Exercise training in chronic hypoxia has no effect on ventilatory muscle function in humans

Rickey G. Thomas, Paul C. LaStayo, Hans Hoppeler, Roland Favier, Guido Ferretti, Bengt Kayser, Dominique Desplanches, Hilde Spielvogel, Stan L. Lindstedt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


At the highest altitude, aerobic work is limited by environmental oxygen availability. We therefore reasoned that the hyperpnea associated with endurance training at altitude should provide a strong stimulus for adaptation of the ventilatory muscles. We measured peak inspiratory muscle pressure-flow characteristics (inspiring through graded resistors) and maximum sustainable ventilation capacity in ten permanent residents of La Paz, Bolivia (3600 m) prior to and immediately following 6 weeks of incremental endurance training. Additionally, eight local residents did no training and functioned as controls for the capacity test. While V(O(2))max measured in hypoxia increased by 19% (Favier et al., 1995b. J. Appl Physiol. 78, 2286-2293.), none of the tested ventilatory variables showed significant changes. The values for the group mean slopes of maximum inspiratory pressure-flow pairs (-10.5 vs. -9.8 cm H2O.sec.L-1, P=0.301; before versus after training, respectively), maximum inspiratory pressure (112.1±8.9 vs. 106.9±8.6 cmH2O, P=0.163), peak inspiratory flow (9.8±0.41 vs. 10.2±0.55 L.sec-1, P=0.172) and the maximum volitional volume in 12 sec (43.9±2.4 vs. 45.6±2.4 L in 12 sec, P=0.133) were unchanged with exercise training. Likewise, maximal sustainable minute volume was not different between post-training and control subjects (177.4±7.9 vs. 165.4±8.4 L.min-1, P=0.141). These data support the concept that endurance training fails to elicit functional adaptations in ventilatory muscles in humans, even when exercise is done in hypoxia. Copyright (C) 1998 Elsevier Science B.V.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)195-202
Number of pages8
JournalRespiration Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1998


  • Exercise, endurance training
  • Hypoxia, respiratory muscles
  • Mammals, humans, muscles, respiratory, hypoxic adaptation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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