A comparison of the effect of external loading upon power output in stair climbing and running up a ramp

  • Chester R. Kyle
  • Vincent J. Caiozzo
Article

Summary

Previous studies have shown that external loading increases the power output measured during stair climbing. However, it was noted in an earlier study that stairtreads form mechanical contraints which limit the extent to which a subject can be externally loaded, and, thereby, make it impossible to observe maximal power output for this type of activity. The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of external loading upon power output when running up stairs or a ramp. Since a ramp is free of the mechanical constraints of stairtreads, it was felt that higher power output values would be achieved using the ramp, and that it would be possible to observe an asymptote in power output which could not be obtained for stair climbing. Seven male subjects performed maximal ramp and stair climbing tests under five experimental loading conditions (no external load, 10.1, 19.2, 24.2, and 29.2 kg). For the ramp, it was possible to employ a sixth loading condition of 34.2 kg. For stair climbing, the mean (±SD) power output values under the five experimental conditions were 16.6±0.7, 17.3±1.3, 18.5±1.0, 18.6±1.5, and 18.9±1.7 W·kg−1, respectively. In contrast, the mean (± SD) power output values observed while running up the ramp were 18.8±1.4, 19.9±1.6, 20.5±1.6, 20.1±2.1, 20.3±2.1, and 19.8±1.9 W·kg−1, respectively. At each experimental condition, the differences between the ramp and stairs was significant (P<0.05). For the ramp, the highest mean power output occurred at a load of 19.2 kg. Beyond this load, power output progressively declined. In contrast, for the stairs, the highest power output occurred at a load of 29.2 kg. The results of this study demonstrate that the effect of loading upon power output measurements can be extended to running up a ramp. Furthermore, unlike stair climbing, it was possible using the ramp to observe a maximal power output value for each subject.

Key words

Power output Effect of external loading Maximal power output Human power 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Blix M (1901) To the question of human working power. University Programme, LundGoogle Scholar
  2. Caiozzo VJ, Kyle CR (1980) The effect of external loading upon power output in stairclimbing. Eur J Appl Physiol 44:217–222Google Scholar
  3. Davies CTM, Rennie R (1968) Human power output. Nature 217:770Google Scholar
  4. Davies CTM (1971) Human power output in exercise of short duration in relation to body size and composition. Ergonomics 14:245–256Google Scholar
  5. Davies CTM, Young K (1984) Effects of external loading on short term power output in children and young male adults. Eur J Appl Physiol 52:351–354Google Scholar
  6. Gregor RJ, Edgerton VR, Perrine JJ, Campion DS, DeBus C (1979) Torque-velocity relationships and muscle fiber composition in elite female athletes. J Appl Physiol: Respirat Environ Exercise Physiol 47:388–392Google Scholar
  7. Harrison JY (1970) Maximizing human power output by suitable selection of motion cycle and load. Hum Factors 12:315–329Google Scholar
  8. Hill AV (1922) The maximal work and mechanical efficiency of human muscles and their economical speed. J Physiol [Lond] 56:19–41Google Scholar
  9. Kyle CR, Mastropaolo J (1975) Predicting racing bicyclist performance using the unbraked flywheel method of bicycle ergometry. In: Landry F, Orban W (eds) Sports sciences from around the world. Biomechanics of sports and kinanthropometry. Symposia Specialists, Miami, pp 211–220Google Scholar
  10. Kitagawa K, Suzuki M, Miyashita M (1980) Anaerobic power output of young obese men: comparison with non-obese men and the role of excess fat. Eur J Appl Physiol 43:229–234Google Scholar
  11. Margaria R, Aghemo P, Rovelli E (1966) Measurement of muscular power (anaerobic) in man. J Appl Physiol 21:1662–1664Google Scholar
  12. Pugh LGCE (1974) The relation of oxygen intake and speed in competition cycling and comparative observations on the bicycle ergometer. J Physiol [Lond] 241:795–808Google Scholar
  13. Runyan RP, Huber A (1971) Fundamentals of behavioral statistics. Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, pp 48Google Scholar
  14. Wilkie DR (1960) Man as a source of mechanical power. Ergonomics 3:1–8Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1985

Authors and Affiliations

  • Chester R. Kyle
    • 1
    • 2
  • Vincent J. Caiozzo
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Human Powered Vehicle Laboratory, Department of Mechanical EngineeringCalifornia State UniversityLong BeachUSA
  2. 2.Applied Physiology Laboratory, Division of Orthopaedics, Department of Surgery, College of MedicineUniversity of CaliforniaIrvineUSA

Personalised recommendations