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July 27, 1984

Physiological Profile of National-Class National Collegiate Athletic Association Fencers

Author Affiliations

From the Cardiovascular Fitness and Rehabilitation Program, Section of Cardiovascular Diseases, Department of Medicine, Sinai Hospital of Detroit (Mss Vander and Scherf and Drs Franklin and Wrisley); the Departments of Medicine (Dr Rubenfire) and Physiology (Dr Franklin), Wayne State University, Detroit; and the Department of Education, Columbia University, New York (Dr Kogler).

JAMA. 1984;252(4):500-503. doi:10.1001/jama.1984.03350040030017

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.

(JAMA 1984;252:500-503)