Acute Responses to Repeated-Sprint Training in Hypoxia Combined With Whole-Body Cryotherapy: A Preliminary Study


Purpose : This study aimed to investigate acute psychophysiological responses to repeated-sprint training in hypoxia (RSH) combined with whole-body cryotherapy (WBC). Method : Sixteen trained cyclists performed 3 sessions in randomized order: RSH, WBC-RSH (WBC pre-RSH), and RSH-WBC (WBC post-RSH). RSH consisted of 3 sets of 5 × 10-second sprints with 20-second recovery at a simulated altitude of 3000 m. Power output, muscle oxygenation (tissue saturation index), heart-rate variability, and recovery perception were analyzed. Sleep quality was assessed on the nights following test sessions and compared with a control night using nocturnal ActiGraphy and heart-rate variability. Results : Power output did not differ between the conditions ( P = .27), while the decrease in tissue saturation index was reduced for WBC-RSH compared to RSH-WBC in the last set. In both conditions with WBC, the recovery perception was higher compared to RSH (WBC-RSH: +15.4%, and RSH-WBC: +21.9%, P textless .05). The number of movements during the RSH-WBC night was significantly lower than for the control night (−18.7%, P textless .01) and WBC-RSH (−14.9%, P textless .05). RSH led to a higher root mean square of the successive differences of R-R intervals and high-frequency band during the first hour of sleep compared to the control night ( P textless .05) and RSH-WBC ( P textless .01). Conclusions : Inclusion of WBC in an RSH session did not modify the power output but could improve prolonged performance in hypoxia by maintaining muscle oxygenation. A single RSH session did not deteriorate sleep quality. WBC, particularly when performed after RSH, positively influenced recovery perception and sleep.

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance