Additional considerations and recommendations for the quantification of hand-grip strength in the measurement of leg power during high-intensity cycle ergometry


Baker, J.Steven.; Davies, B.

Research in Sports Medicine 17(3): 145-155

2010


The purpose of this study was to further examine the influence of hand-grip strength on power profiles and blood lactate values during high-intensity cycle ergometry. Fifteen male subjects each completed a 20-second cycle ergometer test twice, in a random manner, using two protocols, with a hand grip (WG), and without hand grip (WOHG). Hand-grip strength was quantified prior to exercise using a hand-grip dynamometer. Capillary (earlobe) blood was collected at rest, immediately following exercise, and 5 minutes postexercise. In the WG protocol, mean (+/-SD) blood lactate concentrations were 1.11 +/- 0.7 mmol.l( -1), 3.68 +/- 1.2 mmol.l( -1), and 8.14 +/- 1.3 mmol.l( -1), respectively. During the WOHG protocol, blood lactate values recorded were 0.99 +/- 0.9 mmol.l( -1), 3.68 +/- 1.1 mmol.l( -1), and 6.62 +/- 0.9 mmol.l( -1), respectively. Differences in lactate concentrations were found (P < 0.05) from rest to 5 minutes postexercise for both groups. Differences in concentrations also were observed between groups at the 5-minutes postexercise stage. Peak power output and fatigue index values also were greater using the WG protocol (792 +/- 73 W vs. 624 +/- 66 W; 38 +/- 6 vs. 24 +/- 8 W respectively; P< 0.05). No differences were recorded for mean power output (MPO) or work done (WD) between experimental conditions. These findings suggest that the performance of traditional style leg cycle ergometry is influenced by a muscular contribution from the upper body and by upper body strength.

Research
in
Sports
Medicine,
17:145-155,
2009
Copyright
©
Taylor
&
Francis
Group,
LLC
ISSN:
1543-8627
print/1543-8635
online
DOI:
10.1080/15438620902897540
Routledge
Taylor
&Francis
Group
Additional
Considerations
and
Recommendations
for
the
Quantification
of
Hand-Grip
Strength
in
the
Measurement
of
Leg
Power
During
High-Intensity
Cycle
Ergometry
JULIEN
STEVEN
BAKER
Division
of
Sport
and
Exercise
Sciences,
School
of
Science,
University
of
the
West
of
Scotland,
Hamilton,
United
Kingdom
BRUCE
DAVIES
Health
and
Exercise
Science
Research
Unit,
School
of
Applied
Sciences,
University
of
Glamorgan,
Trefforest,
Pontypridd,
Wales,
United
Kingdom
The
purpose
of
this
study
was
to
further
examine
the
influence
of
hand
grip
strength
on
power
profiles
and
blood
lactate
values
during
high-intensity
cycle
ergometry.
Fifteen
male
subjects
each
completed
a
20-second
cycle
ergometer
test
twice,
in
a
random
manner,
using
two
protocols,
with
a
hand
grip
(WG),
and
without
hand
grip
(WOHG).
Hand
grip
strength
was
quantified
prior
to
exercise
using
a
hand
grip
dynamometer.
Capillary
(earlobe)
blood
was
collected
at
rest,
immediately
following
exercise,
and
5
minutes
postexercise.
In
the
WG
protocol,
mean
(±SD)
blood
lactate
concentrations
were
1.11
±
0.7
mmol.r
1
,
3.68
±
1.2
mmol.r
1
,
and
8.14
±
1.3
mmol.r
1
,
mspectively.
During
the
WOHG
protocol,
blood
lactate
values
recorded
were
0.99
±
0.9
mmol.r
1
,
3.68
±
1.1
mmar
l
,
and
6.62
±
0.9
mmol.r
1
,
respectively.
Differences
in
lactate
con-
centrations
were
found
(P
<
0.05)
from
rest
to
5
minutes
postexer-
cise
for
both
groups.
Differences
in
concentrations
also
were
observed
between
groups
at
the
5-minutes
postexercise
stage.
Peak
power
output
and
fatigue
index
values
also
were
greater
using
the
WG
protocol
(792
±
73
W
vs.
624
±
66
W;
38
±
6
vs.
