European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 114, Issue 9, pp 1821–1830 | Cite as

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

  • M. A. JohnsonEmail author
  • I. R. Gregson
  • D. E. Mills
  • J. T. Gonzalez
  • G. R. Sharpe
Original Article



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.


Ten cyclists (\(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{ 2} \,{ \hbox{max} }\) = 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.


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.


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.


Respiratory muscle Pacing Prior exercise Perception 



Control trial


Cycling warm-up trial


Cycling warm-up plus inspiratory muscle warm-up trial


Inspiratory muscle warm-up


Lactate concentration


Maximal inspiratory mouth pressure


Partial pressure of carbon dioxide


Respiratory exchange ratio


Rating of perceived exertion


Arterial oxygen saturation


Minute ventilation

\(\dot{V}{\text{CO}}_{ 2}\)

Carbon dioxide production


Oxygen uptake

\(\dot{W}_{\hbox{max} }\)

Maximal power output


Conflict of interest



  1. Abbiss CR, Laursen PB (2008) Describing and understanding pacing strategies during athletic competition. Sports Med 38:239–252PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bailey SJ, Vanhatalo A, Wilkerson DP, Dimenna FJ, Jones AM (2009) Optimizing the “priming” effect: influence of prior exercise intensity and recovery duration on O2 uptake kinetics and severe-intensity exercise tolerance. J Appl Physiol 107:1743–1756PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Behm DG, Chaouachi A (2011) A review of the acute effects of static and dynamic stretching on performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 111:2633–2651PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Bishop D (2003a) Warm up II: performance changes following active warm up and how to structure the warm up. Sports Med 33:483–498PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Bishop D (2003b) Warm up I: potential mechanisms and the effects of passive warm up on exercise performance. Sports Med 33:439–454PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Borg G (1998) Borg’s perceived exertion and pain scales. Human Kinetics, ILGoogle Scholar
  7. Brown PI, Sharpe GR, Johnson MA (2010) Loading of trained inspiratory muscles speeds lactate recovery kinetics. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42:1103–1112PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. Brown PI, Sharpe GR, Johnson MA (2012) Inspiratory muscle training abolishes the blood lactate increase associated with volitional hyperpnoea superimposed on exercise and accelerates lactate and oxygen uptake kinetics at the onset of exercise. Eur J Appl Physiol 112:2117–2129PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Burnley M, Doust JH, Jones AM (2006) Time required for the restoration of normal heavy exercise VO2 kinetics following prior heavy exercise. J Appl Physiol 101:1320–1327PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Carter H, Grice Y, Dekerle J, Brickley G, Hammond AJ, Pringle JS (2005) Effect of prior exercise above and below critical power on exercise to exhaustion. Med Sci Sports Exerc 37:775–781PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Cheng CF, Tong TK, Kuo YC, Chen PH, Huang HW, Lee CL (2013) Inspiratory muscle warm-up attenuates muscle deoxygenation during cycling exercise in women athletes. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 186:296–302PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Ferguson C, Rossiter HB, Whipp BJ, Cathcart AJ, Murgatroyd SR, Ward SA (2010) Effect of recovery duration from prior exhaustive exercise on the parameters of the power–duration relationship. J Appl Physiol 108:866–874PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Hajoglou A, Foster C, De Koning JJ, Lucia A, Kernozek TW, Porcari JP (2005) Effect of warm-up on cycle time trial performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 37:1608–1614PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Hawkes EZ, Nowicky AV, McConnell AK (2007) Diaphragm and intercostal surface EMG and muscle performance after acute inspiratory muscle loading. Respir Physiol Neurobiol 155:213–219PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Ingham SA, Fudge BW, Pringle JS, Jones AM (2013) Improvement of 800-m running performance with prior high-intensity exercise. Int J Sports Physiol Perform 8:77–83PubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. Johnson MA, Mills DE, Brown DM, Bayfield KJ, Gonzalez JT, Sharpe GR (2012) Inspiratory loading intensity does not influence lactate clearance during recovery. Med Sci Sports Exerc 44:863–871PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Jones AM, Koppo K, Burnley M (2003) Effects of prior exercise on metabolic and gas exchange responses to exercise. Sports Med 33:949–971PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Lin H, Tong TK, Huang C, Nie J, Lu K, Quach B (2007) Specific inspiratory muscle warm-up enhances badminton footwork performance. