Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Effects of immediate post-exercise recovery after a high intensity exercise on subsequent cycling performance

Michal Kumstát, Ivan Struhár, Tomáš Hlinský, Andy Thomas



The aim of the study is to investigate the comparative effect of compression sleeves, rest and active recovery on performance and immediate recovery from high-intensity cycling performance (HICP). Eight recreationally trained male cyclists completed three trials, each separated by one week. Each trial consisted of two 10-min high intensity exercise task (30-20-10 s maximal HICP bouts with 3 min 1 W/kg recovery) separated by application one of the three 24-min recovery strategies (active – cycling 1W/kg, ACT; passive – supine position, PAS; passive – sitting with compression sleeves; PAS+CS). Applied recovery strategy effectiveness was assessed via changes in blood lactate clearance (LA), acid-base changes and performance parameters (fatigue index, FI; peak power, PP and relative peak power). Fatigue index was significantly improved by ACT for 30s and 20s HICP. There was a significant decrease in FI for PAS + CS (p = 0.041) and PAS (p = 0.026) showing a negative impact of PAS + CS and PAS for keeping PP during 10s task. The rate of decrease in plasma LA concentration over the 24-min recovery period was significantly higher in ACT (0.50 ± 0.1 mmol/min) compared to PAS and PAS+CS (0.31 ± 0.07 mmol/l, p = 0.001, 0.37 ± 0.09 mmol/min, p = 0.024, respectively). The passive recovery strategies decreased the ability of keeping repeated maximal intensity cycling performance in contrast to active recovery. The use of compression calf sleeves has no significant additional effect on plasma lactate clearance after high intensity anaerobic exercise above resting condition.


Blood lactate; Regeneration; Compression garment; Wingate test; Anaerobic workout


Barnett, A. (2006). Using recovery modalities between training sessions in elite athletes: does it help? Sports Med, 36(9), 781–796.

Beliard, S., Chauveau, M., Moscatiello, T., Cros, F., Ecarnot, F., & Becker, F. (2015). Compression garments and exercise: no influence of pressure applied. J Sports Sci Med, 14(1), 75–83.

Duffield, R., Edge, J., Merrells, R., Hawke, E., Barnes, M., Simcock, D., & Gill, N. (2008). The Effects of Compression Garments on Intermittent Exercise Performance and Recovery on Consecutive Days. Int J Sports Physiol Perform, 3(4), 454–468.

Frikha, M., Chaâri, N., Mezghanni, N., & Souissi, N. (2016). Influence of warm-up duration and recovery interval prior to exercise on anaerobic performance. Biol Sport, 33(4), 361–366.

Haun, C. T., Roberts, M. D., Romero, M. A., Osburn, S. C., Mobley, C. B., Anderson, R. G., … Martin, J. S. (2017). Does external pneumatic compression treatment between bouts of overreaching resistance training sessions exert differential effects on molecular signaling and performance-related variables compared to passive recovery? An exploratory study. PloS One, 12(6), e0180429.

Hill, J., Howatson, G., van Someren, K., Leeder, J., & Pedlar, C. (2014). Compression garments and recovery from exercise-induced muscle damage: a meta-analysis. Br J Sports Med, 48(18), 1340–1346.

Hohenauer, E., Taeymans, J., Baeyens, J.-P., Clarys, P., & Clijsen, R. (2015). The Effect of Post-Exercise Cryotherapy on Recovery Characteristics: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PloS One, 10(9), e0139028.

Kriel, Y., Kerhervé, H. A., Askew, C. D., & Solomon, C. (2016). The Effect of Active versus Passive Recovery Periods during High Intensity Intermittent Exercise on Local Tissue Oxygenation in 18 – 30 Year Old Sedentary Men. PloS One, 11(9).

MacRae, B. A., Cotter, J. D., & Laing, R. M. (2011). Compression garments and exercise: garment considerations, physiology and performance. Sports Med, 41(10), 815–843.

Mika, A., Oleksy, Ł., Kielnar, R., Wodka-Natkaniec, E., Twardowska, M., Kamiński, K., & Małek, Z. (2016). Comparison of Two Different Modes of Active Recovery on Muscles Performance after Fatiguing Exercise in Mountain Canoeist and Football Players. PloS One, 11(10), e0164216.

Morton, R. H. (2007). Contrast water immersion hastens plasma lactate decrease after intense anaerobic exercise. J Sci Med Sport, 10(6), 467–470.

Peterson, A. R., Smoot, M. K., Erickson, J. L., Mathiasen, R. E., Kregel, K. C., & Hall, M. (2015). Basic Recovery Aids: What's the Evidence? Curr Sports Med Rep, 14(3), 227.

Spencer, M., Bishop, D., Dawson, B., & Goodman, C. (2005). Physiological and Metabolic Responses of Repeated-Sprint Activities: Specific to Field-Based Team Sports. Sports Med, 35(12), 1025–1044.

Spierer, D. K., Goldsmith, R., Baran, D. A., Hryniewicz, K., & Katz, S. D. (2004). Effects of active vs. passive recovery on work performed during serial supramaximal exercise tests. Int J Sports Med, 25(2), 109–114.

Struhar, I., & Kumstat, M. (2017). Variation in Pressure Applied by Compression Calf Sleeves Does Not Influence Immediate Post Exercise Recovery. (D. Milanovic, G. Sporis, S. Salaj, & D. Skegro, Eds.). Zagreb: Univ Zagreb, Fac Kinesiology.

Wahl, P., Mathes, S., Achtzehn, S., Bloch, W., & Mester, J. (2014). Active vs. passive recovery during high-intensity training influences hormonal response. Int J Sports Med, 35(7), 583–589.

Wahl, P, Bloch, W., Mester, J., Born, D.-P., & Sperlich, B. (2012). Effects of different levels of compression during sub-maximal and high-intensity exercise on erythrocyte deformability. Eur J Appl Physiol, 112(6), 2163–2169.

Wahl, P, Mathes, S., Köhler, K., Achtzehn, S., Bloch, W., & Mester, J. (2013). Effects of active vs. passive recovery during Wingate-based training on the acute hormonal, metabolic and psychological response. Growth Horm IGF Res Off J Growth Horm Res Soc Int IGF Res Soc, 23(6), 201–208.

Wilcock, I. M., Cronin, J. B., & Hing, W. A. (2006). Physiological Response to Water Immersion. Sports Med, 36(9), 747–765.

Zinner, C., Pelka, M., Ferrauti, A., Meyer, T., Pfeiffer, M., & Sperlich, B. (2017). Responses of low and high compression during recovery after repeated sprint training in well-trained handball players. Eur J Sport Sci, 17(10), 1304–1310.


Copyright (c) 2019 Journal of Human Sport and Exercise

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.