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From catastrophe to complexity: a novel model of integrative central neural regulation of effort and fatigue during exercise in humans
  1. T D Noakes,
  2. A St Clair Gibson,
  3. E V Lambert
  1. Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town, Newlands, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor Noakes
 University of Cape Town, Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Sports Science Institute of South Africa, PO Box 115, Newlands 7725, South Africa;


It is a popular belief that exercise performance is limited by metabolic changes in the exercising muscles, so called peripheral fatigue. Exercise terminates when there is a catastrophic failure of homoeostasis in the exercising muscles. A revolutionary theory is presented that proposes that exercise performance is regulated by the central nervous system specifically to ensure that catastrophic physiological failure does not occur during normal exercise in humans.

  • ATP
  • complex systems
  • fatigue
  • homoeostasis
  • neural recruitment

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