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Concept: Anaerobic exercise


The harvest of animals by humans may constitute one of the strongest evolutionary forces affecting wild populations. Vulnerability to harvest varies among individuals within species according to behavioural phenotypes, but we lack fundamental information regarding the physiological mechanisms underlying harvest-induced selection. It is unknown, for example, what physiological traits make some individual fish more susceptible to capture by commercial fisheries. Active fishing methods such as trawling pursue fish during harvest attempts, causing fish to use both aerobic steady-state swimming and anaerobic burst-type swimming to evade capture. Using simulated trawling procedures with schools of wild minnows Phoxinus phoxinus, we investigate two key questions to the study of fisheries-induced evolution that have been impossible to address using large-scale trawls: (i) are some individuals within a fish shoal consistently more susceptible to capture by trawling than others?; and (ii) if so, is this related to individual differences in swimming performance and metabolism? Results provide the first evidence of repeatable variation in susceptibility to trawling that is strongly related to anaerobic capacity and swimming ability. Maximum aerobic swim speed was also negatively correlated with vulnerability to trawling. Standard metabolic rate was highest among fish that were least vulnerable to trawling, but this relationship probably arose through correlations with anaerobic capacity. These results indicate that vulnerability to trawling is linked to anaerobic swimming performance and metabolic demand, drawing parallels with factors influencing susceptibility to natural predators. Selection on these traits by fisheries could induce shifts in the fundamental physiological makeup and function of descendent populations.

Concepts: Evolution, Metabolism, Cellular respiration, Fisheries, Aerobic exercise, Basal metabolic rate, Anaerobic exercise, Pelagic fish


Aerobic granular sludge technology has been extensively studied over the past 20 years and is regarded as the upcoming new standard for biological treatment of domestic and industrial wastewaters. Aerobic granules (AG) are dense, compact, self-immobilized microbial aggregates that allow better sludge-water separation and thereby higher biomass concentrations in the bioreactor than conventional activated sludge aggregates. This brings potential practical advantages in terms of investment cost, energy consumption and footprint. Yet, despite the relevant advances regarding the process of AG formation, instability of AG during long-term operation is still seen as a major barrier for a broad practical application of this technology. This paper presents an up-to-date review of the literature focusing on AG stability, aiming to contribute to the identification of key factors for promoting long-term stability of AG and to a better understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Operational conditions leading to AG disintegration are described, including high organic loads, particulate substrates in the influent, toxic feed components, aerobic feeding and too short famine periods. These operational and influent wastewater composition conditions were shown to influence the micro-environment of AG, consequently affecting their stability. Granule stability is generally favored by the presence of a dense core, with microbial growth throughout the AG depth being a crucial intrinsic factor determining its structural integrity. Accordingly, possible practical solutions to improve granule long-term stability are described, namely through the promotion of minimal substrate concentration gradients and control of microbial growth rates within AG, including anaerobic, plug-flow feeding and specific sludge removal strategies.

Concepts: Better, Microbiology, Enzyme substrate, Biotechnology, Concentration, Wastewater, Anaerobic exercise, Aerobic granulation


The beneficial effects of beetroot juice supplementation (BJS) have been tested during cycling, walking, and running. The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether BJS can also improve performance in swimmers. Fourteen moderately trained male master swimmers were recruited and underwent two incremental swimming tests randomly assigned in a pool during which workload, oxygen uptake (VO2), carbon dioxide production (VCO2), pulmonary ventilation (VE), and aerobic energy cost (AEC) of swimming were measured. One was a control swimming test (CSW) and the other a swimming test after six days of BJS (0.5l/day organic beetroot juice containing about 5.5 mmol of NO3-). Results show that workload at anaerobic threshold was significantly increased by BJS as compared to the CSW test (6.3 ± 1 and 6.7 ± 1.1 kg during the CSW and the BJS test respectively). Moreover, AEC was significantly reduced during the BJS test (1.9 ± 0.5 during the SW test vs. 1.7 ± 0.3 kcal·kg-1·h-1 during the BJS test). The other variables lacked a statistically significant effect with BJS. The present investigation provides evidence that BJS positively affects performance of swimmers as it reduces the AEC and increases the workload at anaerobic threshold.

