Independent and Combined Effects of Weight Status and Maturation on Aerobic Fitness in Adolescent School Aged Males

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Abstract

This study aimed to examine the independent and combined effects of pubertal and weight status on concurrent measurements of peak oxygen (VO2peak) in school aged adolescent males. The final sample included 49 boys (12.3 ± 0.8 years). VO2peak was derived from an incremental progressive maximal protocol using a motorized treadmill. In addition, maximal oxygen uptake was estimated from a 20-m shuttle run test. Static allometric models were obtained as an alternative to performance output per unit of size descriptors. Weight status had a significant effect on VO2peak using simple ratio standards per unit of body mass with adolescents classified as overweight and obese (OWOB) attaining lower values of VO2peak. A similar trend was noted for the allometric models adopting body mass (BM; mL.kgBM-0.542.min-1), stature (L.m-2.602.min) and fat-free mass (FFM; mL.kgFFM-0.907.min-1). Findings also suggest the influence and interaction of pubertal and weight status on absolute values of VO2peak. Considering the data obtained, linear equations to estimate VO2peak from the 20-m shuttle run test should not be applied to boys that are OWOB as it will produce inaccurate assessments of cardiorespiratory fitness and penalize those who are heavier. Equations for VO2peak prediction need to be specific for pubertal status and preferably consider FFM as a body size descriptor.

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