The study aimed to assess whether exposure to ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in a trained population would affect land-based maximal sprinting performance over 30 m.
Twenty-five well-trained participants regularly involved in invasion-type team-sport events were recruited to take part in a randomized crossover study design. Participants underwent both an IPC and a placebo treatment involving 3 periods of 5-min occlusion applied unilaterally (3 × 5-min occlusion to each leg) at either 220 mmHg or 50 mmHg, respectively. Each period of occlusion was followed by 5 min of reperfusion. After treatment, 3 maximal sprints over a distance of 30 m were undertaken from a standing start interspersed with 1-min recovery. Split times were recorded at 10, 20, and 30 m.
No significant effects of the IPC treatment were observed on sprint speed (P < .05) at any of the split timings; however, a small and negative effect was observed in female participants. Calculated effect sizes of the treatment were found to be trivial (<0.2).
Results from the current study suggest there to be no benefit to team-sport players in using IPC as a means of enhancing sprint performance over a distance of 30 m. While IPC has been shown to be beneficial to sprint activities in other sports such as swimming, further research is required to elucidate whether this is the case over distances associated with land-based events in track and field or in events reliant on repeated-sprint ability.
Gibson is with the Centre for Sport and Exercise, and White, the School of Life Sciences, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland. Neish is with the School of Life Sciences, Edinburgh University, Edinburgh, Scotland. Murray is with Sportscotland Institute of Sport, Stirling, Scotland.