Int J Sports Med 1994; 15(3): 116-121
DOI: 10.1055/s-2007-1021031
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Human Power Output and Muscle Fatigue

A. J. Sargeant
  • Department of Muscle and Exercise Physiology, Faculty of Human Movement Sciences, Vrije Universiteit, Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


In human locomotion the ability to generate and sustain power output is of fundamental importance. This review examines the implications for power output of having variability in the metabolic and contractile properties within the population of muscle fibres which comprise the major locomotory muscles. Reference is made to studies using an isokinetic cycle ergometer by which the global power/velocity relationship for the leg extensor muscles can be determined. The data from these studies are examined in the light of the force velocity characteristics of human type I and type II muscle fibres. The ‘plasticity’ of fibre properties is discussed with reference to the ‘acute’ changes elicited by exercise induced fatigue and changes in muscle temperature and ‘chronic’ changes occurring following intensive training and ageing.