Exercise volume and aerobic fitness in young adults: the Midwest Exercise Trial-2

Matthew M. Schubert, Richard A. Washburn, Jeffery J. Honas, Jaehoon Lee, Joseph E. Donnelly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


To examine the effect of exercise volume at a fixed intensity on changes in aerobic fitness. Ninety-two overweight/obese individuals (BMI 25–40 kg m2), age 18–30 years, 50 % women, completed a 10 mo, 5 d wk−1 supervised exercise intervention at 2 levels of exercise energy expenditure (400 or 600 kcal session−1) at 70–80 % heart rate (HR) max. Exercise consisted primarily of walking/jogging on motor-driven treadmills. The duration and intensity of all exercise sessions were verified by a downloadable HR monitor set to collect HR in 1-min epochs. All participants were instructed to continue their typical patterns of non-exercise physical activity and dietary intake over the duration of the 10 mo intervention. Maximal aerobic capacity (indirect calorimetry) was assessed on a motor-driven treadmill using a modified Balke protocol at baseline, mid-point (5 mo), and following completion of the 10 mo intervention. VO2 max (L min−1) increased significantly in both the 400 (11.3 %) and 600 kcal session−1 groups (14 %) compared to control (−2.0 %; p < 0.001); however, the differences between exercise groups were not significant. Similar results were noted for change in relative VO2 max (mL kg−1 min−1); however, the magnitude of change was greater than for absolute VO2 max (L min−1) (400 group = 18.3 %; 600 group = 20.2 %) due to loss of body weight over the 10-mo intervention in both exercise groups. Our results indicate that exercise volume was not associated with change in aerobic fitness in a sample of previously sedentary, overweight and obese young adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number183
Pages (from-to)1-9
Number of pages9
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2016


  • Cardiovascular fitness
  • Intensity
  • Overweight
  • Supervised exercise


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