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J Strength Cond Res. 2011 Jan;25(1):16-22. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31820238c5.

Relation between cycling exercise capacity, fiber-type composition, and lower extremity muscle strength and muscle endurance.

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Department of Health Sciences, Division of Physiotherapy, Lund University, Lund, Sweden.


The aim of the study was to determine the relation between peak oxygen uptake V(O2)peak), peak work rate (WRpeak), fiber-type composition, and lower extremity strength and endurance during a maximal incremental cycle test. Thirty-nine healthy sedentary men, aged 30-46, participated in the study. Subjects performed a maximal incremental cycle test and isokinetic knee extension (KE) and flexion (KF) strength and endurance tests at velocities of 60 and 180° · s(-1). Muscle biopsies were taken from m. vastus lateralis and analyzed for fiber-type composition. A significant correlation existed between KE strength and V(O2)peak and WRpeak. Also, KF endurance correlated significantly to V(O2)peak and WRpeak. The KE endurance correlated significantly to WRpeak (rp = 0.32, p < 0.05) and almost significantly to V(O2)peak (rp = 0.28, p = 0.06). Stepwise multiple regression analyses showed that KE strength, KF endurance, and the percentage of type I fibers could explain up to 40% of the variation in V(O2) and WRpeak. The performance of sedentary subjects in a maximal incremental cycle test is highly affected by knee muscle strength and endurance. Fiber-type composition also contributes but to a smaller extent.

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