Recovery of upper-body muscle power after short intensive exercise: comparing boys and men

Yitzhak Weinstein, Omri Inbar, Ron Mor-Unikovski, Anthony Luder, Gal Dubnov-Raz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Purpose: Boys’ lower-body muscle power generation (PO) recovers faster than men’s following intensive exercise. The purpose of this study was to examine whether boys differ from adult men in recovering from upper-body muscle power generation following intensive exercise. Methods: Fifteen prepubertal boys (M ± SD age 10.6 ± 1.0 years) and 13 men (31.1 ± 5.0 years) performed two upper-body Wingate Anaerobic Tests (WAnT), separated by either 2-min or 10-min recovery intervals. WAnT parameters, pre-and post-WAnT heart rates (HR), and blood lactate ([La]) were measured during recovery from the WAnTs. Results: Boys’ mean power (MP) of the repeated WAnT (WAnT2) following 2- and 10-min recoveries was 97.3 ± 7.2% and 99.4 ± 3.9%, respectively, compared to MP of the first test (WAnT1) (p > 0.05 for both tests). In contrast, in men’s MP of the WAnT2 following the 2-min recovery, was significantly lower than that of the WAnT1 (84.4 ± 6.7%, p = 0.0001). While boys’ and men’s HR recovery after 2 min differed significantly (p = 0.046), no between-group differences were found following the 10-min recovery. Peak [La] in boys was 37–44% lower than that in men (p = 0.002). Conclusions: The faster recovery of PO in boys after supra-maximal upper-body exercise is partially explained by the lower power generated by boys, attributed in part to a lower anaerobic capacity and to the greater relative contribution of aerobic processes to performance and recovery from anaerobic-type tasks. Further research is needed to determine the physiologic, neurologic and biochemical basis of the rapid muscle power recovery in children.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1555-1564
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2018
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018, Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.


Acknowledgements The study was partially supported by a research Grant from the Mofet Institute, Ministry of Education. Special thanks are due to Ms. Dinah Olswang for the language editorial work and Dr. Aviva Zeev for the statistical analysis, and to the participants, without whom the study could not have taken place. Author contributions All authors of this research paper have directly participated in the planning, execution, writing and analysis of this study. All authors of this paper have read and approved the final version submitted Funding This study was supported in part by a research Grant from the Mofet Institute, Israel Ministry of Education, Tel Aviv, Israel.

FundersFunder number
Israel Ministry of Education, Tel Aviv, Israel
MOFET Institute
Ministry of Education


    • Arms
    • Lactate
    • Pre-pubertal boys
    • Recovery
    • Supra-maximal exercise
    • Wingate anaerobic test


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