The Effect of Different Active recovery Durations on the responses to Repeated Sprint exercise.
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Repeated sprints (RS) are common in team and game sports, and the ability to repeat these near maximal efforts with limited recovery intervals over an extended duration is termed repeated sprint ability (RSA) (Girard, Mendez-Villanueva and Bishop 2011). The majority of studies have used constant work:rest ratios when assessing RSA, which are typically 10x6s sprints with a constant 30s recovery (Bishop, Spencer, Duffield & Lawrence, 2001). However, work and rest durations are unpredictable and variable during team sports so it is important to use variations in work:rest ratios to assess RSA. Investigating if RSA is a general quality and not dependent on the test protocol will help coaches and athletes understand the importance of developing suitable RS testing protocols and enhancing physiological determinants of RSA in team sport athletes, which ultimately improves performance and understanding of training and testing strategies (Bishop et al 2011). The aim of the study was to determine the relationship between performances in the three variations of a RS protocol. This will be achieved with the assessment of PO, VO2 & NIRS data. Twelve active male team sport athletes volunteered to participate in the study, with each participant participating at a collegiate level, and being accustomed to regular RSE (age 20.2 ±1.1 years, height 181 ± 3 cm, body mass 78 ± 10 kg, VO2 max 50 ± 7 ml/kg/ml). Initially participants completed a ramp VO2max test to determine their 35% VO2max PO for active recovery intensity. Each participant completed three 10x6s RS sprint protocols with either increasing (RSI), constant (RSC) or decreasing (RSC) recovery. In terms of performance, independently mean sprint PO and percentage power decrement scores (Sdec%) were related across protocols (r≥0.8 and r≥0.72 respectively, P<0.01), suggesting performance over three protocols were similar. While both deoxyhemoglobin and haemoglobin saturation (Hbsat%) were independently strongly related across protocols, strong inverse correlations were found throughout all protocols between HHb and PO. This shows a progressive muscle deoxygenation was related to reductions in performance. In conclusion, the study can suggest that RSA is a general quality across RS protocols, due to the high correlations in PO. That is, athletes who have high RSA will perform well across different protocols with various recovery rates. This finding helps coaches and athletes understand and recognise that a variety of tests can be used to assess RSA due to it being a general quality, but the protocols ought to be specific to the participants’ ii sports and must include a variety of recovery durations to mimic the real game requirements.
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