Book review: Oxygen uptake kinetics in sport, exercise and medicine


Oxygen uptake kinetics in sport, exercise and medicine
Edited by A M Jones, D C Poole
ISBN: 978-0-415-30561-7
Published by: Routledge
Publication Date: 2nd December 2004
Pages: 432

This book provides a comprehensive review of the field of oxygen uptake kinetics. Written in a text book format, this multi-authored effort is a useful reference for scientists and students interested in clinical and research aspects of oxygen uptake kinetics. The book has contributions from experts in each of the areas presented and provides an evidence-based approach to our understanding of oxygen uptake kinetics and its importance to health, disease and improving elite athletes’ performance.

The book is aimed at researchers, practitioners, teachers and students and broadly meets the demand of this market. The book serves as an invaluable resource for recent graduates embarking on a career in exercise physiology with a key focus on the kinetics of oxygen uptake during exercise. The book’s strength lies in its comprehensiveness, collating a large body of information which might ordinarily require several different sources. The book is divided into four distinct sections: Introduction; Theory and practice of measuring VO2 kinetics; Mechanistic bases of VO2 kinetics; and Practical applications to the study of VO2 kinetics. The main theme of Oxygen Uptake Kinetics in Sport, Exercise and Medicine is that pulmonary oxygen uptake measurement, using a metabolic cart, can provide valuable insight into metabolic control processes within the exercising muscle. The format of the book provides readers the opportunity to read the text as a whole, or more likely, given the density of material, to access specific material as required.

The introduction to this book provides a nice summary of oxygen kinetics. The historical timeline is very interesting and provides readers with some useful background material on the progression of this buoyant field of research. The following chapters have a wealth of information describing oxygen uptake kinetics, how oxygen uptake is measured, limitations in measuring oxygen uptake at the mouth, and deconstructing oxygen uptake into its constituent phases from rest to exercise. The book also links oxygen uptake kinetics measured at the mouth and actual oxygen uptake kinetics at the muscle, and the underlying assumptions in this process. The mechanisms and regulation are described in detail and the book is extremely well referenced for further reading in particular areas of interest. Chapter 12 provides a very nice summary of the complex and detailed information, and is a good overview for readers to consolidate the key aspects of the book. Experienced researchers and graduate students alike certainly love easy-to-read and accessible summary material. The practical applications put some of the more esoteric details on ageing, disease states and training for high-level athletic performance into perspective.

There is some variability in breadth and depth between chapters but this is understandable given the large number of contributors involved. The book can be quite hard going with the large volume of detailed information presented on underlying physiological processes and metabolic calculations. However, for readers with an interest in this field the book provides a comprehensive treatise on oxygen uptake kinetics.

Presentation: 17/20
Comprehensiveness: 19/20
Readability: 17/20
Relevance: 17/20
Evidence basis: 19/20

Review by Philo Saunders
Department of Physiology,
Australian Institute of Sport, Australia

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