Effect of ischemic preconditioning and changing inspired O2 fractions on neuromuscular function during intense exercise

Samuel L. Halley, Paul Marshall, Jason C. Siegler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The aim of the present study was to determine whether ischemic preconditioning (IPC)-mediated effects on neuromuscular function are dependent on tissue oxygenation. Eleven resistance-trained males completed four exercise trials (6 sets of 11 repetitions of maximal effort dynamic single-leg extensions) in either normoxic [fraction of inspired oxygen (FIO2 ): 21%) or hypoxic FIO2 : 14%] conditions, preceded by treatments of either IPC (3 × 5 min bilateral leg occlusions at 220 mmHg) or sham (3 × 5 min at 20 mmHg). Femoral nerve stimulation was utilized to assess voluntary activation and potentiated twitch characteristics during maximal voluntary contractions (MVCs). Tissue oxygenation (via near-infrared spectroscopy) and surface electromyography activity were measured throughout the exercise task. MVC and twitch torque declined 62 and 54%, respectively (MVC: 96 ± 24 N•m, Cohen's d = 2.9, P < 0.001; twitch torque: 37 ± 11 N•m, d = 1.6, P < 0.001), between pretrial measurements and the sixth set without reductions in voluntary activation (P > 0.21); there were no differences between conditions. Tissue oxygenation was reduced in both hypoxic conditions compared with normoxia (P < 0.001), with an even further reduction of 3% evident in the hypoxic IPC compared with the sham trial (mean decrease 1.8 ± 0.7%, d = 1.0, P < 0.05). IPC did not affect any measure of neuromuscular function regardless of tissue oxygenation. A reduction in FIO2 did invoke a humoral response and improved muscle O2 extraction during exercise, however, it did not manifest into any performance benefit. NEW & NOTEWORTHY Ischemic preconditioning did not affect any facet of neuromuscular function regardless of the degree of tissue oxygenation. Reducing the fraction of inspired oxygen induced localized tissue deoxygenation, subsequently invoking a humoral response, which improved muscle oxygen extraction during exercise. This physiological response, however, did not manifest into any performance benefits.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1688-1697
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Applied Physiology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Blood occlusion
  • Central drive
  • Hypoxia
  • Intense exercise
  • Peripheral fatigue

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


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