24
±
8
W
respectively;
P
<
0.05).
No
differences
were
recorded
for
mean
Received
22
January
2008;
accepted
30
August
2008.
Address
correspondence
to
Professor
Julien
Steven
Baker,
Division
of
Sport
and
Exercise
Sciences,
School
of
Science,
University
of
the
West
of
Scotland,
Hamilton
Campus,
Almada
Street,
Hamilton,
ML3
OJB,
UK.
E-mail:
145
146
J.S.
Baker
and
B.
Davies
power
output
(MPO)
or
work
done
(WD)
between
experimental
con-
ditions.
These
findings
suggest
that
the
performance
of
traditional
style
leg
cycle
ergometry
is
influenced
by
a
muscular
contribution
from
the
upper
body
and
by
upper
body
strength.
KEYWORDS
Wingate
test,
cycle
ergometry,
anaerobic
performance,
hand
grip
strength
INTRODUCTION
Recent
research
in
our
laboratory
has
demonstrated
a
significant
contribution
from
the
upper
body
via
the
hand
grip
during
the
assessment
of
leg
power
during
high-intensity
cycle
ergometry
exercise
(Baker
et
al.
2001).
We
also
have
demonstrated
significant
differences
in
leg
power
and
blood
lactate
concentrations
when
high-intensity
cycle
ergometry
was
performed
using
a
WG
protocol
compared
with
a
WOHG
condition
(Baker
et
al.
2002).
Previous
studies,
however,
have
not
examined
the
relationship
between
grip
strength
and
lower
limb
power.
Cycle
ergometry
has
been
widely
used
to
evaluate
indices
of
muscle
performance
during
maximal
exercise.
The
implementation
of
such
procedures
has
become
widespread
due
to
their
ability
to
assess
max-
imal
performance
in
a
simplistic
and
inexpensive
manner
(Bar-Or
1987;
Dotan
et
al.
1983;
Inbar
et
al.
1996;
Jaskolska
et
al.
1999).
The
test
involves
pedalling
all-out
for
a
set
time
period
6,
10,
20,
or
30
seconds
on
a
friction-
loaded
cycle
ergometer
against
a
resistive
force,
normally
75
grams
per
kilogram
of
body
weight
(Aylon
et
al.
1974;
Dotan
et
al.
1983;
Inbar
et
al.
1996).
High-intensity
ergometry
testing
has
been
acknowledged
as
a
method
of
measuring
muscular
work,
power,
and
endurance
(Aylon
et
al.
1974;
Bar-Or
1987;
Dotan
et
al.
1983;
Inbar
et
al.
1996;
Jaskolska
et
al.
1999).
The
test
tra-
ditionally
is
used
to
assess
the
power
output
of
the
lower
limbs.
The
use
of
surface
electromyography
has
indicated,
however,
that
the
levels
of
muscular
activity
in
the
anterior
forearm
musculature
exceeded
those
obtained
during
maximum
voluntary
isometric
hand-grip
contractions,
suggesting
that
muscular
elements
of
the
upper
body
may
be
experiencing
intense
and
sustained
contraction
during
leg
cycle
ergometry
tests
(Baker
et
al.
2001).
Also,
blood
lactate
concentrations
have
been
shown
to
be
higher
when
the
upper
body
is
included
in
the
measurement
of
leg
power
(Baker
et
al.
2002).
Blood
lactate
concentrations
have
been
used,
in
conjunction
with
other
measures,
to
determine
the
degree
of
high-intensity
effort
(Nummela
et
al.
1992).
A
sig-
nificant
contribution
from
the
upper
body
musculature
to
the
performance
of
leg
cycle
ergometry
appears
to
confound
the
assessment
of
blood
borne
metabolites
typically
taken
from
the
antecubital
or
capillary
sites
(earlobe
or
fingertip),
yet
it
is
often
attributed
solely
to
the
working
leg
musculature.
The
main
purpose
of
this
study
was
to
further
examine
the
upper
body
Hand-Grip
Strength
and
Leg
Power
147
contribution
to
the
performance
of
traditional
high-intensity
cycle
ergometry
and
to
consider
and
quantify
the
involvement
of
hand-grip
strength
in
the
mea-
surement
of
leg
power.
