Lung volume specificity of inspiratory muscle training

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1994 Aug;77(2):789-94. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1994.77.2.789.


We examined the extent to which training-related increases of inspiratory muscle (IM) strength are limited to the lung volume (VL) at which the training occurs. IM strength training consisted of performing repeated static maximum inspiratory maneuvers. Three groups of normal volunteers performed these maneuvers at one of three lung volumes: residual volume (RV), relaxation volume (Vrel), or Vrel plus one-half of inspiratory capacity (Vrel + 1/2IC). A control group did not train. We constructed maximal inspiratory pressure-VL curves before and after a 6-wk training period. For each group, we found that the greatest improvements in strength occurred at the volume at which the subjects trained and were significantly greater for those who trained at low (36% for RV and 26% for Vrel) than at high volumes (13% for Vrel + 1/2IC). Smaller increments in strength were noted at volumes adjacent to the training volume. The range of vital capacity (VC) over which strength was increased was greater for those who trained at low (70% of VC) than at high VL (20% of VC). We conclude that the greatest improvements in IM strength are specific to the VL at which training occurs. However, the increase in strength, as well as the range of volume over which strength is increased, is greater for those who trained at the lower VL.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aging / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • Lung / anatomy & histology
  • Lung / physiology*
  • Physical Education and Training*
  • Plethysmography
  • Respiratory Muscles / physiology*
  • Total Lung Capacity
  • Vital Capacity