Power–duration relationship: Physiology, fatigue, and the limits of human performance
AbstractThe duration that exercise can be maintained decreases as the power requirements increase. In this review, we describe the power–duration (PD) relationship across the full range of attainable power outputs in humans. We show that a remarkably small range of power outputs is sustainable (power outputs below the critical power, CP). We also show that the origin of neuromuscular fatigue differs considerably depending on the exercise intensity domain in which exercise is performed. In the moderate domain (below the lactate threshold, LT), fatigue develops slowly and is predominantly of central origin (residing in the central nervous system). In the heavy domain (above LT but below CP), both central and peripheral (muscle) fatigue are observed. In this domain, fatigue is frequently correlated with the depletion of muscle glycogen. Severe-intensity exercise (above the CP) is associated with progressive derangements of muscle metabolic homeostasis and consequent peripheral fatigue. To counter these effects, muscle activity increases progressively, as does pulmonary oxygen uptake ((Formula presented.)), with task failure being associated with the attainment of (Formula presented.) max. Although the loss of homeostasis and thus fatigue develop more rapidly the higher the power output is above CP, the metabolic disturbance and the degree of peripheral fatigue reach similar values at task failure. We provide evidence that the failure to continue severe-intensity exercise is a physiological phenomenon involving multiple interacting mechanisms which indicate a mismatch between neuromuscular power demand and instantaneous power supply. Valid integrative models of fatigue must account for the PD relationship and its physiological basis.
CitationBurnley, M. and Jones, A.M. (2018) Power–duration relationship: Physiology, fatigue, and the limits of human performance. European Journal of Sport Science, 18(1), pp. 1-12.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
JournalEuropean Journal of Sport Science
PubMed ID27806677 (pubmed)
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis and the European College of Sport Science in European Journal of Sport Science, available online at: https://doi.org/10.1080/17461391.2016.1249524 The accepted version of the publication may differ from the final published version.
Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/