A
second
aim
was
to
investigate
any
differences
in
blood
lactate
concentrations
that
may
occur
using
a
WG
and
WOHG
protocol
sam-
pled
at
different
time
points,
compared
to
a
previous
study
(Baker
et
al.
2002).
METHODS
Subjects
Fifteen
apparently
healthy
male
subjects
with
varied
sporting
backgrounds,
who
completed
an
informed
consent
form,
volunteered
to
participate
in
the
study.
All
subjects
were
instructed
that
they
were
free
to
withdraw
from
the
experiment
at
any
time.
Ethical
procedures
were
approved
by
the
university
ethics
committee.
Nude
body
mass
and
stature
was
measured
prior
to
testing
and
recorded
to
the
nearest
0.1
kg
and
0.1
cm,
using
a
balanced
weighing
scale
and
a
stadiometer,
respectively
(Seca,
Cranlea,
UK).
Subjects
randomly
were
assigned
to
one
of
the
two
experimental
conditions
using
a
crossover
design.
All
subjects
were
physically
active;
therefore,
any
observable
repeated
bout
effect
would
have
been
insignificant
(Gleeson
et
al.
2003).
Each
subject
returned
to
perform
the
remaining
test
protocol,
with
1
week
intervening
between
tests.
All
subjects
were
tested
during
the
morning
hours,
following
an
overnight
fast
(water
ingestion
only)
in
an
attempt
to
control
for
the
influence
of
diet.
Prior
to
the
commencement
of
testing,
each
subject
was
fully
briefed
on,
and
habituated
to,
testing
procedures
on
three
occasions
following
experimental
conditions.
Cycle
Ergometer
Protocol
A
Monark
(864)
cycle
ergometer
was
used
for
each
experimental
protocol,
and
was
calibrated
prior
to
data
collection.
The
calibration
procedure
was
carried
out
following
the
guidelines
for
friction-loaded
ergometers
(Coleman
1996).
Saddle
height
was
individually
adjusted
so
that
the
knee
remained
slightly
flexed
following
completion
of
the
power
stroke
(final
knee
angle
approximately
170°-175°,
where
full
knee
extension
is
defined
as
180°;
crank
position
at
bottom
dead-centre).
The
subjects'
feet
were
held
firmly
in
contact
with
the
pedals
by
toe-clips.
All
subjects
were
instructed
to
remain
seated
for
the
duration
of
each
test.
This
was
outlined
in
detail
to
all
subjects
during
familiarization
periods,
and
it
was
adhered
to
during
actual
experi-
mental
data
collection.
All
participants
were
given
the
same
level
of
verbal
encouragement
throughout
the
duration
of
testing.
Each
individual
was
required
to
perform
a
standardised
warm-up
(Winter
et
al.
1991)
immediately
prior
to
the
commencement
of
the
protocol
to
which
they
were
assigned.
The
WG
protocol
consisted
of
the
subject
placing
his
or
her
hands
upon
the
148
J.S.
Baker
and
B.
Davies
handlebars
of
the
cycle
ergometer
in
a
traditional
gripping
fashion.
The
WOHG
protocol
consisted
of
the
subject
placing
the
posterior
aspect
of
each
wrist
upon
the
handlebars
with
the
hands
supinated.
Contact
with
the
handlebar
was
maintained
at
the
most
distal
points
of
the
radial
and
ulnar
styloid
processes
(Figure
1).
Minimal
upper
body
movement
during
both
tests
was
encouraged.
Subjects
were
given
a
rolling
start
at
60
rpm
for
a
5s
period
prior
to
resistive
force
application.
On
the
command
"go,"
the
subjects
began
to
pedal
maximally,
the
resistive
force
applied
simultaneously,
and
data
capture
initiated.
Indices
of
performance
were
calculated
from
flywheel
revolutions
using
an
inertia
corrected
computer
program
(Coleman
1996).
Each
subject
was
required
to
pedal
with
maximum
effort
for
a
20-second
period
against
a
fixed
resistive
load
of
75
grams
per
kilogram total
body
mass
as
recom-
mended
by
Bar-Or
(1987).
