The purpose of this study was to re-examine the commonly accepted association between high maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max) values and the characteristics of metabolic adaptation to endurance training. The metabolic responses of 9 active males and 8 endurance trained females were observed during one hour of treadmill running at two speeds. One speed was common to both groups (3.58 m s-1. Test 1) whereas the second speed represented approximately 62% VO2 max for each individual (Test 2). The VO2 max values of the males were significantly (p less than 0.01) higher than those of the females but observations of the respiratory exchange ratio and of the changes in the concentrations of metabolites were indicative of greater fat metabolism in the well-trained female group in both Tests. Thus the results of this study suggest that the benefits of endurance training are independent of the absolute values of VO2 max.
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