I have been under the impression that one cannot increase their total lung capacity, it's like the ratio of fast twitch to slow twitch fibers in your muscles, i.e. it is what you were born with. However, I was looking through research articles to confirm this, and I cannot find any articles that specifically address increasing total lung capacity.
I am aware that there are lung training devices out there that purport to increase capacity, but what they really do is train inspiratory muscle, and that neovascularization (increase in capillary and blood vessel counts to exercising muscle) also contributes to O2 delivery and increased O2 utilization.
Can anyone provide some studies directly addressing the increase in lung capacity and the effects on athletes thereof? I am aware of the studies in asthmatics, but they are not increasing the TOTAL lung capacity, they are increasing the FUNCTIONAL lung capacity. I am interested in ones where total lung capacity was shown to have increased.
Edited to clear up - What I'm looking for is any studies where the actual physical lung size has been shown to be increased. Lung volume is directly measured (spirometry, etc), but lung capacity by necessity is a finite value. I'm interested in finding out if there have been any exercises or other interventions that have proven to increase the lung size rather than the efficiency in which we use it?