We
acknowledge
that
higher
power
outputs
may
have
been
obtained
using
different
resistive
force
selection
criteria
and
methodologies;
however,
the
resistive
force
criteria
used
in
this
study
was
chosen
to
facilitate
comparisons
with
previous
studies.
The
following
leg
cycle
ergometer
variables
were
obtained
using
a
standard
front
fork
sensor
unit
(standard
sampling
frequency
of
18.2
Hz):
FIGURE
1
Position
of
the
hands
during
the
two
experimental
conditions.
See
text
for
further
explanation.
Hand-Grip
Strength
and
Leg
Power
149
1.
Peak
power
output
(PPO
in
watts,
typically
occurs
in
the
first
few
seconds
of
exercise,
and
is
defined
as
the
highest
1-second
recorded
value
for
power).
2.
Mean
power
output
(MPO
in
watts
defined
as
the
average
power
output
over
the
entire
20-second
period).
3.
Fatigue
index
(FI
%,
defined
as
the
decrease
in
power
over
the
duration
of
the
test
(peak
power—lowest
power)/peak
power)
x
100).
4.
Work
done
(WD
in
joules,
defined
as
the
total
amount
of
mechanical
work
performed
during
the
20-second
test).
Hand-Grip
Strength
Each
subject
performed
a
static
maximal
hand-grip
test
with
his
or
her
dominant
hand
maintained
in
a
straight
position
facing
downward
using
a
calibrated
dynamometer
(Model
TKK5001,
Takei,
Japan).
Three
attempts
were
allowed
with
a
30-sec
intertrial
recovery.
The
highest
force
output
(kg)
was
established
as
the
maximum
voluntary
contraction
(MVC).
The
MVC
for
all
subjects
was
established
at
the
same
time
as
the
anthropomet-
ric
measures.
Blood
Sampling
and
Analysis
Before
commencement
of
the
ergometer
tests,
subjects
were
instructed
to
lie
in
a
supine
position
for
30
minutes
of
rest
to
control
for
plasma
volume
shifts
(Pronk,
1993).
Blood
samples
then
were
obtained
from
the
right
earlobe
using
standard
lancets
and
capillary
tubes.
Immediately
following
the
ergometer
tests
and
5
minutes
postexercise
(in
a
supine
position
to
minimise
any
risk
associated
with
fainting),
blood
samples
again
were
obtained
from
capillary
beds
of
the
right
earlobe.
All
blood
samples
were
analysed
immediately
postre-
trieval.
Blood
lactate
concentrations
were
determined
using
an
analox
(P-LM5)
lactate
analyser.
Haematocrit
was
analysed
by
the
Hawksley
microhaematocrit
reader.
The
haematocrit
reader
was
cleaned
with
mediswabs
between
each
subject.
0-haemoglobin
was
collected
in
a
haemocue
and
measured
with
a
photometer.
Blood
lactate
concentrations
were
corrected
for
plasma
volume
changes
using
the
equations
of
Dill
and
Costill
(1974).
Statistical
Analysis
Statistical
analysis
was
performed
using
the
SPSS
statistics
package
(Surry,
England).
Sample
size
was
determined
using
the
method
outlined
by
Altman
(1980).
Data
were
analysed using
parametric
statistics
following
confirmation
of
a
normal
distribution.
Blood
lactate
concentrations
were
analysed
using
a
two-way
split
plot
[A
x
(B)]
mixed
analysis
of
variance
(ANOVA).
Following
150
J.S.
Baker
and
B.
Davies
a
significant
interaction
effect
(time
x
grip),
within-subject
factors
and
between-subject
differences
were
analysed
using
a
one-way
ANOVA
with
a
post
hoc
Bonferroni
correction
factor.
Power
output
variables
were
analysed
using
paired
sample
t
tests.
Pearson's
product
moment
correlation
analysis
was
used
to
investigate
the
degree
of
linear relationship
between
grip
strength
and
leg
power.
The
power
of
the
test
was
calculated
at
95%.
Significance
was
estab-
lished
at
P
<
0.05,
and
all
values
were
recorded
as
Means
±
SD.
RESULTS
The
blood
lactate
concentrations
for
the
two
protocols
sampled
over
three
time
periods
(preexercise,
immediate
post-,
and
5
minutes
postexercise)
are
shown
in
Table
1.
