Purpose: This study examined the association between dominant somatotype and the effect on aerobic capacity variables of individualised aerobic interval training.
Methods: Forty one white North African subjects (age 21.4±1.3 years; V˙o2max = 52.8±5.7 ml kg−1 min−1) performed three exercise tests 1 week apart (i) an incremental test on a cycle ergometer to determine V˙o2max and V˙o2 at the second ventilatory threshold (VT2); (ii) a VAM-EVAL track test to determine maximal aerobic speed (vV˙o2max); and (iii) an exhaustive constant velocity test to determine time limit performed at 100% vV˙o2max (tlim100). Subjects were divided into four somatometric groups: endomorphs-mesomorphs (Endo-meso; n = 9), mesomorphs (Meso; n = 11), mesomorphs-ectomorphs (Meso-ecto; n = 12), and ectomorphs (Ecto; n = 9). Subjects followed a 12 week training program (two sessions/week). Each endurance training session consisted of the maximal number of successive fractions for each subject. Each fraction consisted of one period of exercise at 100% of vV˙o2max and one of active recovery at 60% of vV˙o2max. The duration of each period was equal to half the individual tlim100 duration (153.6±39.7 s). After the training program, all subjects were re-evaluated for comparison with pre-test results.
Results: Pre- and post-training data were grouped by dominant somatotype. Two way ANOVA revealed significant somatotype-aerobic training interaction effects (p<0.001) for improvements in vV˙o2max, V˙o2max expressed classically and according to allometric scaling, and V˙o2 at VT2. There were significant differences among groups post-training: the Meso-ecto and the Meso groups showed the greatest improvements in aerobic capacity.
Conclusion: The significant somatotype-aerobic training interaction suggests different trainability with intermittent and individualised aerobic training according to somatotype.
- ACE, angiotensin converting enzyme
- ANCOVA, analysis of covariance
- ANOVA, analysis of variance
- HR, heart rate
- RER, respiratory exchange ratio
- V˙o2max, maximal oxygen uptake
- VT, ventilatory threshold
- aerobic fitness
- body composition
- interval training
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Competing interests: none declared