Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2017) 16, 264 - 271

Research article
The Effect of Upper Body Anaerobic Pre-Loading on 2000-m Ergometer-Rowing Performance in College Level Male Rowers
Priit Purge1, , Peter Hofmann2, Rait Merisaar1, Alexander Mueller2, Gerhard Tschakert2, Jarek Mäestu1, Jaak Jürimäe1
Author Information
1 Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia
2 Institute of Sports Science, Exercise Physiology, Training & Training Therapy Research Group, University of Graz; Graz, Austria

Priit Purge
✉ Institute of Sport Sciences and Physiotherapy University of Tartu, Ülikooli 18 Tartu 50090 Estonia
Publish Date
Received: 07-02-2017
Accepted: 21-04-2017
Published (online): 01-06-2017
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Elevated blood lactate has been shown to influence subsequent anaerobic exercise due to an inhibition of glycolysis. The aim of the present study was therefore to investigate the influence of a short and high-intensity anaerobic arm crank pre-load exercise (HIE) added to a low-intensity warm-up on cardio-respiratory and metabolic responses on a subsequent all out rowing exercise. Nine well-trained college level male rowers (24.6 ± 7.1 yrs; 1.87 ± 0.07 m; 88.9 ± 9.8 kg; 18.5 ± 3.7% body fat) volunteered to participate in the study. The subjects performed a maximal 2000-m rowing ergometer performance tests (MPT) twice. One MPT was preceded by a normal low intensity warm-up (MPTlow), while another one was performed with the additional inclusion of the HIE protocol (MPThigh). Overall rowing performance in the MPTlow was significantly faster (p = 0.004) by 3.7 ± 2.8 sec compared to the MPThigh condition (401.7 ± 23.0 s v. 405.4 ± 23.3 s) but the reduction in speed was found only for the first 1000-m (p = 0.017). Net La increase from rest to the end of the MPTlow was 11.9 ± 2.3 mmol·l-1 which was significantly higher (p = 0.0001) compared to the MPThigh condition (6.3 ± 1.8 mmol·l-1). Carbon dioxide output was significantly lower in the second (p = 0.041), third (p = 0.009), fourth (p = 0.036) and fifth (p = 0.028) 250-m split in the MPThigh compared to the MPTlow test. In conclusion, HIE upper-body anaerobic pre-load added to a standard low intensity warm-up protocol decreased anaerobic performance only in the early stages of the MPThigh but the latter part was unaffected. The inhibition of glycolysis in the first minute of the workout might allow a different race strategy, which needs to be investigated in further studies.

Key words: Rowing, net-lactate increase, warm-up exercise

           Key Points
  • As blood lactate production can be inhibited to some extent, oxidative metabolism is favored which might be beneficial in some specific training sessions aiming to improve aerobic power.
  • Despite a reduced performance in the 2000-m all out rowing in MPT the results offer some interesting information for physiology and training in top-level rowers.
  • Applying this concept might allow a different pacing of competitions. Additional investigations are needed to elucidate possible beneficial effects.
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