Training Effect

The Training Effect is a physical phenomenon known to athletes. When a person exercises at a certain level for a certain duration over a certain number of weeks, their body will elevate its metabolism to a higher level - it will continue at this level as long as a certain amount of exercise is performed each couple of days. This effect was discovered by Dr. Kenneth H. Cooper for the United States Air Force in the late 1960s. Dr. Cooper coined the term "Training Effect" for this.

The measured effects were that muscles of respiration were strengthened, the heart was strengthened, blood pressure was sometimes lowered and the total amount of blood and number of red blood cells increased, making the blood a more efficient carrier of oxygen. VO2 Max was increased.

The exercise necessary can be accomplished by any aerobic exercise in a wide variety of schedules - Dr. Cooper found it best to award "points" for each amount of exercise (as laid out in the detailed tables in his classic 1968 book "Aerobics" ISBN 0553209922, reprinted and expanded several times) and require 30 points a week to maintain the Training Effect.

As it would be foolish for someone unconditioned to attempt 30 points in their first week, Dr. Cooper instead recommends a "12-minute test" (the Cooper test) followed by adherence to the appropriate starting-up schedule in his book. As always, he recommends that a physical exam should precede any exercise program. (A newly-recognized effect is that of Exercise hypertension, for which there is a medical test.)



Anaerobic Exercise

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