Muscle metabolic status and acid-base balance during 10-s work:5-s recovery intermittent and continuous exercise

J Appl Physiol (1985). 2012 Aug;113(3):410-7. doi: 10.1152/japplphysiol.01059.2011. Epub 2012 May 17.


Gastrocnemius muscle phosphocreatine ([PCr]) and hydrogen ion ([H(+)]) were measured using (31)P-magnetic resonance spectroscopy during repeated bouts of 10-s heavy-intensity (HI) exercise and 5-s rest compared with continuous (CONT) HI exercise. Recreationally active male subjects (n = 7; 28 yr ± 9 yr) performed on separate occasions 12 min of isotonic plantar flexion (0.75 Hz) CONT and intermittent (INT; 10-s exercise, 5-s rest) exercise. The HI power output in both CONT and INT was set at 50% of the difference between the power output associated with the onset of intracellular acidosis and peak exercise determined from a prior incremental plantar flexion protocol. Intracellular concentrations of [PCr] and [H(+)] were calculated at 4 s and 9 s of the work period and at 4 s of the rest period in INT and during CONT exercise. [PCr] and [H(+)] (mean ± SE) were greater at 4 s of the rest periods vs. 9 s of exercise over the course of the INT exercise bout: [PCr] (20.7 mM ± 0.6 vs. 18.7 mM ± 0.5; P < 0.01); [H(+)] (370 nM ± 13.50 vs. 284 nM ± 13.6; P < 0.05). Average [H(+)] was similar for CONT vs. INT. We therefore suggest that there is a glycolytic contribution to ATP recovery during the very short rest period (<5 s) of INT and that the greater average power output of CONT did not manifest in greater [H(+)] and greater glycolytic contribution compared with INT exercise.

MeSH terms

  • Acid-Base Equilibrium / physiology*
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Isotonic Contraction / physiology
  • Male
  • Muscle Strength / physiology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Phosphocreatine / analysis
  • Phosphocreatine / physiology
  • Young Adult


  • Phosphocreatine