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Effects of High-Intensity Exercise Repetition Number During Warm-up on Physiological Responses, Perceptions, Readiness, and Performance

Naoto Fujii, Kouta Fujisawa, Kohei Dobashi, Yinhang Cao, Ryoko Matsutake, Yin-Feng Lai, and Takeshi Nishiyasu

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Purpose: We investigated whether varying the number of repetitions of high-intensity exercise during work- matched warm-ups modulates physiological responses (heart rate, metabolic responses, and core tempera-ture), perceptions (ratings of perceived exertion, effort of breathing), readiness for exercise, and short-term exercise performance.

Methods: Ten physically active young males performed a 30-s Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) following a warm-up consisting of submaximal constant-workload cycling at 60% maximal oxygen uptake with no high-intensity cycling (constant-workload warm-up) or with 1, 4, or 7 repetitions of 10 s of high-intensity cycling at 110% maximal oxygen uptake. All warm-ups were matched for duration (10 min) and total work.

Results: Warm-ups with seven repetitions of high-intensity cycling resulted in higher ratings of perceived whole-body exertion and effort of breathing than the constant-workload warm-up. Warm-up with four repetitions of high-intensity cycling produced greater readiness for a 30-s WAnT (7.33 ± 0.73 AU) than the constant-workload warm-up (6.33 ± 0.98 AU) (P = .022). Physiological responses did not differ among the four warm-up conditions, though peak heart rate was slightly higher (~5 beats/min) during warm-up with four or seven repetitions of high-intensity cycling than during the constant-workload warm- up. Peak, mean, and minimum power output during the 30-s WAnT did not differ among the four warm-up conditions.

Conclusions: These results suggest that the effects of warm-ups with intermittent high-intensity exercise on physiological responses and short-term high-intensity exercise performance do not greatly differ from a warm-up with a work-matched submaximal constant-workload. However, they appear to modulate perceptions and readiness as a function of the number of repetitions of the high-intensity exercise.

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