Concepts: Oxygen, Carbon dioxide, Statistical significance, Cellular respiration, Carbon, Exercise physiology, Aerobic exercise, Anaerobic exercise


The purpose of this study was to examine the efficacy of a ventilatory training mask to improve anaerobic and aerobic fitness in ROTC cadets. Seventeen ROTC cadets from a Midwest university completed pre- and post-assessments consisting of anthropometry, a 30-sec Wingate Anaerobic Test (WAnT), and a maximal aerobic capacity test (VO2max). A six week intervention training period was utilized during which time participants completed their mandatory physical training (PT) sessions. Participants were randomly assigned to either the experimental group (MASK; n = 9), or the control group (CON; n = 8). The ventilatory training masks were adjusted to simulate an altitude of 2750 m. There was no significant effect (p < .05) between groups on fatigue index, anaerobic capacity, peak power, VO2max, or time to exhaustion. These results suggest that the use of the ventilatory training mask during mandatory PT did not elicit superior aerobic or anaerobic adaptations in ROTC cadets. Therefore, it is recommended that more established simulated altitude training methods be utilized when incorporating intermittent hypoxic training.

Concepts: Experiment, Exercise physiology, Aerobic exercise, Cooper test, Altitude sickness, Anaerobic exercise, Hypoxicator, Reserve Officers' Training Corps


Protein supplements are frequently consumed by athletes and recreationally active adults to achieve greater gains in muscle mass and strength and improve physical performance.

Concepts: Metabolism, Energy, Glucose, Actin, Myosin, Exercise physiology, Myoglobin, Anaerobic exercise


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of caffeine ingestion on pacing strategy and energy expenditure during a 4000-m cycling time-trial (TT). Eight recreationally-trained male cyclists volunteered and performed a maximal incremental test and a familiarization test on their first and second visits, respectively. On the third and fourth visits, the participants performed a 4000-m cycling TT after ingesting capsules containing either caffeine (5 of body weight, CAF) or cellulose (PLA). The tests were applied in a double-blind, randomized, repeated-measures, cross-over design. When compared to PLA, CAF ingestion increased mean power output [219.1±18.6 vs. 232.8±21.4 W; effect size (ES)  = 0.60 (95% CI = 0.05 to 1.16), p = 0.034] and reduced the total time [419±13 vs. 409±12 s; ES = -0.71 (95% CI = -0.09 to -1.13), p = 0.026]. Furthermore, anaerobic contribution during the 2200-, 2400-, and 2600-m intervals was significantly greater in CAF than in PLA (p<0.05). However, the mean anaerobic [64.9±20.1 vs. 57.3±17.5 W] and aerobic [167.9±4.3 vs. 161.8±11.2 W] contributions were similar between conditions (p>0.05). Similarly, there were no significant differences between CAF and PLA for anaerobic work (26363±7361 vs. 23888±6795 J), aerobic work (68709±2118 vs. 67739±3912 J), or total work (95245±8593 vs. 91789±7709 J), respectively. There was no difference for integrated electromyography, blood lactate concentration, heart rate, and ratings of perceived exertion between the conditions. These results suggest that caffeine increases the anaerobic contribution in the middle of the time trial, resulting in enhanced overall performance.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Difference, Caffeine, Aerobic exercise, Anaerobic exercise, Isle of Man TT, Individual time trial, Time trial


In order to better understand the specificity of training adaptations, we compared the effects of two different anaerobic training regimes on various types of soccer-related exercise performances. During the last 3 weeks of the competitive season, thirteen young male professional soccer players (age 18.5±1 yr, height 179.5±6.5 cm, body mass 74.3±6.5 kg) reduced the training volume by ~20% and replaced their habitual fitness conditioning work with either speed endurance production (SEP; n = 6) or speed endurance maintenance (SEM; n = 7) training, three times per wk. SEP training consisted of 6-8 reps of 20-s all-out running bouts followed by 2 min of passive recovery, whereas SEM training was characterized by 6-8 x 20-s all-out efforts interspersed with 40 s of passive recovery. SEP training reduced (p<0.01) the total time in a repeated sprint ability test (RSAt) by 2.5%. SEM training improved the 200-m sprint performance (from 26.59±0.70 to 26.02±0.62 s, p<0.01) and had a likely beneficial impact on the percentage decrement score of the RSA test (from 4.07±1.28 to 3.55±1.01%) but induced a very likely impairment in RSAt (from 83.81±2.37 to 84.65±2.27 s). The distance covered in the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery test level 2 was 10.1% (p<0.001) and 3.8% (p<0.05) higher after SEP and SEM training, respectively, with possibly greater improvements following SEP compared to SEM. No differences were observed in the 20- and 40-m sprint performances. In conclusion, these two training strategies target different determinants of soccer-related physical performance. SEP improved repeated sprint and high-intensity intermittent exercise performance, whereas SEM increased muscles' ability to maximize fatigue tolerance and maintain speed development during both repeated all-out and continuous short-duration maximal exercises. These results provide new insight into the precise nature of a stimulus necessary to improve specific types of athletic performance in trained young soccer players.

