Muscle oxygen changes following sprint interval cycling training in elite field hockey players


This study examined the effects of Sprint Interval Cycling (SIT) on muscle oxygenation kinetics and performance during the 30-15 intermittent fitness test (IFT). Twenty-five women hockey players of Olympic standard were randomly selected into an experimental group (EXP) and a control group (CON). The EXP group performed six additional SIT sessions over six weeks in addition to their normal training program. To explore the potential training-induced change, EXP subjects additionally completed 5 x 30s maximal intensity cycle testing before and after training. During these tests near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) measured parameters; oxyhaemoglobin + oxymyoglobin (HbO2+ MbO2), tissue deoxyhaemoglobin + deoxymyoglobin (HHb+HMb), total tissue haemoglobin (tHb) and tissue oxygenation (TSI %) were taken. In the EXP group (5.34±0.14 to 5.50±0.14m.s-1) but not the CON group (pre = 5.37± 0.27 to 5.39±0.30m.s-1) significant changes were seen in the 30-15IFTperformance. EXP group also displayed significant post-training increases during the sprint cycling: $Δ$TSI (-7.59±0.91 to -12.16±2.70%); $Δ$HHb+HMb (35.68±6.67 to 69.44 ±26.48$μ$; and $Δ$HbO2+ MbO2 (-74.29±13.82 to -109.36±22.61$μ$ No significant differences were seen in $Δ$tHb (-45.81±15.23 to -42.93±16.24). NIRS is able to detect positive peripheral muscle oxygenation changes when used during a SIT protocol which has been shown to be an effective training modality within elite athletes.