The relationship between neuromuscular function and the W’ in elite cyclists

Kordi, Mehdi, Parker-Simpson, Len, Thomas, Kevin, Goodall, Stuart, Madden-Wilkinson, Tom, Menzies, Campbell and Howatson, Glyn (2021) The relationship between neuromuscular function and the W’ in elite cyclists. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance. ISSN 1555-0265 (In Press)

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Purpose: The aim of the study was to assess the association between the (W prime) W and measures of neuromuscular function relating to the capacity of skeletal muscle to produce force in a group of elite cyclists. Methods: Twenty-two athletes specialising in a range of disciplines and competing internationally volunteered to participate. Athletes completed assessments of maximum voluntary torque (MVT), voluntary activation (VA), and isometric maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) to measure rate of torque development (RTD). This was followed by assessment of peak power output (PPO), and 3-, 5- and 12-minute time trials to determine critical power (CP). Pearson’s correlation was used to examine associations with CP and W’. Goodness-of-fit was calculated, and significant relationships were included in a linear step-wise regression model. Results: Significant positive relationships were evident between W′ and MVT (r = 0.82), and PPO (r = 0.70), and RTD200 (r = 0.59), but not with RTD 50 and VA. Correlations were also observed between CP and RTD200 and MVT (r = 0.54, and r = 0.51, respectively), but not with PPO, VA or RTD50. The regression analysis found 87 of the variability in W′ (F1, 18 = 68.75; p < 0.001) was explained by two variables: MVT (81) and PPO (6). Conclusions: It is likely that muscle size and strength, as opposed to neural factors, contribute meaningfully to W’. These data can be used to establish training methods to enhance W’ in order to improve cycling performance in well trained athletes.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 2021. © Human Kinetics, Inc.
Uncontrolled Keywords: Elite athletes, power-duration, muscle strength, critical power, neuromuscular
Subjects: B100 Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology
C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: Rachel Branson
Date Deposited: 11 Jan 2021 11:00
Last Modified: 11 Mar 2021 16:00

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