Effect of in- versus out-of-water recovery on repeated swimming sprint performance

  • Martin BuchheitEmail author
  • Hani Al Haddad
  • Arnaud Chivot
  • Pierre Marie Leprêtre
  • Said Ahmaidi
  • Paul B. Laursen
Original Article


The aim of this study was to compare the effect of passive in- (IN) versus out-of-(OUT) water recovery on performance during repeated maximal sprint swimming. Nine well-trained male swimmers (21 ± 3.5 years) performed six repeated maximal 50-m sprints (RS), departing every 2 min, interspersed with either IN or OUT recovery. Best (RSb) and mean (RSm) RS times, percentage speed decrement (%Dec) and between-sprint heart rate recovery (HRR80s) were calculated for both conditions. Blood lactate was measured after the third ([La]b S3) and sixth sprints (post [La]b). Rating of perceived recovery level (REC) and exertion (RPE) were collected before and after each sprint. Repeated sprint performance was significantly lower in the OUT condition (i.e., for RSm, P = 0.02, +1.3%, 90% CI −0.7, 3.2%). OUT was also associated with poorer HRR80s (P < 0.001, −23%, 90% CI −34, −10%) and higher [La]b S3 (P < 0.01, +13%, 90% CI −1, 29%). Post [La]b, however, was similar (P = 0.44, +1%, 90% CI −7, 10%). RPE and REC were not significantly different between the two conditions (all P > 0.43). To conclude, present results confirm the beneficial effect of the IN condition on repeated swim sprint performance, but also suggest that the OUT recovery modality could be an effective training practice for eliciting a low intramuscular energy status.


Intermittent work Water immersion Between-sprint recovery modality 



The authors thank the swimmers for their enthusiastic participation, Jonathan Parouty and Pierre Ufland for their help in data collection, as well as Will Hopkins and Pitre Bourdon for their help during the revision of the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Martin Buchheit
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Hani Al Haddad
    • 1
    • 2
  • Arnaud Chivot
    • 1
  • Pierre Marie Leprêtre
    • 1
  • Said Ahmaidi
    • 1
  • Paul B. Laursen
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
  1. 1.Research Laboratory, EA 3300, Laboratory of Exercise Physiology and Rehabilitation, Faculty of Sport SciencesUniversity of Picardie, Jules VerneAmiensFrance
  2. 2.Sport Development and AnalysisMyorobie AssociationMontvalezanFrance
  3. 3.School of Exercise, Biomedical and Health SciencesEdith Cowan UniversityJoondalupAustralia
  4. 4.New Zealand Academy of Sport North IslandAucklandNew Zealand
  5. 5.Division of Sport and RecreationAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand

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