Assessment of physiological capacities of elite athletes & respiratory limitations to exercise performance
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Physiological assessment of athletes is an important process for the characterization of the athlete, monitoring progress and the trained state or 'level of preparedness' of an athlete, as well as aiding the process of training program design. Interestingly, the majority of physiological assessments performed on athletes can also be performed on children with disease, and therefore clinicians can learn a great deal about physiology and assessment of patient populations through the examination of the physiological responses of elite athletes. This review describes typical physiological responses of elite athletes to tests of aerobic and anaerobic metabolism and provides a specific focus upon respiratory limitations to exercise performance. Typical responses of elite athletes are described to provide the scientist and clinician with a perspective of the upper range of physiological capacities of elite athletes.
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