Purpose: The 2000-m rowing-ergometer test is the most common measure of rowing performance. Because athletes use different intervention strategies for enhancing performance, investigating the effect of preconditioning strategies on the 2000-m test is of great relevance. This study evaluated the effects of different preconditioning strategies on 2000-m rowing-ergometer performance in trained rowers. Methods: A search of electronic databases (PubMed, Google Scholar, and Web of Science) identified 27 effects of different preconditioning strategies from 17 studies. Outcomes were calculated as percentage differences between control and experimental interventions, and data were presented as mean ± 90% confidence interval. Performance data were converted to the same metrics, that is, mean power. Meta-regression analyses were conducted to assess whether performance level or caffeine dose could affect the percentage change. Results: The overall beneficial effect on 2000-m mean power was 2.1% (90% confidence limit [CL] ±0.6%). Training status affected the percentage change with interventions, with a −1.1% (90% CL ±1.2%) possible small decrease for 1.0-W·kg−1 increment in performance baseline. Caffeine consumption most likely improves performance, with superior effect in higher doses (≥6 mg·kg−1). Sodium bicarbonate and beta-alanine consumption resulted in likely (2.6% [90% CL ±1.5%]) and very likely (1.4% [90% CL ±1.2%]) performance improvements, respectively. However, some preconditioning strategies such as heat acclimation, rehydration, and creatine resulted in small to moderate enhancements in 2000-m performance. Conclusions: Supplementation of caffeine and beta-alanine is a popular and effective strategy to improve 2000-m ergometer performance in trained rowers. Additional research is warranted to confirm the benefit of other strategies to 2000-m rowing-ergometer performance.
Tiago Turnes, Rogério S.O. Cruz, Fabrizio Caputo and Rafael A. De Aguiar
Amadeo F. Salvador, Rafael A. De Aguiar, Felipe D. Lisbôa, Kayo L. Pereira, Rogério S. de O. Cruz and Fabrizio Caputo
Although the amount of evidence demonstrating the beneficial effects of ischemic preconditioning (IPC) on exercise performance is increasing, conclusions about its efficacy cannot yet be drawn. Therefore, the purposes of this review were to determine the effect of IPC on exercise performance and identify the effects of different IPC procedures, exercise types, and subject characteristics on exercise performance. The analysis comprised 19 relevant studies from 2000 to 2015, 15 of which were included in the meta-analyses. Effect sizes (ES) were calculated as the standardized mean difference. Overall, IPC had a small beneficial effect on exercise performance (ES = 0.43; 90% confidence interval [CI], 0.28 to 0.51). The largest ES were found for aerobic (ES = 0.51; 90% CI, 0.35 to 0.67) and anaerobic (ES = 0.23; 90% CI, -0.12 to 0.58) exercise. In contrast, an unclear effect was observed in power and sprint performance (ES = 0.16; 90% CI, –0.20 to 0.52). In conclusion, IPC can effectively enhance aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance.