Nutrition and Health Sciences, Department of


Date of this Version



Published in European Journal of Applied Physiology (2023)



Copyright © 2023 Robert W. Smith,Terry J. Housh, Jocelyn E. Arnett, John Paul V. Anders, Tyler J. Neltner, Dolores G. Ortega, Richard J. Schmidt, and Glen O. Johnson; under exclusive license to Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany. Used by permission.


Purpose The purpose of the present study was to examine the interactions between perceived fatigability and performance fatigability in women and men by utilizing the RPE-Clamp model to assess the fatigue-induced effects of a sustained, isometric forearm flexion task anchored to RPE = 8 on time to task failure (TTF), torque, and neuromuscular responses.

Methods Twenty adults (10 men and 10 women) performed two, 3 s forearm flexion maximal voluntary isometric contractions (MVICs) followed by a sustained, isometric forearm flexion task anchored to RPE = 8 using the OMNI-RES (0–10) scale at an elbow joint angle of 100°. Electromyographic amplitude (EMG AMP) was recorded from the biceps brachii. Torque and EMG AMP values resulting from the sustained task were normalized to the pretest MVIC. Neuromuscular efficiency was defined as NME = normalized torque/normalized EMG AMP. Mixed factorial ANOVAs and Bonferroni corrected dependent t tests and independent t tests were used to examine differences across time and between sex for torque and neuromuscular parameters.

Results There were no differences between the women and men for the fatigue-induced decreases in torque, EMG AMP, or NME, and the mean decreases (collapsed across sex) were 50.3 ± 8.6 to 2.8 ± 2.9% MVIC, 54.7 ± 12.0 to 19.6 ± 5.3% MVIC, and 0.94 ± 0.19 to 0.34 ± 0.16, respectively. Furthermore, there were no differences between the women and men for TTF (251.8 ± 74.1 vs. 258.7 ± 77.9 s).

Conclusion The results suggested that the voluntary reductions in torque to maintain RPE and the decreases in NME were likely due to group III/IV afferent feedback from peripheral fatigue that resulted in excitation–contraction coupling failure.