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Evidence of neuromuscular fatigue after prolonged cycling exercise

Abstract : Purpose: The purpose of this study was to analyze the effects of prolonged cycling exercise on metabolic, neuromuscular, and biomechanical parameters. Methods: Eight well-trained male cyclists or triathletes performed a 2-h cycling exercise at a power output corresponding to 65% of their maximal aerobic power. Maximal concentric (CON; 60, 120, 240°s 1), isometric (ISO; 0°s 1), and eccentric (ECC; 120,-60°s 1) contractions, electromyographic (EMG) activity of vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus medialis (VM) muscles were recorded before and after the exercise. Neural (M-wave) and contractile (isometric muscular twitch) parameters of quadriceps muscle were also analyzed using electrical stimulation techniques. Results: Oxygen uptake (V ˙ O 2), minute ventilation (V ˙ E), and heart rate (HR) significantly increased (P 0.01) during the 2-h by, respectively, 9.6%, 17.7%, and 12.7%, whereas pedaling rate significantly decreased (P 0.01) by 21% (from 87 to 69 rpm). Reductions in muscular peak torque were quite similar during CON, ISO, and ECC contractions, ranging from 11 to 15%. M-wave duration significantly increased (P 0.05) postexercise in both VL and VM, whereas maximal amplitude and total area decreased (VM: P 0.05, VL: NS). Significant decreases in maximal twitch tension (P 0.01), total area of mechanical response (P 0.01), and maximal rate of twitch tension development (P 0.05) were found postexercise. Conclusions: A reduction in leg muscular capacity after prolonged cycling exercise resulted from both reduced neural input to the muscles and a failure of peripheral contractile mechanisms. Several hypothesis are proposed to explain a decrease in pedaling rate during the 2-h cycling with a constancy of power output and an increase in energy cost.
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Soumis le : mardi 10 avril 2018 - 12:57:26
Dernière modification le : jeudi 7 février 2019 - 15:25:19


  • HAL Id : hal-01762670, version 1



Romuald Lepers, Christophe Hausswirth, Nicola Maffiuletti, Jeanick Brisswalter, Jacques Van Hoecke. Evidence of neuromuscular fatigue after prolonged cycling exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 2000, 32 (11), pp.1880 - 1886. ⟨hal-01762670⟩



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