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Performance Fatigability Is Not Regulated to A Peripheral Critical Threshold

Thomas, Kevin1; Goodall, Stuart1; Howatson, Glyn1,2

Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews: October 2018 - Volume 46 - Issue 4 - p 240–246
doi: 10.1249/JES.0000000000000162

The critical threshold hypothesis proposes that performance fatigability during high-intensity exercise is tightly regulated by negative-feedback signals from the active muscles. We propose that performance fatigability is simply dependent on the exercise mode and intensity; the consequent adjustments, in skeletal muscle and the other physiological systems that support exercise, interact to modulate fatigue and determine exercise tolerance.

The magnitude of performance fatigability observed after high-intensity exercise is task-dependent, and not regulated to a peripheral critical threshold.

1Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, United Kingdom;

2Water Research Group, School of Environmental Sciences and Development, Northwest University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Address for correspondence: Dr. Kevin Thomas, Faculty of Health and Life Science, Department of Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation, Northumbria University, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, NE1 8ST, UK (E-mail:

Accepted for publication: June 6, 2018.

Editor: Sandra K. Hunter, Ph.D., FACSM.

© 2018 American College of Sports Medicine