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Does overload exercise training alter autonomic nervous system activity and hemodynamic regulation in aerobically fit men? Open Access


Other title
blood pressure
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Lampe, William L
Supervisor and department
Kennedy, Michael (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Jones, Kelvin (Physical Education and Recreation)
Kennedy, Michael (Physical Education and Recreation)
DeLorey, Darren (Physical Education and Recreation)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Science
Degree level
In general, chronic endurance training has positive effects on physiological function. However, the performance of training in excess of what an individual is able to recover from can lead to performance, physiological and psychobiological maladaptation. The purposes of this investigation were to assess the temporal changes in: 1) the activity of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the ANS, as well as hemodynamic regulation, at rest, 2) the response of the sympathetic branch of the ANS, and the hemodynamic response, to stress, and 3) psychobiological measures of fatigue associated with a period of overload training and a period of tapered training. It was hypothesized: 1) that resting sympathetic activity would be increased following the period of overload training and return toward baseline levels following the period of tapered training, 2) that the overload period would augment the sympathetic response to a sympathetic stressor and the taper period would return the response toward baseline values, and 3) that the activity of the parasympathetic nervous system at rest would not be altered by the periods of overload or tapered training. Hemodynamic and autonomic activity were assessed at rest and during a graded lower body negative pressure test in young, fit male participants prior to and following one week of intense training and a subsequent week of tapered training. Neither performance nor psychobiological disturbances were observed following either period of training. Blood pressure was reduced and vascular conductance increased following the intense training period, while resting autonomic nervous system activity and the autonomic and hemodynamic responses to stress were not influenced. Thus, the period of intense training performed by participants did not cause performance, physiological or psychobiological maladaptation or alter the activity of the autonomic nervous system.
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