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Eur J Appl Physiol. 2007 Jan;99(2):133-42. Epub 2006 Nov 7.

Influence of recovery mode (passive vs. active) on time spent at maximal oxygen uptake during an intermittent session in young and endurance-trained athletes.

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Laboratoire Motricitè, Interactions, Performance (JE no 2438), UFR STAPS, Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Université, 25 bis bd Guy Mollet, BP 72206, 44322, Nantes, Cedex 3, France.


The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of recovery mode (active/passive) on time spent at high percentage of maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) i.e. above 90% of VO2max (t90VO2max) and above 95% of VO2max (t95VO2max) during a single short intermittent session. Eight endurance-trained male adolescents (15.9 +/- 1.4 years) performed three field tests until exhaustion: a graded test to determine their VO2max (57.4 +/- 6.1 ml min(-1) kg(-1)), and maximal aerobic velocity (MAV; 17.9 +/- 0.4 km h(-1)), and in a random order, two intermittent exercises consisting of repeated 30 s runs at 105% of MAV alternated with 30 s passive (IE(P)) or active recovery (IE(A), 50% of MAV). Time to exhaustion (t(lim)) was significantly longer for IE(P) than for IE(A) (2145 +/- 829 vs. 1072 +/- 388 s, P < 0.01). No difference was found in t90VO2max and t95VO2max between IE(P) (548 +/- 499-316 +/- 360 s) and IE(A) (746 +/- 417-459 +/- 332 s). However, when expressed as a percentage of t(lim), t90VO2max and t95VO2max were significantly longer (P < 0.001 and P < 0.05, respectively) during IE(A) (67.7 +/- 19%-42.1 +/- 27%) than during IE(P) (24.2 +/- 19%-13.8 +/- 15%). Our results demonstrated no influence of recovery mode on absolute t90VO2max or t95VO2max mean values despite significantly longer t(lim) values for IE(P) than for IE(A). In conclusion, passive recovery allows a longer running time (t(lim)) for a similar time spent at a high percentage of VO2max.

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