Neuromuscular electrical stimulation: no enhancement of recovery from maximal exercise

Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014 Sep;9(5):791-7. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2013-0327. Epub 2013 Dec 11.

Abstract

Purpose: To investigate the use of neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) during acute recovery between 2 bouts of maximal aerobic exercise.

Methods: On 3 separate days, 19 trained male cyclists (28 ± 7 y, 76.4 ± 10.4 kg, power output at maximal aerobic power [pVo2max] 417 ± 44 W) performed a 3-min maximal cycling bout at 105% PVo2max before a 30-min randomly assigned recovery intervention of passive (PAS: resting), active (ACT: 30% PVo2max), or NMES (5 Hz, 4 pulses at 500 μs). Immediately afterward, a cycle bout at 95% PVo2max to exhaustion (TLIM) was performed. Heart rate (HR) and blood lactate (BLa) were recorded at designated time points. Data were analyzed using repeated-measures ANOVA with a Tukey honestly significantly different post hoc test. Statistical significance threshold was P < .05.

Results: The TLIM was significantly shorter for NMES than for ACT (199.6 ± 69.4 s vs 250.7 ± 105.5 s: P = .016) but not PAS recovery (199.6 ± 69.4 s vs 216.4 ± 77.5 s: P = .157). The TLIM was not significantly different between ACT and PAS (250.7 ± 105.5 s vs 216.4 ± 77.5 s: P = .088). The decline in BLa was significantly greater during ACT than NMES and PAS recovery (P < .001), with no difference between NMES and PAS. In addition, HR was significantly higher during ACT than NMES and PAS recovery (P < .001), with no difference between NMES and PAS.

Conclusions: NMES was less effective than ACT and comparable to PAS recovery when used between 2 bouts of maximal aerobic exercise in trained male cyclists.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Bicycling
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy*
  • Exercise*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Muscle Contraction*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / innervation*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / metabolism
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance
  • Recovery of Function
  • Time Factors
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult

Substances

  • Biomarkers
  • Lactic Acid