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Effects of priming and pacing strategy on oxygen-uptake kinetics and cycling performance

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journal contribution
posted on 16.03.2017, 11:07 by Stephen BaileyStephen Bailey, Anni Vanhatalo, Matthew Black, Fred J. DiMenna, Andrew M. Jones
Purpose: To assess whether combining prior ‘priming’ exercise with an all-out pacing strategy was more effective at improving O2 uptake (O2) kinetics and cycling performance than either intervention administered independently. Methods: Nine males completed target-work cycling performance trials using a self-paced or all-out pacing strategy with or without prior severe-intensity (70%Δ) priming exercise. Breath-by-breath pulmonary O2 and cycling power output were measured during all trials. Results: Compared to the self-paced-unprimed control trial (22 ± 5 s), the O2 mean response time (MRT) was shorter (O2 kinetics was faster) with all-out pacing (17 ± 4 s) and priming (17 ± 3 s), with the lowest O2 MRT observed when all-out pacing and priming were combined (15 ± 4 s) (P<0.05). However, total O2 consumed and end-exercise O2 were only higher than the control condition in the primed trials (P<0.05). Similarly, cycling performance was improved compared to control (98 ± 11 s) in the the self-paced-primed (93 ± 8 s) and all-out-primed (92 42 ± 8 s) trials (P<0.05), but not the all-out-unprimed trial (97 ± 5 s; P>0.05). Conclusions: These findings suggest that combining an all-out start with severe-intensity priming exercise additively improves the O2 MRT, but not total O2 consumption and cycling performance since these were improved by a similar magnitude in both primed trials relative to the self-paced-unprimed control condition. Therefore, these results support the use of priming exercise as a pre-competition intervention to improve oxidative metabolism and performance during short-duration high-intensity cycling exercise, independent of the pacing strategy adopted.



  • Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences

Published in

International Jourinal of Sports Physiology and Performance








BAILEY, S.J. al., 2016. Effects of priming and pacing strategy on oxygen-uptake kinetics and cycling performance. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 11(4), pp. 440-447.


© Human Kinetics Publishing as accepted for publication


AM (Accepted Manuscript)

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This work is made available according to the conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence. Full details of this licence are available at:

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Accepted author manuscript version reprinted, by permission, from International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 11(4), pp. 440-447, © Human Kinetics, Inc