Exercise training prevents decline in stroke volume during exercise in young healthy subjects

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1992 Jun;72(6):2458-62. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1992.72.6.2458.


Stroke volume (SV) increases above the resting level during exercise and then declines at higher intensities of exercise in sedentary subjects. The purpose of this study was to determine whether an attenuation of the decline in SV at higher exercise intensities contributes to the increase in maximal cardiac output (Qmax) that occurs in response to endurance training. We studied six men and six women, 25 +/- 1 (SE) yr old, before and after 12 wk of endurance training (3 days/wk running for 40 min, 3 days/wk interval training). Cardiac output was measured at rest and during exercise at 50 and 100% of maximal O2 uptake (Vo2max) by the C2H2-rebreathing method. VO2max was increased by 19% (from 2.7 +/- 0.2 to 3.2 +/- 0.3 l/min, P less than 0.001) in response to the training program. Qmax was increased by 12% (from 18.1 +/- 1 to 20.2 +/- 1 l/min, P less than 0.01), SV at maximal exercise was increased by 16% (from 97 +/- 6 to 113 +/- 8 ml/beat, P less than 0.001) and maximal heart rate was decreased by 3% (from 185 +/- 2 to 180 +/- 2 beats/min, P less than 0.01) after training. The calculated arteriovenous O2 content difference at maximal exercise was increased by 7% (14.4 +/- 0.4 to 15.4 +/- 0.4 ml O2/100 ml blood) after training. Before training, SV at VO2max was 9% lower than during exercise at 50% VO2max (P less than 0.05). In contrast, after training, the decline in SV between 50 and 100% VO2max was only 2% (P = NS). Furthermore, SV was significantly higher (P less than 0.01) at 50% VO2max after training than it was before. Left ventricular hypertrophy was evident, as determined by two-dimensional echocardiography at the completion of training. The results indicate that in young healthy subjects the training-induced increase in Qmax is due in part to attenuation of the decrease in SV as exercise intensity is increased.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cardiomegaly / etiology
  • Cardiomegaly / pathology
  • Cardiomegaly / physiopathology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Stroke Volume / physiology*