• Mark Turnbull

Central fatigue during high-intensity intermittent pedaling

Mehrangiz Ghorbani,1, 2 Farshad Ghazalian,1,*Khosrow Ebrahim,3, Hossein Abednatanzi 1


Abstract Introduction: The central-governor model explains the mechanism of endurance exercise-induced central fatigue, but high-intensity exercise-induced central fatigue has not been investigated yet. This study aimed to research how central fatigue during high-intensity intermittent pedaling alters the neural response, which results in Electroencephalography (EEG) recordings.

Methods: We assessed neural response by measuring the alternation of brainwave spectral power during an intermittent high-intensity 60-minute exercise on an ergometer cycle. The cadences were changed every 10 minutes according to intermittent pattern altering (90-120-60-120-60-90 rpm). EEG was used to analyze altering brain function. Heart Rate (HR), Blood Lactate (BL), and Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) were measured after the change in cadences.

Results: HR, BL, and RPE increased at a cadence of 120 rpm compared with 60 rpm on the ergometer cycle. The spectral power of EEG, according to cadence × brainwaves, significantly increased (P<0.01) in the alpha and beta frequency ranges with a change in cadences between 60 rpm and 120 rpm. The spectral power of the EEG significantly increased (P<0.01) over the whole frequency range from rest to warming (theta: 251%, alpha: 165%, beta: 145%) and significantly reduced in theta, alpha, and beta (theta: 176%, alpha: 142%, beta: 77%) (P≤0.01).

Conclusion: High-intensity exercises (90 and 120 cadences) increased brain function, regardless of fatigue occurrence. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) led to altering the neural response. It would be required to investigate the usefulness of HIIT to treat some of the psychotic disorders. Highlights


  • Central nervous system control in cardiac function largely depends on the intensity of training determined by a change of cadence in the ergometer cycle.

  • High-intensity interval training increases brain neural efficiency.

  • Exercise at high intensities improves metabolic function, cardiac function, and breathing capacity.

  • The brain’s role with attention to its neural response in changing position is crucial. We could emphasize it by planning appropriate training to improve the function of the brain.






Plain Language Summary The human brain is a complex part of the body that defines us as human. Sport and exercise are not food but feed the brain and other organs. The brain adjusts for varying commands by changing its functional and structural characteristics, which result in learning and acquiring new skills (in this article, the function is the high-intensity interval pedaling). We review the variety of brain activities induced by fatigue because of two main causes; 1. local muscular fatigue and 2. mental (central) fatigue. While the local muscular system can recover, the fatigue of the central nervous system can take much longer. High-intensity interval training has the largest impact on the central nervous and cognitive systems. These effects are interpreted as their behavioral outcomes.


#Fatigue #Electroencephalography #High-intensityintervaltraining #lactatetesting #cycletraining #HIIT

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