Effects of graded hypoxia during exhaustive intermittent cycling on subsequent exercise performance and neuromuscular responses

J. Soo, S. Racinais, T. J. Fairchild, M. Ihsan, M. Buchheit, O. Girard

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: This study examined the effect of graded hypoxia during exhaustive intermittent cycling on subsequent exercise performance and neuromuscular fatigue characteristics in normoxia. Methods: Fifteen well-trained cyclists performed an exhaustive intermittent cycling exercise (EICE 1; 15 s at 30% of anaerobic power reserve interspersed with 45 s of passive recovery) at sea level (SL; FiO2 ~ 0.21), moderate (MH; FiO2 ~ 0.16) and severe hypoxia (SH; FiO2 ~ 0.12). This was followed, after 30 min of passive recovery in normoxia, by an identical exercise bout in normoxia (EICE 2). Neuromuscular function of the knee extensors was assessed at baseline, after EICE 1 (post-EICE 1), and EICE 2 (post-EICE 2). Results: The number of efforts completed decreased with increasing hypoxic severity during EICE 1 (SL: 39 ± 30, MH: 22 ± 13, SH: 13 ± 6; p ≤ 0.02), whereas there was no difference between conditions during EICE 2 (SL: 16 ± 9, MH: 20 ± 14, SH: 24 ± 17; p ≥ 0.09). Maximal torque (p = 0.007), peripheral (p = 0.02) and cortical voluntary activation (p < 0.001), and twitch torque (p < 0.001) decreased from baseline to post-EICE 1. Overall, there were no significant difference in any neuromuscular parameters from post-EICE 1 to post-EICE 2 (p ≥ 0.08). Conclusion: Increasing hypoxia severity during exhaustive intermittent cycling hampered exercise capacity, but did not influence performance and associated neuromuscular responses during a subsequent bout of exercise in normoxia performed after 30 min of rest.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3539-3549
Number of pages11
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Volume121
Issue number12
Early online date18 Sep 2021
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021

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