Reliability of time-to-exhaustion and selected psycho-physiological variables during constant-load cycling at the maximal lactate steady-state.
- Sports Medicine Research Laboratory
The maximal lactate steady-state (MLSS) is frequently assessed for prescribing endurance exercise intensity. Knowledge of the intra-individual variability of the MLSS is important for practical application. To date, little is known about the reliability of time-to-exhaustion and physiological responses to exercise at MLSS. Twenty-one healthy men (age, 25.2 (SD 3.3) years; height, 1.83 (0.06) m; body mass, 78.9 (8.9) kg; maximal oxygen uptake, 57.1 (10.7) mL.min-1.kg-1) performed 1 incremental exercise test, and 2 constant-load tests to determine MLSS intensity. Subsequently, 2 open-end constant-load tests (MLSS 1 and 2) at MLSS intensity (3.0 (0.7) W.kg-1, 76% (10%) maximal oxygen uptake) were carried out. During the tests, blood lactate concentrations, heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), variables of gas exchange, and core body temperature were determined. Time-to-exhaustion was 50.8 (14.0) and 48.2 (16.7) min in MLSS 1 and 2 (mean change: -2.6 (95% confidence interval: -7.8, 2.6)), respectively. The coefficient of variation (CV) was high for time-to-exhaustion (24.6%) and for mean (4.8 (1.2) mmol.L-1) and end (5.4 (1.7) mmol.L-1) blood lactate concentrations (15.7% and 19.3%). The CV of mean exercise values for all other parameters ranged from 1.4% (core temperature) to 8.3% (ventilation). At termination, the CVs ranged from 0.8% (RPE) to 11.8% (breathing frequency). The low reliability of time-to-exhaustion and blood lactate concentration at MLSS indicates that the precise individual intensity prescription may be challenging. Moreover, the obtained data may serve as reference to allow for the separation of intervention effects from random variation in our sample.