Electromyographic, mechanomyographic, and metabolic responses during cycle ergometry at a constant rating of perceived exertion

Kristen C. Cochrane, Terry J. Housh, Nathaniel D.M. Jenkins, Haley C. Bergstrom, Cory M. Smith, Ethan C. Hill, Glen O. Johnson, Richard J. Schmidt, Joel T. Cramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Ten subjects performed four 8-min rides (65%-80% peak oxygen consumption) to determine the physical working capacity at the OMNI rating of perceived exertion (RPE) threshold (PWCOMNI). Polynomial regression analyses were used to examine the patterns of responses for surface electromyographic (EMG) amplitude (EMG AMP), EMG mean power frequency (EMG MPF), mechanomyographic (MMG) AMP, and MMG MPF of the vastus lateralis as well as oxygen consumption rate, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and power output (PO) were examined during a 1-h ride on a cycle ergometer at a constant RPE that corresponded to the PWCOMNI. EMG AMP and MMG MPF tracked the decreases in oxygen consumption rate, RER, and PO, while EMG MPF and MMG AMP tracked RPE. The decreases in EMGAMP and MMGMPF were likely attributable to decreases in motor unit (MU) recruitment and firing rate, while the lack of change in MMG AMP may have resulted from a balance between MU de-recruitment as PO decreased, and an increase in the ability of activated fibers to oscillate. The current findings suggested that during submaximal cycle ergometry at a constant RPE, MU de-recruitment and mechanical changes within the musclemayinfluence the perception of effort via feedback from group III and IV afferents.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1178-1185
Number of pages8
JournalApplied Physiology, Nutrition and Metabolism
Issue number11
StatePublished - Aug 6 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015, National Research Council of Canada. All rights reserved.


  • Aerobic evaluation
  • Electromyography
  • Exercise intensity
  • Feedback models
  • Mechanomyography

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Physiology
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Physiology (medical)


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