The purpose of the present study was to determine whether there are any differences in power output (PO) and/or quadriceps muscle (Quad) activity between black African and Caucasian football players during a force-velocity (fv) exercise test, which consisted of performing maximal 6-s sprints against an increasing load. Each subject started the test with a load of 2 kg and then recovered for 5 min before repeating the same test with a load increased by 2 kg. When the pedal frequency did not exceed 130 rev x min(-1), the load was increased by only 1 kg. Each subject attained the load corresponding to his maximal power if an additional increase in load (+1 kg) induced a power decrease. Nine black Africans (mean age 24.2 +/- 3.3 years) and nine Caucasians (24.7 +/- 4.2 years) (matched for stature and aerobic fitness) participated in the fv exercise test. During the test, PO, blood lactate, and the quadriceps electromyography (EMG) root mean square (Quad RMS) were assessed. Higher blood lactate was observed in Caucasians than in black Africans for POs over the load range from 4 kg up to the maximal power. However, PO and Quad RMS values were similar in Caucasians and black Africans. They also had similar lean leg volume (LLV) and consequently produced similar PO/LLV and Quad RMS/LLV values. Overall, our results suggest that Caucasians and black Africans matched for stature, VO(2max), and training background have similar PO and Quad RMS values, but different blood lactate concentrations during brief, intermittent, intense exercise performed on a cycloergometer.
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