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Several studies analysed the effectiveness of cold water immersion (CWI) to support recovery after strenuous exercise but the overall results seem to be conflicting. Most of these studies analysed only short-term recovery effects, whereas the adaptational aspect has been widely neglected. Therefore, we analysed the effects of repeated cooling following training sessions (CWI) on adaptations to strength training. 17 trained male students volunteered. After a two week familiarization period, a pre-test (T1) of 1-RM and 12-RM was conducted followed by the 5-week strength training period (withinsubject design). After the post-test (T2) and a 2-week detraining period a retention-test (T3) was carried out. Directly after each training session, CWI was applied for one randomly assigned leg. Cooling consisted of three 4-minute intervals with a 30-s rest period. The other leg was not cooled. A significant increase in 1-RM and 12-RM from baseline to T2 and T3 (p < 0.001), respectively, as well as a further significant increase in 12-RM from T2 to T3 (p < 0.05) was observed. In addition, a tendency for a large leg effect with higher values for the "control leg" in both parameters (p = 0.08 each) as well as a moderate time * leg interaction in favor of the control leg was found (1-RM: p = 0.11; 12-RM: p = 0.09). The percentage change differences between both conditions were 1.6% for the increase in 1-RM from T1 to T2 and 2.0% from T1 to T3 in favor of the control leg. Long-term strength training adaptations in trained subjects can be negatively affected by CWI. However, effects were small and the practical relevance relative to possible recovery effects needs to be considered in a sports practical setting.
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Institute for Sport Science, Saarland University, Saarbru
¨cken, Germany;
Department of Sport, Exercise and Health,
University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland;
Institute for Prevention and Public Health, University of Applied Sciences (DHfPG),
¨cken, Germany; and
Institute of Sports and Preventive Medicine, Saarland University, Saarbru
¨cken, Germany
¨hlich, M, Faude, O, Klein, M, Pieter, A, Emrich, E, and Meyer, T.
Strength training adaptations after cold-water immersion.
J Strength Cond Res 28(9): 2628–2633, 2014—Several studies
analyzed the effectiveness of cold-water immersion (CWI) to sup-
port recovery after strenuous exercise, but the overall results seem
to be conflicting. Most of these studies analyzed only short-
term recovery effects, whereas the adaptational aspect has
been widely neglected. Therefore, we analyzed the effects of
repeated cooling after training sessions (CWI) on adaptations
to strength training. Seventeen trained male students volun-
teered the study. After a 2-week familiarization period, a pre-
test (T1) of 1 repetition maximum (RM) and 12RM was
conducted followed by the 5-week strength training period
(within-subject design). After the posttest (T2) and a 2-week
detraining period, a retention test (T3) was carried out.
Directly after each training session, CWI was applied for
1randomlyassignedleg.Cooling consisted of 3 4-minute
intervals with a 30-second rest period. The other leg was
not cooled. A significant increase in 1RM and 12RM from
baseline to T2 and T3 (p,0.001), respectively, and a further
significant increase in 12RM from T2 to T3 (p#0.05) were
observed. In addition, a tendency for a large leg effect with
higher values for the “control leg” in both parameters (p=
0.08 each) and a moderate time 3leg interaction in favor of
the control leg was found (1RM: p= 0.11; 12RM: p= 0.09).
The percentage change differences between both conditions
were 1.6% for the increase in 1RM from T1 to T2 and 2.0%
from T1 to T3 in favor of the control leg. Long-term strength
training adaptations in trained subjects can be negatively
affected by CWI. However, effects were small, and the prac-
tical relevance relative to possible recovery effects needs to
be considered in a sports practical setting.
KEY WORDS resistance training, cryotherapy, recovery, 1RM,
training stimulus
Cold applications have been proposed to be bene-
ficial for athletes under various circumstances
(5,6,38). In particular, during recent years cold-
water immersion (CWI) has been established as
a promising means to support recovery in high-performance
sports after highly intensive training bouts or competitions
(15,17,26,40). Several studies analyzed the recovery effects of
CWI, but the overall results seem to be conflicting (29).
Some studies have described the beneficial effects on perfor-
mance and strength development (7,8,27,35,36), whereas
other studies found no or only very small positive effects
(10,20–23,28). A recent meta-analysis arrived at the result
that during recovery, CWI has the potential to effectively
enhance strength and power performance and to reduce
muscle soreness and muscle damage compared with a pas-
sive control condition. Leeder et al. (26) illustrated that CWI
is an effective strategy to reduce symptoms of delayed onset
muscle soreness at 24, 48, 72, and 96 hours after exercise, in
particular after high-intensity or eccentric exercise. Never-
theless, the underlying physiological mechanisms remain
less clear (6,39). Furthermore, CWI had no direct effect on
the recovery of muscle strength, but it was effective to
improve recovery of muscle power. In this context, Leeder
et al. (26) pointed out that CWI has no substantial negative
effects on recovery from strenuous exercise, but the knowl-
edge about the effects of chronic cold-water application on
adaptations to training is very limited. Halson (15) reviewed
the scientific literature with reference to the time frame
between different exercise modes (e.g., sprint, cycling,
weight training, swimming) and the effectiveness of hydro-
therapy for recovery. The author (15) concluded that the
time frame between competitions or intense training sessions
and the possible benefits and risks should be considered and
that evidence-based recovery modalities should be applied.
Address correspondence to Michael Fro
¨hlich, m.froehlich@mx.uni-
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
Ó2014 National Strength and Conditioning Association
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
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Lane and Wenger (25) examined the effects of active
recovery, massage, and CWI on performance of repeated
bouts of high-intensity cycling separated by 24 hours. Active
recovery, massage, and CWI enhanced the recovery process
between the 2 high-intensity, intermittent exercise sessions
separated by 24 hours, but the effects of CWI were greater
when compared with the other recovery forms. Poppen-
dieck et al. (29) showed in a current meta-analytical review
that CWI (2.9%) and cryogenic chambers (3.8%) seem to be
more beneficial for sports performance than cooling packs
(21.4%). Furthermore, whole-body immersion (5.1%) was
observed to be significantly more effective than partial-
body CWI for only 1 leg or arms (1.1%).
