Three subjects performed five successive isometric contractions to fatigue; the tension in any one experiment was constant at tensions varying from 20 to 80% of the maximal voluntary contraction (MVC). The interval between contractions was held constant at 11 min. Muscle biopsy specimens were obtained at the start of the experiment, after the first, fourth, and fifth, and before the second and fifth of the successive contractions. The concentrations of ATP, CP, glycogen, and lactate were measured in each sample of muscle. Changes in ATP and glycogen were insufficient to be held accountable for the development of isometric fatigue. Changes in CP and lactate were large after fatigue at intermediate tensions, but those of CP were considered unlikely to be responsible for the fatigue. At tensions of 30–50% MVC the increase in lactate could be responsible for fatigue either directly or by indirect changes in pH; at higher and lower tensions the possibility that lactate is directly implicated in the development of fatigue seems remote.
- Copyright © 1975 the American Physiological Society