A new research paper has been published showing that Athos wearable EMG compression gear provides a viable field tool for monitoring training intensity and predicting individual Lactate Thresholds***. This work is a game changer for coaches and athletes alike because the lactate threshold is a powerful predictor of performance capabilities and had previously only been measured in the blood. EMG is a non-invasive tool that can now -- with Athos wearable EMG -- be used on athletes in whatever location they are training.
Summary of “Validity of Wearable Electromyographical Compression Shorts to Predict Lactate Threshold During Incremental Exercise in Healthy Participants”
Researchers at the University of Alabama set out to determine if wearable surface EMG technology, acquired from specialized compression shorts (Athos), could estimate the lactate threshold work rate during cycling. To test the relationship between lactic acid build-up and Athos sEMG, thirteen athletes completed a maximal exercise test on a cycle ergometer. Blood lactate was measured every minute, whereas sEMG was recorded throughout using Athos sEMG shorts. Results showed that there was a significant relationship between lactate and EMG thresholds in regards to work output, percent maximal heart rate or peak oxygen consumption. As lactate production increased, so did sEMG output. Therefore, wearable EMG compression gear provides a viable field tool for monitoring training intensity and predicting lactate threshold work rates.
***The Lactate Threshold
The Lactate Threshold is the point at which the production of lactic acid is equal to the rate at which the body can clear it. This threshold is very important for athletes because exertion above the lactate threshold is only sustainable for a limited time. For example, 2 athletes with the same Vo2 max, one with a higher lactate threshold (they can produce and clear MORE lactic acid) has a greater chance of success during extended competition.
Snarr, RL, Tolusso, DV, Hallmark, AV, Esco, MR. 2018. Validity of Wearable Electromyographical Compression Shorts to Predict Lactate Threshold During Incremental Exercise in Healthy Participants. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.