Most studies on CWI for recovery analyzed short periods
up to 1 week. The common situations in a high-performance
setting are intensive training periods or camps that last from
2 weeks to several weeks. Although most studies focused on
recovery, the adaptational aspect has been mostly neglected
(21). Interestingly, Yamane et al. (41) analyzed adaptations to
strength (lower arm exercises) and endurance (cycling) train-
ing lasting 4–6 weeks in untrained subjects in 4 different
experiments. After each strength or endurance training ses-
sion, one of the trained limbs was cooled in 58Cor108C,
respectively, cold water, whereas the other limb was not.
Endurance and strength endurance adaptations were com-
promised in the cooled extremity compared with the control
limb, whereas maximal strength was not consistently
affected in all experiments. Training-induced changes on
a cellular and humoral levels and myofibrillar muscle dam-
age are essential triggers of training adaptations. Yamane
et al. (41) speculated that CWI may suppress these processes
and, thus, intended training adaptations might be deterio-
rated when CWI is applied regularly after training (21). To
our knowledge, to date, this is the only study that focused on
training adaptations as a result of CWI. Untrained subjects
were analyzed, and the differences between conditions were
rather small. Thus, a conclusive statement is not possible yet.
Because the recovery effects tend to be small as well—
although these small effects are likely relevant in a high-
performance setting—it seems warranted to further analyze
the possible detrimental effects of cooling interventions (10).
Therefore, we conducted the present pilot study to
analyze the effects of long-term applications of CWI on
adaptations to strength training in already trained subjects.
We hypothesized according to Howatson et al. (21) and
Yamane et al. (41) that CWI will reduce training-specific
adaptations in long-term training interventions.
Experimental Approach to the Problem
The study was designed as within-subject repeated-measures
experiment. Each participant served as his own control. Before
training and testing, 2 weeks of familiarization were performed
(3 appointments for familiarization with the specific training
and test protocol and with the CWI procedure). After that
period, the pretest was conducted followed by the 5-week
strength training period. After the posttest and a 2-week
detraining period, a retention test was performed. Strength
training (1-legged curl) was performed twice a week at the
same time of day (Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and
Friday, respectively, constant for each participant). Recovery
phase between the training sessions were held constant. The
participants were reminded to maintain their usual nutritional
and lifestyle habits, including manual work (normal strength
training routines) and sport-specific activities (e.g., running,
swimming, volleyball, climbing, soccer) throughout the study
period. At pretest (T1), posttest (T2), and retention test (T3),
the 1 repetition maximum (RM) and the 12RM were
determined according to the protocol of Baechle and Earle
(2). After a warming-up with light resistance, the load was
gradually increased until the athlete was able to complete just
1 (1RM) or 12 repetition(s) (12RM) with proper exercise tech-
nique. Three to 5 testing sets were allowed. Testing and train-
ing device was the same. Before all tests and training sessions,
the machines were adjusted to the individual anthropometric
requirements. Testing order was held constant, and all tests
were conducted on the same day.
A total of 17 healthy and experienced male sport students
(mean 6standard deviation age, 23.5 62.4 years; range, 20–
28 years; weight, 76.5 68.7 kg; body fat, 13.9 63.8%)
participated in the present study. Strength training experi-
ence was at least 6 months (range, 6 months to 5 years). The
participants typically performed 1–3 strength training ses-
sions per week with 1–3 hours per session. All participants
were thoroughly informed about the study design, risks, and
possible benefits associated with the present study and pro-
vided written informed consent before participation. The
study complied with ethical guidelines as outlined in the
Declaration of Helsinki. Ethical approval was obtained from
the local ethics committee. All training and testing sessions
were conducted at the Olympiastu¨ tzpunkt Rheinland-Pfalz/
Saarland. Before the training or testing sessions, no strength
training was allowed (24 hours) for the legs.
Strength Training Procedures
The 5-week strength training was carried out using a leg curl
(gym80 International, Gelsenkirchen, Germany) with a defined
movement speed (metronome-controlled, 2-second concen-
tric and 2-second eccentric per repetition for the hamstring
muscles) and a consistent range of motion in the knee joint
(908flexion and 1708extension at knee angle). Before strength
training, a 5-minute warm-up was executed on a bicycle
ergometer with 60–70 revolutions per minute at 150 W. In
between the 3 series of each leg, a rest of 3 minutes took place
during which the other leg was exercised (lifting protocol: 3
sets of 8–12 repetitions with 3 minutes of rest (14,24)). The
load was set to arrive at 8–12 repetitions per series (75–80%
1RM) until exhaustion (progressive load increase during
the training period) and based off the initial 1RM. If more
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
VOLUME 28 | NUMBER 9 | SEPTEMBER 2014 | 2629
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than 13 repetitions were achieved, the load was increased for
the following training session. The participants started each
training session with exercising the cooled leg. The cooled
and uncooled legs were randomly determined according to
the pretest 1RM and to arrive at an equal distribution between
the dominant leg and nondominant leg. Leg dominance was
thereby defined with respect to leg strength (1RM). There was
no difference in total training workload between the cooled and
uncooled legs and between the dominant and the nondomi-
nant legs. The distribution was almost homogeneous (cooled
leg dominant, n= 9 and cooled leg nondominant, n=8).This
assignment was held constant over the training period.
Cold-Water Immersion
Immediately after each strength training session, a CWI was
carried out for the previously defined leg. The cooling
consisted of 3 4-minutes cooling intervals with a 30-second
rest period in between. The other leg was not cooled (room
temperature, 20–238C). The water temperature for the CWI
was 12.0 61.58C (39). To keep the water temperature as
constant as possible, the water was stirred before the cooling
phase. The CWI was applied to the entire leg. The test
person climbed up to the iliac crest into a cooling barrel
filled with ice water. The other leg was rested outside.
