François Billaut

François Billaut
Laval University | ULAVAL · Department of Kinesiology

Ph.D. Exercise Physiology
Passionate about our body's plasticity!

About

150
Publications
58,883
Reads
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2,576
Citations
Citations since 2016
79 Research Items
1764 Citations
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Introduction
My research group is mainly interested in understanding and optimizing the effects of exercise, training and the environment on physiological responses and physical work capacity for performance and health outcomes. We specifically focus on high-intensity exercise and hypoxia. Our study participants include untrained people up to elite athletes from Canadian national teams.
Additional affiliations
June 2014 - present
Université Laval
Position
  • Professor
August 2012 - June 2014
L'Institut national du sport du Québec (INS Québec)
Position
  • Sport Science Supervisor
January 2010 - July 2012
Victoria University Melbourne Australia
Position
  • Lecturer

Publications

Publications (150)
Article
Purpose: Endurance athletes often compete and train at altitude where exercise capacity is reduced. Investigating acclimation strategies is therefore critical. Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) can improve endurance performance at sea level through improved O2 delivery and utilization, which could also prove beneficial at altitude. However, data are...
Article
Full-text available
Team-sport athletes and coaches use varied strategies to enhance repeated-sprint ability (RSA). Aside from physical training, a well-conducted warm-up enhances RSA via increased oxidative metabolism. Strategies that impede blood flow could potentiate the effects of a warm-up due to their effects on the endothelial and metabolic functions. This stud...
Article
Acute exposure to altitude negatively impacts exercise tolerance and reduces athletes’ race performance due to lower atmospheric and body tissues oxygen partial pressures. Chronic exposure to altitude has also been used for several decades by athletes to increase training adaptations. However, the decline in arterial oxygen saturation also impacts...
Article
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High performance sport is continuing to push the barriers of elite athletes’ physiological and biomechanical adaptation in an effort to gain an edge in highly competitive sporting environments, where the winning margins can be extremely thin. Methods for individualizing and optimizing the load-adaptation relationship to different training intervent...
Article
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Background: The application of ischemic preconditioning (IPC) to resistance exercise has attracted some attention, owing to increases in muscle performance. However, there is still no consensus on the optimal occlusion pressure for this procedure. This study compared the acute effects of IPC with high and low pressure of occlusion on upper and low...
Article
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High-intensity interval training, the so-called HIT, was popularized among athletes in the 1980′s and has been shown to be one of the most effective training modalities for improving athletic performance in various sports [...]
Article
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Background: Aging decreases some capacities in older adults, sarcopenia being one of the common processes that occur and that interfered with strength capacity. The present study aimed to verify the acute effect of IPC on isometric handgrip strength and functional capacity in active elderly women. Methods: In a single-blind, placebo-controlled d...
Article
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The extended endocannabinoid system, also termed endocannabinoidome, participates in multiple metabolic functions in health and disease. Physical activity can both have an acute and chronic impact on endocannabinoid mediators, as does diet. In this crossover randomized controlled study, we investigated the influence of diet on the peripheral respon...
Conference Paper
Blood-flow restriction (BFR) training has gained popularity amongst athletes and sport practitioners to enhance training adaptations and performance. However, BFR has typically been associated with low-intensity exercise, and there is still limited evidence of its impact when combined with high-intensity training. This study investigated the impact...
Article
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This study investigated the impact of hyperoxic gas breathing (HYP) on repeated-sprint ability (RSA) and on the associated training load (TL). Thirteen team- and racquet-sport athletes performed 6-s all-out sprints with 24-s recovery until exhaustion (power decrement ≥ 15% for two consecutive sprints) under normoxic (NOR: FIO2 0.21) and hyperoxic (...
Preprint
Full-text available
This study investigated the impact of hyperoxic gas breathing (HYP) on repeated-sprint ability (RSA) and on the associated training load (TL). Thirteen team- and racquet-sport athletes performed 6-s all-out sprints with 24-s recovery until exhaustion (power decrement ≥ 15% for two consecutive sprints) under normoxic (NOR: F I O 2 0.21) and hyperoxi...
Article
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Purpose: The goal of this study was to assess the effects of repeated running bouts with end-expiratory breath holding (EEBH) up to the breaking point on muscle oxygenation. Methods: Eight male runners participated in three randomized sessions each including two exercises on a motorized treadmill. The first exercise consisted in performing 10-12 ru...
Article
The present study aims to investigate the acute performance and physiological responses, with specific reference to muscle oxygenation, to ambient air temperature manipulation during repeated-sprint training in hypoxia (RSH). Thirteen male team-sport players completed one familiarisation and three experimental sessions at a simulated altitude of ∼3...
