Training effect

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Training effect is the elevation of metabolism through physical exercise. This effect was discovered by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper for the United States Air Force in the late 1960s. Dr. Cooper coined the term "Training Effect" for this.

The measured effects were that muscles of respiration were strengthened, the heart was strengthened, blood pressure was sometimes lowered and the total amount of blood and number of red blood cells increased, making the blood a more efficient carrier of oxygen. VO2 Max was increased.

The exercise necessary can be accomplished by any aerobic exercise in a wide variety of schedules - Dr. Cooper found it best to award "points" for each amount of exercise (as laid out in the detailed tables in his classic 1968 book "Aerobics" ISBN 0-553-20992-2, reprinted and expanded several times) and require 30 points a week to maintain the Training Effect.

Dr. Cooper instead recommended a "12-minute test" (the Cooper test) followed by adherence to the appropriate starting-up schedule in his book. As always, he recommends that a physical exam should precede any exercise program. (A newly-recognized effect is that of Exercise hypertension, for which there is a medical test.)

The physiological effects of training have received much further study since Dr Cooper's original work. It is now generally considered that effects of exercise on general metabolic rate (post-exercise) are comparatively small and the greatest effect occurs for only a few hours. However, all exercise components (summarised perhaps as general endurance - as reflected to a degree by VO2 max, strength, local muscular endurance, and flexibility) are significantly trainable at all ages in many people[1], and the Cooper Points System still gives overall guidance on this.

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External references

  1. Bouchard, Claude (1999). "Familial aggregation of VO(2max) response to exercise training: results from the HERITAGE Family Study". Journal of Applied Physiology. 87 (3): 1003–1008. PMID 10484570. Unknown parameter |coauthors= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |month= ignored (help)



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