Daniel J. BlackwoodƗ1; John W. Farrell Ɨ1; Rebecca D. Larsonǂ1 1University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

The rate of muscular contractions during cycling can be modified by increasing or decreasing pedaling revolutions. The manipulation of cadence (revolutions per minute, rpm) may lead to alterations in the physiological response at a given work rate and cadence selection may affect overall cycling performance. PURPOSE: Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the relationships between cadence selection and accumulated energy (AE), time to exhaustion (TTE), and VO2peak. METHODS: 20 individuals age 18-45 participated in the current study. Participants were grouped into two groups, cycling experience (CE=8) and no cycling experience (NCE=12).Subjects in both groups each completed 3 graded exercise tests (GXT) at 3 different cadences over the course of 3 visits. The initial GXT (visit 1) was at a self-selected (SS) cadence and the subsequent 2 visits consisted of a GXT at either a Low (55-70 rpm) or High (100-115 rpm) cadence. The cadence for visits 2 and 3 were randomly selected. A two-way repeated measures ANOVA was used to determine if significant differences existed between groups as well as between cadences. RESULTS: A significant group by condition interaction was present. Significant group differences existed for AE (CE 196.17 ± 57.95 vs. NCE 100.67 ± 37.00), TTE (CE 1368.67 ± 207.37 vs. NCE 990.11 ± 174.64) and VO2peak (CE 47.71 ± 8.21 vs. NCE 36.16 ± 4.87). Significant differences were observed between the High and Low cadences for AE (High 135.53 ± 66.14 vs Low 156.28 ± 66.97) and TTE (High 1123.42 ± 285.69 vs. Low 1218.167 ± 254.32). Significant differences were also observed between the High and SS cadences for AE (High 135.53 ± 66.14 vs SS 153.4 ± 66.68) and TTE (High 1123.42 ± 285.69 vs. SS 1196.58 ± 254.28). No significant differences were observed between the Low and SS cadences for AE and TTE (p>0.05). No significant differences were observed at the different cadences for VO2peak. Conclusion: Cadence selection appears to have a significant effect on TTE and AE, but no effect on VO2peak. These findings suggest that selecting a higher cadence will lead to earlier development of fatigue and volitional exhaustion compared to that of lower cadences. This indicates that improper cadence selection could have a detrimental effect on cycling performance and should be individualized.

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