There
were
differences
between
lactate
concentrations,
recorded
from
rest
to
postexercise
for
both
the
WG
and
the
WOHG
protocols
(P
<
0.05).
There
also
were
differences
in
concentrations
observed
between
WG
and
WOHG
at
the
5-minutes
postexercise
sampling
stage
(P
<
0.05).
No
significant
difference
was
found
between
immediate
post-
and
5-minutes
postexercise
for
the
WOHG
protocol
(1
7
>
0.05),
but
there
were
differences
observed
(P
<
0.05)
for
the
WG
protocol.
A
significant
linear
relationship
was
recorded
between
hand-grip
strength
and
leg
power
(r
=
0.75,
P
<
0.05;
R
2
=
56%).
The
relationship
is
presented
graphically
in
Figure
2.
Cycle
ergometer
values
are
presented
in
Table
2.
Significant
differences
in
peak
power
outputs
and
fatigue
index
were
recorded
between
protocols
(P
<
0.05).
No
significant
differences
(P
>
0.05)
in
mean
power
output
or
work
done
were
found
between
protocols.
Mean
(±SD)
age,
stature,
and
mass
of
the
group
was
24.2
±
2
yrs,
186.6
±
4.3
cm,
and
87
±
13
kg,
respectively.
DISCUSSION
The
principal
aims
of
this
study
were
to
investigate
further
relationship
between
hand-grip
strength
and
leg
cycle
ergometry
power
values,
and
to
TABLE
1
Blood
Lactate
Levels
for
Both
Protocols
Analysed
From
Capillary
Blood
Samples
Taken
at
Three
Time
Periods
(Millimoles.1
-1
)
Pre
Immediately
post
5
minutes
post
WG*
1.11
±
0.7
3.68
±
1.2*
8.14
±
1.11
WOHG
0.99
±
0.9
3.58
±
1.1*
6.62
±
0.9*
All
values
are
Means
(±SD).
*Sig.
at
P
<
0.05.
P
<
0.05
different
between
protocols.
WG
(with handgrip),
WOHG
(without
handgrip).
Hand-Grip
Strength
and
Leg
Power
151
y
=31.515
+2.4941e-2x
RA2=0.57
0
0
60
70
80
90
1000
1100
Peak
Power
(W)
FIGURE
2
Linear
relationship
between
grip
strength
and
leg
power
output.
TABLE
2
Power
Outputs
Recorded
for
Both
Protocols;
Also
Presented
are
Hand-Grip
Strength
Values
PPO
(W)
MPO
(W)
FI
(%)
WD
(J)
HG
(Kg)
WG
792
±
731
415
±
56
38
±
62
8300
±
199
51.2
±
7
WOG
624
±
661
353
±
49
24±4T
7060
±
172
51.2
±
7
All
values
are
Means
(±SD).
P
<
0.05
different
between
protocols.
compare
any
differences
in
blood
lactate
concentrations
observed
between
the
two
protocols.
The
results
demonstrate
that
greater
peak
power
values
were
achieved
during
the
normal
WG
protocol
than
in
the
absence
of
handlebar
grip.
These
observations
were
consistent
when
the
WG
protocol
was
assigned
randomly
as
the
first
or
second
experimental
condition.
The
subjects
who
produced
the
highest
power
outputs
during
the
cycle
ergometer
test
also
recorded
the
highest
values
for
hand-grip
strength
(1004
and
989
W;
57
and
56
kg,
respectively).
This
interesting
finding
is
in
agreement
with
previous
work,
and
likely
reflects
the
role
of
the
arms
and
upper
body
in
the
mechanics
of
cycling
(Whitt
et
al.
1989).
The
findings
of
this
study
have
serious
implications
for
the
assessment
of
high-intensity
leg
power
using
cycle
ergo-
metry.
Subjects
who
have
very
strong
upper
bodies
may
be
contributing
to
the
measurement
of
leg
power
to
a
greater
extent
than
subjects
who
are
less
strong.
For
example,
when
comparing
the
power
profiles
of
specific
athletic
populations,
a
sprint
canoeist
may
have
a
comparable
power
output
to
a
games
player
of
similar
stature
and
mass.
