Effects of active and passive recovery on lactate removal and subsequent isokinetic muscle function

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1991 Sep;31(3):357-61.


The effect of active and passive recovery on the removal of accumulated blood lactate and subsequent muscle function were tested using five male subjects. The experimental protocol consisted of two exercise sessions performed on a mechanical brake cycle ergometer at 150% VO2max for 60 seconds. Termination of the supramaximal work bouts were followed by a 20 minutes active recovery period cycling at 30% VO2max and a 20 minutes passive recovery period sitting quietly. Following the recovery modes, isokinetic measures of peak torque, total work output and fatigue were evaluated in the dominant quadricep muscle group. During the control test, exercise performance was limited to that of isokinetic evaluation. The order of the experimental and control tests were randomly assigned. Postexercise blood lactate levels prior to the isokinetic muscle test were 9.2 and 9.1 mM during the active and passive recovery conditions respectively. Blood lactate concentration during the control test was .4 mM prior to the isokinetic muscle test. The rate of blood lactate disappearance was significantly greater during active recovery (3.5 mM) when compared with passive recovery (7.2 mM). Blood lactate concentration during the control test was significantly lower (.4 mM) in comparison to both active and passive lactate concentrations prior to the isokinetic muscle test. Despite significant differences in blood lactate between active and passive recovery conditions, there was no difference in isokinetic measures of maximal strength, work output and muscle fatigue between recovery modes. Further indication that lactate is unrelated to muscle function was the nonsignificant finding in muscle function between the control and experimental conditions.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Exercise Test / methods
  • Humans
  • Lactates / blood*
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction / physiology
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / physiology*
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology


  • Lactates