Statistical Analyses
Data are presented as means with SDs. To analyze the time
course of dependent variables during the training period,
a 2-factor repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA:
factor time: T1 vs. T2 vs. T3; factor intervention: cooled leg
vs. control leg) was calculated. In case of significant time
effect, the Bonferroni post hoc test was applied. In addition,
the percentage changes for both conditions from T1 to T2
and from T1 to T3, respectively, were analyzed by means of
a 2-factorial ANOVA (factor time: difference between T1
and T2 vs. difference between T1 and T3, factor interven-
tion: cooled leg vs. control leg). Partial eta square (
p) was
used to assess effect size with
p.0.06, and
0.14 indicating small, medium, and large effects, respectively
(9). An a-level of p#0.05 was accepted as statistically sig-
nificant. As this study had pilot character and small changes
might be relevant, a pvalue between 0.05 and 0.1 was
accepted as indicating a trend. In addition, for each variable,
the percentage difference in the change scores between
cooled and control leg, from T1 to T2 and T1 to T3, respec-
tively, were calculated together with corresponding 90% con-
fidence intervals (CI). To take potential baseline differences
into account, calculations were adjusted for pretest values.
A practically worthwhile change was assumed when the dif-
ference score was at least 0.2 of the between-subject standard
deviation (19). The probability for an effect being practically
worthwhile was additionally calculated (4). These calculations
were conducted using a published spreadsheet in Microsoft
Excel (Microsoft Corp., Redmond, WA, USA) (18).
We observed a significant increase in 1RM and 12RM from
baseline to T2 and T3, respectively, and a further significant
increase in 12RM from T2 to T3 (Table 1). In addition, we
found a tendency for a “large” intervention effect with higher
values for the control leg in both parameters and a “moder-
ate” to “large” time 3intervention interaction also in favor of
the control leg (Table 1). The mean difference between the
control leg and the cooled leg in 1RM was 0.7 kg at baseline,
2.3 kg at T2, and 2.6 kg at T3. Figure 1 displays the percent-
age changes from T1 to T2 and from T1 to T3 for both
conditions. There was a tendency for further increases in
strength from T2 and T3 for 1RM (time effect: p= 0.08)
and 12RM (time effect: p= 0.06), respectively. The percent-
age gains in 12RM were significantly larger in the control leg
(intervention effect: p= 0.01;
p= 0.33). The moderately
higher relative increases in the control leg for 1RM were not
significant (intervention effect: p= 0.21;
p= 0.10).
TABLE 1. Time course of strength parameters throughout study period with statistical results.*
T1 T2 T3
Time Intervention Time interventionz
1RM (kg)
Cooled leg 88.0 (13.7)§ 94.4 (13.5) 95.3 (13.2) p,0.001 p= 0.08 p= 0.11
Control leg 88.7 (14.1)§ 96.7 (14.0) 97.9 (14.0)
p= 0.55
p= 0.18
p= 0.13
12RM (kg)
Cooled leg 49.4 (6.7)§ 56.8 (7.7)z57.9 (8.6) p,0.001 p= 0.08 p= 0.09
Control leg 49.4 (6.6)§ 57.4 (7.5)z58.7 (8.5)
p= 0.63
p= 0.18
p= 0.14
*Data as mean (standard deviation).
1RM = 1 repetition maximum; 12RM = 12 repetition maximum; ANOVA = analysis of variance;
p= partial eta square (effect size).
zSignificantly different from T3 (p= 0.03).
§Significantly different to T2 and T3 (p,0.001).
CWI and Strength Training Adaptation
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The percentage change difference between the cooled and
the control leg were 1.6% (90% confidence interval [CI], 22.6%
to 5.7%) for the increase in 1RM from T1 to T2 and 2.0% (90%
CI, 22.9% to 6.7%) from T1 to T3 in favor of the control leg.
The probability for this effect to be practically relevant was 37%
and 35%, respectively. The corresponding figures for 12RM
were as follows: 1.1% (90% CI, 24.9% to 6.7%) for the increase
in 1RM from T1 to T2 and 2.3% (90% CI, 25.5% to 7.7%) from
T1 to T3 with a 40% and 37% probability for both effects to be
practically relevant, respectively.
The main result of the present study was that strength
training adaptations were reduced by 1–2% after a 5-week
strength training regimen when the trained leg was regularly
cooled directly after training compared with an uncooled
control condition. The effects were rather small, and the
probability of the effects to be practically relevant was
below 40%. Nevertheless, this result should be considered
when CWI is applied in high-
performance sports to support
recovery from moderate-
intensive training bouts aiming
for muscle hypertrophy.
Strength training in experi-
enced sport students led to
a significant performance
increase of the concentric max-
imum strength (1RM) and the
load in the 12RM test. Under
regular cooling, the 1RM
increased by 8.2% from the pre-
test to the retention test,
whereas the uncooled side
improved by 10.3%. The differ-
ence between the 2 conditions
was 2.7% for 1RM and 1.4% for
12RM at T3. Cold-water
immersion is frequently applied
in sports practice to support
recovery. Poppendieck et al.
(29) found, in this context, an
average effect of cooling on
strength recovery in trained ath-
letes of 2.4%. This is very similar
to the observed differences in
adaptations in the present study.
Thus, the anticipated recovery
effects tend to be small as well.
However, such small effects
might be regarded relevant in
a high-performance setting.
Because these considerations
hold true for adaptations and
recovery effects, it seems war-
ranted to further analyze possible detrimental effects of cooling
interventions. The present results are in accordance with the
observations of Yamane et al. (41) who reported that CWI
applied after training led to negative effects on training adap-
tations. Thus, although CWI seems to be a potentially benefi-
cial means to support recovery, postexercise cooling might be
regarded an adverse treatment from a training perspective (37).
