The response of the ‘Critical Power’ concept to both acute and chronic interventions as determined by the 3-min all-out cycling test.
Parker Simpson, Leonard Samuel
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
The hyperbolic relationship between power output and endurance time can be measured using all-out exercise. The aims of this thesis were to (i) assess whether the all-out test could be used under novel testing protocols to provide valid power-duration (P-D) parameter estimates; and (ii) attempt to elucidate the likely physiological composition of the P-D curvature constant. All-out tests were initiated from moderate-(M), heavy-(H) and severe-(S2 & S4) intensity ‘baselines’ (chapter 4). The work performed above end power (WEP) was not different to control under M or H conditions but was significantly, predictably reduced under the S2 & S4 conditions (control: 16.3 ± 2.2; M: 17.2 ± 2.4; H: 15.6 ± 2.3 kJ, P > 0.05; S2: 11.5 ± 2.5; S4: 8.9 ± 2.2 kJ, P < 0.05). The 3-min all-out test end power (EP) parameter was unaffected. Muscle glycogen may form part of the WEP. Type I (T1) and type II (T2) muscle fibres were depleted of their glycogen content prior to the all-out test (chapter 5). EP and WEP were unaffected by either T1 or T2 glycogen depletion. The all-out tests was conducted under hypoxic conditions alongside the criterion assessment of the P-D relationship (chapter 6). Normobaric moderate hypoxia caused a reduction in CP (control: 175 ± 25; hypoxia: 132 ± 17 W, P < 0.001) without affecting W′ (control: 13.2 ± 2.2; hypoxia: 12.3 ± 2.7 kJ, P > 0.05). The 3-min all-out test provided EP and WEP estimates, which did not differ to CP and W′ (control: EP 172 ± 30 W, WEP 12.0 ± 2.6 kJ; hypoxia EP 134 ± 23 W, WEP 12.5 ± 1.4 kJ, P > 0.05) providing the ergometer resistance was adjusted for the hypoxic conditions. Furthermore, a significant negative relationship was observed between %∆ ( O2peak – CP) and %∆W′ (r = -0.83, P < 0.001); thus, W′ may represent the relative ‘size’ of the severe-intensity domain. The all-out test was used to track training-induced changes in P-D parameters in response to 6-weeks of sprint or endurance training (chapter 7). EP & WEP were differently altered compared to CP and W′ following sprint training (CP 12 ± 9; EP -0 ± 9 % change; W′ -5 ± 25; WEP 11 ± 15 % change). The all-out test reliably tracked changes in CP and W′ following endurance training. In conclusion, the all-out test provides reliable EP and WEP values. Its validity is acceptable, but is perhaps affected by exercise training that is specific to the execution of the test. The W′ appears to be determined, to a large extent, by the relative size of the severe-intensity domain.
PhD in Sport & Health Sciences