We studied respiratory mechanics in young volunteers before and after 5-wk training programs limited to the ventilatory muscles. Four strength trainers (S) performed repeated static maximum inspiratory and expiratory maneuvers against obstructed airways. Four endurance trainers (E) performed voluntary normocarbic hyperpnea to exhaustion. Subjects spent 30-45 min each day in these exercises, 5 days a week. Four control subjects (C) did no training. We attempted to minimize the effect of learning. S increased pressure maximums by about 55%, but vital capacity and total lung capacity by only about 4%. Initially all subjects could sustain hyperpnea at about 81% of their control 15-s maximum voluntary ventilation (MVV) for 15 min; E increased this to about 96% and increased their MVV by 14% as well. No other statistically significant changes were recognized in any group. We conclude that ventilatory muscle strength or endurance can be specifically increased by appropriate ventilatory muscle training programs.