Yamane et al. (41) hypothesized that strength training–induced
microdamage and cellular and humoral processes within the
skeletal musculature are a precondition for repair processes,
regeneration of muscle fibers, activation of satellite cells, and
the like. A reduction in muscle temperature as a result of CWI
might disrupt or suppress these adaptive processes, leading to
a delay instead of an improvement in muscular performance in
hypertrophy training (11,37,41). Barnett (3) pointed out that
inflammatory processes play a central role during recovery for
the repair of damaged muscle structure and for adaptation, and
therefore, measures that suppress these processes are contra-
indicated. Another explanation for the lower training adaption
Figure 1. Percentage increase of 1RM and 12RM from T1 to T2 and T3. **Significant intervention effect (p=
0.01). Exact pvalues refer to the time effect. RM = repetition maximum.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
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of the cooled leg might be seen in the fact that CWI can
negatively affect capillary permeability, the release of circulat-
ing hormones (such insulin-like growth factor-1, testosterone,
and growth hormone), and blood flow (12,21,31,39). A further
potential mechanism for muscle hypertrophy may be an
increase in intracellular water content. This so-called cell swell-
ing stimulates anabolic processesbothbyincreasingprotein
syntheses and decreasing protein breakdown (12,16). In addi-
tion, it may trigger proliferation of satellite cells and facilitate
their fusion to hypertrophying myofibres. Cold-water immer-
sion may negatively influence these processes as well (21,32).
In addition to the above-mentioned rationales, Al Haddad
et al. (1) observed that a daily, 5-minute CWI resulted in
improved resting parasympathetic activity and improved
quality of sleep and also subjective well-being in high-level
swimmers. These likely beneficial recovery effects were evi-
dent for 24–72 hours. Furthermore, blood lactate concentra-
tions were lower after CWI. The authors hypothesized that
this might be because of an increased blood circulation in the
relevant musculature, which positively affects lactate deple-
tion. Currently, it is discussed to what extent lactate itself
functions as a training stimulus at the cell level (33).
From the present results, we cannot conclude to what
extent the applied hydrostatic pressure on the cooled leg
side was responsible for the lower strength gains. In
principle, because of the hydrostatic pressure, the immersion
of the body or of body segments results in an increased
transportation of metabolic products (e.g., lactate) from
muscle tissue, reduced peripheral resistance, and reduced
neuromuscular activity (10,39).
The observed deteriorations in training effects in the cooled
leg were small. A difference of 1–2% over a period of 5 weeks
might be regarded negligible. Nevertheless, to date, most stud-
ies that analyzed the recovery effects lasted maximally 1 week,
and the recovery effects as compared with a passive control
condition were also small (up to 1.8–4.3% dependent on the
time after CWI when performance was analyzed) (20,29). In
addition, there are other recovery modalities, which showed
smaller differences to CWI (e.g., contrast water therapy, active
recovery, hot shower) (11,22,23). Although these studies ana-
lyzed short-term recovery effects over a period of maximally 1
week, recovery during longer periods has been not evaluated
yet. The observed recovery effects and the possibly reduced
training adaptations might be regarded practically relevant
from the viewpoint of high-performance sports. Thus, from
a sports practical perspective, the uncritical use of CWI during
longer training camps should be carefully handled. It seems
advisable that the short-term recovery effects should be
balanced against possibly reduced long-term training
Obviously, some limitations of the present study need to
be addressed. We did not evaluate high-level athletes. Thus,
the transferability to professional sports remains question-
able. Well-controlled studies to analyze specific and small
but possibly relevant effects are complicated in athletes
because their training routine affects the framework for
scientific studies and confounding factors can hardly be
eliminated. The participants in the present study had
strength training experience, and a well-controlled training
situation was created, and thus, internal validity seems high.
A further limitation might be seen in the fact that the
training stimulus was a very specific, isolated strength task
and not very functional in nature. However, the training
stimulus was highly standardized. In addition, we used
a moderate-intensity protocol aiming on muscle hypertro-
phy. Studies that investigated the effects of cold applications
on strength recovery usually used high-intensity eccentric
protocols (29). The training mode that was applied in the
present study, however, is widely used in sports practical
settings (13,30), and nowadays, athletes often use CWI as
recovery modality after routine strength training. We used
a within-subject repeated-measures experiment to minimize
interindividual differences and randomized the leg for con-
trol or cooling condition. We cannot exclude any cross-talk
effect from one leg to the other. Also, cooling may have
suppressed the release of growth factors. Such a reduced
release of growth factors can be expected to be transferred
from the cooled to the control leg via humoral pathways,
and thus, training adaptations may have been diminished in
the uncooled leg, too. However, this must remain speculative
and warrants further research (34).
This pilot work was conducted to assess possibly small but
relevant effects of CWI on adaptations in a well-controlled
situation with a clear and defined task. As a next step, this
approach needs to be transferred to a sports practical setting
and to higher level athletes.
From the results of the present study, it is concluded that
CWI can have a negative impact on strength training
adaptations in sports students with strength training expe-
rience. The small deteriorations in training adaptations in the
long term should be balanced with the possible beneficial
short-term recovery effects of CWI. The transferability of the
results to a higher performance level together with the
optimal scenarios for the application of CWI as a recovery
means in a practical setting need to be addressed in future
research. In addition, scientific efforts with regard to the
physiological mechanisms that may cause reduced training
adaptations as a consequence of cold applications seem
warranted (e.g., by means of muscle biopsies).
The authors acknowledge the access to facilities for testing
and training by the Olympiastu¨ tzpunkt Rheinland-Pfalz/
Saarland, especially Prof Hanno Felder for further support.
In addition, Jan Neubauer is acknowledged for his valuable
assistance with the study execution. This study was under-
taken with no external financial support, and there are no
conflicts of interest to declare.
CWI and Strength Training Adaptation
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Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research
VOLUME 28 | NUMBER 9 | SEPTEMBER 2014 | 2633
Copyright © National Strength and Conditioning Association Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.
... However, similar cold-water inversion protocols did show bene cial effects on sprint performance. Furthermore, one should be cautious when applying whole-body cryotherapy on a regular basis, as excessive exposure to very low temperatures (e.g., ice immersion) can be harmful to training adaptations according toFröhlich et al. (2014) [77]. ...
