Relationship between the increase in effectiveness indexes and the increase of muscular efficiency with cycling power

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Zameziati, Karim, Mornieux, Guillaume, Rouffet, David and Belli, Alain (2006) Relationship between the increase in effectiveness indexes and the increase of muscular efficiency with cycling power. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 96 (3). pp. 274-281. ISSN 1439-6319


We determined the index of effectiveness (IE), as defined by the ratio of the tangential (effective force) to the total force applied on the pedals, using a new method proposed by Mornieux et al. (J Biomech, 2005), while simultaneously measuring the muscular efficiency during sub-maximal cycling tests of different intensities. This allowed us to verify whether part of the changes in muscular efficiency could be explained by a better orientation of the force applied on the pedals. Ten subjects were asked to perform an incremental test to exhaustion, starting at 100 W and with 30 W increments every 5 min, at 80 rpm. Gross (GE) and net (NE) efficiencies were calculated from the oxygen uptake and W Ext measurements. From the three-dimensional force’s measurements, it was possible to measure the total force (F Tot), including the effective (F Tang) and ineffective force (F Rad+Lat). IE has been determined as the ratio between F Tang and F Tot, applied on the pedals for three different time intervals, i.e., during the full revolution (IE360°), the downstroke phase (IE180°Desc) and the upstroke phase (IE180°Asc). IE360° and IE180°Asc were significantly correlated with GE (r=0.79 and 0.66, respectively) and NE (r=0.66 and 0.99, respectively). In contrast, IE180°Desc was not correlated to GE or to NE. From a mechanical point of view, during the upstroke, the subject was able to reduce the non-propulsive forces applied by an active muscle contraction, contrary to the downstroke phase. As a consequence, the term ‘passive phase’, which is currently used to characterize the upstroke phase, seems to be obsolete. The IE180°Asc could also explain small variations of GE and NE for a recreational group.

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Item type Article
DOI 10.1007/s00421-005-0077-5
Official URL
Subjects Historical > Faculty/School/Research Centre/Department > School of Sport and Exercise Science
Historical > FOR Classification > 1106 Human Movement and Sports Science
Keywords ResPubID18556, efficiency, pedalling effectiveness, pedal forces
Citations in Scopus 55 - View on Scopus
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