Noninvasive evaluation of exercise training in college-age men.
The purpose of this study was to assess noninvasively the effects of intense aerobic training on cardiac structure and function in a group of healthy, college-age men (25 experimental and 11 control, mean age 22 years). Echocardiographic, electrocardiographic (ECG), and fitness measurements were obtained before and after a 3-month endurance training program and compared with similar measurements obtained in nonexercising subjects. The supervised training program consisted of 50-minute jogging sessions 5 days a week at 85% of maximal heart rate. Compared with the control group, echocardiography after training showed an increase in left ventricular (LV) end-diastolic dimension (p less than 0.05). LV posterobasal wall thickness, septal wall thickness and ejection fraction did not change significantly. ECG measurements revealed a decrease in resting heart rate (p less than 0.05) and an increase in R-wave voltage in leads V5 and V6 (p less than 0.01). The measured maximal oxygen consumption increased by 16% (p less than 0.001). These data indicate that intense aerobic training in college-age men results in a significant increase in resting LV end-diastolic dimension and volume. The increase in maximal stroke volume associated with exercise training may be partially explained by these changes in cardiac dimensions.
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