Effects of manipulating the duration and intensity of aerobic training sessions on the physical performance of rats

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Abstract

© 2017 Teixeira-Coelho et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. This study investigated the effects of manipulating the load components of aerobic training sessions on the physical performance of rats. To achieve this purpose, adult male Wistar rats were divided into four groups: an untrained control (CON) group and training groups with a predominant overload in intensity (INT) or duration (DUR) or alternating and similar overloads in intensity and duration (ID). Prior to, during, and after 8 weeks of the control or training protocols, the performance of the rats (evaluated by their workload) was determined during fatiguing, incremental-speed treadmill running. Two additional incremental running tests were performed prior to and at the end of the protocols to measure the peak rate of oxygen consumption (VO 2peak ). As expected, the rats in the trained groups exhibited increased performance, whereas the untrained rats showed stable performance throughout the 8 weeks. Notably, the performance gain exhibited by the DUR rats reached a plateau after the 4 th week. This plateau was not present in the INT or ID rats, which exhibited increased performance at the end of training protocol compared with the DUR rats. None of the training protocols changed the VO 2peak values; however, these values were attained at faster speeds, which indicated increased running economy. In conclusion, our findings demonstrate that the training protocols improved the physical performance of rats, likely resulting from enhanced running economy. Furthermore, compared with overload in duration, overload in the intensity of training sessions was more effective at inducing performance improvements across the 8 weeks of the study.

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Teixeira-Coelho, F., Fonseca, C. G., Barbosa, N. H. S., Vaz, F. F., De Souza Cordeiro, L. M., Coimbra, C. C., … Wanner, S. P. (2017). Effects of manipulating the duration and intensity of aerobic training sessions on the physical performance of rats. PLoS ONE, 12(8). https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0183763

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