Article
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The physiopathology consequences of hypoxia during breath-hold diving are a matter of debate. Adenosine (AD), an ATP derivative, is suspected to be implicated in the adaptive cardiovascular response to apnea, because of its vasodilating and bradycardic properties, two clinical manifestations observed during voluntary apnea. The aim of this study wa...
Article
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PurposeTo assess the performance change and physiological adaptations following nine sessions of short high-intensity interval training (HIIT) or sprint-interval training (SIT) in sprint kayakers.Methods Twelve trained kayakers performed an incremental test and 3 time trials (200 m, 500 m and 1000 m) on a kayak ergometer. Oxygen consumption (V̇O2)...
Article
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This preliminary study examined the effect of chronic ischemic preconditioning (IPC) on neuromuscular responses to high-intensity exercise. In a parallel-group design, twelve endurance-trained males (VO2max 60.0 ± 9.1 mL·kg−1·min−1) performed a 30-s Wingate test before, during, and after 4 weeks of sprint-interval training. Training consisted of bi...
Article
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PurposeTo investigate within the one study potential molecular and cellular changes associated with mitochondrial biogenesis following 15 days of exposure to moderate hypoxia.Methods Eight males underwent a muscle biopsy before and after 15 days of hypoxia exposure (FiO2 = 0.140–0.154; ~ 2500–3200 m) in a hypoxic hotel. Mitochondrial respiration, c...
Article
There is a gap in water-based agility testing that considers both the change-of-direction (COD) and perceptive-reactive components of agility. This study sought to develop easily implementable, sport-specific in-water agility tests for water polo and to verify the reliability and validity of these new tests: the in-water Stop and Go (SG) and Jump a...
Preprint
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This pilot study examined the effect of inspiratory muscle training (IMT) on repeated-sprint ability and vastus lateralis reoxygenation. Ten recreationally trained subjects were randomly divided into two groups to complete 4 weeks of IMT or Sham (placebo) training. Pre- and post-intervention, a repeated-sprint ability (RSA) test was performed in bo...
Article
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This study investigated the efficacy of ischemic preconditioning (IPC) on the recovery of maximal aerobic performance and physiological responses compared with commonly used techniques. Nine endurance athletes performed two 5-km cycling time trials (TT) interspersed by 45 minutes of recovery that included either IPC, active recovery (AR) or neuromu...
Article
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Background: Nutritional ergogenic aids are commonly used to boost physiological adaptations to exercise and promote greater fitness gains. However, there is a paucity of data about multi-ingredient pre-workout supplementation (MIPS). Therefore, the aim of the present study was to investigate the acute effects of MIPS on the oxidative, glycolytic a...
Preprint
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Individuals with low orthostatic tolerance show greater decrease in posterior cerebral artery mean blood velocity (PCAv mean ). Since young fit women often experience presyncopal symptoms, their posterior cerebral circulation may be prone to greater decreases in PCAv mean , probably explained by an attenuated dynamic cerebral autoregulation (dCA)....
Article
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The cerebral blood flow response to high-intensity interval training (HIIT) remains unclear. HIIT induces surges in mean arterial pressure (MAP), which could be transmitted to the brain, especially early after exercise onset. The aim of this study was to describe regional cerebral blood velocity changes during and following 30 s of high-intensity e...
Article
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Purpose: Peripheral adaptations, as assessed via near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) derived changes in muscle oxygenation (SmO2), are good predictors of sprint kayak performance. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to assess changes in SmO2 and V ˙ O2 following a training camp in elite sprint kayakers to evaluate if the training prescri...
Article
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Optimizing traditional training methods to elicit greater adaptations is paramount for athletes. Ischemic preconditioning (IPC) can improve maximal exercise capacity and up-regulate signaling pathways involved in physiological training adaptations. However, data on the chronic use of IPC are scarce and its impact on high-intensity training is still...
Article
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This study investigated the impact of repeated-sprint (RS) training with voluntary hypoventilation at low lung volume (VHL) on RS ability (RSA) and on performance in a 30-15 intermittent fitness test (30-15IFT). Over 4 weeks, 17 basketball players included eight sessions of straight-line running RS and RS with changes of direction into their usual...
Article
Full-text available
PurposeWe investigated the consequence of varying hypoxia severity during an initial set of repeated cycling sprints on performance, neuromuscular fatigability, and exercise-related sensations during a subsequent set of repeated sprints in normoxia.Methods Nine active males performed ten 4-s sprints (recovery = 30 s) at sea level (SL; FiO2 ~ 0.21),...
