The influence of whole-body vs. torso pre-cooling on physiological strain and performance of high-intensity exercise in the heat

G G Sleivert, J D Cotter, W S Roberts, M A Febbraio
Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology. Part A, Molecular & Integrative Physiology 2001, 128 (4): 657-66
Little research has been reported examining the effects of pre-cooling on high-intensity exercise performance, particularly when combined with strategies to keep the working muscle warm. This study used nine active males to determine the effects of pre-cooling the torso and thighs (LC), pre-cooling the torso (ice-vest in 3 degrees C air) while keeping the thighs warm (LW), or no cooling (CON: 31 degrees C air), on physiological strain and high-intensity (45-s) exercise performance (33 degrees C, 60% rh). Furthermore, we sought to determine whether performance after pre-cooling was influenced by a short exercise warm-up. The 45-s test was performed at different (P<0.05) mean core temperature [(rectal+oesophageal)/2] [CON: 37.3+/-0.3 (S.D.), LW: 37.1+/-0.3, LC: 36.8+/-0.4 degrees C] and mean skin temperature (CON: 34.6+/-0.6, LW: 29.0+/-1.0, LC: 27.2+/-1.2 degrees C) between all conditions. Forearm blood flow prior to exercise was also lower in LC (3.1+/-2.0 ml 100 ml tissue(-1) x min(-1)) than CON (8.2+/-2.5, P=0.01) but not LW (4.3+/-2.6, P=0.46). After an exercise warm-up, muscle temperature (Tm) was not significantly different between conditions (CON: 37.3+/-1.5, LW: 37.3+/-1.2, LC: 36.6+/-0.7 degrees C, P=0.16) but when warm-up was excluded, T(m) was lower in LC (34.5+/-1.9 degrees C, P=0.02) than in CON (37.3+/-1.0) and LW (37.1+/-0.9). Even when a warm-up was performed, torso+thigh pre-cooling decreased both peak (-3.4+/-3.8%, P=0.04) and mean power output (-4.1+/-3.8%, P=0.01) relative to the control, but this effect was markedly larger when warm-up was excluded (peak power -7.7+/-2.5%, P=0.01; mean power -7.6+/-1.2%, P=0.01). Torso-only pre-cooling did not reduce peak or mean power, either with or without warm-up. These data indicate that pre-cooling does not improve 45-s high-intensity exercise performance, and can impair performance if the working muscles are cooled. A short exercise warm-up largely removes any detrimental effects of a cold muscle on performance by increasing Tm.

Full Text Links

Find Full Text Links for this Article


You are not logged in. Sign Up or Log In to join the discussion.

Trending Papers

Remove bar
Read by QxMD icon Read

Save your favorite articles in one place with a free QxMD account.


Search Tips

Use Boolean operators: AND/OR

diabetic AND foot
diabetes OR diabetic

Exclude a word using the 'minus' sign

Virchow -triad

Use Parentheses

water AND (cup OR glass)

Add an asterisk (*) at end of a word to include word stems

Neuro* will search for Neurology, Neuroscientist, Neurological, and so on

Use quotes to search for an exact phrase

"primary prevention of cancer"
(heart or cardiac or cardio*) AND arrest -"American Heart Association"