Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Teaching (M.S.T.)


Physical Education




Exercise -- Physiological aspects, Heart beat



Physical Description

1 online resource (55 p.)


The relationship between training intensities and fitness gains was selected as a topic for analysis in this study. Forty-six college men served as subjects in one of three groups: a jogging, or moderate intensity, training group, a running, or high intensity, training group, or a control group. All subjects were pre- and post-tested on the Astrand Bike Ergometer Work Test where working heart rates were measured and recorded. The two training groups participated in at least thirteen training sessions between these testing days, in which two miles were covered at the correct intensity level for each subject at each training session.

A review of the literature revealed that most researchers embraced the concept of a minimal threshold of training stimulus needed to be met or exceeded by subjects for significant cardiovascular fitness gains to occur. Conclusions about the absolute level of this threshold varied from a low of 120 heartbeats per minute to at least 150 heartbeats per minute, depending apparently upon the experimental evidence each researcher had gathered.

The author hypothesized that there existed a continuum of training stimuli such that training at higher intensities would produce larger heart rate decrements (a cardiovascular fitness index) than at moderate training intensities, but that moderate intensities would also produce significant gains. Furthermore, wide variations in heart rate decrements were expected to be observed within any one group, possibly indicating differences in initial fitnesses of subjects.

The factual results of the study were:

Both experimental groups and the control group exhibited significant decrements in heart rates from pre-test to post-test although the experimental groups' gains were significant at a higher confidence level. Explanations were posited about the possible factors which might have unpredictably caused the control group to have shown significant improvement.

The moderate intensity training group exhibited a larger decrement in heart rate than the high intensity training group, although the difference was not statistically significant.

There, indeed, was a wide variation of heart rate responses among individuals within any one group, possible indicating initial fitness differences.

In light of the results derived from this study, the author can only conclude:

Significant decreases in submaximal workload heart rates may be expected to be observed in American college men after training at moderate to high intensity levels (150 beats per minute or higher) for relatively short training periods (two days per week for eight weeks).

Large fluctuations in fitness responses among subjects within any one training group can be expected, due probably to individual differences in initial fitnesses.

The task of training large numbers of subjects at specified intensity levels within a fairly realistic physical education setting seems to have been a fruitful approach.


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