HIIT vs. SIT, Caffeine vs. Nicotine: Sports Science in Action – Rowing Stories, Features, Interviews

We constantly come across sports science studies that are of interest to rowers.


While this may come as a surprise to very few rowers, it never hurts to make a little assertion – that hard interval training leads to positive adaptations in cardiac function.

Effect of interval training on factors influencing maximal oxygen consumption: A study entitled A systematic review and meta-analysis compared high-intensity interval training (HIIT). SIT) Shorter, maximum intensity efforts and longer rests – let’s say 15-20 stroke pieces in between a few minutes of effort. For rowboats, this could be a practice start or even a lift like the final 20 strokes of a race.

Conclusions – Most of the adaptations required for rowing – increased stroke volume, increased plasma volume, increased myocardial mass – were primarily improved by HIIT training.

However, capillary density increased the most after the SIT workout. As YLMSportScience says, intervals train your heart and sprints train your muscles.

Effects of interval training on factors influencing maximal oxygen consumption: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Caffeine: Altius, Sitius, sometimes Fortius

There is a lot of information here, but almost all say that caffeine will make you faster (over distance), stronger, have better endurance, and perform better.

For rowers, the “Caffeine and Endurance Exercises” and “Caffeine and Sport-Specific Performance” sections are most helpful. In particular, cross-country his skiers were observed to have less time to complete a set distance and less time to fail. That same section shows many cases where caffeine doesn’t offer much of a benefit.

It did help basketball players jump higher, though, and while it’s not always Fortius, it seems pretty reliable for Altius and Citius.

Nicotine, maybe not so much…

Studies on the effects of “Snus” use on exercise performance, with mixed opinions, ultimately recommend against nicotine use, leading to reduced maximal force production, reduced reaction time, Negative effects include delays, training readiness/health scores, and increased injuries. dangerous. Some studies found an increase in muscle and brain oxygenation, but not all studies found an improvement in perceived effort or time to failure.

Nearly all found that athletes already addicted to nicotine needed nicotine to maintain baseline athletic performance.

This is one study entitled Observations of Practitioners of Oral Nicotine Use in Elite Sports: You Lose – or see this easy-to-read infographic in the second panel – or ScienceDirect Read this very complete and coherent view on the issue: Oral Smokelessness Impacts Tobacco Management on Endurance Performance.

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