PRECOOLING DOES NOT ENHANCE ROWING PERFORMANCE IN THE HEAT

Castle, P. C., Fitch, N., Taylor, L., Webborn, A., & Mauger, A. R. (2012). Precooling does not improve 2000m rowing performance of females in hot, humid conditions. Presentation 1952 at the 59th Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, San Francisco, California; May 29-June 2, 2012.

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This study investigated the effects of precooling on self-paced 2000 m rowing performance of females in hot, humid conditions. Physically active females (N = 8) performed three 2000 m ergometer rows in a randomized order in temperate (20C, 40% RH) and hot conditions (35C, 60% RH). The temperate condition acted as a control condition and was preceded by 20 minutes of passive rest. One hot-condition row was preceded by 20 minutes of passive rest and the other was preceded by 20 minutes of precooling via a lower body cold water shower. The measure of performance was time to complete the row. Rectal and skin temperatures and power output were recorded every 100 m of the row.

No differences were observed between conditions for performance time. Although power output was 7% higher in the precooling compared to hot condition, no statistical differences were revealed. Temperature features were lower for the first half of the performance in the precooling condition.

Implication. Despite a 7% increase in power output, precooling did not enhance 2000 m rowing performance.

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