Other Subject Area

Neuromuscular fatigue


International Journal of Exercise Science 15(3): 1514-1527, 2022. While neuromuscular fatigability has been previously characterized after running and cycling, no study has investigated an ultra-endurance upper body task. In preparation for a world record attempt, three pacing strategies to perform 1980 pull-ups in 6 hrs were compared during independent sessions: fast pace, long recovery (FL), fast pace, multiple short recoveries (FMS), and slow pace, no recovery (SN). Elbow flexion maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) force, grip strength, peripheral fatigue, and biceps brachii electromyography were quantified every 330 pull-ups and during recovery, alongside heart rate, perceived effort, and arm muscle pain. In all conditions, MVC force decreased rapidly within the first set of 330 pull-ups, with the greatest depression observed in FL (-29.1%) and more gradual declines in FMS (-18.6%) and SN (-8.6%). Similarly, FL displayed the greatest decline in potentiated single twitch (FL: -75.0%; FMS: -53.9%; SN: -41.8%) and high-frequency doublet forces (FL: -63.3%; FMS: -29.2%; SN: -41.8%) following the first set, as well as higher heart rate, effort, and pain throughout the task. Following 24 hrs, MVC force recovered slowest in FL and grip strength recovered fastest in SN. Therefore, for the world record attempt, a strategy with a continuous workload at slower pace should be used.