Supra-maximal cycling efficiency assessed in humans by using a new protocol

Laurent Mourot, Frédérique Hintzy, Laurent Messonier, Karim Zameziati, Alain Belli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


This study proposed a non-invasive method to determine the gross (GE, no baseline correction), net (NE, resting metabolism as the baseline correction) and work (WE, unloaded cycling as the baseline correction) efficiencies during cycling at an intensity higher than the maximal aerobic power (MAP). Twelve male subjects performed two exercises consisting of 4 min at 50% MAP followed either by 8 min at 63% MAP or by 8 sequences of 60 s divided into 10 s at 130% MAP and 50 s at 50% MAP (i.e., 63% MAP on average). Oxygen uptake was continuously measured to calculate GE, NE and WE at 50%, 63% and 130% MAP, and the data presented as the means and standard deviations. The GE values were 18.2%, 19.1%, 22.7%, the NE values were 22.4%, 22.8%, 24.3% and the WE values were 34.2%, 31.4% and 27.2% at 50%, 63% and 130% MAP, respectively. The GE and NE increased (P<0.001) whereas the WE decreased (P<0.001) with each increment in power output. The GE was lower than the NE (P<0.001) at 50% and 63% MAP and than the WE (P<0.001) at all intensities. The NE was lower (P<0.001) than the WE at 50% and 63% MAP. These results showed that (1) efficiency index values obtained during supra-maximal exercise were consistent with previous proposals and (2) the efficiency-power output relationships were not limited to sub-maximal intensity levels but were confirmed at higher power output.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)325-332
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic energy production
  • Gross efficiency
  • Intermittent exercise
  • Net efficiency
  • Oxygen uptake

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)

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