... However, similar cold-water inversion protocols did show bene cial effects on sprint performance. Furthermore, one should be cautious when applying whole-body cryotherapy on a regular basis, as excessive exposure to very low temperatures (e.g., ice immersion) can be harmful to training adaptations according toFröhlich et al. (2014) [77]. ...
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Background Recovery strategies are used to enhance performance and reduce injury risk in athletes. In previous systematic reviews, individual recovery strategies were investigated to clarify their effectiveness for mixed groups of athletes. However, the current evidence is ambiguous, and a clear overview of (training) recovery for endurance athletes is still lacking. Methods We conducted an umbrella review based on a literature search in PubMed, Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, and Web of Science. Reviews published in English and before December 2022 were included. Systematic reviews and meta-analyses were eligible if they investigated the effectiveness of one or more recovery strategies compared with a placebo or control group after a training session in endurance athletes. Results Twenty-two reviews (nine systematic reviews, three meta-analyses, and ten systematic reviews with meta-analyses included) met the inclusion criteria. In total, sixty-three studies with 1100 endurance athletes were included in our umbrella review. Out of the sixty-three studies, eight provided information on training recovery time frame for data synthesis. Among them, cryotherapy and compression garments showed positive effects, while applying massage showed non-effect. In general, none of the included recovery strategies showed consistent beneficial effects for endurance athletes. Conclusion There is not a particular recovery strategy that can be advised to enhance recovery between training sessions or competitions in endurance athletes. However, individual studies suggest that compression garments and cryotherapy are effective training recovery strategies. Further research should improve methodology and focus on the different time courses of the recovery process. Registration The review protocol was registered with the International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews with the number CRD42021260509.
... Additional plyometric training may benefit junior badminton squad athletes' success in several jump criteria, such as the squat jump and drop jump. Nonetheless, it is critical to ensure that the form of the plyometric training matches the overall movement requirements of badminton and that contact does not have harmful consequences during regular badminton training [17]. This unique plyometric training regimen included a greater number of low and moderate intensity activities and omitted high intensity exercises. ...
... A fraction of a millimeter can also alter the outcome of a game in sports that require jumps. Small differences in broad jump distance and agility times can contribute significantly to the outcome of a badminton match [17]. ...
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Background: Plyometric training involves dynamic activities such as hopping, jumping, skipping, and bounding, and is used to improve dynamic muscle performance. The study aims to determine the effects of a 3-week plyometric training program on the explosive strength (standing broad jump [SBJ]), speed (30-meter sprint), and agility (t-test) of badminton players. Methods: The study recruited 102 eligible subjects who were randomly divided into two groups (51 per group). Both groups were initially tested for agility, speed, and strength. Thereafter, the experimental group underwent the plyometric exercise program twice per week for 3 weeks with a 2-day recovery period in between sessions. During the 3 weeks, the control group continued its routine exercise without plyometric training. After 3 weeks, the study tested both groups for agility, speed, and strength. Results: The agility of the experimental group after plyometric training (pre = 10.51±0.35 vs. post = 9.74±0.39 s) was significantly improved [t (100) = 9.941, p < 0.001] compared with the control group (10.65±0.29 vs. 10.53±0.33 s). Performance in terms of speed was significantly increased [t (100) = 4.675, p < 0.001] for the experimental group (pre = 4.58±0.35 vs. post = 4.06±0.45 s) compared with the control group (pre = 4.62±0.29 vs. post = 4.47±0.34 s). The experimental group (pre = 181.17±6.05 vs. post = 178.30±5.97 s) exhibited a substantial improvement [t (100) = 4.95, p < 0.001] in terms of explosive power compared with that of the control group (pre = 183.02±3.89 vs. post = 183.88±3.91 s). Conclusion: The findings emphasize the benefits of plyometric training in increasing the performance level required during movements in badminton. Plyometrics can help badminton players enhance their agility, speed, and explosive power.
... Given the value of sprints for performance in soccer (Haugen et al., 2014), CWI might serve as a powerful strategy to recover from a match in a congested competitive schedule context, i.e. with a second match in the same week. However, in training context, it is important to note that systematic/repetitive CWI after trainings sessions could led to lower training adaptations (Fröhlich et al., 2014) as it may restrain the activation of key proteins and satellite cells in the skeletal muscle (Roberts et al., 2015). Moreover, given the association between neuromuscular fatigue and muscle adaptations (Borresen and Lambert, 2009), the attenuation of fatigue following CWI in the present study may support the validity of previous evidence of the negative impact of CWI application on a chronic basis (Fröhlich et al., 2014;Roberts et al., 2015). ...
... However, in training context, it is important to note that systematic/repetitive CWI after trainings sessions could led to lower training adaptations (Fröhlich et al., 2014) as it may restrain the activation of key proteins and satellite cells in the skeletal muscle (Roberts et al., 2015). Moreover, given the association between neuromuscular fatigue and muscle adaptations (Borresen and Lambert, 2009), the attenuation of fatigue following CWI in the present study may support the validity of previous evidence of the negative impact of CWI application on a chronic basis (Fröhlich et al., 2014;Roberts et al., 2015). Therefore, we recommend prescribing CWI only after matches, during an overcrowded competitive schedule, and not after training sessions. ...
