Navalta, J. W., Young, J. C., & Tandy, R. D. (1999). VO2 transitional response to a crossover from priming exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 407.

Some warm-up activities are supposed to "prime" VO2 responses so that aerobic metabolism will start as early as possible in aerobic activities. However, research in this matter is equivocal.

This investigation assessed the effects of cycling activities and a stepping activity on the responsiveness of VO2 characteristics in cycling. Three conditions were evaluated: i) cycling from rest to a target workload, ii) 5-min of cycling from rest to a light priming workload and then to the target workload, and iii) 5-min of stepping as a priming workload followed by a crossover to the target cycling workload.

Some results were surprising. VO2 transitions from rest to a target workload were faster than transitions from a warmed state regardless of the mode of priming exercise. A crossover in exercise mode in warm-up to target exercise delayed VO2 kinematics.

General principles of the facilitatory effects of aerobic specific warm-up do not seem to apply to the aerobic system in cycling. Quicker aerobic responsiveness might occur in cycling by warming-up with an absence of aerobic work before aerobic tasks.

Implication. Cyclists should warm-up for endurance races but involve no aerobic work in the preparations content.

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