Effect of arm training on central and peripheral circulatory function

Mark Loftin, Richard A. Boileau, Benjamin H. Massey, Timothy G. Lohman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of endurance arm training on metabolic and circulatory function during arm and leg exercise. Thirty-eight females (aged 18 to 35 yr) participated in the study, with 19 subjects in the training group and 19 in a control group. Both a specific and general training response was observed at the conclusion of the 5-wk training period. As a result of training, during peak arm exercise, significant increases (P < 0.05) were observed for oxygen uptake (VO2), ventilation, cardiac output, stroke volume, arterial-venous oxygen difference, cumulative work, and total performance time. During peak leg exercise following arm training, significant increases (P < 0.05) were observed for VO2, ventilation, cardiac output, cumulative work, and total performance time. Standardized partial regression coefficients were used to examine the relative influence of the metabolic and circulatory components which define VO2. Prior to training during arm work, the arterial-venous oxygen difference accounted for the largest proportion of variance in VO2;but after training, stroke volume contributed the largest portion of variance. On the other hand, during leg exercise, stroke volume accounted for the largest portion of variation in leg VO2 both before and after arm training. The data suggest that endurance arm training as prescribed in this study elicits significant circulorespiratory function adaptations to support improved performance in both arm and leg work. Further, the findings suggest both a specific and general training effect, with the more dominant effect specific to arm work. Moreover, the results indicate that central circulatory function (stroke volume) plays a more dominant role in arm exercise after training, suggesting that metabolic and circulatory responses during arm work become more like responses observed during leg work.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)136-141
Number of pages6
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1988


  • Peak VO central circulatory function
  • Peripheral metabolic and circulatory function

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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