Melitza Ramirez1, Jesse Stein1, and Katie Heinrich1

1Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Caffeine demonstrates an ergogenic effect on endurance exercise performance, however, limited information exists establishing its efficacy during high-intensity functional training (HIFT). HIFT is an exercise program that incorporates a variety of multi-joint movements performed at a relatively high-intensity and designed to improve parameters of general physical fitness and performance. PURPOSE: Our study aimed to determine the effects of caffeine on HIFT performance. METHODS: 13 HIFT-trained men (age = 28.5 ± 6.6 years, HIFT experience = 4.1 ± 3.0 years, body weight= 84.3 ± 9.9 kg) were randomized in a double-blind, crossover design. After consent, participants completed two HIFT sessions separated by a 7-day washout period, 60-minutes after consuming 5mg/kg of caffeine or a placebo. During HIFT sessions, participants completed as-many-rounds-as-possible in 20 minutes of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats, with performance measured as the number of rounds completed (30 repetitions = 1 round). Paired-samples t-tests were used to compare HIFT performance between the caffeine and placebo conditions and to test for a potential learning effect between the first and second sessions. RESULTS: Participants significantly improved HIFT performance during the caffeine trial (15.3 ± 3.6 rounds) as compared to placebo (14.3 ± 3.0 rounds), t(12) = -2.783, p < 0.05. The eta squared statistic (0.39) indicated a large effect size. Moreover, no significant learning effect was identified between the first and second sessions (14.9 ± 3.2 vs. 14.7 ± 3.5 rounds, p = 0.73). CONCLUSION: Caffeine elicited an ergogenic response during HIFT in HIFT-trained men, with no identifiable learning effect, which is useful for competitive HIFT athletes aiming to optimize performance. However, future investigations should establish the efficacy of caffeine during varying-duration HIFT sessions and among female HIFT athletes.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: This study was funded by the College of Human Ecology from Kansas State University.

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