Selected physiological characteristics of seven national-class fencers (1983 National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I champions) were studied and the results compared with those for normal persons and athletes of similar age. Evaluation included maximal oxygen uptake during arm and leg ergometry, serum lipids, body composition, and standard spirometry. Maximal oxygen uptake during arm work (34.2 mL×kg-1×min-1) was 68% of that observed during leg work (50.2 mL×kg-1×min-1). Mean serum triglyceride, total cholesterol, and high-density—lipoprotein cholesterol levels were 68.5, 187, and 54.5 mg/dL, respectively. Hydrostatically determined percent body fat averaged 12.2%. Results of pulmonary function studies were normal. The aerobic capacity of National Collegiate Athletic Association fencers is only slightly higher than active men of comparable age, and substantially lower than world-class endurance athletes. These data suggest that success in fencing may depend more on technique, speed, and agility as opposed to a high aerobic capacity and low percent body fatness.
Vander LB, Franklin BA, Wrisley D, Scherf J, Kogler AA, Rubenfire M. Physiological Profile of National-Class National Collegiate Athletic Association Fencers. JAMA. 1984;252(4):500–503. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350040030017