The effect of 1 week of repeated ischaemic leg preconditioning on simulated Keirin cycling performance: a randomised trial
Background Coaches continually seek new ways of doing things and also refine existing techniques to improve sporting performance. Coaches are currently experimenting using ischaemic preconditioning (IPC) over consecutive days in the hope of improving competitive performances.
Aims First, to quantify the physiological impact of 1 week of IPC on simulated Keirin cycling performance. Second, to investigate if biochemical stress markers are affected over the treatment period.
Methods Using a randomised, sham-controlled design, 18 active adults undertook seven consecutive days of IPC treatment (45 min occlusion/reperfusion) applied to each leg at either 220 mm Hg (treatment, n=9) or 20 mm Hg (sham, n=9). Urinary measures of inflammation, oxidative stress and indirect nitric oxide synthesis were undertaken daily. A simulated Keirin cycling competition (430 s Wingate tests) was performed on day 10, with baseline and postintervention cycling VO2max (days 1, 11 and 18) and 30 s Wingate tests (day 2) undertaken for comparison.
Results The treatment group had enhanced mean cycling power (3.4%), while neopterin and biopterin in conjunction with total neopterin were significantly lower (p<0.05) and total biopterin significantly greater (p<0.05) during the simulated Keirin. Aerobic fitness measures significantly improved from baseline to postintervention (VO2peak: 12.8% ", maximal aerobic power: 18.5% ").
Conclusions Seven consecutive days of IPC improved aerobic and anaerobic capacity measures, with modulations in oxidative stress, immune system activation and nitric oxide/catecholamine synthesis.