Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2016) 15, 118 - 125

Research article
Short Duration Heat Acclimation in Australian Football Players
Monica Kelly1, Paul B. Gastin1, , Daniel B Dwyer1, Simon Sostaric2, Rodney J. Snow3
Author Information
1 Centre for Exercise and Sport Science, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Deakin University, Australia
2 Melbourne Sports and Allied Health Clinic, Australia
3 Centre for Physical Activity and Nutrition, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Australia

Paul B. Gastin
✉ School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, 3125, Victoria, Australia
Publish Date
Received: 05-11-2015
Accepted: 11-12-2015
Published (online): 23-02-2016
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This study examined if five sessions of short duration (27 min), high intensity, interval training (HIIT) in the heat over a nine day period would induce heat acclimation in Australian football (AF) players. Fourteen professional AF players were matched for VO2peak (mL·kg-1·min-1) and randomly allocated into either a heat acclimation (Acc) (n = 7) or Control (Con) group (n = 7). The Acc completed five cycle ergometer HIIT sessions within a nine day period on a cycle ergometer in the heat (38.7 ± 0.5 °C; 34.4 ± 1.3 % RH), whereas Con trained in thermo-neutral conditions (22.3 ± 0.2 °C; 35.8 ± 0. % RH). Four days prior and two days post HIIT participants undertook a 30 min constant load cycling test at 60% VO2peak in the heat (37.9 ± 0.1 °C; 28.5 ± 0.7 % RH) during which VO2, blood lactate concentration ([Lac-]), heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), thermal comfort, core and skin temperatures were measured. Heat acclimation resulted in reduced RPE, thermal comfort and [Lac-] (all p < 0.05) during the submaximal exercise test in the heat. Heart rate was lower (p = 0.007) after HIIT, in both groups. Heat acclimation did not influence any other measured variables. In conclusion, five short duration HIIT sessions in hot dry conditions induced limited heat acclimation responses in AF players during the in-season competition phase. In practice, the heat acclimation protocol can be implemented in a professional team environment; however the physiological adaptations resulting from such a protocol were limited.

Key words: Core temperature, thermoregulation, high intensity interval training, adaptation, metabolism

           Key Points
  • Some minor heat acclimation adaptations can be induced in professional AF players with five 27 min non-consecutive, short duration HIIT sessions in the heat.
  • The heat acclimation protocol employed in this study was able to be implemented in a professional team sport environment during an actual competitive season.
  • Elevating and maintaining a high core temperature sufficient for heat acclimation likely requires a longer heat training session or some pre-heating prior to exercise.
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