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J Physiol. 1995 Jan 15;482 ( Pt 2):467-80.

Recovery of power output and muscle metabolites following 30 s of maximal sprint cycling in man.

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Department of Physical Education and Sports Science, Loughborough University, Leicestershire, UK.


1. The recovery of power output and muscle metabolites was examined following maximal sprint cycling exercise. Fourteen male subjects performed two 30 s cycle ergometer sprints separated by 1.5, 3 and 6 min of recovery, on three separate occasions. On a fourth occasion eight of the subjects performed only one 30 s sprint and muscle biopsies were obtained during recovery. 2. At the end of the 30 s sprint phosphocreatine (PCr) and ATP contents were 19.7 +/- 1.2 and 70.5 +/- 6.5% of the resting values (rest), respectively, while muscle lactate was 119.0 +/- 4.6 mmol (kg dry wt)-1 and muscle pH was 6.72 +/- 0.06. During recovery, PCr increased rapidly to 65.0 +/- 2.8% of rest after 1.5 min, but reached only 85.5 +/- 3.5% of rest after 6 min of recovery. At the same time ATP and muscle pH remained low (19.5 +/- 0.9 mmol (kg dry wt)-1 and 6.79 +/- 0.02, respectively). Modelling of the individual PCr resynthesis using a power function curve gave an average half-time for PCr resynthesis of 56.6 +/- 7.3 s. 3. Recovery of peak power output (PPO), peak pedal speed (maxSp) and mean power during the initial 6 s (MPO6) of sprint 2 did not reach the control values after 6 min of rest, and occurred in parallel with the resynthesis of PCr, despite the low muscle pH. High correlations (r = 0.71-0.86; P < 0.05) were found between the percentage resynthesis of PCr and the percentage restoration of PPO, maxSp and MPO6 after 1.5 and 3 min of recovery. No relationship was observed between muscle pH recovery and power output restoration during sprint 2 (P > 0.05). 4. These data suggest that PCr resynthesis after 30 s of maximal sprint exercise is slower than previously observed after dynamic exercise of longer duration, and PCr resynthesis is important for the recovery of power during repeated bouts of sprint exercise.

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