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European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 118, Issue 11, pp 2295–2305 | Cite as

Effects of endurance cycling training on neuromuscular fatigue in healthy active men. Part II: Corticospinal excitability and voluntary activation

  • S. J. Aboodarda
  • J. Mira
  • M. Floreani
  • R. Jaswal
  • S. J. Moon
  • K. Amery
  • T. Rupp
  • G. Y. Millet
Original Article

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of 9-week endurance cycling training on central fatigability and corticomotor excitability of the locomotor muscles. Fourteen healthy participants undertook three incremental fatiguing cycling tests to volitional exhaustion (EXH): (i) before training (PRE), (ii) after training at the same absolute power output as PRE (POSTABS) and (iii) after training at the same percentage of V̇O2max as PRE (POSTREL). At baseline (i.e. before cycling), every 5 min during cycling and immediately at EXH, a neuromuscular evaluation including a series of 5-s knee extensions at 100, 75 and 50% of maximal voluntary knee extension (MVC) was performed. During each contraction, transcranial magnetic and peripheral nerve stimuli were elicited to obtain motor evoked potential (MEP), silent period (SP) and compound muscle action potential (Mmax) and to calculate voluntary activation (VA). The MEP·Mmax−1 ratio recorded from vastus lateralis at 100 and 50% MVC did not show any difference between conditions. At 75% MVC, MEP exhibited significantly lower values in POSTABS and POSTREL compared to PRE at baseline (P = 0.022 and P = 0.011, respectively) as well as at 25% of time to EXH of PRE (P = 0.022) for POSTREL. No adaptations, either at baseline or during cycling, were observed for VA and SPs. In conclusion, endurance training may result in some adaptations in the corticomotor responses when measured at rest or with low level of fatigue, yet these adaptations do not translate into attenuation of central fatigue at a similar cycling workload or at exhaustion.

Keywords

Brain Central adaptation Electromyography Locomotor muscles Transcranial magnetic stimulation 

Abbreviations

BF

Biceps femoris

CST

Constant-load submaximal training

Db100

High-frequency doublet

EMG

Electromyography

EXH

Exhaustion

HIIT

High-intensity interval training

HR

Heart rate

MEP

Motor evoked potential

MEP100, MEP75, MEP50

MEP·Mmax− 1 ratio (i.e. MEP is expressed as a % of Mmax recorded at 100, 75 and 50% of MVC, respectively)

SP100, SP75, SP50

Silent period recorded at 100, 75 and 50% of MVC, respectively

MVC

Maximal voluntary contraction

NMF

Neuromuscular fatigue

PNS

Peripheral motor nerve stimulation

POSTABS

Fatigue session based on the same absolute power output as before training

POSTREL

Fatigue session based on the same relative intensity as before training

PRE

Initial fatigue test

RMS

Root mean square

RMS100·Mmax100− 1, RMS75·Mmax75− 1 RMS50·Mmax50− 1

Root mean square is expressed as a % of Mmax amplitude recorded at 100, 75 and 50% of MVC, respectively

RPE

Rate of perceived exertion

SIT

Superimposed twitch

SP

Silent period

TMS

Transcranial magnetic stimulation

TTE

Time to exhaustion

VAPNS

Voluntary activation (using peripheral nerve stimulation)

VATMS

Voluntary activation (using transcranial magnetic stimulation)

VL

Vastus lateralis

\({\dot{{\rm V}}}\)O2max

Maximal oxygen uptake

\({\dot{{\rm V}}}\)O2peak

Peak \({\dot{{\rm V}}}\)O2

Wmax

Maximal aerobic power output

Notes

Acknowledgements

Saied Jalal Aboodarda was funded by the Eyes High Postdoctoral Scholars. This study was also supported by the Université Savoie Mont Blanc as part of the doctoral work of José Mira.

Author contributions

TR, GYM, SJA, and JM conceived and designed the research. SJA, JM, MF, RJ, SJM, and KA conducted the experiment and analyzed data. SJA wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Human Performance Laboratory, Faculty of KinesiologyUniversity of CalgaryCalgaryCanada
  2. 2.Laboratoire Interuniversitaire de Biologie de la MotricitéUniversité Savoie Mont BlancChambéryFrance

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