Short duration exhaustive aerobic exercise induces oxidative stress: a novel play-oriented volitional fatigue test

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 2007 Dec;47(4):483-90.


Aim: Exercise is associated with the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species. This study examined the oxidative stress in response to a novel volitional fatigue test.

Methods: Eleven male college students performed a volitional fatigue test consisting of shuttle runs with a tennis racquet in the hand towards the left and right sidelines within the tennis singles court in an attempt to hit tennis balls until exhaustion. A tennis ball serving machine was adjusted to alternate feeds to the forehand and backhand sides of the subjects, standing at the baseline, at a frequency of 20 balls per minute.

Results: Mean time to volitional fatigue was 5.9+/-1.3 min and mean heart rate at volitional fatigue was 189+/-8.1 beats x min(-1). The volitional fatigue test resulted in significant increases in blood thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances (22%), protein carbonyls (58%), catalase activity (143%), total antioxidant capacity (34%) and oxidized glutathione (GSSG, 81%) concentration, as well as significant decreases in reduced glutathione (GSH, 15%) concentration and GSH/GSSG ratio (56%) immediately postexercise, as compared to the pre-exercise concentration.

Conclusion: The data provide evidence that acute short duration exhaustive aerobic exercise in the form of a novel volitional fatigue test is capable of inducing oxidative stress. This novel test could serve as an alternative exercise modality to study oxidative stress.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test
  • Fatigue*
  • Greece
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxidative Stress / physiology*
  • Play and Playthings*
  • Tennis