Age, sex, race, initial fitness, and response to training: The HERITAGE Family Study

James S. Skinner, Artur Jaskólski, Anna Jaskólska, Joanne Krasnoff, Jacques Gagnon, Arthur S. Leon, D. C. Rao, Jack H. Wilmore, Claude Bouchard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

191 Scopus citations


Effects of age, sex, race, and initial fitness on training responses of maximal O2 uptake (Vo2 max) are unclear. Data were available on 435 whites and 198 blacks (287 men and 346 women), aged 17-65 yr, before and after standardized cycle ergometer training. Individual responses varied widely, but Vo2 max increased significantly for all groups. Responses by men and women and by blacks and whites of all ages varied widely. There was no sex difference for change (Δ) in Vo2 max (ml·kg-1·min-1); women had lower initial values and greater relative (%) increases. Blacks began with lower values but had similar responses. Older subjects had a lower A but a similar percent change. Baseline Vo2 max correlated nonsignificantly with ΔVo2 max but significantly with percent change. There were high, medium, and low responders in all age groups, both sexes, both races, and all levels of initial fitness. Age, sex, race, and initial fitness have little influence on Vo2 max response to standardized training in a large heterogeneous sample of sedentary black and white men and women.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1770-1776
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2001


  • Maximal oxygen uptake
  • Trainability


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