Handgrip contribution to lactate production and leg power during high-intensity exercise

Bruce Davies, Julien Baker, Edward Brown, Gary Hill, Glen Phillips, Russell Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the upper-body contribution via handgrip to power profiles and blood lactate concentrations during high-intensity cycle ergometry. Methods: Nine trained male subjects each completed a 20-s high-intensity cycle ergometer test twice, in a random manner, using two protocols, with a handgrip (WG), and without handgrip (WOHG). Capillary (earlobe) blood samples were obtained pre- and post-exercise. Blood samples were corrected for plasma volume changes and analyzed to determine blood lactate concentrations. Results: In the WG protocol, mean (±SEM) blood lactate concentrations sampled over the three conditions were 0.98 ± 0.33 mmol·L-1, 5.68 ± 0.46 mmol·L-1, and 9.14 ± 0.38 mmol·L-1, respectively. During the WOHG protocol, blood lactate values recorded were 0.99 ± 0.26 mmol·L-1, 5.58 ± 0.58 mmol·L-1, and 7.62 ± 0.65 mmol·L-1, respectively. Differences were found (P andlt; 0.05) from rest to 4 min after exercise for both groups. Differences in concentrations were also observed between groups at the 4-min postexercise blood-sampling stage. Peak power output values recorded using the WG protocol were also greater (1461 ± 94 W vs 1136 ± 88 W;P andlt; 0.05). No differences were recorded for mean power output (MPO), fatigue index (FI), or work done (WD). Conclusion: Results indicate significant differences in power output and blood lactate concentrations between protocols. These findings suggest that the performance of traditional style leg-cycle ergometry requires a muscular contribution from the whole body. As such, researchers should consider this, both in terms of the allocation of ergometer loads, and in the analysis of blood-borne metabolites.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1037 - 1040
Number of pages3
JournalMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2002
Externally publishedYes


  • lactate production


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