O2 uptake kinetics during exercise at peak O2 uptake Article (Web of Science)


  • Compared with moderate- and heavy-intensity exercise, the adjustment of O2 uptake (V̇o2) to exercise intensities that elicit peak V̇o2 has received relatively little attention. This study examined the V̇o2 response of 21 young, healthy subjects (25 ± 6 yr; mean ± SD) during cycle ergometer exercise to step transitions in work rate (WR) corresponding to 90, 100, and 110% of the peak WR achieved during a preliminary ramp protocol (15-30 W/min). Gas exchange was measured breath by breath and interpolated to 1-s values. V̇o2 kinetics were determined by use of a two- or three-component exponential model to isolate the time constant (τ2) as representative of V̇o2 kinetics and the amplitude (Amp) of the primary fast component independent of the appearance of any V̇o2 slow component. No difference in V̇o2 kinetics was observed between WRs (τ90 = 24.7 ± 9.0; τ100 = 22.8 ± 6.7; τ110 = 21.5 ± 9.2 s, where subscripts denote percent of peak WR; P > 0.05); nor in a subgroup of eight subjects was τ2 different from the value for moderate-intensity (<lactate threshold) exercise (τ2 = 25 ± 12 s, P > 0.05). As expected, the Amp increased with increasing WRs (Amp90 = 2,089 ± 548; Amp100 = 2,165 ± 517; Amp110 = 2,225 ± 559 ml/min; Amp90 vs. Amp110, P < 0.05). However, the gain (G) of the V̇o2 response (ΔV̇o2/ΔWR) decreased with increasing WRs (G90 = 8.5 ± 0.6; G100 = 7.9 ± 0.6; G110 = 7.3 ± 0.6 ml·min-1·W-1; P < 0.05). The Amp of the primary component approximated 85, 88, and 89% of peak V̇o2 during 90, 100, and 110% WR transitions, respectively. The results of the present study demonstrate that, compared with moderate- and heavy-intensity exercise, the gain of the V̇o2 response (as ΔV̇o2/ΔWR) is reduced for exercise transitions in the severe-intensity domain, but the approach to this gain is well described by a common time constant that is invariant across work intensities. The lower ΔV̇o2/ΔWR may be due to an insufficient adjustment of the cardiovascular and/or pulmonary systems that determine O2 delivery to the exercising muscles or due to recruitment of motor units with lower oxidative capacity, after the onset of exercise in the severe-intensity domain.


publication date

  • 2003

published in

number of pages

  • 8

start page

  • 2014

end page

  • 2022


  • 95


  • 5