Moore, J. R., & Anderson, E. R. (2011). The effect of workload distribution during warm-up on time-trial performance. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 43(5). Supplement Abstract 3017.

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This study determined the effect of different warm-up intensities on a 400 kJ cycling time-trial. Competitive cyclists (N = 11) were initially tested for maximum oxygen uptake, peak power, power at the onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA), the OBLA work level, and a blood lactate level of 4.0 mmol/l). Based on these tests, three different warm-ups that varied the workload distribution were developed for each rider. The warm-ups were formulated so that the total amount of work an individual performed during each warm-up was constant. The warm-ups were 25 minutes in length and included a ramping-up of effort and a cool down portion. In the lowest intensity warm-up (steady intensity), riders rode at 55% of peak power for 11 minutes. For the moderate warm-up (at OBLA intensity), the cyclists did intervals of one, two, and three minutes at their OBLA work level. The highest intensity warm-up (peak power) consisted of five 30-second intervals at peak power. Warm-ups were performed in a random order. Following the warm-up, Ss rested for five minutes. Blood lactate was measured just prior to the start of an ensuing time-trial. The 400 kJ time-trial was performed on an electronically braked cycle ergometer set in the linear mode programmed to provide the OBLA work level at the cyclist's preferred cadence as measured during the initial OBLA test. Total time for the time-trial was measured, as well as time splits, heart rate, and blood lactate for each 100 kJ.

Immediately prior to the time-trial, blood lactate and heart rate were significantly elevated above baseline values with all conditions being similar. There was no difference in the overall time to complete the time-trial. Additionally, there were no differences between, or within, groups for any of the 100 kJ time-trial segments.

Implication. Warm-ups with equal work but different intensities produce similar elevations in blood lactate and heart rate prior to the start of an extensive cycling time-trial. Performances are similar when the work volumes of warm-up protocols are comparable.

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