Metabolic response in type I and type II muscle fibers during a 30-s cycle sprint in men and women

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1999 Oct;87(4):1326-32. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1999.87.4.1326.


The acute metabolic response to sprint exercise was studied in 20 male and 19 female students. We hypothesized that the reduction of muscle glycogen content during sprint exercise would be smaller in women than in men and that a possible gender difference in glycogen reduction would be higher in type II than in type I fibers. The exercise-induced increase in blood lactate concentration was 22% smaller in women than in men. A considerable reduction of ATP (50%), phosphocreatine (83%), and glycogen (35%) was found in type II muscle fibers, and it did not differ between the genders. A smaller reduction of ATP (17%) and phosphocreatine (78%) was found in type I fibers, and it did not differ between the genders. However, the exercise-induced reduction in glycogen content in type I fibers was 50% smaller in women than in men. The hypothesis was indeed partly confirmed: the exercise-induced glycogen reduction was attenuated in women compared with men, but the gender difference was in type I rather than in type II fibers. Fiber-type-specific and gender-related differences in the metabolic response to sprint exercise might have implications for the design of training programs for men and women.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle Fibers, Fast-Twitch / metabolism*
  • Muscle Fibers, Slow-Twitch / metabolism*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Oxidation-Reduction
  • Phosphocreatine / metabolism
  • Running / physiology*
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Time Factors


  • Phosphocreatine
  • Lactic Acid
  • Adenosine Triphosphate
  • Glycogen