Jessica A. Schnaiter, John H. Sellers, Emilee M. Bounds, Bert H. Jacobson *FACSM Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

In recent years, coaches and athletes alike have taken a keen interest in maximizing the efficiency of a dynamic warm-up without inducing muscular fatigue. One proposed method of doing so is using a respiratory training mask to provide breathing resistance to increase the intensity of a warm-up. Though there is limited empirical evidence on the topic, many athletes have adopted this warm-up strategy, possibly due to testimonials from high-profile athletes in their respective sports. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a high-intensity warm-up (HWU) using a respiratory training mask on sprint performance, heart rate measures (HR), and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) in Division I football athletes using a timing system. METHODS: Seventeen male (mean ± SD: age = 17.94 ± .75 years, weight = 104.43 ± 23.02 kg, height 184.93 ± 7.06 cm) American football athletes from a NCAA Division I level were recruited to participate in this study from a Midwestern university. Athletes were informed of risks, and upon completing an informed consent document, completed 2 testing sessions separated by 7 days. Each testing session took place on artificial turf in the university’s indoor training facility at the same time of day. Both testing sessions began with a warm-up (WU) under the instruction of a member of the university’s strength and condition staff. The WU consisted of dynamic exercises targeting the lower body musculature. During the initial visit, participants completed the dynamic WU and testing without a respiratory training mask. During the second visit, the HWU was completed with the respiratory training mask set to increase the resistance level of breathing by 12-fold. Upon completion of the HWU, participants removed the mask and performed 5 × 10-meter sprints. A one-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) design was used to assess differences between control and experimental results. All statistical analyses were performed using SPSS (Version 21.0 for Windows; SPSS, Chicago, Illinois) with statistical significance set a p < .05. RESULTS: Sprint time was not significantly different after a HAWU using a respiratory training mask (p = 0.874). CONCLUSION: These findings do not suggest the use of a respiratory resistance training mask during a dynamic warm-up is useful in increasing 10-meter sprint times for football players. Athlete’s performance on repeated sprints was not improved after using a resistance mask; however, performance was also not hindered.

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