Int J Sports Med 2021; 42(01): 56-65
DOI: 10.1055/a-1179-6093
Training & Testing

Exercise with End-expiratory Breath Holding Induces Large Increase in Stroke Volume

1  URePSSS - Unité de Recherche Pluridisciplinaire Sport Santé Société, Univ. Lille, Univ. Artois, Univ. Littoral Côte d’Opale, ULR 7369, LILLE, France
2  Association pour la Recherche et la Promotion de l'Entraînement en Hypoventilation, ARPEH, LILLE, France
Frederic Lemaitre
3  Faculte des Sciences du Sport, Université de Rouen, Rouen, France
Guido Claessen
4  Department of Cardiovascular Sciences , KU Leuven, Leuven, Belgium
Cloé Woorons
2  Association pour la Recherche et la Promotion de l'Entraînement en Hypoventilation, ARPEH, LILLE, France
Henri Vandewalle
5  UFR de Santé, Médecine et Biologie Humaine, Université Paris 13, Bobigny, France
› Author Affiliations
Funding Information The authors declare that they received no funding for this work.


Eight well-trained male cyclists participated in two testing sessions each including two sets of 10 cycle exercise bouts at 150% of maximal aerobic power. In the first session, subjects performed the exercise bouts with end-expiratory breath holding (EEBH) of maximal duration. Each exercise bout started at the onset of EEBH and ended at its release (mean duration: 9.6±0.9 s; range: 8.6–11.1 s). At the second testing session, subjects performed the exercise bouts (same duration as in the first session) with normal breathing. Heart rate, left ventricular stroke volume (LVSV), and cardiac output were continuously measured through bio-impedancemetry. Data were analysed for the 4 s preceding and following the end of each exercise bout. LVSV (peak values: 163±33 vs. 124±17 mL, p<0.01) was higher and heart rate lower both in the end phase and in the early recovery of the exercise bouts with EEBH as compared with exercise with normal breathing. Cardiac output was generally not different between exercise conditions. This study showed that performing maximal EEBH during high-intensity exercise led to a large increase in LVSV. This phenomenon is likely explained by greater left ventricular filling as a result of an augmented filling time and decreased right ventricular volume at peak EEBH.

Publication History

Received: 10 February 2020

Accepted: 04 May 2020

Publication Date:
25 August 2020 (online)

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