Scientific article

Experimental validation of the 3-parameter critical power model in cycling

Published inEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology, vol. 119, no. 4, p. 941-949
Publication date2019

Purpose: The three-parameter model of critical power (3-p) implies that in the severe exercise intensity domain time to exhaustion (Tlim) decreases hyperbolically with power output starting from the power asymptote (critical power, ẇcr) and reaching 0 s at a finite power limit (ẇ0) thanks to a negative time asymptote (k). We aimed to validate 3-p for short Tlim and to test the hypothesis that ẇ0 represents the maximal instantaneous muscular power.Methods: Ten subjects performed an incremental test and nine constant-power trials to exhaustion on an electronically braked cycle ergometer. All trials were fitted to 3-p by means of non-linear regression, and those with Tlim greater than 2 min also to the 2-parameter model (2-p), obtained constraining k to 0 s. Five vertical squat jumps on a force platform were also performed to determine the single-leg (i.e., halved) maximal instantaneous power.Results: Tlim ranged from 26 ± 4 s to 15.7 ± 4.9 min. In 3-p, with respect to 2-p, ẇcr was identical (177 ± 26 W), while curvature constant W' was higher (17.0 ± 4.3 vs 15.9 ± 4.2 kJ, p < 0.01). 3-p-derived ẇ0 was lower than single-leg maximal instantaneous power (1184 ± 265 vs 1554 ± 235 W, p < 0.01).Conclusions: 3-p is a good descriptor of the work capacity above ẇcr up to Tlim as short as 20 s. However, since there is a discrepancy between estimated ẇ0 and measured maximal instantaneous power, a modification of the model has been proposed.

  • Anaerobic alactic metabolism
  • Endurance
  • Hyperbolic model
  • Non-linear model
  • Physical work capacity
  • Power–time relationship.
Citation (ISO format)
VINETTI, Giovanni et al. Experimental validation of the 3-parameter critical power model in cycling. In: European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2019, vol. 119, n° 4, p. 941–949. doi: 10.1007/s00421-019-04083-z
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1439-6319

Technical informations

Creation11/19/2019 4:48:00 PM
First validation11/19/2019 4:48:00 PM
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