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Physiological, biochemical, anthropometric and biomechanical influences on exercise economy in humans


Lundby, Carsten; Montero, David; Gehrig, Saskia; Anderson Hall, Ulrika; Kaiser, Pascal; Boushel, Robert; Meinild Lundby, Anne-Kristine; Kirk, Niels; Valdivieso, Paola; Flück, Martin; Secher, Niels H; Edin, Frederik; Hein, Tobias; Madsen, Klavs (2017). Physiological, biochemical, anthropometric and biomechanical influences on exercise economy in humans. Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports, 27(12):1627-1637.

Abstract

Inter-individual variation in running and cycling exercise economy (EE) remains unexplained although studied for more than a century. This study is the first to comprehensively evaluate the importance of biochemical, structural, physiological, anthropometric, and biomechanical influences on running and cycling EE within a single study. In 22 healthy males (VO2 max range 45.5 to 72.1 ml.min(-1) .kg(-1) ) no factor related to skeletal muscle structure (% slow twitch fibre content, number of capillaries per fibre), mitochondrial properties (volume density, oxidative capacity, or mitochondrial efficiency) or protein content (UCP3 and MFN2 expression) explained variation in cycling and running EE among subjects. In contrast, biomechanical variables related to vertical displacement correlated well with running EE, but were not significant when taking body weight into account. Thus, running EE and body weight were correlated (R(2) = 0.94; P < 0.001), but was lower for cycling EE (R(2) = 0.23; P < 0.023). To separate biomechanical determinants of running EE we contrasted individual running and cycling EE considering that during cycle ergometer exercise the biomechanical influence on EE would be small because of the fixed movement pattern. Differences in cycling and running exercise protocols, e.g., related to biomechanics, play however only a secondary role in determining EE. There was no evidence for an impact of structural or functional skeletal muscle variables on EE. Body weight was the main determinant of EE explaining 94% of variance in running EE, although more than 50% of the variability of cycling EE remains unexplained.

Abstract

Inter-individual variation in running and cycling exercise economy (EE) remains unexplained although studied for more than a century. This study is the first to comprehensively evaluate the importance of biochemical, structural, physiological, anthropometric, and biomechanical influences on running and cycling EE within a single study. In 22 healthy males (VO2 max range 45.5 to 72.1 ml.min(-1) .kg(-1) ) no factor related to skeletal muscle structure (% slow twitch fibre content, number of capillaries per fibre), mitochondrial properties (volume density, oxidative capacity, or mitochondrial efficiency) or protein content (UCP3 and MFN2 expression) explained variation in cycling and running EE among subjects. In contrast, biomechanical variables related to vertical displacement correlated well with running EE, but were not significant when taking body weight into account. Thus, running EE and body weight were correlated (R(2) = 0.94; P < 0.001), but was lower for cycling EE (R(2) = 0.23; P < 0.023). To separate biomechanical determinants of running EE we contrasted individual running and cycling EE considering that during cycle ergometer exercise the biomechanical influence on EE would be small because of the fixed movement pattern. Differences in cycling and running exercise protocols, e.g., related to biomechanics, play however only a secondary role in determining EE. There was no evidence for an impact of structural or functional skeletal muscle variables on EE. Body weight was the main determinant of EE explaining 94% of variance in running EE, although more than 50% of the variability of cycling EE remains unexplained.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > Balgrist University Hospital, Swiss Spinal Cord Injury Center
04 Faculty of Medicine > Institute of Physiology
07 Faculty of Science > Institute of Physiology

04 Faculty of Medicine > Center for Integrative Human Physiology
Dewey Decimal Classification:570 Life sciences; biology
610 Medicine & health
Uncontrolled Keywords:Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation, Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
Language:English
Date:5 February 2017
Deposited On:16 Mar 2017 09:35
Last Modified:19 Aug 2018 08:51
Publisher:Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, Inc.
ISSN:0905-7188
OA Status:Green
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1111/sms.12849
PubMed ID:28164383

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