Case studies in physiology: Temporal changes in determinants of aerobic performance in individual going from alpine skier to world junior champion time trial cyclist

Bent R. Rønnestad, Joar Hansen, Lars Stensløkken, Michael Joseph Joyner, Carsten Lundby

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Abstract

This paper reports temporal changes in physiological measurements of exercise performance in a young man transitioning from alpine skiing until he became a world junior champion time trial cyclist after only 3 yr of bike-specific training. At the time he became World Champion he also achieved among the highest reported maximal oxygen uptake (V O2max) value, 96.7 ml·min1·kg1, or 7,397 ml/min in absolute terms at 76.5 kg, which had increased by 29.6% from 74.6 ml·min1·kg1 pre-bike-specific training. After 15 mo with almost no structured exercise training, V O2max returned to 77.0 mL·min1·kg1 and was similar to the value reported before specific bike training, albeit with absolute term (6,205 ml/min) still being 11.3% higher. Part of the explanation for his athletic achievements is likely also related to the up to 20.9% improvement in Power@4 mmol/l (W). Although genetic profiles of endurance athletes have not generated data suggesting a shared genetic signature associated with elite endurance performance, this case study highlights the importance of intrinsic biological factors in elite endurance performance. NEW & NOTEWORTHY This study shows that very high V O2max values (70 ml·min1·kg1) can be found in individuals not previously specializing in aerobic training and that values of 90 ml· min1·kg1, as well as a cycling world junior champion title, can be achieved in such individuals with just 3 yr of dedicated exercise training.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)306-311
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of applied physiology
Volume127
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)

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