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ATS BULLETIN - 16/02/2015

 

Category: Repeat Sprint Performance at Varied Altitudes

Application: High Intensity Training / Competing at Altitude

 

Effect of Different Simulated Altitudes on Repeat-Sprint Performance in Team-Sport Athletes 

 

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ATS BULLETIN 2015-02-16

 

Category             - Repeat Sprint Performance at Varied Altitudes

Application         - High Intensity Training / Competing at Altitude

 

Research Overview

Title

Effect of Different Simulated Altitudes on Repeat-Sprint Performance in Team-Sport Athletes

Publish Date

September 2014

Authors

Paul Goods, Brian Dawson, Grant Landers, Chris Gore & Peter Peeling

Institution

School of Sport Science, Exercise & Health, University of W.A.

Number / Type of Participants

10 trained male AFL players; 20.5 ± 1.9yrs

Altitude Level

Trials at: sea-level; 2,000m; 3,000m + 4,000m

 

Executive Summary

Repeated sprint trials were completed by trained Australian Rules football players at 4 different levels of inspired oxygen. Results showed that increases in simulated altitude (lower inspired oxygen levels) led to reduced power output and total work completed. Notably:

  • At a simulated altitude of 4,000m repeat sprint ability was deliriously affected compared with lower altitude levels

  • High quality power outputs were maintained at 2,000m and 3,000m; indicating lower altitudes may delay the reduction in training quality (power output) observed at 4,000m

Overview of research testing

 

10 trained male AFL players were tested for repeat sprint performance at 4 different simulated altitudes / inspired O2 percentages: sea level (20.9%), 2,000m (16.4%), 3,000m (14.5%), and 4,000m (12.7%).

The study design was single-blinded, randomized, repeated measures; with one trial competed on a set day and time each week, for 4 successive weeks. Procedures replicated for each trial were:

  • A standardised warm-up: 5 min jog and 3 x 4sec sprints

  • 3 sets of 9 x 4sec sprints; separated by self-paced jogging for 16, 26 and 36 sec (during sets 1, 2 & 3 respectively)

  • 3 min passive recovery between each set

 

Key Findings

 

Results of repeat sprint trials across the 4 different altitudes showed that:

  • At 4,000m simulated altitude was associated with performance decrements across all 3 sets, compared with sea level and 2,000m.

  • In the 2nd and 3rd sets every increase in simulated altitude resulted in lower peak power outputs for these sets; as simulated altitude increased power output decreased.

  • Blood lactate and blood O2 saturation were significantly higher and lower respectively at 4,000m compared to all other simulated altitudes. This suggests that metabolic fatigue contributed to the reduced power outputs at 4,000m to a greater extent than during all other trials (sea-level, 2,000 and 3,000m).

 

Testing Protocol

 

Stage

Exercise

Total Time

Interval Time

Speed

SaO2

Treadmill Running Protocol

 

 

 

 

Warm-Up

5-min jog on treadmill

5.00

5.00

Jog

NR

 

3 x 4sec sprints on 40 sec; separated by self-paced jogging

7.00

2.00

Jog / Max

 

Recovery

3-min passive recovery

10.00

3.00

NA

 

Set 1

9 x 4sec sprints; 16 sec self-paced jog start

13.00

3.00

Jog /

Max

 

Recovery

3-min passive recovery

16.00

3.00

NA

 

Set 2

9 x 4sec sprints; 26 sec self-paced jog start

20.50

4.50

Jog /

Max

 

Recovery

3-min passive recovery

23.50

3.00

NA

 

Set 3

9 x 4sec sprints; 36 sec self-paced jog start

29.50

6.00

Jog /

Max

 

*for sets 1,2 & 3 each of the 9 x 4 sec sprints was preceded by the self-paced jog for times outlined

** no specific cool-down was noted