Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Kowalchuk, John M.


In ramp-incremental cycling exercise, some individuals are capable of producing power output (PO) in excess of that produced at their limit of tolerance (LoT) while others cannot. This study sought to describe the: 1) prevalence of a “power reserve” within a group of young men (n=21; mean ± SD: age 25±4 years; V̇O2max45±8 ml•kg-1•min-1); and 2) muscle fatigue characteristics of those with and without a power reserve. Power reserve was determined as the difference between peak PO achieved during a ramp-incremental test to exhaustion and maximal, single-leg isokinetic dynamometer power. Pre- versus post-exercise changes in voluntary and electrically-stimulated single-leg muscle force production measures (maximal voluntary contraction, voluntary activation, maximal isotonic velocity and isokinetic power; 1-, 10-, 50-Hz torque and 10/50-Hz ratio), V̇O2max and constant-PO cycling time-to-exhaustionalso were assessed. A dichotomy in power reserve was prevalent within the sample resulting in two groups: 1) “No Reserve” (NRES: <5% reserve; n=10) and 2) “Reserve” (RES: >15% reserve; n=11). At the LoT, all participants had achieved V̇O2max. Muscle fatigue was evident in both groups, although the NRES group had greater reductions (p<0.05) in 10-Hz peak torque (PT), 10/50 Hz ratio, and maximal velocity. Time-to-exhaustion during the constant-PO test was 22±16% greater (p<0.05) in RES (116±19 s; PO = 317±52 W) than in NRES (90±23 s; PO = 337±71 W), despite similar ramp-incremental exercise durations and V̇O2max between groups. The differences in muscle fatigue and function between groups suggest that the mechanisms contributing to the LoT are not uniform.