Can anaerobic performance be improved by remote ischemic preconditioning?

J Strength Cond Res. 2015 Jan;29(1):80-5. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000609.


Remote ischemic preconditioning (RIPC) provides a substantial benefit for heart protection during surgery. Recent literature on RIPC reveals the potential to benefit the enhancement of sports performance as well. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of RIPC on anaerobic performance. Seventeen healthy participants who practice regular physical activity participated in the project (9 women and 8 men, mean age 28 ± 8 years). The participants were randomly assigned to an RIPC intervention (four 5-minute cycles of ischemia reperfusion, followed by 5 minutes using a pressure cuff) or a SHAM intervention in a crossover design. After the intervention, the participants were tested for alactic anaerobic performance (6 seconds of effort) followed by a Wingate test (lactic system) on an electromagnetic cycle ergometer. The following parameters were evaluated: average power, peak power, the scale of perceived exertion, fatigue index (in watt per second), peak power (in Watt), time to reach peak power (in seconds), minimum power (in Watt), the average power-to-weight ratio (in watt per kilogram), and the maximum power-to-weight ratio (in watt per kilogram). The peak power for the Wingate test is 794 W for RIPC and 777 W for the control group (p = 0.208). The average power is 529 W (RIPC) vs. 520 W for controls (p = 0.079). Perceived effort for RIPC is 9/10 on the Borg scale vs. 10/10 for the control group (p = 0.123). Remote ischemic preconditioning does not offer any significant benefits for anaerobic performance.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anaerobic Threshold / physiology*
  • Arm / blood supply*
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise Test
  • Fatigue
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Ischemic Preconditioning / methods*
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion