohydrate burning.
METHODS: We assessed 12 healthy, non-athlete, male (n=6) and female (n=6) adults (18-60 years old) who were physically active. Each participant had two visits to the Northeastern University Human Performance and Exercise Science Lab. At the first visit, their VO2max was determined using a treadmill test for the assessment of aerobic capacity. The second day of testing was an endurance exercise tailored for each participant using the baseline VO2max measured at the previous visit.
RESULTS: Our preliminary analysis of the VO2max modified by gender revealed a mean VO2max of 45.2mL/kg +/- 16.1mL/kg for females, and 40.7mL/kg +/- 10.7mL/kg for males. However, this gender variation was not found to be statistically significant (p value = 0.582).
CONCLUSIONS: Further analysis will specifically assess the aerobic capacity of participants and identify the most efficient individual training zones when undergoing incremental endurance training. The final conclusions from this study may help to inform tailored fitness and health improvement programs.