C.L. Whitlock, J.T. Nadeau, M.C. Eastwood, V.K. Mehndiratta & D.B. Thorp

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

Previous studies evaluating muscle performance during a maximal physical test have failed to find an optimum intensity warm-up; high intensity warm-ups have induced fatigue while low intensity warm-ups failed to prepare the muscles for optimal performance. Further, the relatively few studies that have examined the effects of performing short-duration static stretching as a warm-up (group) on maximal performance offer equivocal results. One key variable in the effectiveness of a warm-up on performance is an increase in muscle temperature (TM). Research has shown that task a specific warm-up is more effective in raising muscle temperature in active muscles than a non-specific warm-up. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study is to test the hypothesis that moderate intensity cycling warm-up (CWU) would increase peak power during a Wingate cycling test (WT) in comparison to a static stretching warm-up (SS) involving active cycling muscle groups. It was also hypothesized that TM would have a greater increase in CWU. METHODS: Nineteen (9 male, 10 female) untrained college students participated in the study [mean ± SD; age = 19.9 ± 1.1 yr, height = 173.6 ± 10.8 cm, body mass = 69.7 ± 13.9 kg, fat free mass = 59.7 ± 12.4 kg]. Subjects performed a thirty-second maximal effort Wingate test on a mechanically braked cycle ergometer with 7.5% of their body weight as resistance on two occasions (randomized order, separated by 48 hours). Each WT was performed five minutes after completion of one of two warm-up protocols: 1) 8 min, 20 s of SS focusing on the following muscle groups: hamstring, groin, gluteus maximus, hip flexors, quadriceps, gastrocnemius, soleus, and hip rotator muscles, or 2) 12 min, 30 s of CWU at 60-65% of HRmax. Heart rate, blood lactate concentration, and skin temperature (TS) were measured pre and post warm-up. TS was then used to predict muscle temperature (TM) using the equation: TM (˚C) = 1.02TS (˚C) + 0.89. Peak power (PP), anaerobic capacity (AC), time to peak power (TPP), minimum power (MP), and fatigue index (FI) were determined during the WT. All power measures were corrected by fat free mass (FFM). Warm-up protocols were compared using paired t-tests (significance at p AC and MP were significantly greater following CWU compared to SS (9.2 W/kg vs 9.5 W/kg and 6.3 W/kg vs 6.7 W/kg). PP and FI were similar regardless of warm-up. However, PP was achieved sooner following SS. Post warm-up muscle temperature was similar in both conditions. CONCLUSION: CWU at moderate intensity increases WT performance as indicated by PP when compared to short duration SS despite similar TM. This increased performance is by some mechanism other than muscle temperature.

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