Duche, P., Ratel, S., Hennegrave, A., Van Praagh, E., & Bedu, M. (2002). Effect of age on the time course of cycling peak power during repeated sprints. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 34(5), Supplement abstract 793.

Prepubertal boys (N = 11), pubertal boys (N = 9), and men (N = 10) performed 10 consecutive 10-s sprints on a cycle ergometer, each sprint separated by 30-s of passive recovery. Load was 50% of optimal force. Cycling peak power was calculated for each sprint.

Cycling peak power remained unchanged over the 10 sprints in prepubescent Ss. Pubescent Ss showed a continual decline in peak power; -1.5% at sprint 2, -14.8% at sprint 5, and -20.5% at sprint 10. In men, declines were even more dramatic; -6.9% at sprint 2, and 28.8% at sprint 10. Lactate was significantly higher in men than in the other two groups after sprint 10.

Implication. The ability of males to repeat power activities depends upon age. With increasing age, repeated power output declines with continued repetitions of a maximal anaerobic task. Prepubertal males have lower but more consistent power output in repetitious sprint activities.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.