The present study investigated relationships between changes in power output (PO) to torque (TOR) or freely chosen cadence (FCC) during thermal loading. Twenty participants cycled at a constant rating of perceived exertion while ambient temperature (Ta) was covertly manipulated at 20-min intervals of 20 °C, 35 °C, and 20 °C. The magnitude responses of PO, FCC and TOR were analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA, while the temporal correlations were analyzed using Auto-Regressive Integrated Moving Averages (ARIMA). Increases in Ta caused significant thermal strain (p < .01), and subsequently, a decrease in PO and TOR magnitude (p < .01), whereas FCC remained unchanged (p = .51). ARIMA indicates that changes in PO were highly correlated to TOR (stationary r2 = .954, p = .04), while FCC was moderately correlated (stationary r2 = .717, p = .01) to PO. In conclusion, changes in PO are caused by a modulation in TOR, whereas FCC remains unchanged and therefore, unaffected by thermal stressors.
The authors are with the Environmental Ergonomics Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, Brock University, Ontario, Canada.