Mechanical power output and neuromuscular activity during and following recovery from repeated-sprint exercise in man

Jose Mendez-Villanueva

Research output: ThesisMaster's Thesis

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The purpose of the present study was to examine the time-course of mechanical power output and neuromuscular activity during fatiguing repeated-sprint exercise and recovery in man. Prior to the main study, we also investigated the reproducibility of power output during a single 6-s cycling sprint. For this study, eleven healthy moderately trained males performed a 6-s standing sprint on the front-access cycle ergometer on four separate occasions. The results of the study showed that reliable power outputs can be obtained after one familiarization session in subjects unfamiliar with maximal cycling sprint exercise. However, the inclusion of an extra familiarization session ensured more stable power outputs. Therefore, two trials should allow adequate familiarization with the maximal 6-s cycling test. For the main study, eight young moderately trained adult men performed an exercise protocol that consisted of ten, 6-s sprints on a wind-braked cycle ergometer interspersed with 30 s of recovery. After 6 min of passive recovery, five, 6-s sprints were repeated, again interspersed by 30 s of recovery. Peak power output (PPO) and mean power output (MPO) were measured during each sprint and EMG data (i.e., RMS) from the vastus lateralis muscle were also recorded. A one-way ANOVA with repeated measures (i.e., sprint number) was used to allocate the significant differences in each dependent variable over time. Analysis revealed a decline in power output during the fatiguing exercise that was accompanied by a decrease in EMG amplitude of the vastus lateralis muscle. Six minutes after the fatiguing exercise, power output during sprint 11 significantly recovered with respect to values recorded in sprint 10, but remained significantly lower than that recorded in the initial sprint. Thus, 6 min was insufficient to fully recover from the fatiguing repeated sprint protocol utilised in this study. The main findings in the present study were that: 1) the partial recovery of power output in sprint 11 was not accompanied by the recovery V of EMG amplitude; 2) similar mean power outputs were recorded during sprint 4 and 11 despite a significantly lower EMG activity recorded during the latter sprint; and 3) despite comparable mean power outputs during sprint 4 and 11, the decrease in power output over the next five sprints was greater for sprints 11 to 15 than for sprints 4 to 8.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 2004


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