Effects of active recovery between series on performance during an intermittent exercise model in young endurance athletes

Magaly Tardieu-Berger, Delphine Thevenet, Hassane Zouhal, Jacques Prioux
European Journal of Applied Physiology 2004, 93 (1-2): 145-52
The purpose of our study was to compare time to exhaustion ( t(lim)) and time spent at a high level of oxygen uptake (V(.)O(2)) during two high-intensity short intermittent exercises (30 s-30 s) realized with or without series. Eleven young endurance-trained athletes [16.6 (0.4) years] took part in three field tests until exhaustion: (1) a maximal graded test to measure their maximal aerobic velocity (MAV) and maximal oxygen uptake (V(.)O(2max)); (2) and (3) two randomized intermittent exercises (30 s at 110% of MAV alternated with 30 s at 50% of MAV): one alternating repetitions non-stop (IE) and another including 4 min recovery every six repetitions (IEs). The mean t(lim) measured during IEs was significantly longer than IE [respectively 960.0 (102.0) s vs 621.8 (56.2) s]. The time spent at V(.)O(2max)( t(V(.)O2max)) and the time spent above 90% of V(.)O(2max)( t(90%V(.)O2max)) did not differ significantly according to the type of exercise: with or without series [respectively t(V(.)O2max) was 158.2 (59.7) s vs 178.0 (56.5) s and t(90%<Vdot>O2max) was 290.4 (84.3) s vs 345.0 (61.6) s] but when expressed as a relative value, t(90%<Vdot>O2max) during IEs was significantly lower than during IE [respectively 36.4 (10.4)% t(lim) vs 58.3 (8.7)% t(lim)]. Despite a significant decrease ( P<0.005) of time to achieve 90% of V(.)O(2max) at the start of each series during IEs [respectively 165.0 (43.1) s for the first series and 82.5 (15.8) s for the second series ( n=6)] the time spent under 90% of V(.)O(2max) limited the t(90%V(.)O2max) during each series. In conclusion, our results showed that intermittent exercise with series does not permit an increase in the time spent at a high level of V(.)O(2); however, the athletes performed more repetitions of short intense exercise.

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