VO2 Response at Maximal and Supramaximal Swimming Intensities

VO2 Response at Maximal and Supramaximal Swimming Intensities

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VO2 Response at Maximal and Supramaximal Swimming Intensities Abstract

To establish appropriate work intensity for interval training that would elicit maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) for well-trained swimmers.

METHODS:

Twelve male competitive swimmers completed an incremental protocol to determine the minimum velocity at VO2max (νVO2max) and, in randomized order, 3 square-wave exercises from rest to 95%, 100%, and 105% of νVO2max. Temporal aspects of the VO2 response were examined in these latter.

RESULTS:

Swimming at 105% of νVO2max took less (P < .04) absolute time to achieve 90%, 95%, and 100% of VO2max intensities (35.0 ± 7.7, 58.3 ± 15.9, 58.3 ± 19.3 s) compared with 95% (72.1 ± 34.3, 106.7 ± 43.9, 151.1 ± 52.4 s) and 100% (55.8 ± 24.5, 84.2 ± 35.4, 95.6 ± 29.8 s) of VO2max. However, swimming at 95% of νVO2max resulted in longer absolute time (P < .001) at or above the desired intensities (90%: 268.3 ± 72.5 s; 95%: 233.8 ± 74.3 s; 100%: 173.6 ± 78.2 s) and more relative time at or above 95% of VO2max than 105% of νVO2max (68.6% ± 13.5% vs 55.3% ± 11.5%, P < .03), and at or above 100% of VO2max than 100% and 105% of νVO2max (52.7% ± 16.3% vs 28.2% ± 10.5% and 34.0% ± 11.3%, P < .001). At 60 s of effort, swimmers achieved 85.8% ± 11.2%, 88.3% ± 5.9%, and 94.7% ± 5.5% of the VO2max when swimming at 95%, 100%, and 105% of νVO2max, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS:

When training to elicit VO2max, using higher swimming intensities will promote a faster VO2 response but a shorter time spent above these intensities. However, lower intensities allow maintaining the desired response for a longer period of time. Moreover, using the 60-s time period seem to be a more adequate stimulus than shorter ones (~30-s), especially when performed at 105% of νVO2max intensity.

Practical Implication for VO2 Response at Maximal and Supramaximal Swimming Intensities

When eliciting VO2max response, a longer rest period is necessary (~60 seconds) at supramaximal intensities. Coaches should adjust rest periods based on the appropriate intensity and the desired outcomes. 

Reference:

Sousa A, Vilas-Boas JP, Fernandes RJ, Figueiredo P. VO<sub>2</sub> at Maximal and Supramaximal Intensities: Lessons to High-Intensity Interval Training in Swimming. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2017 Aug;12(7):872-877. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2016-0475. Epub 2016 Dec 5.

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