Body composition and aerobic capacity in young and middle-aged endurance-trained men.
Aging is associated with increased body fat, decreased muscle mass, lower maximal O2 uptake, and lower energy intake. It has been asserted that these changes are caused in part by decreased activity. In order to determine the effects of aging in men who are habitually active, 6 young men (26.8 +/- 1.2 yr) and 6 middle-aged men (52.0 +/- 1.9 yr) who had been running, cycling, and/or rowing for at least 2 yr were studied in a metabolic ward. The men consumed a diet to maintain constant body weight while keeping to their usual exercise schedule and intensity. Both groups had a similar body mass index and muscle mass, but the middle-aged men had a 77% greater fat mass (P = 0.028). Daily energy requirement was 17% lower in the middle-aged men (P = 0.029) although basal metabolic rate was similar in both groups. Aerobic capacity was 15% lower in the middle-aged men per unit body weight (P = 0.048) but not per unit of lean body mass. The young men exercised for an average 12.3 hr.wk-1 and the middle-aged men for 7.5 hr.wk-1 (P = 0.018). For both young and middle-aged men, weekly hours of exercise were negatively correlated with fat mass, and positively correlated with daily energy requirements and maximal O2 uptake. These findings show that in both young and middle-aged men who habitually exercise aerobically at 65 to 80% maximal O2 uptake, the time spent training was associated with body composition, energy requirements, and aerobic capacity.
Meredith, CN; Zackin, MJ; Frontera, WR; Evans, WJ
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