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The present study aimed to investigate the effect of cold water immersion (CWI) on the recovery of neuromuscular fatigue following simulated soccer match-play. In a randomized design, twelve soccer players completed a 90-min simulated soccer match followed by either CWI or thermoneutral water immersion (TWI, sham condition). Before and after match (immediately after CWI/TWI through 72 h recovery), neuromuscular and performance assessments were performed. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and twitch responses, delivered through electrical femoral nerve stimulation, were used to assess peripheral fatigue (quadriceps resting twitch force, Qtw,pot) and central fatigue (voluntary activation, VA). Performance was assessed via squat jump (SJ), countermovement jump (CMJ), and 20 m sprint tests. Biomarkers of muscle damages (creatine kinase, CK; Lactate dehydrogenase, LDH) were also collected. Smaller reductions in CWI than TWI were found in MVC (-9.9 ± 3%vs-23.7 ± 14.7%), VA (-3.7 ± 4.9%vs-15.4 ± 5.6%) and Qtw,pot (-15.7 ± 5.9% vs. -24.8 ± 9.5%) following post-match intervention (p < 0.05). On the other hand, smaller reductions in CWI than TWI were found only in Qtw,pot (-0.2 ± 7.7% vs. -8.8 ± 9.6%) at 72 h post-match. Afterwards, these parameters remained lower compared to baseline up to 48–72 h in TWI while they all recovered within 24 h in CWI. The 20 m sprint performance was less impaired in CWI than TWI (+11.1 ± 3.2% vs. +18 ± 3.6%, p < 0.05) while SJ and CMJ were not affected by the recovery strategy. Plasma LDH, yet no CK, were less increased during recovery in CWI compared to TWI. This study showed that CWI reduced both central and peripheral components of fatigue, which in turn led to earlier full recovery of the neuromuscular function and performance indices. Therefore, CWI might be an interesting recovery strategy for soccer players.
... It cannot be ruled out that CWI has detrimental effects on muscular adaptations. Long term adaptations after CWI in resistance exercise seem impaired as satellite cell activity was shown to be suppressed, which may inhibit muscle hypertrophy (Frohlich et al., 2014;Roberts et al., 2015). However, the results of a recent review suggest that long-term training adaptations in endurance sports may not be affected (Broatch et al., 2018). ...
... CWI may then be used on an individual basis (second/third step) by those players who think to benefit, as it was shown that CWI was considered an effective treatment among athletes (Crowther et al., 2017). The possibility of long-term harms may be balanced towards small recovery benefits of acute CWI application (Frohlich et al., 2014). Thus, we recommend applying CWI in an individualized, but also context-related manner. ...
Full-text available
Strategies to improve recovery are widely used among soccer players at both amateur and professional levels. Sometimes, however, recovery strategies are ineffective, improperly timed or even harmful to players. This highlights the need to educate practitioners and athletes about the scientific evidence of recovery strategies as well as to provide practical approaches to address this issue. Therefore, recent surveys among soccer athletes and practitioners were reviewed to identify the recovery modalities currently in use. Each strategy was then outlined with its rationale, its physiological mechanisms and the scientific evidence followed by practical approaches to implement the modality. For each intervention, practical and particularly low-effort strategies are provided to ensure that practitioners at all levels are able to implement them. We identified numerous interventions regularly used in soccer, i.e., sleep, rehydration, nutrition, psychological recovery, active recovery, foam-rolling/massage, stretching, cold-water immersion, and compression garments. Nutrition and rehydration were classified with the best evidence, while cold-water immersion, compression garments, foam-rolling/massage and sleep were rated with moderate evidence to enhance recovery. The remaining strategies (active recovery, psychological recovery, stretching) should be applied on an individual basis due to weak evidence observed. Finally, a guide is provided, helping practitioners to decide which intervention to implement. Here, practitioners should rely on the evidence, but also on their own experience and preference of the players.
... Although our findings demonstrate recovery benefits with regards to muscle soreness and fatigue, the authors advocate caution to the unwarranted use of CWI following resistance exercise, as several studies have demonstrated impaired muscle hypertrophy and/or strength gains following the frequent use this modality during longer-term resistance training (Fröhlich et al., 2014;Fyfe et al., 2019;Poppendieck et al., 2020;Roberts, Raastad, 2015). However, there is emerging view that recovery benefits conferred by CWI may outweigh its dampening effects on hypertrophy response during intensified periods of training. ...
This review evaluated the effect of CWI on the temporal recovery profile of physical performance, accounting for environmental conditions and prior exercise modality. Sixty-eight studies met the inclusion criteria. Standardised mean differences were calculated for parameters assessed at <1, 1-6, 24, 48, 72 and ≥96 h post-immersion. CWI improved short-term recovery of endurance performance (p = 0.01, 1 h), but impaired sprint (p = 0.03, 1 h) and jump performance (p = 0.04, 6h). CWI improved longer-term recovery of jump performance (p < 0.01-0.02, 24 h and 96 h) and strength (p < 0.01, 24 h), which coincided with decreased creatine kinase (p < 0.01-0.04, 24-72 h), improved muscle soreness (p < 0.01-0.02, 1-72 h) and perceived recovery (p < 0.01, 72 h). CWI improved the recovery of endurance performance following exercise in warm (p < 0.01) and but not in temperate conditions (p = 0.06). CWI improved strength recovery following endurance exercise performed at cool-to-temperate conditions (p = 0.04) and enhanced recovery of sprint performance following resistance exercise (p = 0.04). CWI seems to benefit the acute recovery of endurance performance, and longer-term recovery of muscle strength and power, coinciding with changes in muscle damage markers. This, however, depends on the nature of the preceding exercise.
... Así, el entrenamiento con orientación excéntrica entre los días +1 y -3 se ha comprobado mas adecuado para mejorar la dinámica de CK durante el microciclo competitivo (4). Por otro lado, aunque existen multitud de estudios que han estudiado diferentes protocolos de CWI (inmersión en agua fría ) (5), su uso a largo plazo debe ser cauteloso para minimizar al máximo la interferencias con el entrenamiento de fuerza (6) ...
