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Complex systems model of fatigue: integrative homoeostatic control of peripheral physiological systems during exercise in humans
  1. E V Lambert,
  2. A St Clair Gibson,
  3. T D Noakes
  1. Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, University of Cape Town, Newlands, South Africa
  1. Correspondence to:
 Associate Professor Lambert
 University of Cape Town, Research Unit for Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, Sports Science of South Africa, P O Box 115, Newlands 7725, South Africa;


Fatigue is hypothesised as being the result of the complex interaction of multiple peripheral physiological systems and the brain. In this new model, all changes in peripheral physiological systems such as substrate depletion or metabolite accumulation act as afferent signallers which modulate control processes in the brain in a dynamic, non-linear, integrative manner.

  • EMG, electromyography
  • MSNA, muscle sympathetic nerve activity
  • MVC, maximal voluntary contraction
  • RPE, rating of perceived exertion
  • antecedent hypoglycaemia
  • glucose
  • gain
  • teleoanticipation
  • homoeostasis

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  • Conflict of interests: none declared