Article
Breath-hold divers are known to develop cardiac autonomic changes and brady-arrthymias during prolonged breath-holding (BH). The effects of BH-induced hypoxemia were investigated upon both cardiac autonomic status and arrhythmogenesis by comparing breath-hold divers (BHDs) to non-divers (NDs). Eighteen participants (9 BHDs, 9 NDs) performed a maxim...
Chapter
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In healthy individuals at rest and while performing moderate-intensity exercise, systemic blood flow is distributed to tissues relative to their metabolic oxygen demands. During sustained high-intensity exercise, competition for oxygen delivery arises between locomotor and respiratory muscles, and the heightened metabolic work of breathing, therefo...
Article
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Context: Capsaicinoids and capsinoids (CAP) are natural substances found primarily in chili peppers and other spicy foods that agonize the transient receptor potential vanilloid-1 in the mouth, stomach, and small intestine. Several studies have shown CAP to be a potential antiobesity agent and to exhibit an analgesic effect in both rodents and hum...
Article
To investigate the effect of acute capsaicin (CAP) supplementation on time to exhaustion, physiological responses and energy systems contribution during continuous high-intensity exercise session in runners. Fifteen recreationally-trained runners completed two randomized, double-blind continuous high-intensity exercises at the speed eliciting 90% V...
Article
Purpose: To determine whether high-intensity training with voluntary hypoventilation at low lung volume (VHL) in cycling could improve running performance in team-sport athletes. Methods: Twenty well-fit subjects competing in different team sports completed, over a 3-week period, 6 high-intensity training sessions in cycling (repeated 8-s exerci...
Article
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A high work of breathing can compromise limb oxygen delivery during sustained high-intensity exercise. However, it is unclear if the same is true for intermittent sprint exercise. This project examined the effect of adding an inspiratory load on locomotor muscle tissue reoxy-genation during repeated-sprint exercise. Ten healthy males completed thre...
Article
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Recent data suggests that peripheral adaptations, i.e., the muscle ability to extract and use oxygen, may be a stronger predictor of canoe-kayak sprint performance compared to VO2max or central adaptations. If maximizing the time near VO2max during high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions is believed to optimize central adaptations, maximiz...
Article
This study determined if a single bout of repeated-sprint running under hypoxic (RSH) conditions was associated with impaired cognitive function when compared with repeated-sprint running under normoxic (RSN) conditions. Eleven amateur team-sport athletes performed a repeated-sprint running protocol (4 sets of 4, 4-s all-out sprints; i.e., RSR444)...
Article
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Purpose: The ergogenic effect of ischemic preconditioning (IPC) on endurance exercise performed in hypoxia remains debated and has never been investigated with successive exercise bouts. Therefore, we evaluated if IPC would provide immediate or delayed effects during two 5 km cycling time-trials (TTs) separated by ~1 h in hypoxia. Methods: In a...
Article
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Our purpose was to verify the effects of inorganic nitrate combined to a short training program on 10-km running time-trial (TT) performance, maximum and average power on a Wingate test, and lactate concentration ([La−]) in recreational runners. Sixteen healthy participants were divided randomly into two groups: Nitrate (n = 8) and placebo (n = 8)....
Preprint
Full-text available
A high work of breathing can compromise limb oxygen delivery during sustained high-intensity exercise. However, it is unclear if the same is true for intermittent sprint exercise. This project examined the addition of an inspiratory load on locomotor muscle tissue reoxygenation during repeated-sprint exercise. Ten healthy males completed three expe...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose The purpose of this study was to investigate the acute effect of capsaicin supplementation on performance and physiological responses during high-intensity intermittent exercise (HIIE). Method Thirteen physically active men (age = 24.4 ± 4.0 years; height = 176.4 ± 6.9 cm; body mass = 78.7 ± 13.8 kg; running training per week = 3.9 ± 0.9 h...
Article
This study aimed to investigate whether exercise hyperpnoea contributes to an impairment of locomotor muscle oxygenation and performance during repeated-sprint exercise in normoxia and hypoxia. Subjects performed ten 10-s sprints, separated by 30 s of passive rest while breathing either a normoxic (21% O2) or hypoxic (15% O2) gas mixture. Muscle ox...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose It has been shown that an inspiratory muscle warm-up (IMW) could enhance performance. IMW may also improve the near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS)-derived tissue oxygen saturation index (TSI) during cycling. However, there exists contradictory data about the effect of this conditioning strategy on performance and muscle oxygenation. We examin...
