Hyperbaric oxygen (HBO) exposure involves the breathing of 100% oxygen under conditions of elevated atmospheric pressure and is used to increase the oxygen content of the plasma fraction of arterial blood. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of acute HBO exposure on selected physiological responses and performance in response to maximal lower extremity or upper extremity short-term, high-intensity exercise. The study was performed with 2 separate experiments incorporating double-blinded and randomized protocols. In experiment 1, 9 subjects ran on a treadmill at a speed of 268 m[middle dot]min-1 with a predetermined grade. In experiment 2, 9 different subjects performed a repetitive bench press exercise. Both exercise protocols were designed to induce fatigue within 1-2 minutes. Within each experiment, subjects received either a 1-hour HBO exposure inspiring 100% O2 at 202.6 kPa (2.0 atmospheres absolute pressure [ATA]) or a 1-hour sham exposure inspiring ambient air at 121.5 kPa (1.2 ATA) before exercise. No significant differences (p >= 0.05) were observed in postexercise blood lactate concentrations, peak heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, or performance as determined by treadmill running time or number of completed lifts. Unlike other methods that elevate oxygen content of the blood, acute HBO exposure appears to have no significant effect on subsequent high-intensity running or lifting performance.
(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association