Determination of maximal lactate steady state response in selected sports events

R Beneke, S P von Duvillard
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise 1996, 28 (2): 241-6
Maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) refers to the upper limit of blood lactate concentration indicating an equilibrium between lactate production and lactate elimination during constant workload. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether different levels of MLSS may explain different blood lactate concentration (BLC) levels at submaximal workload in the sports events of rowing, cycling, and speed skating. Eleven rowers (mean +/- SD, age 20.1 +/- 1.5 yr, height 188.7 +/- 6.2 cm, weight 82.7 +/- 8.0 kg), 16 cyclists and triathletes (age 23.6 +/- 3.0 yr, height 181.4 +/- 5.6 cm, weight 72.5 +/- 6.2 kg), and 6 speed skaters (age 23.3 +/- 6.6 yr, height 179.5 +/- 7.5 cm, weight 73.2 +/- 5.6 kg) performed an incremental load test to determine maximal workload and several submaximal 30-min constant workloads for MLSS measurement on a rowing ergometer, a cycle ergometer, and on a speed-skating track. Maximal workload was higher (P < or = 0.05) in rowing (416.8 +/- 46.2 W) than in cling (358.6 +/- 34.4 W) and speed skating (383.5 +/- 40.9 W). The level of MLSS differed (P < or = 0.001) in rowing (3.1 +/- 0.5 mmol.l-1), cycling (5.4 +/- 1.0 mmol.l-1), and in speed skating (6.6 +/- 0.9 mmol.l-1). MLSS workload was higher (P < or = 0.05) in rowing (316.2 +/- 29.9 W) and speed skating (300.5 +/- 43.8 W) than in cycling (257.8 +/- 34.6 W). No differences (P > 0.05) in MLSS workload were found between speed skating and rowing. MLSS workload intensity as related to maximal workload was independent (P > 0.05) of the sports event: 76.2% +/- 5.7% in rowing, 71.8% +/- 4.1% in cycling, and 78.1% +/- 4.4% in speed skating. Changes in MLSS do not respond with MLSS workload, the MLSS workload intensity, or with the metabolic profile of the sports event. The observed differences in MLSS and MLSS workload may correspond to the sport-specific mass of working muscle.

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