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The influence of recovery duration between periods of exercise on the critical power function

Bishop, David and Jenkins, David G (1995) The influence of recovery duration between periods of exercise on the critical power function. European Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology, 72 (1-2). 115-120 . ISSN 0301-5548 (print) 1439-6327 (online)

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It has been shown that when three periods of exercise at different intensities are performed to exhaustion, the linear regression of the work accomplished on the time taken defines the critical power (CP) function. The slope of this function is related to endurance ability, whereas the y-intercept is considered to represent anaerobic work capacity (AWC). The purpose of this study was to determine whether two different recovery durations (3 and 24 h), separating three periods of exercise, would elicit differences in the linear CP function. Nine healthy, untrained female students [19.5 (SD 1.6) years] completed five sessions of cycle exercise to exhaustion in random order (familiarisation). Three of these five power outputs were then used in the main part of the study in which the subjects were randomly assigned to two groups. Group one first performed the three power outputs on the same day, with 3 h of passive recovery separating each session (3 on 1). Group two first performed the three power outputs on 3 consecutive days, with approximately 24 h between sessions (3 con). Following 1 day of rest, group one repeated their three power outputs on 3 consecutive days and group two completed their three tests on the same day. Repeated-measures ANOVA revealed no significant differences between the mean values of CP or AWC calculated from the 3 on 1 or 3 con conditions. Trial two estimates of CP were, however, 3.4% (P < 0.05) higher than trial one (familiarisation) estimates. The results of this study showed that reliable measurements of both CP and AWC can be determined from three tests separated by rest periods of 3 h, provided that the subjects are first familiarised with the tests. We found one series of five exercise sessions to be sufficient familiarisation to ensure similar subsequent estimates of CP.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: critical power, aerobic work capacity, recovery, females
Subjects: FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > College of Sports and Exercise Science
Depositing User: VUIR
Date Deposited: 02 Feb 2014 03:56
Last Modified: 02 Jun 2015 06:06
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Citations in Scopus: 21 - View on Scopus

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