Purpose: To analyze the effects of different warm-up protocols on endurance-cycling performance from an integrative perspective (by assessing perceptual, neuromuscular, physiological, and metabolic variables).
Methods: Following a randomized crossover design, 15 male cyclists (35  y; peak oxygen uptake [VO2peak] 66.4 [6.8] mL·kg-1·min-1) performed a 20-minute cycling time trial (TT) preceded by no warm-up, a standard warm-up (10 min at 60% of VO2peak), or a warm-up that was intended to induce potentiation postactivation (PAP warm-up; 5 min at 60% of VO2peak followed by three 10-s all-out sprints). Study outcomes were jumping ability and heart-rate variability (both assessed at baseline and before the TT), TT performance (mean power output), and perceptual (rating of perceived exertion) and physiological (oxygen uptake, muscle oxygenation, heart-rate variability, blood lactate, and thigh skin temperature) responses during and after the TT.
Results: Both standard and PAP warm-up (9.7% [4.7%] and 12.9% [6.5%], respectively, P < .001), but not no warm-up (-0.9% [4.8%], P = .074), increased jumping ability and decreased heart-rate variability (-7.9% [14.2%], P = .027; -20.3% [24.7%], P = .006; and -1.7% [10.5%], P = .366). Participants started the TT (minutes 0-3) at a higher power output and oxygen uptake after PAP warm-up compared with the other 2 protocols (P < .05), but no between-conditions differences were found overall for the remainder of outcomes (P > .05).
Conclusions: Compared with no warm-up, warming up enhanced jumping performance and sympathetic modulation before the TT, and the inclusion of brief sprints resulted in a higher initial power output during the TT. However, no warm-up benefits were found for overall TT performance or for perceptual or physiological responses during the TT.
Keywords: cycling; exercise; preconditioning; time trial.
A Comparison of Different Prerace Warm-Up Strategies on 1-km Cycling Time-Trial Performance.Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2020 Apr 14:1-8. doi: 10.1123/ijspp.2019-0557. Online ahead of print. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2020. PMID: 32294619
The Effects of a Cycling Warm-up Including High-Intensity Heavy-Resistance Conditioning Contractions on Subsequent 4-km Time Trial Performance.J Strength Cond Res. 2019 Jan;33(1):57-65. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001908. J Strength Cond Res. 2019. PMID: 28368959
Effects of work-matched moderate- and high-intensity warm-up on power output during 2-min supramaximal cycling.Biol Sport. 2018 Sep;35(3):223-228. doi: 10.5114/biolsport.2018.74633. Epub 2018 Apr 1. Biol Sport. 2018. PMID: 30449939 Free PMC article.
Effect of precooling on high intensity cycling performance.Br J Sports Med. 1999 Dec;33(6):393-7. doi: 10.1136/bjsm.33.6.393. Br J Sports Med. 1999. PMID: 10597847 Free PMC article. Clinical Trial.
Distribution of power output during cycling: impact and mechanisms.Sports Med. 2007;37(8):647-67. doi: 10.2165/00007256-200737080-00001. Sports Med. 2007. PMID: 17645369 Review.