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  • Author: Fred J. DiMenna x
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Stephen J. Bailey, Anni Vanhatalo, Matthew I. Black, Fred J. DiMenna and Andrew M. Jones


To assess whether combining prior “priming” exercise with an all-out pacing strategy is more effective at improving oxygen-uptake (V̇O2) kinetics and cycling performance than either intervention administered independently.


Nine men completed target-work cycling performance trials using a self-paced or all-out pacing strategy with or without prior severe-intensity (70%Δ) priming exercise. Breath-by-breath pulmonary V̇O2 and cycling power output were measured during all trials.


Compared with the self-paced unprimed control trial (22 ± 5 s), the V̇O2 mean response time (MRT) was shorter (V̇O2 kinetics were faster) with all-out pacing (17 ± 4 s) and priming (17 ± 3 s), with the lowest V̇O2 MRT observed when all-out pacing and priming were combined (15 ± 4 s) (P < .05). However, total O2 consumed and end-exercise V̇O2 were only higher than the control condition in the primed trials (P < .05). Similarly, cycling performance was improved compared with control (98 ± 11 s) in the self-paced primed (93 ± 8 s) and all-out primed (92 ± 8 s) trials (P < .05) but not the all-out unprimed trial (97 ± 5 s; P > .05).


These findings suggest that combining an all-out start with severe-intensity priming exercise additively improves V̇O2 MRT but not total O2 consumption and cycling performance since these were improved by a similar magnitude in both primed trials relative to the self-paced unprimed control condition. Therefore, these results support the use of priming exercise as a precompetition intervention to improve oxidative metabolism and performance during short-duration high-intensity cycling exercise, independent of the pacing strategy adopted.

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Kirsty Brock, Prokopios Antonellis, Matthew I. Black, Fred J. DiMenna, Anni Vanhatalo, Andrew M. Jones and Stephen J. Bailey

Purpose: To investigate whether oxygen-uptake (V˙O2) kinetics and simulated 4-km cycling performance are synergistically improved by prior “priming” exercise and an all-out starting strategy. Methods: Nine men completed 4 target work trials (114 ± 17 kJ) to assess V˙O2 kinetics and cycling performance in a repeated-measures, crossover experimental design. Trials were initiated with either a 12-s all-out start or a self-selected start and preceded by prior severe-intensity (70%Δ) priming exercise or no priming exercise. Results: The V˙O2 mean response time (MRT) was lower (indicative of faster V˙O2 kinetics) in the all-out primed condition (20 ± 6 s) than in the all-out unprimed (23 ± 6 s), self-paced-unprimed (42 ± 13 s), and self-paced-primed (42 ± 11 s) trials (P < .05), with the V˙O2 MRT also lower in the all-out unprimed than the self-paced unprimed and self-paced primed trials (P < .05). Trial-completion time was shorter (performance was enhanced) in the all-out primed trial (402 ± 14 s) than in the all-out unprimed (408 ± 14 s), self-paced unprimed (411 ± 16 s), and self-paced primed (411 ± 19 s) trials (P < .05), with no differences between the latter 3 trials. Conclusions: The findings from this study suggest that combining severe-intensity priming exercise with a short-duration all-out starting strategy can expedite the adjustment of V˙O2 and lower completion time during a cycling performance trial to a greater extent than either intervention administered independently. These results might have implications for optimizing performance in short-duration high-intensity competitive events such as a 4-km cycling time trial.