Limiting the Rise in Core Temperature During a Rugby Sevens Warm-Up With an Ice Vest

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Purpose: To determine how a cooling vest worn during a warm-up could influence selected performance (countermovement jump [CMJ]), physical (global positioning system [GPS] metrics), and psychophysiological (body temperature and perceptual) variables. Methods: In a randomized, crossover design, 12 elite male World Rugby Sevens Series athletes completed an outdoor (wet bulb globe temperature 23–27°C) match-specific externally valid 30-min warm-up wearing a phase-change cooling vest (VEST) and without (CONTROL), on separate occasions 7 d apart. CMJ was assessed before and after the warm-up, with GPS indices and heart rate monitored during the warm-ups, while core temperature (Tc; ingestible telemetric pill; n = 6) was recorded throughout the experimental period. Measures of thermal sensation (TS) and thermal comfort (TC) was obtained pre-warm-up and post-warm-up, with rating of perceived exertion (RPE) taken post-warm-ups. Results: Athletes in VEST had a lower ΔTc (mean [SD]: VEST = 1.3°C [0.1°C]; CONTROL = 2.0°C [0.2°C]) from pre-warm-up to post-warm-up (effect size; ±90% confidence limit: −1.54; ±0.62) and Tc peak (mean [SD]: VEST = 37.8°C [0.3°C]; CONTROL = 38.5°C [0.3°C]) at the end of the warm-up (−1.59; ±0.64) compared with CONTROL. Athletes in VEST demonstrated a decrease in ΔTS (−1.59; ±0.72) and ΔTC (−1.63; ±0.73) pre-warm-up to post-warm-up, with a lower RPE post-warm-up (−1.01; ±0.46) than CONTROL. Changes in CMJ and GPS indices were trivial between conditions (effect size < 0.2). Conclusions: Wearing the vest prior to and during a warm-up can elicit favorable alterations in physiological (Tc) and perceptual (TS, TC, and RPE) warm-up responses, without compromising the utilized warm-up characteristics or physical-performance measures.

Taylor is with Athlete Health and Performance Research Center, Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Aspetar, Doha, Qatar, and the School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Loughborough University, Loughborough, United Kingdom. Stevens is with the School of Health and Human Sciences and the Centre for Athlete Development, Experience & Performance, Southern Cross University, Coffs Harbour, NSW, Australia. Thornton is with La Trobe Sport and Exercise Medicine Research Centre, La Trobe University, Melbourne, VIC, Australia. Poulos is with Australian Rugby Union, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Chrismas is with the Sport Science Program, College of Arts and Science, Qatar University, Doha, Qatar.

Taylor (Lee.Taylor@aspetar.com) is corresponding author.
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