A passive heat maintenance strategy implemented during a simulated half-time improves lower body power output and repeated sprint ability in professional Rugby Union players

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Mark Russell
  • Dan West
  • Marc Briggs
  • Richard Bracken
  • Christian Cook
  • Tibault Giroud
  • Nicholas Gill
  • Liam Kilduff
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0119374
JournalPLoS ONE
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 18 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes
Reduced physical performance has been observed following the half-time period in team sports players, likely due to a decrease in muscle temperature during this period. We examined the effects of a passive heat maintenance strategy employed between successive exercise bouts on core temperature (Tcore) and subsequent exercise performance. Eighteen professional Rugby Union players completed this randomised and counter-balanced study. After a standardised warm-up (WU) and 15 min of rest, players completed a repeated sprint test (RSSA 1) and countermovement jumps (CMJ). Thereafter, in normal training attire (Control) or a survival jacket (Passive), players rested for a further 15 min (simulating a typical half-time) before performing a second RSSA (RSSA 2) and CMJ?s. Measurements of Tcore were taken at baseline, post-WU, pre-RSSA 1, post-RSSA 1 and pre-RSSA 2. Peak power output (PPO) and repeated sprint ability was assessed before and after the simulated half-time. Similar Tcore responses were observed between conditions at baseline (Control: 37.06±0.05°C; Passive: 37.03±0.05°C) and for all other Tcore measurements taken before half-time. After the simulated half-time, the decline in Tcore was lower (-0.74±0.08% vs. -1.54±0.06%, p<0.001) and PPO was higher (5610±105 W vs. 5440±105 W, p<0.001) in the Passive versus Control condition. The decline in PPO over half-time was related to the decline in Tcore (r = 0.632, p = 0.005). In RSSA 2, best, mean and total sprint times were 1.39±0.17% (p<0.001), 0.55±0.06% (p<0.001) and 0.55±0.06% (p<0.001) faster for Passive versus Control. Passive heat maintenance reduced declines in Tcore that were observed during a simulated half-time period and improved subsequent PPO and repeated sprint ability in professional Rugby Union players.


  • Russell_PLoS_passive_heat_maintenance_2015

    Rights statement: © 2015 Russell et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited

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External organisations

  • Northumbria University
  • Swansea University
  • Bangor University
  • Biarritz Olympique Rugby, Parc Des Sports Aguilera, Biarritz, France.

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