Concepts: Better, Improve, Exercise, Training, Performance, Endurance training, Anaerobic exercise, Yo-yo


Individuals of gregarious species often group with conspecifics to which they are phenotypically similar. This among-group assortment has been studied for body size, sex and relatedness. However, the role of physiological traits has been largely overlooked. Here, we discuss mechanisms by which physiological traits-particularly those related to metabolism and locomotor performance-may result in phenotypic assortment not only among but also within animal groups. At the among-group level, varying combinations of passive assortment, active assortment, phenotypic plasticity and selective mortality may generate phenotypic differences among groups. Even within groups, however, individual variation in energy requirements, aerobic and anaerobic capacity, neurological lateralization and tolerance to environmental stressors are likely to produce differences in the spatial location of individuals or associations between group-mates with specific physiological phenotypes. Owing to the greater availability of empirical research, we focus on groups of fishes (i.e. shoals and schools). Increased knowledge of physiological mechanisms influencing among- and within-group assortment will enhance our understanding of fundamental concepts regarding optimal group size, predator avoidance, group cohesion, information transfer, life-history strategies and the evolutionary effects of group membership. In a broader perspective, predicting animal responses to environmental change will be impossible without a comprehensive understanding of the physiological basis of the formation and functioning of animal social groups.This article is part of the themed issue ‘Physiological determinants of social behaviour in animals’.

Concepts: Gene, Natural selection, Evolution, Fish, Sociology, Phenotype, Genotype-phenotype distinction, Anaerobic exercise


Inertial homeothermy, the maintenance of a relatively constant body temperature that occurs simply because of large size, is often applied to large dinosaurs. Moreover, biophysical modelling and actual measurements show that large crocodiles can behaviourally achieve body temperatures above 30°C. Therefore it is possible that some dinosaurs could achieve high and stable body temperatures without the high energy cost of typical endotherms. However it is not known whether an ectothermic dinosaur could produce the equivalent amount of muscular power as an endothermic one. To address this question, this study analyses maximal power output from measured aerobic and anaerobic metabolism in burst exercising estuarine crocodiles, Crocodylusporosus, weighing up to 200 kg. These results are compared with similar data from endothermic mammals. A 1 kg crocodile at 30°C produces about 16 watts from aerobic and anaerobic energy sources during the first 10% of exhaustive activity, which is 57% of that expected for a similarly sized mammal. A 200 kg crocodile produces about 400 watts, or only 14% of that for a mammal. Phosphocreatine is a minor energy source, used only in the first seconds of exercise and of similar concentrations in reptiles and mammals. Ectothermic crocodiles lack not only the absolute power for exercise, but also the endurance, that are evident in endothermic mammals. Despite the ability to achieve high and fairly constant body temperatures, therefore, large, ectothermic, crocodile-like dinosaurs would have been competitively inferior to endothermic, mammal-like dinosaurs with high aerobic power. Endothermy in dinosaurs is likely to explain their dominance over mammals in terrestrial ecosystems throughout the Mesozoic.

Concepts: Muscle, Thermoregulation, Reptile, Mammal, Crocodile, Dinosaur, Anaerobic exercise, Saltwater Crocodile


Persistent hyperlactatemia during septic shock is multifactorial. Hypoperfusion-related anaerobic production and adrenergic-driven aerobic generation together with impaired lactate clearance have been implicated. An excessive adrenergic response could contribute to persistent hyperlactatemia and adrenergic modulation might be beneficial. We assessed the effects of dexmedetomidine and esmolol on hemodynamics, lactate generation, and exogenous lactate clearance during endotoxin-induced septic shock.

Concepts: Systemic inflammatory response syndrome, Shock, Septic shock, Sepsis, Anaerobic exercise