The effects of active and passive recovery on short-term, high intensity power output.

J. F. Signorile, C. Ingalls, L. M. Tremblay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


The advantage of active over passive recovery from long and intermediate duration exercise is well documented. Success has been attributed to metabolite washout and/or lactate (La) utilization by the active musculature. This study was designed to determine whether active recovery was superior to passive rest during short duration, high intensity performance. On 4 separate days, six athletes performed a set of eight 6-s power tests separated by 30-s recovery intervals under two recovery conditions. Recovery conditions involved either sitting passively on the bike (P) or actively pedaling (A) at 60 rpm using 1 kg resistance. A MANOVA on peak power (PP), fatigue rate (F), and total work (TW) showed a significant difference due to recovery condition, F(3, 169); p < .0001. Separate ANOVAs revealed that PP (A = 1192.85 watts, P = 1134.57 watts; p < .0001) and TW (A = 6.59 kJ, P = 6.23 kJ; p < .0001) differed significantly between conditions. No difference was found for F (A = 80.12 watts.sec-1, P = 79.80 watts.sec-1). Results indicate that active recovery provides superior performance to passive rest in repeated short-term, high intensity power activities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-42
Number of pages12
JournalCanadian journal of applied physiology = Revue canadienne de physiologie appliquée
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine


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