Is the musculature’s training status important for maximal oxygen consumption?

During whole body exercise, the metabolic capacity of the exercising muscles is in excess of oxygen delivery. Despite this, endurance training by use of cycling and running increases the mitochondrial volume and capillary density in the activated muscles. These adaptations have been suggested to be important for the endurance more than maximal oxygen uptake. However, the metabolic capacity of the muscles can be fully exhausted during maximal exercise with a smaller muscle mass, for instance in one-legged knee-extension. Moreover, it has also been shown that the ratio between one-legged knee-extension maximal oxygen uptake and whole body maximal oxygen uptake is the same in endurance trained and untrained individuals. Despite extensive research during the last decades, we do not fully understand the significance of the large metabolic reserve in the muscles.


Formal title

The significance of the musculature’s oxidative capacity for oxygen delivery and oxygen consumption


To elucidate whether the muscular adaptations to endurance training are important for maximal oxygen consumption in exercise modes ranging from a low active muscle mass to whole body exercise.


The studies involved in the PhD project will be conducted using experimental designs that manipulates the training status of the musculature (endurance training) and the systemic oxygen delivery (phlebotomy, reducing the blood volume). Among others, oxygen uptake will be measured non-invasive (over the lungs) and invasive (catheters) at sub-maximal and maximal workloads


The project has just started and no preliminary data are available