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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2005 May;37(5):838-45.

Effects of prior warm-up regime on severe-intensity cycling performance.

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  • 1Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Wales, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, United Kingdom.



The purpose of the present study was to determine the effect of three different warm-up regimes on cycling work output during a 7-min performance trial.


After habituation to the experimental methods, 12 well-trained cyclists completed a series of 7-min performance trials, involving 2 min of constant-work rate exercise at approximately 90% VO2max and a further 5 min during which subjects attempted to maximize power output. This trial was performed without prior intervention and 10 min after bouts of moderate, heavy, or sprint exercise in a random order. Pulmonary gas exchange was measured breath by breath during all performance trials.


At the onset of the performance trial, baseline blood [lactate] was significantly elevated after heavy and sprint but not moderate exercise (mean +/- SD: control, 1.0 +/- 0.3 mM; moderate, 1.0 +/- 0.2 mM; heavy, 3.0 +/- 1.1 mM; sprint, 5.9 +/- 1.5 mM). All three interventions significantly increased the amplitude of the primary VO2 response (control, 2.59 +/- 0.28 L x min(-1); moderate, 2.69 +/- 0.27 L x min(-1); heavy, 2.78 +/- 0.26 L x min(-1); sprint, 2.78 +/- 0.30 L x min(-1)). Mean power output was significantly increased by prior moderate and heavy exercise but not significantly reduced after sprint exercise (control, 330 +/- 42 W; moderate, 338 +/- 39 W; heavy, 339 +/- 42 W; sprint, 324 +/- 45 W).


These data indicate that priming exercise performed in the moderate- and heavy-intensity domains can improve severe-intensity cycling performance by ~2-3%, the latter condition doing so despite a mild lactacidosis being present at exercise onset.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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