Article
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Purpose: To compare prefrontal cortex oxygenation in recreationally-active women using oral contraceptives (WomenOC; n = 8) to women with a natural menstrual cycle (WomenNC; n = 8) during incremental exercise to exhaustion. Methods: Participants performed incremental cycling to exhaustion to determine lactate threshold 1 (LT1) and 2 (LT2) and pe...
Article
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Background & Study Aim: Ischemic preconditioning may improve the physiological responses and performances of athletes in different sport modalities. Similarly, judokas could also benefit from augmented performance the day of a competition. However, until now, there is no evidence of the effect of ischemic preconditioning procedure (IPC) on the perf...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction: The aim of this study was to investigate time-trial (TT) performance in the presence of one competitor and in a group with competitors of various abilities. Methods: In a randomized order, 24 participants performed a 5-km cycling TT individually (IND), with one similarly matched participant (1v1), and in a group of four participants (...
Article
Full-text available
Elite athletes in varied sports typically combine ergogenic strategies in the hope of enhancing physiological responses and competitive performance, but the scientific evidence for such practices is very scarce. The peculiar characteristics of speed skating contribute to impede blood flow and exacerbate deoxygenation in the lower limbs (especially...
Article
Full-text available
The benefits of physical exercise on brain function and its metabolism are well documented, and it is established that acute aerobic exercise could enhance executive function. The aim of this study was to report the effect of exercise intensity during acute intermittent exercise (IE) on executive function and heart rate outcomes. Twenty male subjec...
Article
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Near‐infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a common tool used to study oxygen availability and utilisation during repeated‐sprint exercise. However, there are inconsistent methods of smoothing and determining peaks and nadirs from the NIRS signal, which make interpretation and comparisons between studies difficult. To examine the effects of averaging met...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: This study aimed to characterize the relationships between muscle oxygenation and performance during on- and off-water tests in highly trained sprint canoe-kayak athletes. Methods: Thirty athletes (19 kayakers and 11 canoeists) performed a maximal incremental test on a canoe or kayak ergometer for determination of VO2max and examination...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Speed skating leads to blood-flow restriction and deoxygenation in the lower limbs (especially the right leg) that may affect performance. Although the acute influence of such deoxygenation is not clearly understood, we tested whether remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) could modify muscular oxygenation and improve time-trial performan...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Nitrate supplementation can increase tolerance to high-intensity work rates, however limited data exist on the recovery of performance. We tested whether 5 days of nitrate supplementation could improve repeated time-trial performance in speed skating. Methods: Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 9 international-l...
Article
Full-text available
Commentaries on Viewpoint: Resistance training and exercise tolerance during high-intensity exercise: moving beyond just running economy and muscle strength
Article
Purpose: The effectiveness of contrast training (CST) for improving explosive exercise performance is modulated by various individual characteristics; however, further work is required to define these factors. Methods: Sub-elite male Australian Football players [n = 22; age, 19 ± 2 y; body mass, 80.4 ± 9.4 kg; one-repetition maximum (1-RM) half...
Article
Full-text available
Purposes: We manipulated the inspired oxygen fraction (FiO2) to examine the effects of physiological perturbations on exercise-related sensations and the neural drive of the quadriceps during repeated, brief, maximal cycle sprints. Methods: Nine active males completed a repeated sprint cycle protocol (10 × 4-s maximal sprints with 30 s of passiv...
Article
Full-text available
Repeated apneas are associated with severe hypoxemia that may ultimately lead to loss of consciousness in some breath-hold divers. Despite increasing number of practitioners, the relationship between apnea-induced hypoxia and neurocognitive functions is still poorly understood in the sport of free diving. To shed light onto this phenomenon, we exam...
Article
Full-text available
We investigated the association between changes in vastii electromyography (EMG) and knee extensor fatigue during high-intensity cycling, and the subsequent effect on lower-limb power and intermuscular coordination during all-out cycling. On two separate days, participants completed 30-s all-out cycling or 10-min of high-intensity cycling followed...
Article
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Introduction: Exercise performance is reproducible in experienced athletes; however, less trained participants exhibit greater variability in performance and pacing. To reduce variability, it is common practice to complete a familiarization prior to experimental testing. However, there are no clear guidelines for familiarizing novice participants t...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: To assess whether the absence of a known endpoint, at the beginning of repeated-sprint bouts between the wickets, affects how skilled compared to less skilled batsmen pace themselves. Design: Repeated measures. Methods: Twelve skilled and 12 less skilled batsmen completed three trials. All trials required the same number of sprints...