News & Views from the Editor-in-Chief - L. Bruce Gladden
Three papers in this month's journal particularly caught my attention. First, Nio et al. investigated the effects of the menopause on aerobic and cardiac adaptations to 12 weeks of high-intensity aerobic interval training (4 × 4 min intervals at 90%–95% maximum heart rate). Their results suggest, for the first time, that the menopause may attenuate the increases in maximal aerobic capacity and blood volume that typically follow exercise training. In addition, the menopause was associated with differences in regional left ventricular muscle function during lower body negative pressure and submaximal exercise after exercise training. Their findings provide new insight into the effects of the menopause on cardiorespiratory fitness, which has particular implications for exercise prescription guidelines for middle-age women.
Next, Krull and colleagues evaluated the effects of resistance training with and without protein supplementation on muscle mass and strength in young adults with low lean muscle mass who were survivors of childhood cancer. Participants completed a 24-week resistance training program (3 sessions per week with tapered supervision by an exercise specialist over time). Half the survivors drank a daily 21 g whey protein supplement and the other half drank a placebo drink with the same number of calories. Both groups gained muscle mass and strength; however, the addition of the protein supplement did not increase lean mass or strength better than the placebo. These findings indicate that survivors of childhood cancer can safely participate in resistance training and that they gain both muscle mass and strength, either with or without a protein supplement.
Finally, Fischer and co-workers examined the thermoregulatory consequences of a burn injury during exercise/ambient heat stress when the injury is located underneath protective clothing. Thermoregulatory and perceptual responses were assessed while participants wore T-shirt/shorts, a combat uniform with tactical vest, or the same protective ensemble with a simulated burn injury underneath the combat uniform. Protective clothing led to greater physiological and perceptual strain compared to the T-shirt/shorts trial. However, when protective clothing was worn, the simulated burn injury did not exacerbate the rectal temperature, heart rate, thermal sensation, or perceived exertion responses versus the non-burned condition also with protective clothing. The results indicate that burn survivors may be at no additional risk of heat illness compared to non-burned individuals exposed to heat stress in occupations that require protective clothing.
L. Bruce Gladden
School of Kinesiology