Skeletal muscle buffering capacity and endurance performance after high-intensity interval training by well-trained cyclists
Skeletal muscle buffering capacity (βm), enzyme activities and exercise performance were measured before and after 4 weeks of high-intensity, sub maximal␣interval training (HIT) undertaken by six well-trained competitive cyclists [mean maximal oxygen consumption (\(\)O2max) = 66.2 ml · kg−1 · min−1]. HIT replaced a portion of habitual endurance training and consisted of six sessions, each of six to eight repetitions of 5 min duration at 80% of peak sustained power output (PPO) separated by 1 min of recovery. βm increased from 206.6 (17.9) to 240.4 (34.1) μmol H+ · g muscle dw−1 · pH−1 after HIT (P = 0.05). PPO, time to fatigue at 150% PPO (TF150) and 40-km cycle time trial performance (TT40) all significantly improved after HIT (P < 0.05). In contrast, there was no change in the activity of either phosphofructokinase or citrate synthase. In addition, βm correlated significantly with TT40 performance before HIT (r = −0.82, P < 0.05) and the relationship between change in βm and change in TT40 was close to significance (r = −0.74). βm did not correlate with TF150. These results indicate that βm may be an important determinant of relatively short-duration (< 60 min) endurance cycling activity and responds positively to just six sessions of high-intensity, submaximal interval training.
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