the amount of carbon dioxide in the blood was held constant, in spite of the hyperventilation during the training.
During PRMT, subjects performed a series of 10-second breath-holds, with 90-second rest periods between breath-holds, using the same equipment as in RRMT and ERMT. The rest periods were shortened by 10 seconds each week, ending with a 60-second rest between breath-holds during the fourth week.
All subjects participated in a twice-a-week, identical fin-swimming maintenance program during the four weeks of RMT training to insure that they maintained, but didn't increase, their fitness levels during the study's training protocol.
At the end of the four weeks, study participants repeated the baseline tests.
"Results showed that the RRMT and ERMT protocols used in this study significantly extended swimming endurance through an improvement in respiratory muscle performance," said Lundgren.
"These data are in agreement with previous studies in cyclists, rowers and runners. They suggest that athletes in most sports could improve their performance by undergoing respiratory muscle training. It is also clear that the greater the stress on the respiratory system, the larger the improvement in performance."
Lundgren noted that this type of training also might be useful for patients who suffer from respiratory stress.
Juli A. Wylegala, Ph.D., UB clinical assistant professor of rehabilitation sciences, is first author. Pendergast, Luc E. Gosselin, Ph.D., associate professor of exercise and nutrition sciences, and Dan E. Warkander, Ph.D., research assistant professor of physiology and biophysics, are additional authors.
The research was supported by a grant from the Naval Sea Costal Systems (Navy Experimental Diving Unit).
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