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Sprint after 2-min whole-body cryotherapy at -110° C

Sprint after 2-min whole-body cryotherapy at -110° C

Authors: R. FRICKE, K. HOFFMEISTER, TH. NOBBE, G. KNAUER

The realization that more red than white muscle fibers are activated during work under cool conditions (fast twitch = FT) strongly suggest further studies in which the influence of whole- body cold exposure on red muscle fibers is tested. In an initial study carried out during a sprint test after WBCE, Esslinger has measured an increase in sprint performance (using a stop watch).

To verify this observation we determined the sprint performance before and after 2-min cold chamber exposure at –110°C using an electronic measurement barrier. In two test groups, the sprint performance after 5m, 10m and 15m was measured. On the 1. day, the medical student group performed two sprint test to familiarize with the study conditions. On the following day, cold chamber exposure at –110°C was carried out. 5 minutes later, the sprint performance was tested again. The results were analyzed separately for men and women. An additional group of physiotherapeutic students (several female and 1 male) performed 3 sprints on the first day. On the 2. day, WBCE was carried out after 3 test runs. 5 min later, 2 additional test runs were measured with a 5-minute interval between tests, and the mean values were calculated.

The results of the sprint tests of untrained men and women showed an increase in sprint performance for both groups, though with different values.

While for the medical student group an increase in performance was measured only after 10m and 15m, the female physiotherapy students increased their sprint performance at all three measurement points. When dividing the medical students in men and women, a performance increase in all three parameters was observed in the men, in the women only for the 15m distance.

The differences between the two groups may probably be explained with a different training condition. It may be assumed that physiotherapy students are physically better trained than medical students.

The differences between men and women are caused by the fact that men have a relatively larger mass of red muscle fibers than women.

The study results suggest an improvement of sprint performance after 2-min whole-body cold exposure at –110°C.

To further verify the study results, an improved standardization of study conditions with respect to technical prerequisites and training condition is planned.

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