The Respiratory System Is Largely Unchanged by Training

The effects of training on the pulmonary system are minimal. Lung diffusing capacity, lung mechanics, and even lung volumes change little, if at all, with training. The widespread assumption that training improves vital capacity is false,- even exercise designed specifically to increase inspiratory muscle strength elevates vital capacity by only 3%. The demands placed on respiratory muscles increase their endurance, an adaptation that may reduce the sensation of dyspnea in exercise. Nonetheless, the primary respiratory changes with training are secondary to lower lactate production that reduces ventilatory demands at previously heavy absolute work levels.

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