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J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2007 Dec;47(4):483-90.

Short duration exhaustive aerobic exercise induces oxidative stress: a novel play-oriented volitional fatigue test.

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Department of Biochemistry and Biotechnology, University of Thessaly, Larissa, Greece.



Exercise is associated with the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. This study examined the oxidative stress in response to a novel volitional fatigue test.


Eleven male college students performed a volitional fatigue test consisting of shuttle runs with a tennis racquet in the hand towards the left and right sidelines within the tennis singles court in an attempt to hit tennis balls until exhaustion. A tennis ball serving machine was adjusted to alternate feeds to the forehand and backhand sides of the subjects, standing at the baseline, at a frequency of 20 balls per minute.


Mean time to volitional fatigue was 5.9+/-1.3 min and mean heart rate at volitional fatigue was 189+/-8.1 beats x min(-1). The volitional fatigue test resulted in significant increases in blood thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (22%), protein carbonyls (58%), catalase activity (143%), total antioxidant capacity (34%) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG, 81%) concentration, as well as significant decreases in reduced glutathione (GSH, 15%) concentration and GSH/GSSG ratio (56%) immediately postexercise, as compared to the pre-exercise concentration.


The data provide evidence that acute short duration exhaustive aerobic exercise in the form of a novel volitional fatigue test is capable of inducing oxidative stress. This novel test could serve as an alternative exercise modality to study oxidative stress.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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