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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Fitness appraisal of champion oarsmen, including analysis of maixmum oxygen consumption, electrocardiogram complexes and the brachial pulse wave and its time derivatives Jackson, Roger Charles


The study had three purposes; first, to appraise the cardiovascular fitness of six world class oarsmen by analysis of their oxygen consumption, heart rate, dynamics of arterial blood flow and various parameters measured from the electrocardiogram; secondly, to explore relatively new techniques for studying and measuring the externally recorded brachial pulse wave, its first derivative and the phase plane relationship of this derivative with the original pulse wave; and lastly, to determine the effectiveness of a conditioning programme designed to improve the cardiovascular efficiency, muscular endurance, strength and stamina of these oarsmen. The experimental design allowed each of the six subjects to be tested twice before and twice after an eight week conditioning programme. Each test battery included a maximum bicycle ergometer ride to exhaustion, a submaximal five minute step test, a mile run for time, dynamometer strength tests and a muscular endurance test. The conditioning programme consisted of circuit training, strength training and endurance running, there being five workouts in each seven day period. Patterns and values of oxygen consumption, T-wave RS and heart rate change during rest, exercise and recovery from exercise and patterns of change and qualitative and quantitative appraisal of the brachial pulse wave, its first derivative and the phase plane loop during rest and recovery from exercise have been described. The results indicate that though muscular endurance, strength and work capacity increased with training, significant differences were not noted between pre- and post-training values in 39 of 42 cardiovascular variables tested by the t-test. Possible reasons for these facts were suggested. The data did indicate that the maximum oxygen consumption of these oarsmen was greater than that reported for the general public but less than that reported for world class cross country skiers and distance runners. The pattern of change of both the pulse wave and T-wave amplitude during recovery from exercise suggested the possible importance of these variables as indicators of degrees of fitness.

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