The
canoeists
recorded
power
a
60
55
50
45
40
152
J.S.
Baker
and
B.
Davies
output
however,
may
be
the
result
of
a
greater
upper
body
contribution
to
the
cycle
ergometer
test,
which
is
a
confounding
variable
if
the
assessment
of
absolute
leg
power
is
desirable.
Also,
as
a
result
of
leg
power
underesti-
mations
during
cycle
ergometry
assessment,
training
programme
design
based
on
cycle
ergometer
test
results
may
need
to
be
reconsidered.
This
is
important
not
only
in
the
development
of
general
leg
power,
a
component
that
is
crucial
for
most
sporting
events,
but
also
for
more
specific
tasks
that
require
upper
body
contributions,
such
as
cycling
performance,
where
the
contribution
of
the
upper
body
to
the
task
may
have
been
overlooked.
A
firm
hand-grip
helps
to
maintain
contact
of
the
body
to
the
ergometer,
thereby
ensuring
that
the
forces
generated
by
extension
of
the
legs
are
directed
to
rotating
the
flywheel,
rather
than
to
changing
the
position
of
the
centre
of
mass
of
the
body.
In
the
absence
any
design
feature
specifically
for
the
fixation
of
the
pelvis
to
the
cycle
ergometer,
the
hand-grip
must
be
considered
an
integral
aspect
of
maximising
the
mechanical
power
output
of
the
legs
during
the
use
of
these
conventional
Monark-type
ergometers.
The
findings
from
this
study
indicate
that
hand-grip
strength
influences
leg
peak
power,
and
it
may
be
beneficial
by
increasing
the
torque
on
the
flywheel
by
pushing
or
pulling
actions
on
the
handlebars.
The
pushing
actions
however,
may
influence
the
transfer
of
resistive
forces
to
the
flywheel.
When
the
handlebar
is
pushed
forward,
there
is
a
displacement
of
the
ergo-
meter
head
via
the
handlebar
that
appears
to
increase
the
resistive
force
application
at
that
time
point.
When
the
handlebar
is
pulled
toward
the
subject
during
test
execution,
there
appears
to
be
a
decrease
in
resistive
force.
This
has
implications
in
the
calculation
of
power
during
experimental
conditions
that
relate
to
inconsistencies
of
resistive
force
application
during
test
conditions.
These
observations
need
further
investigation.
The
relative
strength
of
the
correlation
observed
between
hand-grip
strength
and
power
output
indicates
that
only
56%
of
the
variation
in
performance
can
be
accounted
for
during
high-intensity
exercise
assessment.
This
suggests
that
factors
other
than
grip
strength
may
influence
the
measurement
of
leg
power
during
the
performance
of
high-
intensity
cycle
ergometry.
The
inability
of
the
subjects
to
produce
their
greatest
peak
power
outputs
during
the
WOHG
protocol
might
have
been
responsible
for
prolonging
their
energetic
stores,
with
a
corresponding
reduction
in
fatigue.
This
latter
statement
is
supported
by
the
observation
that
there
were
no
significant
differences
in
the
MPO,
or
the
total
mechanical
work
done,
between
the
two
test
protocols.
Inbar
et
al.
(1996)
have
reported
that
with
increases
in
power
output,
greater
energetic
contributions
are
derived
from
the
phosphagen
system,
with
glycolysis
being
used
to
a
lesser
extent.
Because
of
the
limited
amount
of
stored
ATP-PCr,
and
their
rapid
utilisation
at
high-power
outputs,
exercise
duration
and
quality
are
limited.
Thus,
the
greater
peak
power
profiles
observed
using
the
WG
protocol
must
have
resulted
from
a
greater
contribution
from
the
phosphagen
system,
to
Hand-Grip
Strength
and
Leg
Power
153
the
total
energy
available.
This
may
partly
explain
the
greater
fatigue
indices
that
were
observed
when
the
participants
used
the
WG
protocol,
compared
with
the
WOHG
protocol.
Leg
cycle
ergometry
tests
often
are
used
to
study
biochemical
and
physiological
responses
to
high-intensity
exercise
performance.
Often
the
target
of
investigation
is
the
metabolic
response
of
the
working
muscles,
the
most
obvious
of
which
are
the
major
leg
muscles.
