Is Two Better Than One? The Impact of Doubling Training Volume in Severe COPD: A Randomized Controlled Study

Mara Paneroni, Ioannis Vogiatzis, Stefano Belli, Gloria Savio, Dina Visca, Elisabetta Zampogna, Maria Aliani, Vito De Carolis, Mauro Maniscalco, Carla Simonelli, Michele Vitacca

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Patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are unable to exercise at high intensities for sufficiently long periods of time to obtain true physiological training effects. It therefore appears sensible to increase training duration at sub-maximal exercise intensities to optimize the benefit of exercise training. We compared the effects on exercise tolerance of two endurance cycloergometer submaximal exercise protocols with different cumulative training loads (one (G1) versus two (G2) daily 40 min training sessions) both implemented over 20 consecutive days in 149 patients with COPD (forced expiratory volume at first second (FEV1): 39% predicted) admitted to an inpatient pulmonary rehabilitation program. Patients in G2 exhibited greater improvement (p = 0.011) in submaximal endurance time (from 258 (197) to 741 (662) sec) compared to G1 (from 303 (237) to 530 (555) sec). Clinically meaningful improvements in health-related quality of life, 6MWT, and chronic dyspnea were not different between groups. Doubling the volume of endurance training is feasible and can lead to an additional benefit on exercise tolerance. Future studies may investigate the applicability and benefits of this training strategy in the outpatient or community-based pulmonary rehabilitation settings to amplify the benefits of exercise interventions.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1052
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Clinical Medicine
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 18 Jul 2019


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