The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of active recovery (AR), massage (MR), and cold water immersion (CR) on performance of repeated bouts of high-intensity cycling separated by 24 hours. For each recovery condition, subjects were asked to take part in 2 intermittent cycling sessions; 18 minutes of varying work intervals performed in succession at a resistance of 80 g/kg body weight separated by 24 hours. One of four 15-minute recovery conditions immediately followed the first session and included: (a) AR, cycling at 30% Vo(2)max; (b) CR, immersion of legs in a 15 degrees C water bath; (c) MR, massage of the legs; and (d) control, seated rest. Only the control condition showed a significant decline in the total work completed between the first and second exercise sessions (108.1 +/- 5.4 kJ vs. 106.0 +/- 5.0 kJ, p < 0.05). Thus, AR, MR, and CR appeared to facilitate the recovery process between 2 high-intensity, intermittent exercise sessions separated by 24 hours.