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The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2013 April;53(2):139-45

language: English

Respiratory muscle adaptations: a comparison between bodybuilders and endurance athletes

Hackett D. A., Johnson N., Chow C.

Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, Australia


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Aim: The purpose of this study was to compare the respiratory muscle and lung function measures of bodybuilders (BB) and endurance athletes (EA).
Methods: Forty-two male subjects (22 BB and 20 EA) aged 20-35 years underwent respiratory muscle strength measurements (MIP and MEP), lung function testing (FEV1, FVC, FEV1/FVC%, IC, ERV, FRC, RV, and TLC), hydrostatic weighing and VO2max testing. One-repetition maximum (1RM) for bench press, squat and deadlift was performed by BB.
Results: BB had significantly greater MIP and MEP compared to EA by 43% and 53% respectively (P<0.01). Moderate correlation was found for MEP and 1RM bench press (P<0.01), and weak correlations found for the squat and deadlift (P<0.01). Fat-free mass was significantly greater for BB compared with EA (P<0.01), while VO2max was significantly greater for EA compared with BB (P<0.01). No differences in lung function indices were observed between groups.
Conclusion: When compared to EA, BB exhibited significantly greater respiratory muscle strength. The maximal load lifted for bench press predicted expiratory muscle strength gain. Lung function measures did not differ between the groups.

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daniel.hackett@sydney.edu.au