Investigating the Effects of Mental Fatigue on Resistance Exercise Performance Academic Article uri icon

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abstract

  • Mental fatigue can impart negative effects on subsequent physical performance, although the mechanisms underlying these effects are not well understood. This study examined whether mental fatigue confers negative carryover effects on the performance of a set of biceps curls, while also investigating physiological and psychological mechanisms proposed to explain the predicted effect. A randomized, cross-over design was employed. On visit 1, participants (N = 10) performed a barbell biceps curl one-repetition maximum (1RM) test. On visits 2–3, participants performed 20 biceps curls at 50% of their 1RM, followed by their respective 10 min experimental manipulation (high vs. low cognitive exertion) and then a second set of biceps curls to exhaustion. Ratings of perceived exertion and electromyography of the biceps brachii, triceps brachii, upper trapezius, thoracic erector spinae and lumbar erector spinae were recorded during the physical task. The total number of repetitions completed was similar across the conditions. Results also failed to show between-condition differences for muscle activation and perceptions of exertion. Future research is needed to build an adequate knowledge base to determine whether there is an effect of mental fatigue on dynamic resistance-based task performance and, if so, identify the mechanisms explaining how and why.

publication date

  • June 24, 2021