Inspiratory muscle warm-up does not improve cycling time-trial performance

Michael A. Johnson, I. Gregson, Dean Mills, Javier Gonzalez, Graham Sharpe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose This study examined the effects of an active cycling warm-up, with and without the addition of an inspiratory muscle warm-up (IMW), on 10-km cycling time-trial performance. Methods Ten cyclists ( V ˙ O 2 max = 65 ± 9 mL kg−1 min−1) performed a habituation 10-km cycling time-trial and three further time-trials preceded by either no warm-up (CONT), a cycling-specific warm-up (CYC) comprising three consecutive 5-min bouts at powers corresponding to 70, 80, and 90 % of the gas exchange threshold, or a cycling-specific warm-up preceded by an IMW (CYC + IMW) comprising two sets of 30 inspiratory efforts against a pressure-threshold load of 40 % maximal inspiratory pressure (MIP). The cycling warm-up was followed by 2-min rest before the start of the time-trial. Results Time-trial performance times during CYC (14.75 ± 0.79 min) and CYC + IMW (14.70 ± 0.75 min) were not different, although both were faster than CONT (14.99 ± 0.90 min) (P <0.05). Throughout the time-trial, physiological (minute ventilation, breathing pattern, pulmonary gas exchange, heart rate, blood lactate concentration and pH) and perceptual (limb discomfort and dyspnoea) responses were not different between CYC and CYC + IMW. Baseline MIP during CONT and CYC was 151 ± 31 and 156 ± 39 cmH2O, respectively, and was unchanged following the time-trial. MIP increased by 8 % after IMW (152 ± 27 vs. 164 ± 27 cmH2O, P <0.05) and returned to baseline after the time-trial. Conclusions Improvements in 10-km cycling time-trial performance following an active cycling warm-up were not magnified by the addition of an IMW. Therefore, an appropriately designed active whole-body warm-up does adequately prepare the inspiratory muscles for cycling time-trials lasting approximately 15 min.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1821-1830
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 31 May 2014


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