Conference Paper
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Presentación: Oral Palabras Clave: Fatigua, recovery, Futbol, Entrenamiento Introducción: En la actualidad, y teniendo en cuenta el Fútbol de elite, la gran densidad competitiva se convierte en una tónica general. Muchos jugadores se ven abocados a grandes viajes para cumplir sus compromisos con sus equipos nacionales, lo que les lleva a en muchos casos superar los 65 partidos al año (1) Métodos: La literatura científica establece dos tipos principales de fatiga (central y periférica) (2). Para optimizar al máximo la recuperación y poner el énfasis en ambos tipos, la literatura científica establece diferentes estrategias de recovery: Activas, Pasivas, Nutricionales-ergogenicas, Sueño y psciologicas-mentales. Discusión y conclusiones: Aunque existe evidencia contrapuesta en cuenta la eficacia de las estrategias de recovery y cold down (3), muchas de las estrategias mas utilizadas tienen un soporte de eficacia contrastada. Así, el entrenamiento con orientación excéntrica entre los días +1 y-3 se ha comprobado mas adecuado para mejorar la dinámica de CK durante el microciclo competitivo (4). Por otro lado, aunque existen multitud de estudios que han estudiado diferentes protocolos de CWI (inmersión en agua fría) (5), su uso a largo plazo debe ser cauteloso para minimizar al máximo la interferencias con el entrenamiento de fuerza (6)
Unter einem „Übertrainingssyndrom“ versteht man einen unerwarteten Abfall der Leistungsfähigkeit ohne organisch krankhaften Befund, der auch nach einer längeren Regenerationsphase nachweisbar ist. Es existiert kein einzelner zuverlässiger Marker zur Diagnose von chronischen Überlastungszuständen. Die Diagnose eines Übertrainingssyndroms ist eine klinische Ausschlussdiagnose. Zur Prävention sind standardisierte Leistungstests und Fragebögen zur Erfassung der subjektiven Befindlichkeit mit Kenntnis individueller Basiswerte geeignet. Eine angemessene Ernährung, Kälteanwendungen, adäquater Schlaf sowie eine präventive individuelle Trainingsplanung und -dokumentation scheinen geeignete Möglichkeiten, die Erholung zu unterstützen und somit die Qualität des Trainings zu gewährleisten. Dieser Beitrag ist Teil der Sektion Sportmedizin, herausgegeben vom Teilherausgeber Holger HW Gabriel, innerhalb des Handbuchs Sport und Sportwissenschaft, herausgegeben von Arne Güllich und Michael Krüger.
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The repeated sprint ability (RSA) was considered as a major physical determinant of performance in rugby union. However, some studies from rugby league highlighted that the simple RSA is not sufficiently representative of the physical constraints of the sport and does not prepare properly the players to the game. In this context, the ability to repeat high intensity efforts (RHIE) is suggested as a physical quality more specific to rugby union and thus more discriminant of the performance. The RHIE topic is address in 3 different steps : the evaluation, the development and the optimization. In a first study, the assessment of metrological properties of key outcomes from sprint and tackle performance is made using a RHIE test, specifically modified to represent the physical demands of rugby union. Results show that only sprint indices have a sufficient level of reliability to be used with players. Measures of tackle intensity are too variable for an appropriate interpretation. However, this test allows practitioners to identify the physical qualities associated with RHIE, in order to prescribe coherent development strategies with rugby union players. This topic is discussed during the second study. In this context, body composition, maximal sprinting speed and aerobic capacity are the major performance determinants of the RHIE. Therefore, they should be integrated to specific strength and conditioning programs in rugby union. To verify this hypothesis is the aim of the third study, during which an improvement in RHIE ability is observed after a training block composed of an integrated high intensity interval method. Furthermore, results show that coaches or athletes could benefit from a training methodology based on the alternation of contacts and movements, without limiting the adaptation process. The third part of this thesis focus on the RHIE optimization specially to prepare key games or playoffs, periods during which a taper strategy seems to be preferred by coaches. However, the meta-analysis and review of literature performed during the fourth study of this thesis highlight that although a taper is effective to improve neuromuscular and cardiovascular qualities, there is no information available concerning the RHIE ability. In this context, the fifth study consists in the implementation of a taper strategy following an overload training block, with a focus on the influence of the pre-taper fatigue level on the RHIE supercompensation process. Results confirm the improvement of RHIE after the taper, and highlight an inverted U relationship between the pre-taper fatigue level and the magnitude of improvement in performance. Despite minor performance consequences, players on the left side of the relationship do not benefit from the taper due to a too small accumulated fatigue level. However, the situation of those on the right side of the relationship is more problematic. These players do not benefit from the taper due to an incomplete recovery provoked by a too severe state of accumulated fatigue considering the taper implemented. This phenomenon could be observed during short-term taper, often the only solution available within the context of professional sport. By including sleep quality as a moderator of the taper benefits, results of the sixth study show that poor sleep quality predispose athletes to a severe state of accumulated fatigue and therefore to a reduced taper efficiency with a higher risk of injury and upper respiratory tract infections. This thesis is based on scientific studies providing key information to coaches wishing to focus on the evaluation, development and optimization of their players’ repeated high intensity efforts ability. This work leads to key practical applications, which should guide coaches in their understanding of the RHIE.
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Limited evidence advocates the most beneficial recovery strategies including contemporary cooling applications. Twenty, elite male academy footballers took part. Following a normal fatiguing training session, players were randomly assigned to receive either cryotherapy (CRYO) or passive recovery (PAS). Data was collected at match-day+1, immediately post-training and post-intervention. Performance measures included countermovement jump (CMJ), isometric adductor strength (IAS), hamstring flexibility (HF), and skin surface temperature (Tsk). Significant main effects for group for CMJ data following exposure to cooling were displayed (p=<0.05). Significant reductions in CMJ performance in the CRYO group were reported (p=<0.05) immediately post, but not for PAS. No main effects were identified for the CRYO or PAS group for IAS or HF (p=>0.05). Reductions in performance immediately following exposure to pneumatic cryo-compressive devices may negate the justification of this recovery strategy if neuromuscular mechanisms are required in the immediate short term. The application of such recovery strategies however is dependent on the type of recovery demand and should be adapted individually to suit the needs of the athlete to optimise readiness to train/play.