In
these
types
of
tests,
blood-borne
biochemical
markers
often
are
analysed
from
samples
taken
from
the
antecubital
veins
or
capillaries
located
in
the
upper
body.
Results
of
a
previous
study
(Baker
et
al.
2001)
suggest
that
when
a
handlebar
grip
is
used,
the
anterior
forearm
musculature
undergoes
contraction
intensities
at,
or
exceeding,
100%
maximum
voluntary
isometric
contraction
throughout
the
duration
of
the
test.
Isometric
contraction
has
been
shown
to
cause
occlusion
of
the
blood
passing
through
and
between
the
activated
muscles
(Libonati
et
al.
1998;
Lind
et
al.
1968).
Therefore,
blood
taken
from
antecubital
veins
or
other
upper
body
sites
may
contain
metabolites
from
occluded
and
subsequently
reperfused
vessels,
thereby
confounding
metabolic
interpretations.
We
measured
blood
lactate
concentrations
in
this
study
at
rest,
immediately
post-,
and
5-minutes
postexercise
following
guidelines
outlined
by
Weinstein
et
al.
(1998).
Blood
lactate
concentrations
obtained
5-minutes
postexercise
were
greater
using
the
WG
when
compared
with
the
WOHG
protocol
(8.14
±
1.1
mmol
1-1
and
6.62
±
0.9
mmol
1-1,
respectively).
Blood
lactate
concentra-
tions
increased
5-minutes
postexercise
and
are
in
agreement
with
other
findings
(Baker
et
al.
2002;
Nummela
et
al.
1992;
Weinstein
et
al.
1998).
The
concentrations
observed
are
lower
than
those
recorded
in
a
previous
study
(Baker
et
al.
2002)
and
may
reflect
the
lower
power
outputs
obtained
in
this
study,
different
sampling
times
postexercise,
and/or
different
subject
charac-
teristics
that
include
training
status.
These
samples
may
have
contained
ischemic
metabolites
resulting
from
occlusion
associated
with
the
handlebar
grip,
and
subsequent
reperfusion
following
grip
release,
which
would
not
be
representative
solely
of
leg
muscle
metabolism.
Alternatively,
for
the
mechanical
reasons
outlined
above,
the
use
of
the
normal
handlebar
grip
and
the
influence
of
grip
strength
may
enable
the
leg
musculature
to
provide
greater
torque,
thus
working
at
a
higher
metabolic
intensity,
and
ultimately
resulting
in
greater
lactate
production.
Regardless
of
the
mechanism,
it
seems
clear
from
the
results
that
musculoskeletal
ele-
ments
of
the
upper
body
contribute
to
the
mechanical
and
physiological
performance
of
leg
cycle
ergometry.
Because
of
the
problems
involved
in
specifically
isolating
the
mechanical,
physiological,
or
both
contributions
of
discrete
muscle
groups
in
the
performance
of
coordinated
high-intensity
exercise,
the
best
way
forward
for
practitioners
and
scientists
alike
may
be
to
acknowledge
that
leg
cycle
ergometry
as
it
is
conventionally
performed
is
a
"whole
body"
exercise,
involving
as
yet
unknown
muscular
contributions
from
lean
tissue
masses
throughout
the
entire
body.
154
J.S.
Baker
and
B.
Davies
In
addition,
it
is
also
important
to
realise
that
both
the
upper
body
and
grip
strength
influence
our
interpretation
of
power
values
obtained
during
high-intensity
cycle
ergometry.
As
a
result,
high-intensity
training
programme
design
and
performance
measures
for
different
sporting
populations
may
need
to
be
reconsidered.
The
problems
arise
when
we
consider
sporting
populations
with
powerful
upper
bodies,
powerful
lower
limbs,
or
a
combi-
nation
of
the
two.
The
relative
contribution
from
the
upper
and
lower
limbs
during
anaerobic
assessment
is
unknown,
resulting
in
misinterpretation
of
the
physiological
and
metabolic
responses
to
high-intensity
exercise.
This
may
result
in
misdiagnosis
of
exercise
prescription
and
our
interpretation
of
adaptations
in
relation
to
anaerobic
training
programme
design.
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