The effect of an intermittent, high-intensity warm-up on supramaximal kayak ergometer performance

J Sports Sci. 2003 Jan;21(1):13-20. doi: 10.1080/0264041031000070912.


It has previously been shown that the metabolic acidaemia induced by a continuous warm-up at the 'lactate threshold' is associated with a reduced accumulated oxygen deficit and decreased supramaximal performance. The aim of this study was to determine if an intermittent, high-intensity warm-up could increase oxygen uptake (VO2) without reducing the accumulated oxygen deficit, and thus improve supramaximal performance. Seven male 500 m kayak paddlers, who had represented their state, volunteered for this study. Each performed a graded exercise test to determine VO2max and threshold parameters. On subsequent days and in a random, counterbalanced order, the participants then performed a continuous or intermittent, high-intensity warm-up followed by a 2 min, all-out kayak ergometer test. The continuous warm-up consisted of 15 min of exercise at approximately 65% VO2max. The intermittent, high-intensity warm-up was similar, except that the last 5 min was replaced with five 10 s sprints at 200% VO2max, separated by 50 s of recovery at approximately 55% VO2max. Significantly greater (P < 0.05) peak power (intermittent vs continuous: 629 +/- 199 vs 601 +/- 204 W) and average power (intermittent vs continuous: 328 +/- 39.0 vs 321 +/- 42.4 W) were recorded after the intermittent warm-up. There was no significant difference between conditions for peak VO2, total VO2 or the accumulated oxygen deficit. The results of this study indicate that 2 min all-out kayak ergometer performance is significantly better after an intermittent rather than a continuous warm-up.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Ergometry / methods*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Hydrogen-Ion Concentration
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Sports / physiology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Time Factors


  • Lactic Acid