Effects of 8 Weeks’ Training on Systemic and Muscle Oxygen Dynamics in University Rugby Players
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of 8 weeks of training on O2 dynamics in university rugby players. University rugby players (n = 15) participated in 5 strength training sessions and 4 field-based training sessions per week for 8 weeks. Before and after 8-weeks’ training, the subjects performed ramp cycling exercise until exhaustion. Muscle O2 saturation (SmO2), relative changes from rest in deoxygenated hemoglobin concentration (∆Deoxy-Hb) and total hemoglobin concentration, cardiac output (CO), and pulmonary O2 uptake (VO2) were monitored continuously during exercise. Peak VO2 and CO were normalized by fat-free mass. Though peak VO2 tended to be increased after training, there were no significant changes in CO, nor any muscle O2 dynamic variables at peak exercise between before and after training. However, an increase in peak VO2 was significantly correlated with diminishment of deoxy-Hb and an increase in SmO2. Changes in CO caused by training were not related to improved peak VO2. The improvement of peak VO2 during 8 weeks of rugby training may have been caused by muscle O2 supply, rather than increased CO or muscle O2 extraction.
KeywordsCardiac output Muscle oxygenation Near infrared spectroscopy Peak aerobic capacity Strength training
The authors are grateful for revision of this manuscript by Andrea Hope. We also thank Shoko Takada, Yuka Endo, and Yuka Inoue (Waseda University, Japan) for their helpful technical assistance. This study was supported in part by Research Grant from Mizuno Sports Promotion Foundation to Shun Takagi.