European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 112, Issue 5, pp 1663–1669 | Cite as

Detrimental effects of West to East transmeridian flight on jump performance

  • Dale W. ChapmanEmail author
  • Nicola Bullock
  • Angus Ross
  • Doug Rosemond
  • David T. Martin
Original Article


It is perceived that long haul travel, comprising of rapid movement across several time zones is detrimental to performance in elite athletes. However, available data is equivocal on the impact of long haul travel on maximal explosive movements. The aim of this study was to quantify the impact of long haul travel on lower body muscle performance. Five elite Australian skeleton athletes (1 M, 4 F) undertook long haul flight from Australia to Canada (LHtravel), while seven national team Canadian skeleton athletes (1 M, 6 F) acted as controls (NOtravel). Lower body power assessments were performed once per day between 09:30 and 11:00 h local time for 11 days. Lower body power tests comprised of box drop jumps, squat jump (SJ) and countermovement jumps (CMJ). The LHtravel significantly decreased peak and mean SJ velocity but not CMJ velocity in the days following long haul flight. CMJ height but not SJ height decreased significantly in the LHtravel group. The peak velocity, mean velocity and jump power eccentric utilisation ratio for the LHtravel group all significantly increased 48 h after long haul flight. Anecdotally athletes perceived themselves as ‘jet-lagged’ and this corresponded with disturbances observed in ‘one-off’ daily jumping ability between 09:30 and 11:00 h after eastward long haul travel from Australia to North America when compared to non-travel and baseline controls.


Circadian Knee extensors Lower body power Squat jumps Skeleton Elite athletes 



We would like to acknowledge the Australian National Talent Identification and Development program for providing logistical and financial support for this study, in particular Dr Jason Gulbin. A special thanks to Professor Greg Atkinson for his advice on the methodological design of this study. We would like to thank the Australian national skeleton coach Terry Holland and the Canadian skeleton high performance director Teresa Schlachter for their support and all of the skeleton athletes from Australia and Canada that gave maximal efforts during these trials.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.


  1. Bernard T, Giacomoni M, Gavarry O, Seymat M, Falgairette G (1998) Time-of-day effects in maximal anaerobic leg exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 77:133–138PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bullock N, Gulbin JP, Martin DT, Ross A, Holland T, Marino FE (2009a) Talent identification and deliberate programming in skeleton: ice novice to Winter Olympian in 14 months. J Sports Sci 27:397–404PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Bullock N, Hopkins WG, Martin DT, Marino FE (2009b) Characteristics of performance in skeleton World Cup races. J Sports Sci 27:367–372PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bullock N, Martin DT, Ross A, Rosemond D, Holland T, Marino FE (2008) Characteristics of the start in women’s World Cup skeleton. Sports Biomech 7:351–360PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bullock N, Martin DT, Ross A, Rosemond D, Marino FE (2007) Effect of long haul travel on maximal sprint performance and diurnal variations in elite skeleton athletes. Br J Sports Med 41:569–573PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cohen J (1969) Statistical power analysis for the behavioral sciences. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  7. Coldwells A, Atkinson G, Reilly T (1994) Sources of variation in back and leg dynamometry. Ergonomics 37:79–86PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Edwards B, Waterhouse J, Atkinson G, Reilly T (2002) Exercise does not necessarily influence the phase of the circadian rhythm in temperature in healthy humans. J Sports Sci 20:725–732PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Gauthier A, Davenne D, Martin A, Hoecke JV (2001) Time of day effects on isometric and isokinetic torque developed during elbow flexion in humans. Eur J Appl Physiol 84:249–252PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Hopkins WG (2000) Measures of reliability in sports medicine and science. Sports Med 30:1–15PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Hopkins WG, Marshall SW, Batterham AM, Hanin J (2009) Progressive statistics for studies in sports medicine and exercise science. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41:3–12PubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. Kline CE, Durstine JL, Davis JM, Moore TA, Devlin TM, Zielinski MR, Youngstedt SD (2007) Circadian variation in swim performance. J Appl Physiol 102:641–649PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Lawerence SR, Lockwood R (1993) The effect of rapid translocation on circadian rhythm and selected performance tasks of elite athletes. National Annual Scientific Conference in Sports MedicineGoogle Scholar
  14. Loat CE, Rhodes EC (1989) Jet-lag and human performance. Sports Med 8:226–238PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Manfredini R, Manfredini F, Fersini C, Conconi F (1998) Circadian rhythms, athletic performance, and jet lag. Br J Sports Med 32:101–106PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Martin A, Carpentier A, Guissard N, Hoecke JV, Duchateau J (1999) Effect of time of day on force variation in human muscle. Muscle Nerv 22:1380–1387Google Scholar
  17. McGuigan MR, Doyle TLA, Newton M, Edwards DJ, Nimphius S, Newton RU (2006) Eccentric utilization ratio: effect of sport and phase of training. J Strength Cond Res 20:992–995PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. O’Connor PJ, Morgan WP (1990) Athletic performance following rapid traversal of multiple time zones. Sports Med 10:20–30PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Reilly T, Atkinson G, Waterhouse J (1997) Biological rhythms and exercise. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
  20. Reilly T, Down A (1986) Circadian variation in the standing broad jump. Percept Mot Skills 62:830CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Reilly T, Down A (1992) Investigation of circadian rhythms in anaerobic power and capacity of the legs. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 32:343–347PubMedGoogle Scholar
  22. Rhea MR (2004) Determining the magnitude of treatment effects in strength training research through the use of the effect size. J Strength Cond Res 18:918–920Google Scholar
  23. Sedilak M, Finni T, Cheng S, Haikarainen T, Hakkinen K (2008) Diurnal variation in maximal and submaximal strength, power and neural activation of leg extensors in men: multiple sampling across two consecutive days. Int J Sports Med 29:217–224CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Taylor K, Cronin J, Gill N, Chapman DW, Sheppard JM (2011) Diurnal variation in vertical jump performance: influence of warm-up. Int J Sports Med 32:185–189PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Waterhouse J, Reilly T, Atkinson G (1997) Jet-lag. Lancet 350:1611–1616Google Scholar
  26. Winget CM, DeRoshia CW, Holley DC (1985) Circadian rhythms and athletic performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 17:498–516PubMedGoogle Scholar
  27. Winget CM, DeRoshia CW, Markley CL, Holley DC (1984) A review of human physiological and performance changes associated with desynchronosis of biological rhythms. Aviat Space Environ Med 55:1085–1096PubMedGoogle Scholar
  28. Wright JE, Vogel JA, Sampson JB, Knapik JJ, Patton JF, Daniels WL (1983) Effects of travel across time zones (jet-lag) on exercise capacity and performance. Aviat Space Environ Med 54:132–137PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Youngstedt SD, O’Connor PJ (1999) The influence of air travel on athletic performance. Sports Med 28:197–207PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Dale W. Chapman
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Nicola Bullock
    • 1
  • Angus Ross
    • 3
  • Doug Rosemond
    • 4
  • David T. Martin
    • 1
  1. 1.PhysiologyAustralian Institute of SportBelconnenAustralia
  2. 2.School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityPerthAustralia
  3. 3.New Zealand Academy of Sport, South IslandDunedinNew Zealand
  4. 4.BiomechanicsAustralian Institute of SportBelconnenAustralia

Personalised recommendations