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The purpose of the study was to determine the effects of cold water immersion (CWI) performed immediately or 3 h after a high intensity interval exercise session (HIIS) on next-day exercise performance. Eight male athletes performed three HIIS at 90%VO2max velocity followed by either a passive recovery (CON), CWI performed immediately post-exercise (CWI(0)) or CWI performed 3 h post-exercise (CWI(3)). Recovery trials were performed in a counter balanced manner. Participants then returned 24 h later and completed a muscle soreness and a totally quality recovery perception (TQRP) questionnaire, which was then followed by the Yoyo Intermittent Recovery Test [level 1] (YRT). Venous blood samples were collected pre-HIIS and pre-YRT to determine C-Reactive Protein (CRP) levels. Significantly more shuttles were performed during the YRT following CWI(0) compared to the CON trial (p=0.017, ES = 0.8), while differences between the CWI(3) and the CON trials approached significance (p = 0.058, ES = 0.5). Performance on the YRT between the CWI(0) and CWI(3) trials were similar (p = 0.147, ES = 0.3). Qualitative analyses demonstrated a 98% and 92% likely beneficial effect of CWI(0) and CWI(3) on next day performance, compared to CON, respectively, while CWI(0) resulted in a 79% likely benefit when compared to CWI(3). CRP values were significantly lower pre-YRT, compared to baseline, following CWI(0) (p = 0.0.36) and CWI(3) (p = 0.045), but were similar for CON (p = 0.157). Muscle soreness scores were similar between trials (p = 1.10), while TQRP scores were significantly lower for CON compared to CWI(0) (p = 0.002) and CWI(3) (p = 0.024). Immediate CWI resulted in superior next-day YRT performance compared to CON, while delayed (3 h) CWI was also likely to be beneficial. Qualitative analyses suggested that CWI(0) resulted in better performance than CWI(3). These results are important for athletes who do not have immediate access to CWI following exercise.
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Although tissue cooling is widely used in the treatment of musculoskeletal injuries there is still controversy about its effects on muscular performance. The combination of cooling and exercise justifies the study of this topic. The aim was to compare the effects of ice pack and cold-water immersion on the muscular performance parameters of plantar flexors and muscular activation of the triceps surae. 41 healthy men (mean age: 22.1 years, SD: 2.9) were randomly assigned to cooling with either ice pack (n=20) or cold-water immersion (n=21). Independent variables were cold modality (ice pack or cold-water immersion) and pre- and post-cooling measurement time. Dependent variables were muscular performance (measured during isometric and concentric contractions of plantar flexors) and electromyography parameters of the triceps surae (median frequency and root mean square amplitude). Dependent-samples t-tests were used to compare pre- and post-cooling data and independent-samples t-tests were used to compare the difference (pre- and post-cooling) between groups. Ice pack increased isometric peak torque (mean: 9.00 Nm, P=0.01) and both cold modalities reduced muscular activation in triceps surae (P<0.0001); Cold-water immersion and ice pack reduced peak torque and total work during dynamic isokinetic contraction at both velocities (mean: -11,00 Nm, P<0.05) and affected muscular activation in different ways. In conclusion, ice pack increases isometric torque, while both ice pack and cold-water immersion decrease concentric muscular performance. These results indicate that these cooling methods should be chosen with caution, considering the type of task required during training or rehabilitation. New studies investigating other muscle groups and joints are necessary.
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It is well established that regimented resistance training can promote increases in muscle hypertrophy. The prevailing body of research indicates that mechanical stress is the primary impetus for this adaptive response and studies show that mechanical stress alone can initiate anabolic signalling. Given the dominant role of mechanical stress in muscle growth, the question arises as to whether other factors may enhance the post-exercise hypertrophic response. Several researchers have proposed that exercise-induced metabolic stress may in fact confer such an anabolic effect and some have even suggested that metabolite accumulation may be more important than high force development in optimizing muscle growth. Metabolic stress pursuant to traditional resistance training manifests as a result of exercise that relies on anaerobic glycolysis for adenosine triphosphate production. This, in turn, causes the subsequent accumulation of metabolites, particularly lactate and H(+). Acute muscle hypoxia associated with such training methods may further heighten metabolic buildup. Therefore, the purpose of this paper will be to review the emerging body of research suggesting a role for exercise-induced metabolic stress in maximizing muscle development and present insights as to the potential mechanisms by which these hypertrophic adaptations may occur. These mechanisms include increased fibre recruitment, elevated systemic hormonal production, alterations in local myokines, heightened production of reactive oxygen species and cell swelling. Recommendations are provided for potential areas of future research on the subject.
This title is directed primarily towards health care professionals outside of the United States. It starts with the origin of life and ends with the mechanisms that make muscles adapt to different forms of training. In between, it considers how evidence has been obtained about the extent of genetic influence on human capacities, how muscles and their fibres are studied for general properties and individual differences, and how molecular biological techniques have been combined with physiological ones to produce the new discipline of molecular exercise physiology. This is the first book on such topics written specifically for modules in exercise and sport science at final year Hons BSc and taught MSc levels.
Purpose: Cooling after exercise has been investigated as a method to improve recovery during intensive training or competition periods. As many studies have included untrained subjects, the transfer of those results to trained athletes is questionable. Methods: Therefore, the authors conducted a literature search and located 21 peer-reviewed randomized controlled trials addressing the effects of cooling on performance recovery in trained athletes. Results: For all studies, the effect of cooling on performance was determined and effect sizes (Hedges' g) were calculated. Regarding performance measurement, the largest average effect size was found for sprint performance (2.6%, g = 0.69), while for endurance parameters (2.6%, g = 0.19), jump (3.0%, g = 0.15), and strength (1.8%, g = 0.10), effect sizes were smaller. The effects were most pronounced when performance was evaluated 96 h after exercise (4.3%, g = 1.03). Regarding the exercise used to induce fatigue, effects after endurance training (2.4%, g = 0.35) were larger than after strength-based exercise (2.4%, g = 0.11). Cold-water immersion (2.9%, g = 0.34) and cryogenic chambers (3.8%, g = 0.25) seem to be more beneficial with respect to performance than cooling packs (-1.4%, g= -0.07). For cold-water application, whole-body immersion (5.1%, g = 0.62) was significantly more effective than immersing only the legs or arms (1.1%, g = 0.10). Conclusions: In summary, the average effects of cooling on recovery of trained athletes were rather small (2.4%, g = 0.28). However, under appropriate conditions (whole-body cooling, recovery from sprint exercise), postexercise cooling seems to have positive effects that are large enough to be relevant for competitive athletes.