Introduction. After transplantation, engaging in regular physical activity (PA) or sport is recommended for health. Participation to competitive sports is increasingly common among kidney transplant recipients while little is known on how training affects the physical performance in transplanted athletes.
Aim. The purpose of this case study was to assess the effects of a tailored training program
on exercise parameters in kidney transplant cyclists (CKTRs) and runners (RKTRs).
Methods. Twelve male transplanted athletes were enrolled. The workload at aerobic and anaerobic thresholds, the submaximal aerobic power (V’O2 stage) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) during an incremental cycling or running test, and the peak instantaneous force (PIF) during a countermovement jump were assessed at baseline (T0) and after 6 months of tailored training (T6) consisting in strength and aerobic exercises. Exercise adherence, blood lipid profile and renal function were also investigated.
Results. Eight CKTRs and 4 RKTRs completed the 6-month training period, with a significant
increase of training volume (minutes/week). The exercise adherence was met by 90% in both groups. At T6, there were significant (p<0.05) improvements of maximum workload attained, the workload corresponding to the aerobic threshold and PIF, while workloads at anaerobic threshold, V’O2 stage and RPE were unchanged. Blood cholesterol significantly decreased (p<0.01), while the other blood parameters were unchanged.
Conclusions. These findings indicate that the combined strength and endurance training is well tolerated and may improve exercise performance in this selected population of KTRs.