How does power output differ?


The power output differences among various groups of individuals, as discussed by and , show significant variation based on fitness level and health conditions.

  • Elite Cyclists: Can reach around 300 watts before their mitochondrial function is insufficient and they need to recruit fast twitch muscle fibers.
  • Weekend Warriors: Moderate fitness individuals can achieve about 200 watts.
  • Type 2 Diabetics: Typically produce only up to 120 watts.

This demonstrates not just a simple quantitative difference, but a substantive qualitative variation in physiological fitness and metabolic flexibility, particularly in terms of mitochondrial efficacy and fat oxidation capabilities. Normalizing these outputs by body weight further accents the distinctions, showing how high-level athletes can achieve close to five watts per kilogram, whereas individuals with metabolic issues like diabetes might only reach 1.5 watts per kilogram 1.

Uncovering Metabolic Differences

Discover the significant differences in mitochondrial function and metabolic flexibility between world-class cyclists, reasonably fit individuals, and those with type two diabetes. Explore the impact of weight normalization on wattage output and the potential implications for overall health.

The Peter Attia Drive Podcast

#85 – Iñigo San Millán, Ph.D.: Mitochondria, exercise, and metabolic health