European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 101, Issue 6, pp 761–770 | Cite as

Inspiratory muscle training improves cycling time-trial performance and anaerobic work capacity but not critical power

  • Michael A. Johnson
  • Graham R. Sharpe
  • Peter I. Brown
Original Article


We examined whether inspiratory muscle training (IMT) improved cycling time-trial performance and changed the relationship between limit work (W lim) and limit time (T lim), which is described by the parameters critical power (CP) and anaerobic work capacity (AWC). Eighteen male cyclists were assigned to either a pressure-threshold IMT or sham hypoxic-training placebo (PLC) group. Prior to and following a 6 week intervention subjects completed a 25-km cycling time-trial and three constant-power tests to establish the W limT lim relationship. Constant-power tests were prescribed to elicit exercise intolerance within 3–10 (Ex1), 10–20 (Ex2), and 20–30 (Ex3) min. Maximal inspiratory mouth pressure increased by (mean ± SD) 17.1 ± 12.2% following IMT (P < 0.01) and was accompanied by a 2.66 ± 2.51% improvement in 25-km time-trial performance (P < 0.05); there were no changes following PLC. Constant-power cycling endurance was unchanged following PLC, as was CP (pre vs. post: 249 ± 32 vs. 250 ± 32 W) and AWC (30.7 ± 12.7 vs. 30.1 ± 12.5 kJ). Following IMT Ex1 and Ex3 cycling endurance improved by 18.3 ± 15.1 and 15.3 ± 19.1% (P < 0.05), respectively, CP was unchanged (264 ± 62 vs. 263 ± 61 W), but AWC increased from 24.8 ± 5.6 to 29.0 ± 8.4 kJ (P < 0.05). In conclusion, these data provide novel evidence that improvements in constant-power and cycling time-trial performance following IMT in cyclists may be explained, in part, by an increase in AWC.


Respiratory muscle training Exercise performance Ergogenic Critical power Anaerobic work capacity 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael A. Johnson
    • 1
  • Graham R. Sharpe
    • 1
  • Peter I. Brown
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Science and TechnologyNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK

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