Single-leg cycling increases limb-specific blood flow without concurrent increases in normalised power output when compared with double-leg cycling in healthy middle-aged adults
European Journal of Sport Science
Taylor and Francis Ltd.
School of Medical and Health Sciences
This study examined the acute performance, cardiovascular and local muscular responses to perceived exertion-based high-intensity interval exercise using either double- or single-leg cycling. Fifteen healthy middle-aged adults completed, on separate occasions, ten 30-s double-leg intervals interspersed with 60 s passive recovery and twenty (ten with each leg) 30-s single-leg intervals interspersed with 60 s passive recovery. Impedance cardiography, blood pressure, muscle oxygenation and total haemoglobin content (near-infrared spectroscopy), oxygen consumption and power output were measured throughout each session. Normalised to the lean mass used during each trial, single-leg cycling resulted in lower power output (single-leg: 8.92 ± 1.74 W kg−1 and double-leg: 10.41 ± 3.22 W kg−1; p < 0.05) but greater oxygen consumption (single-leg: 103 ± 11 mL kg−1min−1 and double-leg: 84 ± 21 mL kg−1min−1; p < 0.01) and cardiac output (single-leg: 1407 ± 334 mL kg−1min−1 and double-leg: 850 ± 222 mL kg−1min−1; p < 0.01), compared with double-leg cycling. Mean arterial pressure (double-leg: 108 ± 11 mmHg and single-leg: 102 ± 10 mmHg), change in total haemoglobin content (double-leg: 8.76 ± 10.65 µMcms−1 and single-leg: 13.42 ± 4.10 µM cm s−1) and change in tissue oxygenation index (double-leg: −4.51 ± 3.56% and single-leg: −3.97 ± 3.91%) were not different between double-leg and single-leg cycling. When compared to double-leg cycling, single-leg cycling elicited a higher cardiac output relative to the lean mass, but this did not result in greater power output. The dissociation between blood availability and power output is consistent with an ageing model characterised by a decrease in local oxygen delivery and distribution capability. . © 2019, © 2019 European College of Sport Science.