Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Effects of electrical stimulation on Vo2 kinetics and delta efficiency in healthy young men
  1. M Pérez1,
  2. A Lucia1,
  3. A Santalla2,
  4. J L Chicharro3
  1. 1Facultad de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte, Universidad Europea de Madrid, E-28670 Villaviciosa de Odón, Madrid, Spain
  2. 2Universidad Alfonso X El Sabio, Villanueva de la Cañada, Madrid, Spain
  3. 3Departamento de Enfermería y Unidad de Fisiología del Ejercicio, Universidad Complutense, E-28040 Madrid, Spain
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Lucia, Facultad de Ciencias de la Actividad Física y el Deporte, Universidad Europea de Madrid, E-28670 Villaviciosa de Odón, Madrid, Spain; 


Objective: To determine the effects of electrical stimulation (ES) on oxygen uptake (Vo2) kinetics and delta efficiency (DE) during gradual exercise. The hypothesis was that ES would attenuate the Vo2-workload relation and improve DE.

Methods: Fifteen healthy, untrained men (mean (SD) age 22 (5) years) were selected. Ten were electrostimulated on both quadriceps muscles with a frequency of 45–60 Hz, with 12 seconds of stimulation followed by eight seconds recovery for a total of 30 minutes a day, three days a week for six weeks. The remaining five subjects were assigned to a control group. A standardised exercise test on a cycle ergometer (ramp protocol, workload increases of 20 W/min) was performed by each subject before and after the experimental period. The slope of the Vo2-power output (W) relation (ΔVo2/ΔW) and DE were calculated in each subject at moderate to high intensities (above the ventilatory threshold—that is, from 50–60% to 100% Vo2max).

Results: The mean (SEM) values for ΔVo2/ΔW and DE had significantly decreased and increased respectively after the six week ES programme (p<0.05; 9.8 (0.2) v 8.6 (0.5) ml O2/W/min respectively and 27.7 (0.9) v 31.5 (1.4)% respectively).

Conclusions: ES could be used as a supplementary tool to improve two of the main determinants of endurance capacity, namely Vo2 kinetics and work efficiency.

  • ventilatory threshold
  • ramp test
  • endurance
  • muscle fibres
  • ES, electrical stimulation
  • Vo2, oxygen uptake
  • DE, delta efficiency
  • VT, ventilatory threshold

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.