I’ve had the opportunity recently to do quite a bit of reading and having read about the Moxy Monitor for measuring the oxygen saturation levels in working muscles I started to read some of the research papers related to this development, some of which are very interesting.

The Moxy Monitor

Some of the very early work that was done by John Holloszy which demonstrated the trainability of skeletal muscle in rats showed that the training stimulus had to be high enough to bring about adaptations and indeed the rats involved had a pretty rotten deal. They were forced to run uphill on a treadmill for hours each day for 12 weeks, you can download the original research paper below.

If the rats slacked and didn’t maintain the required pace they got an electric shock from a metal grid. At the end of the 12 week training period the rats were fasted overnight and then killed by decapitation, they were exsanguinated and then the parts required for analysis were removed. The only good news for the rats seems to have been limited to the fact that they didn’t train for 24 hours prior to being decapitated.

There is no doubt that huge training gains were made by the rats and can also be made in humans. I am confident that if I were subjected to the same sort of training regime as the rats I would make staggering improvements in my performance over the twelve week period, the shocks and the looming decapitation would I am sure act as powerful stimuli.

The really important factors in training success are without doubt getting the duration of the training and it’s intensity right and I just wonder whether the Moxy Monitor might be a useful tool in gauging exercise intensity in order to try to maximise the adaptation to a training programme. I guess it will be a little while before we have the answer to this question because the general availability of these units is in it’s early days and for many people the price tag is a very significant barrier.