Fatigue of long duration in human skeletal muscle after exercise

J Physiol. 1977 Nov;272(3):769-78. doi: 10.1113/jphysiol.1977.sp012072.


1. After severe muscular contraction in man recovery of force is largely complete in a few minutes, but is not wholly so for many hours. The long-lasting element of fatigue is found to occur primarily for low frequencies of stimulation (e.g. 20/sec), and is much less pronounced, or absent, at high frequencies (80/sec). The twitch force is an unreliable measure of the state of fatigue. 2. The long-lasting element of fatigue is not due to depletion of high-energy phosphate nor is it due to failure of electrical activity as recorded from surface electrodes. It is probably the result of an impairment of the process of excitation-contraction coupling. Its practical importance for man could be significant as an explanation of the subjective feelings of weakness following exercise.

MeSH terms

  • Adenosine Triphosphate / metabolism
  • Adult
  • Fatigue / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Muscle Contraction
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Phosphocreatine / metabolism
  • Physical Exertion*
  • Time Factors


  • Phosphocreatine
  • Adenosine Triphosphate