Research conducted by Professor Anthony J Sargeant as part of his PhD thesis at the Joint Services Medical Rehabilitation Unit of the British Armed Forces. He applied the one-leg vs two-leg model that he developed and introduced as a way of exploring central and peripheral limits to exercise performance to young male service personnel undergoing residential rehabilitation following fracture of the leg.
Twenty-five patients with healed fractures of the lower limb and nine normal control subjects were measured anthropometrically and during maximal and submaximal one- and two-leg bicycle exercise. Oxygen intake at a given submaximal work level of 450 kmp min-1 and cardiac frequency at an oxygen intake of 1.5 I min-1 were significantly higher (p less than 0.001) in the injured compared with the uninjured limbs of the patients and normal subjects. The maximum aerobic power of the injured and uninjured limbs of the patients and normal subjects. The maximum aerobic power of the injured and uninjured limbs of the patients were 18.8% (0.44 I min-1) and 25.6% (0.61 I min-1) respectively lower than the right and left legs of the control subjects. The corresponding value for 2-leg work was 17.6% (0.51 I min-1). The deterioration in 1-leg performance of the patients was associated with a concomitant decrease in leg muscle (plus bone) volume. In 2-leg work this factor was also probably combined with a deterioration in performance due to general cardiovascular deconditioning