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Sprint Exercise Performance: Does Metabolic Power Matter?

Bundle, Matthew W.1; Weyand, Peter G.2

Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews: July 2012 - Volume 40 - Issue 3 - p 174–182
doi: 10.1097/JES.0b013e318258e1c1

Prevailing physiological paradigms explain both sprint and endurance exercise performance in terms of the availability of metabolic energy. However, for all-out efforts of 60 s or less, the prevailing view is no longer viable. Contemporary evidence indicates that sprinting performance is determined by musculoskeletal force application, with a duration dependency explained by the intrinsically rapid rates at which skeletal muscle fatigues in vivo.

Sprinting performance is determined by the application of musculoskeletal forces that are compromised rapidly by rates of in vivo fatigue.

1Biomechanics Laboratory, Department of Health and Human Performance, University of Montana, Missoula, MT; and 2Locomotor Performance Laboratory, Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX.

Address for correspondence: Peter G. Weyand, Ph.D., Locomotor Performance Laboratory, 5538 Dyer Street, Suite 105, Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness,Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75206 (E-mail:

Accepted for publication: March 27, 2012.

Associate Editor: Daniel P. Ferris, Ph.D.

©2012 The American College of Sports Medicine