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Physiol Meas. 2012 Apr;33(4):603-14. doi: 10.1088/0967-3334/33/4/603. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Ventilatory threshold during incremental running can be estimated using EMG shorts.

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Neuromuscular Research Center, Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Finland.


The present study examined whether shorts with textile electromyographic (EMG) electrodes can be used to detect second ventilatory threshold (V(T2)) during incremental treadmill running. Thirteen recreationally active (REC) and eight endurance athletes were measured for EMG, heart rate, blood lactate and respiratory gases during VO(2max) test (3 min ramps, 1 km·h(-1) increments). V(T)(2), onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) and EMG threshold (EMG(T)) were determined. In athletes, OBLA occurred at 56 ± 6 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1), V(T2) occurred at 59 ± 6 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1), and EMG(T) at 62 ± 6 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1) without significant differences between methods (analysis of variance: ANOVA). In REC participants, OBLA occurred at 40 ± 10 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1), V(T2) occurred at 43 ± 7 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1), and EMG(T) at 41 ± 9 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1) without significant differences between methods (ANOVA). For the entire group, correlation between EMG(T) and V(T2) was 0.86 (P < 0.001) and 0.84 (P < 0.001) between EMG(T) and OBLA. Limits of agreement between EMG(T) and V(T2) were narrower in athletes than in REC participants. Thus, it is concluded that estimation of V(T2) using EMG(T) in athletes is more valid than in REC participants. In practice, experienced runners could use online feedback from EMG garments to monitor whether their running intensity is near V(T2).

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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