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  • Author: Rafa González de Txabarri x
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Iñigo Mujika, Rafa González De Txabarri and David Pyne

Energicer is a new solution which purportedly increases evaporative cooling during exercise in the heat.

Purpose:

To evaluate the effect of Energicer on performance during indoor rowing in a warm environment.

Methods:

Eighteen highly trained rowers (age 23.3 ± 6.7 y, height 181.3 ± 6.0 cm, mass 76.7 ± 5.0 kg, peak aerobic power (PAP) 322.1 ± 24.3 W; mean ± SD) performed two indoor rowing trials at 25.0°C and 65.0% relative humidity. Each trial consisted of 10 min at 55% PAP, 5 min of rest, 10 min at 70% PAP, 10 min of rest, and 2000 m time trial. Subjects were randomly assigned to an experimental (COOL) or a placebo (PLA) condition, using a double-blind, crossover design. During COOL, subjects wore sweatbands soaked in Energicer on both forearms; during PLA, they wore identical sweatbands soaked in cool water. Physiological measures and rowing performance were analyzed in a post-test-only crossover design. Magnitude of the difference between treatments was interpreted using the Cohen’s effect statistic.

Results:

No substantial differences were observed in heart rate, blood lactate and RPE between treatments during the submaximal row (COOL 163 ± 10 bpm, 4.3 ± 1.0 mM, 14.5 ± 1.8; PLA 165 ± 11 bpm, 4.8 ± 1.4 mM, 14.6 ± 1.6) and the time trial (COOL 179 ± 9 bpm, 10.7 ± 2.3 mM, 20 ± 0; PLA 179 ± 10 bpm, 11.1 ± 2.2 mM, 20 ± 0). Time (419 ± 11 vs 420 ± 12 s), mean power (305 ± 24 vs 304 ± 26 W), sweat loss (1013 ± 186 vs 981 ± 161 mL) and pacing strategy during the time trial were similar in COOL and PLA. The magnitude of differences between treatments was trivial for all measured variables.

Conclusion:

Energicer failed to provide a substantial benefit during indoor rowing in a warm environment. Whether Energicer is beneficial during more prolonged exercise and/or under more stressful environmental conditions remains to be elucidated.

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Iñigo Mujika, Rafa González de Txabarri, Sara Maldonado-Martín and David B. Pyne

The warm-up procedure in traditional rowing usually involves continuous low-intensity rowing and short bouts of intense exercise, lasting about 60 min.

Purpose:

To compare the effects of a traditional and an experimental 30-min warm-up of lower intensity on indoor rowing time-trial performance.

Methods:

Fourteen highly trained male rowers (age 25.9 ± 5.3 y, height 1.86 ± 0.06 m, mass 80.4 ± 5.2 kg, peak aerobic power 352.0 ± 24.4 W; mean ± SD) performed 2 indoor rowing trials 12 d apart. Rowers were randomly assigned to either LONG or SHORT warm-ups using a crossover design, each followed by a 10-min all-out fixed-seat rowing-ergometer time trial.

Results:

Mean power output during the time trial was substantially higher after SHORT (322 ± 18 vs 316 ± 17 W), with rowers generating substantially more power in the initial 7.5 min of the time trial after SHORT. LONG elicited substantially higher mean warm-up heart rate than SHORT (134 ± 11 vs 121 ± 13 beats/min), higher pre–time-trial rating of perceived exertion (10.2 ± 1.4 vs 7.6 ± 1.7) and blood lactate (1.7 ± 0.4 mM vs 1.2 ± 0.2 mM), but similar heart rate (100 ± 14 vs 102 ± 9 beats/min). No substantial differences were observed between LONG and SHORT in stroke rate (39.4 ± 2.0 vs 39.4 ± 2.2 strokes/min) or mean heart rate (171 ± 6 vs 171 ± 8 beats/min) during the time trial, nor in blood lactate after it (11.8 ± 2.5 vs 12.1 ± 2.0 mM).

Conclusion:

A warm-up characterized by lower intensity and shorter duration should elicit less physiological strain and promote substantially higher power production in the initial stages of a rowing time trial.