S. Castro, T. Kitchel, L. Fortner, M. McCallum, J. Rivera Perez, C.J. Wutzke

Gonzaga University, Spokane, WA

Collegiate outdoor athletes tend to come from warmer climates compared to colder climates. This is due to the warmer climate athletes having the ability to practice year-round in their respective sports. Environmental conditions (increased temperature) have also shown to influence performance including torque production. In contrast, little is known regarding the influence of cooler temperatures and their influence on exercise performance. Previous literature has focused on how reduced temperature conditions can negatively influence the cardiovascular system and muscular physiology. PURPOSE: To determine if exercise in a reduced temperature influences peak and absolute max torque production of the biceps brachii and the semimembranosus. METHODS: This study examined 13 young, unimpaired adults (x=21.9±2.2 years) who were regularly active. Participants completed a standard stretching warm-up at room temperature (20°C) and in a reduced temperature (3.3°C) condition consisting of a two-and-a-half-minute walk (3mph) and a one-minute run (7mph). Following the warmup, participants completed five repetitions of bicep and hamstring curls respectively. Data analysis was conducted using repeated ANOVA to analyze dynamometer data between reduced and room temperature conditions with an alpha level of p≤0.05. RESULTS: Max torque in the reduced temperature of the biceps brachii (47.77 ± 19.68 Nm) showed no difference in comparison to that of the room temperature condition (45.18±18.57 Nm, p=0.08). Similarly, no difference was found in max torque in the semimembranosus (90.69±32.51 Nm reduced temperature; 94.02±34.67 Nm room temperature; p=0.68). Similarly, for peak torque of the biceps brachii, there was no difference between the reduced temperature condition (0.54±0.15) and the room temperature condition (0.51±0.14, p=0.18). A similar result was found for the peak torque of the semimembranosus. CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that torque production for both the biceps brachii and semimembranosus does not differ during acute exposure to a reduced temperature condition. Additional study is necessary to determine the influence of repeated exposure to environmental conditions on torque production.

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