Understanding Common Aerobic Terms Part 2

by Jsantos, May 5, 2017

Understanding Common Aerobic Terms Part 2

Naples Sports Medicine

We continue our mandarin translation of the most common aerobic terms used in sports medicine. Check part one to catch up.

Maximum Oxygen Consumption, (also referred to as VO2 max and maximum oxygen uptake) is the maximum amount of oxygen that can be transported to your body’s tissues from your lungs and as such provides a quantifiable index of your capacity for aerobic energy transfer.  It is most accurately measured in a precisely conducted laboratory test.

Aerobic Power is the most popular way to express aerobic fitness.  To eliminate the influence of body size,  an individual’s maximum oxygen  consumption score (in liters) is divided by the individual’s body weight (in kilograms). The resulting value (expressed in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of body weigth per minute)  enables you to directly compare your level of aerobic fitness to someone else regardless of how big either of you are.

Aerobic Maintenance refers to the amount of aerobic exercise you must perform in order to sustain your existing level of aerobic fitness.  Most research suggests that you can maintain your level of aerobic fitness by aerobically exercising two or three times weekly at the same level of intensity and duration used to achieve your existing level of fitness.

Aerobic Training Threshold refers to the minimum level of intensity (heart rate) that must be exceeded if significant changes in aerobic fitness are to result from the training.  The more aerobically active you are, the higher your training threshold.

Aerobic Threshold refers to the upper limit of training intensity beyond which additional training does not have a positive effect on your aerobic fitness level.  When your exercise becomes predominantly anaerobic in nature,  your aerobic system is no longer being overloaded,  causing you to reach a point of diminishing returns aerobically.

Aerobic Training Zone refers to the range of training intensity that will produce improvement in your level of aerobic fitness.  This range encompasses a point from your aerobic training threshold (minimum level of intensity required)  to your anaerobic threshold (maximum level of intensity possible before you no longer improve aerobically). Your aerobic training zone is based on a percentage of your maximal heart rate.  As a general rule , your maximal heart rate is estimated by subtracting your age from 220.  Depending upon how physically fit you are, the lower and upper limits of your aerobic training zone are then based on a percentage of that score, approximately 55 to 85 percent, respectively.

Aerobic Training Effect refers to the adjustments your body makes to the aerobic demands that are placed upon it.  Over  a prolonged period of time, many of the adaptions that your body makes are extremely significant.  Your heart and lungs are perhaps affected the most.  Your heart, for example, enlarges in size.  The wall between the chambers of you heart thicken,  enabling more forceful contractions.  The stronger the contraction the greater the stroke volume will be.   Thus, your resting heart rate is lowered without any loss in cardiac output.  In other words,  aerobic exercise makes your heart into a much more efficient pump.  Your lungs are also affected in several positive ways by aerobic exercise.  During exercise, your respiratory muscles are continually overloaded,  thereby increasing their level of strength,  endurance, and capacity for work.  In addition,  interior lung volume increases creating a greater surface area for gas exchange.  As a result, more alveoli are utilized and the efficiency of exchange is improved.  This all translate into lowered breathing rates during periods of rest and smaller increases during bouts of exercise.


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