Performance, Metabolic, and Neuromuscular Consequences of Repeated Wingates in Hypoxia and Normoxia: A Pilot Study

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Background: Compared with normoxia, repeated short (5–10 s) sprints (>10 efforts) with incomplete recovery (≤30 s) in hypoxia likely cause substantial performance reduction accompanied by larger metabolic disturbances and magnitude of neuromuscular fatigue. However, the effects of hypoxia on performance of repeated long (30 s) “all-out” efforts with near complete recovery (4.5 min) and resulting metabolic and neuromuscular adjustments remain unclear. Purpose: The intention was to compare acute performance, metabolic, and neuromuscular responses across repeated Wingates between hypoxia and normoxia. Methods: On separate visits, 6 male participants performed 4 × 30-second Wingate efforts with 4.5-minute recovery in either hypoxia (fraction of inspired oxygen: 0.145) or normoxia. Responses to exercise (muscle and arterial oxygenation trends, heart rate, and blood lactate concentration) and the integrity of neuromuscular function in the knee extensors were assessed for each exercise bout. Results: Mean (P = .80) and peak (P = .92) power outputs, muscle oxygenation (P = .88), blood lactate concentration (P = .72), and perceptual responses (all Ps > .05) were not different between conditions. Arterial oxygen saturation was significantly lower, and heart rate higher, in hypoxia versus normoxia (P < .001). Maximal voluntary contraction force and peripheral fatigue indices (peak twitch force and doublets at low and high frequencies) decreased across efforts (all Ps < .001) irrespective of conditions (all Ps > .05). Conclusion: Despite heightened arterial hypoxemia and cardiovascular solicitation, hypoxic exposure during 4 repeated 30-second Wingate efforts had no effect on performance and accompanying metabolic and neuromuscular adjustments.

Takei and Hatta are with the Dept of Sports Sciences, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan. Takei and Soo are with the Murdoch Applied Sports Science Laboratory, Murdoch University, Perth, WA, Australia. Girard is with the School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sports Science), University of Western Australia, Perth, WA, Australia.

Takei (waseda.takei@gmail.com) is corresponding author.
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