Active recovery has proven an effective means in reducing blood lactate concentration ([La-]) after various activities, yet its effects on performance are less clear. We investigated the effects of passive and active recovery on blood [La-], rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and performance during a resistance training workout. Fifteen resistance-trained males completed 3 workouts, each consisting of 6 sets of parallel squat exercise performed at 85% of 10 repetition maximum (10RM). Each set was separated by a 4-minute recovery period. Recovery was randomly assigned from the following: passive sitting; pedaling at 25% of onset of blood lactate accumulation (OBLA) exercise intensity (25%-OBLA); and pedaling at 50% of OBLA exercise intensity (50%-OBLA). Active recovery was performed on a bicycle ergometer at 70 rev[middle dot]min-1. Performance was determined postworkout by a maximal repetition performance (MRP) squat test using 65% of 10RM. Blood samples were collected: prewarm-up; post-second, postfourth, postsixth, and MRP sets; and postsecond, postfourth, and postsixth recovery periods. Significant differences (p <= 0.05) were observed in [La-], and RPE among the 3 recoveries, with 25%-OBLA lower than passive and 50%-OBLA. Total repetitions to exhaustion for the MRP were: passive (24.1 +/- 1.8); 25%-OBLA (29.3 +/- 1.8); and 50%-OBLA (23.1 +/- 1.7), with 25%-OBLA being significantly greater than passive and 50%-OBLA. In this investigation, active recovery at 25%-OBLA proved to be the most effective means of reducing [La-] during recovery and increasing performance following a parallel squat workout.
(C) 2000 National Strength and Conditioning Association