Growth, maturation and training during puberty

A high maximal oxygen uptake is an important attribute to possess in order to perform well in several sports. During puberty, maximal oxygen uptake develops naturally as boys and girls grow and mature. However, even though many boys and girls have a high weekly training volume, it’s still unclear how volume and intensity of training affects maximal oxygen uptake beyond natural growth and maturation. Hence, it’s difficult to determine if development of maximal oxygen uptake comes as a result of growth and maturation, or level of physical activity and training.



The purpose of this research project is to investigate how maximal oxygen uptake develops through puberty for children with a high and low volume of training.


We will follow a group of 12-13 year old children over a two-year period. Some of the children participate regularly in sports and have a high volume of training, while others are less physically active. During the two-year period, we will also conduct a training intervention for 8 weeks, were one group of children will perform a higher volume of aerobic training compared to the other group. Our goal is to get a better understanding of how children transitioning through puberty respond to aerobic training, and to explain the underlying physiological mechanisms from a potential increase in maximal oxygen uptake.