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 32:1082–1088PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Lomax M, Grant I, Corbett J (2011) Inspiratory muscle warm-up and inspiratory muscle training: separate and combined effects on intermittent running to exhaustion. J Sports Sci 29:563–569PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lucia A, Hoyos J, Santalla A, Earnest C, Chicharro JL (2003) Tour de France versus Vuelta a Espana: which is harder? Med Sci Sports Exerc 35:872–878PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Mandengue SH, Seck D, Bishop D, Cisse F, Tsala-Mbala P, Ahmaidi S (2005) Are athletes able to self-select their optimal warm up? J Sci Med Sport 8:26–34PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. McConnell A (2007) Lung and respiratory muscle function. In: Winter EM, Jones AM, Davison RCR, Bromley PD, Mercer TH (eds) Sport and exercise physiology testing guidelines, 1st edn. Routledge, LondonGoogle Scholar
  23. Miller MR, Hankinson J, Brusasco V et al (2005) Standardisation of spirometry. Eur Respir J 26:319–338PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mills DE, Johnson MA, McPhilimey MJ et al (2013) The effects of inspiratory muscle training on plasma interleukin-6 concentration during cycling exercise and a volitional mimic of the exercise hyperpnea. J Appl Physiol 115:1163–1172PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Palmer CD, Jones AM, Kennedy GJ, Cotter JD (2009) Effects of prior heavy exercise on energy supply and 4000-m cycling performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41:221–229PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Rice AJ, Scroop GC, Gore CJ et al (1999) Exercise-induced hypoxaemia in highly trained cyclists at 40% peak oxygen uptake. Eur J Appl Physiol Occup Physiol 79:353–359PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ross EZ, Nowicky AV, McConnell AK (2007) Influence of acute inspiratory loading upon diaphragm motor-evoked potentials in healthy humans. J Appl Physiol 102:1883–1890PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sargeant AJ, Dolan P (1987) Effect of prior exercise on maximal short-term power output in humans. J Appl Physiol 63:1475–1480PubMedGoogle Scholar
  29. Shephard RJ (1998) Science and medicine of rowing: a review. J Sports Sci 16:603–620CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Stone MR, Thomas K, Wilkinson M, St Clair Gibson A, Thompson KG (2011) Consistency of perceptual and metabolic responses to a laboratory-based simulated 4,000-m cycling time trial. Eur J Appl Physiol 111:1807–1813PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tong TK, Fu FH (2006) Effect of specific inspiratory muscle warm-up on intense intermittent run to exhaustion. Eur J Appl Physiol 97:673–680PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Tong TK, Fu FH, Chung PK et al (2008) The effect of inspiratory muscle training on high-intensity, intermittent running performance to exhaustion. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 33:671–681PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tucker R (2009) The anticipatory regulation of performance: the physiological basis for pacing strategies and the development of a perception-based model for exercise performance. Br J Sports Med 43:392–400PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Volianitis S, McConnell AK, Koutedakis Y, Jones DA (1999) The influence of prior activity upon inspiratory muscle strength in rowers and non-rowers. Int J Sports Med 20:542–547PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Volianitis S, McConnell AK, Koutedakis Y, Jones DA (2001) Specific respiratory warm-up improves rowing performance and exertional dyspnea. Med Sci Sports Exerc 33:1189–1193PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wilson SH, Cooke NT, Edwards RH, Spiro SG (1984) Predicted normal values for maximal respiratory pressures in Caucasian adults and children. Thorax 39:535–538PubMedCentralPubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Wittekind A, Cooper CE, Elwell CE, Leung TS, Beneke R (2012) Warm-up effects on muscle oxygenation, metabolism and sprint cycling performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 112:3129–3139PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Yaicharoen P, Wallman K, Morton A, Bishop D (2012) The effect of warm-up on intermittent sprint performance and selected thermoregulatory parameters. J Sci Med Sport 15:451–456PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • M. A. Johnson
    • 1
    Email author
  • I. R. Gregson
    • 1
  • D. E. Mills
    • 2
  • J. T. Gonzalez
    • 3
  • G. R. Sharpe
    • 1
  1. 1.Sport, Health and Performance Enhancement (SHAPE) Research Group, School of Science and TechnologyNottingham Trent UniversityNottinghamUK
  2. 2.Queensland Children’s Medical Research InstituteThe University of QueenslandBrisbaneAustralia
  3. 3.School of Life SciencesNorthumbria UniversityNewcastle Upon TyneUK

Personalised recommendations