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Keywords:

  • cycling;
  • electromyography;
  • exercise testing;
  • graded exercise;
  • mechanomyography

Introduction

We compared peak and submaximal mean values for neuromuscular and metabolic parameters between ramp (15 W·min−1) and step (30 W increments every 2 min) incremental cycle ergometer tests.

Methods

Thirteen healthy adults (7 men and 6 women; mean ± SD age = 23.4 ± 3.3 years) performed randomly ordered ramp or step incremental tests. Two-way repeated measures analyses of variance were used to analyze the data.

Results

The ramp incremental test resulted in lower mean EMG amplitude, O2, and HR values at the common power outputs, with no differences for MMG amplitude values.

Conclusions

It is possible that the cumulative effect of producing an increased amount of work during the step (total work = 75.83 kJ) vs. ramp (total work = 65.60 kJ) incremental cycle ergometer tests at the common power outputs may have contributed to the greater fatigue-induced increase in muscle recruitment and/or firing rate, oxygen consumption, and heart rate. Muscle Nerve, 2013