Lopes, T. R., de Freitas, F. S., Gerreitra, T. N., Succi, J. E., Rabbani, S. R., Silva, A. C., & Silva, B. M. (2014). Effect of ischemic preconditioning on performance and physiological responses to multiple sets of repeated sprints. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 46(5), Supplement abstract number 963.

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This study investigated the effect of ischemic preconditioning (short cycles of ischemia and reperfusion) on performance and physiological responses in a repeated-sprint activity in team sport players (N = 6). Ss performed a repeated-sprint test after application of ischemic preconditioning or control (sham). The ischemic preconditioning and control were applied three times before the repeated-sprint activity test (48 hours, 24 hours, and 20 minutes). The ischemic preconditioning consisted of three cycles of blood flow occlusion (5 minutes at 220 mmHg) and reperfusion (5 minutes at 0 mmHg), alternately in each leg. The control consisted of three cycles of low pressure (5 minutes at 10 mmHg) and no pressure (5 minutes at 0 mmHg). The repeated-sprint activity test consisted of three sets of six 30-m sprints. Each sprint included a 180° change in direction at 15 m. Active recovery lasted 20 seconds between sprints and passive recovery lasted three minutes between series. The following variables were obtained: best time, total time, performance, oxygen consumption, heart rate recovery, capillary blood lactate concentration, and rating of perceived exertion.

Best time was similar between ischemic preconditioning and control. Performance decrement was lower with ischemic preconditioning. Oxygen consumption was similar between conditions. Rating of perceived exertion was lower with ischemic preconditioning.

Implication. Only a few variables were changed with ischemic preconditioning. [The authors painted a much more impressive picture of ischemic preconditioning effects by relating non-significant statistical analyses as “trends” which is invalid.]

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