Pneumatic compression fails to improve performance recovery in trained cyclists Academic Article uri icon


  • To examine the efficacy of intermittent sequential pneumatic compression (ISPC) on exercise recovery and subsequent performance, when implemented between a 20-min cycling bout (simulated scratch race) and a 4-min cycling test (simulated individual pursuit), as experienced during an Omnium track cycling competition.Twenty-one (13 male and 8 female, mean [SD]: age = 36 [14] y) trained cyclists completed a familiarization trial followed by 2 experimental trials in a counterbalanced, cross-over design. Participants performed a fixed-intensity 20-min cycling bout on a Wattbike cycle ergometer, followed by a 30-min recovery period where ISPC recovery boots or passive recovery was implemented. At the conclusion of the recovery period, participants performed a 4-min maximal cycling bout (4-min time trial [TT]). Average power (watts) for the 4-min TT, blood lactate concentration, and perceived total quality recovery (TQR) during the recovery period were used to examine the influence of ISPC.There were no significant differences between trials for the 4-min TT (P = .08), with the effect deemed to be trivial (d = -0.08). There was an unclear effect (d [±90% confidence interval] = 0.26 [±0.78], P = .57) for ISPC vs passive recovery in the clearance of blood lactate during the recovery period. There was a small but not significant difference for perceived TQR in favor of ISPC (d [±90% confidence interval] = 0.27 [±0.27], P = .07).There was little additional benefit associated with the use of ISPC to enhance recovery and subsequent performance when used during the recovery period between 2 events in a simulated Omnium track cycling competition.

publication date

  • 2017