Laurent, C. M., Green, J. M., Bishop, P. A., Sjokvist, J., Richardson, M. T., Schumacker, R. E., & Curtner-smith, M. (June 2. 2010). Effect of gender on fatigue and recovery following maximal intensity sprint performance. Presentation 1511 at the 2010 Annual Meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland; June 2-5.

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"Research indicates women recover faster and fatigue less than men during an exercise bout. However, studies employing ecologically valid environments such as intermittent-type exercise are sparse. If gender-specific fatigue patterns exist, current work-to-rest ratios and recovery recommendations may not be appropriate for women."

This study investigated the effects of gender on repeated, maximal-intensity sprint exercises following variable day-to-day recovery periods. Volunteers (M = 8; F = 8) performed four bouts of high-intensity intermittent sprint exercise consisting of three cycles of eight sprints (total of 24 sprints). Following completion of the baseline trial, Ss were assigned, in counter-balanced order, variable recovery periods of 24, 48, and 72 hours whereupon they repeated identical intermittent exercise protocols.

Men produced significantly faster times throughout all cycles and trials of repeated sprint exercise. Additionally, women exhibited significantly lower blood lactate concentrations and demonstrated significantly lower performance decrements, indicating increased resistance to fatigue within exercise sessions. There were no significant gender differences for heart rate or ratings of perceived exertion during or following trials. There were no significant differences for overall sprint performance within either gender among trials [accumulated fatigue was not evidenced in this experimental design].

Implication. While men produce higher absolute repeated performances, the drop-offs across those repetitions is greater than exhibited by women, thus suggesting women may recover faster and fatigue less. Gender performances were stable across all session despite various recovery durations.

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