Skip to main content

Muscle Deoxygenation in Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise

  • Chapter

Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB,volume 454)


It has been generally accepted that the use of oxygen is a major contributor of ATP synthesis in endurance exercise but not in short sprints. In anaerobic exercise, muscle energy is thought to be initially supported by the PCr-ATP system followed by glycolysis, not through mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. However, in real exercise practice, we do not know how much of this notion is true when an athlete approaches his/her maximal capacity of aerobic and anaerobic exercise, such as during a graded VO2max test. This study investigates the use of oxygen in aerobic and anaerobic exercise by monitoring oxygen concentration of the vastus lateralis muscle at maximum intensity using Near Infra-red Spectroscopy (NIRS). We tested 14 sprinters from the University of Penn track team, whose competitive events are high jump, pole vault, 100 m, 200 m, 400 m, and 800 m. The Wingate anaerobic power test was performed on a cycle ergometer with 10% body weight resistance for 30 seconds. To compare oxygenation during aerobic exercise, a steady-state VO2maxtest witn a cvcle ergometer was used with 25 watt increments every 2 min. until exhaustion. Results showed that in the Wingate test, total power reached 774±86 watt, about 3 times greater than that in the VO2max test (270±43 watt). In the Wingate test, the deoxygenation reached approximately 80 % of the established maximum value, while in the VO2max test resulted in approximately 36 % deoxygenation. There was no delay in onset of deoxygenation in the Wingate test, while in the VO2max test, deoxygenation did not occur under low intensity work. The results indicate that oxygen was used from the beginning of sprint test, suggesting that the mitochondrial ATP synthesis was triggered after a surprisingly brief exercise duration. One explanation is that prior warm-up (unloaded exercise) was enough to provide the mitochondrial substrates; ADP and Pi to activate oxidative phosphorylation by the type II a and type I myocytes. In addition, transmural pressure created by the muscle contraction reduces blood flow, causing relative hypoxia.


  • Aerobic Exercise
  • Anaerobic Exercise
  • Vastus Lateralis Muscle
  • Anaerobic Capacity
  • Wingate Test

These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Buying options

USD   29.95
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4615-4863-8_8
  • Chapter length: 8 pages
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
USD   59.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)
  • ISBN: 978-1-4615-4863-8
  • Instant PDF download
  • Readable on all devices
  • Own it forever
  • Exclusive offer for individuals only
  • Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout
Softcover Book
USD   79.99
Price excludes VAT (USA)


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Ogawa, S., RS. Menon, DW. Tank. SG. Kim, H. Merkle, JM. Ellermann, K. Ugrbil. Functional brain mapping by blood oxygenation level-dependent contrast magnetic resonance imaging. A comparison of signal characteristics with a biophysical model. Biophysical Journal. 64:803–812. 1993.

    CAS  PubMed Central  PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  2. Hoshi, Y. et al. Neuroscience Letters. 150:5–8. 1993.

    CAS  PubMed  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  3. Nioka, S., DS. Smith, B. Chance, HT Subramanian, S. Butler and M. Katzenberg. Oxidative phosphorylation system during steady state hypoxia in the dog brain. J. Appl. Physiol. 68:2527–2535. 1990.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. Tharp, G., G. Johnson, and W. Thorland. Measurement of anaerobic power and capacity in elite young track athletes using the Wingate test. J. Sports. Med. 24:100–106. 1984.

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  5. Inbar, O. Characteristics of the Wingate anaerobic test. In: The Wingate Anaerobic Test. ed. Inbar, O. Human Kinetics, Champaign, IL. pp. 33, 1996.

    Google Scholar 

  6. Hickson, RC. Skeletal muscle cytochrome c and myoglobin in endurance and frequency of training. J. Appl. Physiol. 51:746. 1981.

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  7. Flick, ST., WT. Kramer. Resistance training: Physiological responses and adaptation. Phys. Sportsmed. 16:108. 1988.

    Google Scholar 

  8. Aubert, X., B. Chance, and RD. Keynes. Optical studies of biochemical events in the electric organ of Electrophorus. Proceedings of the Royal Society. 160:211–245. 1964.

    CAS  CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  9. Saltin, B. Physiological effects of physical conditioning. Med. Sci. Sports. Exerc. 1:50. 1969.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

  10. Hanson, JS et al. Long term physical training and cardio vascular dynamics in middle-aged men. Circulation. 38:783. 1968.

    CrossRef  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Editor information

Editors and Affiliations

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

Copyright information

© 1998 Springer Science+Business Media New York

About this chapter

Cite this chapter

Nioka, S. et al. (1998). Muscle Deoxygenation in Aerobic and Anaerobic Exercise. In: Hudetz, A.G., Bruley, D.F. (eds) Oxygen Transport to Tissue XX. Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology, vol 454. Springer, Boston, MA.

Download citation

  • DOI:

  • Publisher Name: Springer, Boston, MA

  • Print ISBN: 978-1-4613-7206-6

  • Online ISBN: 978-1-4615-4863-8

  • eBook Packages: Springer Book Archive