An examination of the electromyographic fatigue threshold test

David J. Pavlat, Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson, Richard J. Schmidt, Joan M. Eckerson

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21 Scopus citations


The purpose of this investigation was to examine times to exhaustion at various percentages of the electromyographic fatigue threshold (EMGFT). Eight adult males [mean (SD), 21 (1) years] volunteered for the investigation. EMGFT was derived by determining the rate of rise in the electrical activity of the vastus lateralis [using integrated electromyography (iEMG)] over time (iEMG slope) for four fatiguing power outputs during cycle ergometry. The four power outputs were then plotted as a function of the four iEMG slope coefficients. The y-intercept of the power output versus iEMG slope coefficient graph was defined as the EMGFT. The intraclass correlation for repeated EMGFT tests was R=0.65 (SEE=7 W) and there was no significant (P>0.05) difference between the mean (SD) values for test [260 (11) W] versus retest [262 (32) W]. Actual times to exhaustion were determined for work bouts at power outputs equal to 85, 100, 115, 130, and 145% of EMGFT. The mean (SD) times to exhaustion for these work bouts were 495 (231), 225 (72), 135 (35), 94 (17), and 72 (14) s, respectively. A power curve was derived using the mean power outputs and mean times to exhaustion from the five rides at various percentages of EMGFT. The power curve provided estimates of the power outputs which could be maintained for 30 and 60 min. There were significant (PFT (260 W) and the power outputs which could be maintained for 30 (151 W) and 60 (125 W) min. EMGFT overpredicted the estimated power outputs that could be maintained for 30 and 60 min by 42% and 52%, respectively.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)305-308
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology and Occupational Physiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1 1993
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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