European Journal of Applied Physiology

, Volume 118, Issue 8, pp 1599–1607 | Cite as

Impact of ischaemia–reperfusion cycles during ischaemic preconditioning on 2000-m rowing ergometer performance

  • Tiago TurnesEmail author
  • Rafael Alves de Aguiar
  • Rogério Santos de Oliveira Cruz
  • Amadeo Félix Salvador
  • Felipe Domingos Lisbôa
  • Kayo Leonardo Pereira
  • João Antônio Gesser Raimundo
  • Fabrizio Caputo
Original Article



Although ischaemic preconditioning (IPC), induced by cycles of transient limb ischaemia and reperfusion, seems to improve exercise performance, the optimal duration of ischaemia–reperfusion cycles is not established. The present study investigated the effect of ischaemia–reperfusion duration within each IPC cycle on performance in a 2000-m rowing ergometer test.


After incremental and familiarization tests, 16 trained rowers (mean ± SD: age, 24 ± 11 years; weight, 74.1 ± 5.9 kg; \(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{\text{2}}}\) peak, 67.2 ± 7.4 mL·kg−1·min−1) were randomly submitted to a 2000-m rowing test preceded by intermittent bilateral cuff inflation of the lower limbs with three cycles of ischaemia–reperfusion, lasting 5 min (IPC-5) or 10 min (IPC-10) at 220 or 20 mmHg (control). Power output, \(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{\text{2}}}\), heart rate, blood lactate concentration, pH, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), and near-infrared spectroscopy-derived measurements of the vastus lateralis muscle were continuously recorded.


No differences among treatments were found in the 2000-m test (control: 424 ± 17; IPC-5: 425 ± 16; IPC-10: 424 ± 17 s; P = 0.772). IPC-10 reduced the tissue saturation index and oxy-haemoglobin concentration during exercise compared with control. The power output during the last 100-m segment was significantly lower with IPC-10. The IPC treatments increased the heart rate over the first 500 m and decreased the pH after exercise. No alterations were observed in \(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{\text{2}}}\), blood lactate, or RPE among the trials.


In conclusion, IPC does not improve the 2000-m rowing ergometer performance of trained athletes regardless of the length of ischaemia–reperfusion cycles.


Athletes Ergogenic Muscle oxygenation Pacing \(\dot{V}{\text{O}}_{{\text{2}}}\)max. 



Blood lactate concentration


Oxy-haemoglobin concentration


Deoxy-haemoglobin concentrations


Accumulated oxygen deficit




Heart rate


Peak heart rate


Lactate threshold


Near-infrared spectroscopy


Ischaemic preconditioning


Ischaemic preconditioning with cycles of 5-min ischaemia–reperfusion


Ischaemic preconditioning with cycles of 10-min ischaemia–reperfusion


Ratings of perceived exertion


Tissue saturation index


Pulmonary oxygen uptake


Maximal oxygen uptake


Peak oxygen uptake



This work was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (CNPq) (research grant number: 487610/2013-0) and Fundação de Amparo a Pesquisa e Inovação do Estado de Santa Catarina (FAPESC). The authors would like to acknowledge Clube Náutico Francisco Martinelli, Clube de Regatas Aldo Luz and Clube Náutico Riachuelo for their contribution. We would also like to recognize the following coaches for their contribution to the project: Douglas Oliveira, Bernard’Augusto Ferrazza Dias, Eduardo Gomes de Azevedo Filho, and Rudemar Brizola de Quadros.

Author contribution statement

TT, RAA, RSOC and FC conceived and designed research. TT, RAA, FDL, AFS, FDL and JAGR conducted experiments. RSOC, KLP and FC contributed analytical tools. TT, RAA, RSOC and KLP analyzed data. TT, RAA, RSOC, JAGR, AFS, FDL and FC wrote the manuscript. All authors read and approved the manuscript.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that have no conflict of interest. The results of the current study do not constitute endorsement of the product by the authors or the journal.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Tiago Turnes
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Rafael Alves de Aguiar
    • 2
  • Rogério Santos de Oliveira Cruz
    • 2
  • Amadeo Félix Salvador
    • 1
    • 3
  • Felipe Domingos Lisbôa
    • 2
  • Kayo Leonardo Pereira
    • 2
  • João Antônio Gesser Raimundo
    • 2
  • Fabrizio Caputo
    • 2
  1. 1.Physical Effort Laboratory, Sports CenterFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil
  2. 2.Human Performance Research Group, Center for Health Sciences and SportSanta Catarina State UniversityFlorianópolisBrazil
  3. 3.Department of Kinesiology and Community HealthUniversity of Illinois at Urbana-ChampaignUrbana, IllinoisUSA

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