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The Effects Of Active And Passive Recovery On Short-Term, High Intensity Power Output

Joseph F. Signorile, Lisa M. Tremblay, Christopher Ingalls

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The advantage of active over passive recovery from long and intermediate duration exercise is well documented. Success has been attributed to metabolite washout and/or lactate (La) utilization by the active musculature. This study was designed to determine whether active recovery was superior to passive rest during short duration, high intensity performance. On 4 separate days, six athletes performed a set of eight 6-s power tests separated by 30-s recovery intervals under two recovery conditions. Recovery conditions involved either sitting passively on the bike (P) or actively pedaling (A) at 60 rpm using 1 kg resistance. A MANOVA on peak power (PP), fatigue rate (F), and total work (TW) showed a significant difference due to recovery condition, F(3, 169); p <.0001. Separate ANOVAs revealed that PP (A = 1192.85 watts, P = 1134.57 watts; p <.0001) and TW (A = 6.59 kJ, P = 6.23 kJ; p <.0001) differed significantly between conditions. No difference was found for F (A = 80.12 watts∙sec−1, P = 79.80 watts∙sec−1). Results indicate that active recovery provides superior performance to passive rest in repeated short-term, high intensity power activities. Key words: recovery, cycle ergometry, anaerobic power