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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 117, Issue 5, pp 969–978 | Cite as

The relationship between oxygen uptake kinetics and neuromuscular fatigue in high-intensity cycling exercise

  • John Temesi
  • Felipe Mattioni Maturana
  • Arthur Peyrard
  • Tatiane Piucco
  • Juan M. Murias
  • Guillaume Y. MilletEmail author
Original Article

Abstract

Purpose

In theory, a slow oxygen uptake (\(\dot VO_2\)) kinetics leads to a greater accumulation of anaerobic by-products, which can, in turn, induce more neuromuscular fatigue. However, the existence of this relationship has never been tested.

Methods

After two sessions to measure peak \(\dot VO_2\), peak power output (POpeak), and \(\dot VO_2\) kinetics responses in the unfatigued state (τ \(\dot VO_2\) MOD), 10 healthy young adults performed a 6-min cycling bout at 80% POpeak (INT6-min). \(\dot VO_2\) kinetics responses were also measured during INT6-min. Neuromuscular fatigue was measured isometrically pre- and post-INT6-min (immediately post- and 15-s post-INT6-min) with an innovative cycle ergometer.

Results

Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force, high-frequency doublet amplitude, and the ratio of low- to high-frequency doublet amplitudes decreased by 34 ± 7, 43 ± 11, and 31 ± 13%, respectively (all P < 0.01). A significant Spearman’s rank correlation was observed between the change in low-frequency doublet force (ΔDb10) immediately after INT6-min and both τ \(\dot VO_2\) MOD and τ \(\dot VO_2\) INT6-min (ρ = −0.68 and ρ = −0.67, both P < 0.05). When considering the largest responses from the two neuromuscular evaluations post-INT6-min, significant correlations were also found between τ \(\dot VO_2\) MOD and ΔDb10 (ρ = −0.74; P < 0.05) and between τ\(\dot VO_2\) INT6-min and both ΔDb10 and low-frequency fatigue (ρ = −0.70 and ρ = −0.66; both P < 0.05).

Conclusion

The present results suggest that subjects with slow \(\dot VO_2\) kinetics experience more peripheral fatigue, in particular more excitation–contraction coupling failure, likely due to a greater accumulation of protons and/or inorganic phosphates.

Keywords

Muscle fatigue Oxygen uptake kinetics Intense cycling exercise Excitation–contraction coupling failure 

Abbreviations

Amp

Steady-state increase in \(\dot VO_2\) above baseline cycling

Db10

Force evoked by 10-Hz paired-pulse femoral nerve stimulation

Db100

Force evoked by 100-Hz paired-pulse femoral nerve stimulation

GET

Gas exchange threshold

INT6-min

6-min cycling bout at 80% of peak power output

[La]

Blood lactate concentration

MOD

Three step transitions from baseline to an intensity corresponding to the \(\dot VO_2\) at 90% of the GET, performed in session 2

MVC

Maximal voluntary contraction

Pi

Inorganic phosphate

PO

Power output

POpeak

Peak power output

POST

Neuromuscular evaluation performed immediately post-exercise

POST2

Largest responses from the two neuromuscular evaluations post-exercise

RCP

Respiratory compensation point

RF

Rectus femoris

RPE

Rating of perceived exertion

TD

Time delay

TwPot

Potentiated twitch

\(\dot VCO_2\)

Carbon dioxide production

\(\dot VE\)

Minute ventilation

VL

Vastus lateralis

\(\dot VO_2\)

Oxygen uptake

\(\dot VO_{2peak}\)

Peak oxygen uptake

Y(t)

\(\dot VO_2\) at any given time (t)

YBsln

\(\dot VO_2\) at the 20-W baseline

Notes

Acknowledgements

Special thanks are given to John Holash, Andrzej Stano, and the Science Workshop at the University of Calgary for their help in designing the new cycle ergometer.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors have no conflict of interests.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of KinesiologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada

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