Experiment #1: Muscle Fatigue

a) Graphic 1: Comparison of Finger pinches over 20s intervals for both hands

As the lab progressed, the strength of my fingers degraded through each successive trial. This resulted in the numbers of pinches I made with either hand to decrease, which was anticipated due to muscle fatigue.

At the end of the trials, there was a burning sensation in my hands; there was also a throbbing/ cramping pain that remained for several seconds. The repetitive straining of my finger muscles resulted in lactic acid accumulation and the subsequent reduction in my ability to contract them.

Breathing deeply would result in more oxygen entering the blood stream. This would have increased oxidized blood flow, carrying more food and oxygen to the cells, assisting them in carrying out cellular respiration to release energy; this would essentially convert the lactic acid into carbon dioxide and water and help stop the cramping/ burning. Also proper nutrition is an important component as well; the glucose gained from eating healthy foods is a vital energy source for the muscles cells and their functionality.

My dominant hand (left) had a higher number of squeezes overall during the 10 (20s) intervals than my recessive hand (right) did. This is the result of my dominant hand having larger hand muscles due to increased use and strain (i.e writing, brushing my teeth etc.) This prior training of my left hand allows it to perform more effectively at this task than my recessive hand, resulting in more finger pinches.

After resting for several minutes it would allow my hand muscles to recover and get the needed oxygen/ nutrition it requires. This would allow for aerobic cellular respiration in my muscles, breaking down glucose for energy and allowing for my hand muscles to recover.

Experiment #2: Power from Aerobic vs. Anaerobic Exercise

After lifting the dumbbell, I did feel hot. During aerobic reactions, the body was able to successful perform cellular respiration effectively, allowing for several redox reactions to transpire. At each step of the ETC (electron transport chain) energy transfer is released in the form of heat, which results in you feeling hot. Incidentally, as your body produces ATP, heat is also a by-product of the process.

Yes I could tell when my muscles went into anaerobic respiration. The evidence of this was a burning sensation in my biceps, slower rates of curling and loss of muscle control during the strenuous exercise. Also there was the bulging of my forearms veins and my arm was getting warmer and experiencing fatigue. Once my muscles had entered anaerobic respiration and required oxygen which was not readily available, I began to experience these symptoms.

Experiment #3: VO2 Max Determination

VO2 max (mL/ kg/ min):

= 132.853- .1696 (72.7)- .3877 (17) + 6.3150 (1)- 3.2649 (16.37)- 0.1565 (55)

= 58.19 mL/ kg/ min

I has a score of 58.19 mL/ kg/ min for ages 13- 19 (>55.9), which gave me an overall rating of “Superior”. This means that every 60 seconds my body is able to remove 58.19mL of oxygen; per my 1kg of my 72.7kg mass. This test and its tabulated results are supposed to provide some indicator of a person’s efficiency to extract oxygen from their blood stream. The higher a person’s VO2 max, the better your body is at using available oxygen molecules to produce useful energy.  The table establishes that an increase in age has a negative correlation with ones VO2 max, which is expected because as you age, your ability to effectively extract oxygen would decrease. The ability for your cell to regenerate is on the decline in comparison to a younger person and is not being replaced with the same efficiency; this causes fatigue to set in faster. This trend is clearly observable with ages “13-19” having the highest VO2 max and 60+ with the lowest VO2 max.

Maximum oxygen consumption is a measure of the body’s capacity to generate the energy needed to perform physical activity. It measures the max volume of oxygen in (mm), that body cells can remove from the bloodstream in 60 seconds per kg of body mass while the body experiences max exertion. Since you are not running in this activity and not reaching your max physical peak, the results ascertained from this experiment are only an estimate. It will provide data for walking and we can use as it a foundation to guess what our maximum oxygen consumption would be if we were running.

There are 2 primary sources of error:

Heart Rate

Some individuals did not count their heart rate for a full 60 seconds after exercise because of how tedious it can be. Therefore they might select intervals of 6 secs, 10 secs, or 20 secs and then multiple it by the appropriate factor. During these measured intervals, there may be fluctuations; the first 6 seconds will experience a more rapid heart than the 10-20 seconds. Also laughing or not breathing correctly can result in skewed results as well. This error can be reduced by increasing the measured heart rate interval to between 20-30 seconds, if not a full 60 seconds. Or perhaps even taking heart rate measurements at 2 minute intervals to ascertain when the max heart rate is occurring to get the optimum results.


In this experiment, we are walking instead of running. This obviously means we are not reaching our peak ability to perform strenuous exercise and this is not a viable measurement of our maximum oxygen consumption. While this experiment may provide a valuable estimation, it can be adjusted to perhaps jogging or running the 1.6km to give more viable results for our maximum oxygen consumption.

From a scientific perspective, male are given a value of 1 and an additional 6.3150 because they are genetically predisposed to have larger muscles and potentially a greater VO2 max than their female counterparts. Males posses a much higher level of the anabolic growth hormone testosterone than females and are prone to faster muscle growth and development. The value of 1 for males will give them a higher VO2 max, because of the male’s ability to better extract oxygen from the bloodstream. This however is not applicable to all circumstances, because some females will have much higher VO2 max values than men.

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