The effect of partial sleep deprivation on weight-lifting performance

Ergonomics. 1994 Jan;37(1):107-15. doi: 10.1080/00140139408963628.


This study examined the effects of partial sleep deprivation on submaximal and maximal weight-lifting tasks and on subjective states pre- and post-activity. Eight male subjects (aged 18-24 years) were restricted to a nightly ration of 3 h sleep for 3 successive nights after baseline measures on the first day. A 4 day period where normal sleep was permitted fulfilled a control condition, the normal and sleep-deprived conditions being counterbalanced and separated by 10 days. The weight-lifting tasks consisted of biceps curl, bench press, leg press, and dead lift. For each exercise a submaximal load, corresponding to a fixed value on a category ratio scale of exertion, was determined for 20 repetitions; the maximal lift for that exercise was then obtained. A profile of mood states and subjective sleepiness were determined at each test occasion, tests being conducted in the evening of each day. There was no significant effect of sleep loss on performance of maximal biceps curl (p < 0.05) but a significant effect was noted on maximal bench press, leg press, and dead lift (p < 0.001). Trend analysis indicated decreased performance in submaximal lifts for all the 4 tasks: the deterioration was significant after the second night of sleep loss (p < 0.01). Performing the lifts had little influence on sleepiness ratings which increased linearly with successive days of sleep loss. Mood states of confusion, vigour, and fatigue were affected significantly by the sleep deprivation regimen (p < 0.001), but there was no significant effect of sleep loss or anger, tension, and depression (p > 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Fatigue / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscles / physiopathology
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Sleep Deprivation / physiology*
  • Weight Lifting / physiology*
  • Weight-Bearing / physiology*