GEITHNER, C. A., M. A. THOMIS, B. VANDEN EYNDE, H. H. M. MAES, R. J. F. LOOS, M. PEETERS, A. L. M. CLAESSENS, R. VLIETINCK, R. M. MALINA, and G. P. BEUNEN. Growth in Peak Aerobic Power during Adolescence. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc., Vol. 36, No. 9, pp. 1616–1624, 2004.
Purpose: To model the growth of peak aerobic power during adolescence in both sexes followed longitudinally from 10 to 18 yr.
Methods: Peak aerobic power (peak V̇O2) was measured annually during a maximal treadmill test with the Bruce protocol. Height and weight were measured semiannually. The Preece-Baines Model I growth function was used to fit curves to data for individuals with ≥ six observations for peak aerobic power to estimate age at peak velocity (PV) for peak V̇O2 (age at PVPV̇O2), PVPV̇O2 (L·min−1·yr−1), and value at PVPV̇O2 (L·min−1) for each individual. Curves were successfully fitted for 83 individuals (48 males, 35 females). The model was also fitted to individual data for height and weight to estimate ages at peak height velocity (PHV) and peak weight velocity (PWV). Age at PVPV̇O2 was compared with ages at PHV and PWV. Pearson correlation coefficients were calculated between ages at PV and PV for peak V̇O2, height, and weight.
Results: Mean ages at PVPV̇O2 are 12.3 ± 1.2 yr for females and 14.1 ± 1.2 yr for males. Peak V̇O2 increases in both sexes throughout adolescence, with males having higher values than females at all ages. Age at PVPV̇O2 occurs nearly coincident with PHV and before PWV in both sexes. Correlation coefficients among ages at PHV, PWV, and PVPV̇O2 suggest a general maturity factor for body size and aerobic power.
Conclusion: Growth in peak V̇O2 exhibits a clear growth spurt in both sexes during adolescence. The growth spurt occurs earlier in females but is of greater magnitude in males.