n International SportMed Journal - Cardiovascular adaptations and exercise : FIMS position statement 2012

Volume 13, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1528-3356



Chronic endurance training increases an athlete's aerobic capacity and results in improved cardiocirculatory work economy, maximum performance, and enhanced oxygen uptake. The extent of the adaptation depends on individual factors such as frequency, intensity, and duration of training, muscle fibre type, and genetics. The functional range of heart rate, cardiac contractility, diastolic function, and blood pressure increases, while cardiocirculatory work is more economical, and maximum oxygen uptake (VOmax) is improved.

Symmetric enlargement of the heart begins when endurance training exceeds individual functional limits, resulting in both left and right ventricular and atrial hypertrophy in response to the increased workload placed on the heart. Routinely examined by echocardiography, the myocardial hypertrophy is related to the increase in the interior end-diastolic volume. In contrast to pathological forms of cardiac wall hypertrophy, the mass / volume ratio, and therefore the maximum systolic wall stress remains constant. In addition, functional and structural changes occur in the vascular system.
Cardiac adaptations to exercise, including function and size of the heart, regress in healthy people who become inactive and have no structural heart disease.

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