Effect of increased training volume on blood lipids and lipoproteins in male collegiate swimmers

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This study was conducted to assess whether a previously described dose-response relationship between the amount of exercise and the magnitude of change in blood lipid and lipoprotein levels is observed with large volumes of exercise in young, healthy individuals. Blood lipid and lipoprotein levels were monitored during a 25-wk season of training and competition in experienced male collegiate swimmers, who were divided into two groups matched for swimming skill. After an initial 4-wk conditioning period for both groups, one group (N = 11) underwent a 6-wk period during which their training volume was increased from 22,000 m·wk−1 to 44,000 m·wk−1. The other group (N = 13) maintained their swimming distance at 22,000 m·wk−1 during this period. During the remaining 15 wk of the season, both groups swam approximately 22,000 m·wk−1. Swimmers' body weights did not change over the season, but body fat decreased significantly (P < 0.01). No changes in HDL cholesterol were observed during the season in either the increased training or the regular training groups. Total and LDL cholesterol levels were lower at 20 wk than at the start of the study, but final levels did not differ from initial levels. Thus, the volume of swimming exercise may not be related to the degree of change in blood lipid and lipoprotein levels in healthy subjects with high activity levels.

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