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B-30 Basic Science World Congress/Poster - Fatigue, Performance, and Ergogenics Wednesday, May 27, 2015, 1: 00 PM - 6: 00 PM Room: Exhibit Hall F

A Randomized Controlled Trial of Brain Endurance Training (BET) to Reduce Fatigue During Endurance Exercise

754 Board #150 May 27, 3

30 PM - 5

00 PM

Marcora, Samuele M.; Staiano, Walter; Merlini, Michele

Author Information
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise: May 2015 - Volume 47 - Issue 5S - p 198
doi: 10.1249/01.mss.0000476967.03579.44
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PURPOSE: Brain Endurance Training (BET) is a new training method that uses acute mental fatigue as a training stimulus to induce chronic reductions in fatigue during physical and/or cognitive tasks. The aim of this study was to test the efficacy of BET in ameliorating fatigue during endurance exercise in healthy male adults. The hypotheses were that the combination of BET and standard endurance training increases time to exhaustion (TTE) and reduces rating of perceived exertion (RPE) more than standard endurance training alone.

METHODS: 40 healthy male volunteers (age 28 ± 6 years) were randomly assigned to two different training groups: BET and control. Both groups trained on a cycle ergometer for 60 min at 65% VO2max. Whilst cycling, the BET group performed a mentally fatiguing task on a computer (60 min of the AX-CPT task). The control group was not involved in any mentally fatiguing task whilst cycling. Both groups trained three times a week for 12 weeks. VO2max and TTE at 80% of current VO2max were measured at baseline (pre-test), after six weeks of training (mid-test) and after 12 weeks of training (post-test). RPE was measured every minute during the TTE test. Data were analysed using mixed model ANOVAs.

RESULTS: 35 participants (17 in the BET group, 18 in the control group) completed all tests. VO2max increased similarly in both groups from 40 ± 5 ml/kg/min to 52 ± 6 ml/kg/min (P < 0.01). However, TTE increased significantly more in the BET group (pre-test 28 ± 9 min; mid-test 39 ± 11 min; post-test 55 ± 17 min) than in the control group (pre-test 18 ± 5 min; mid-test 23 ± 7 min; post-test 28 ± 12 min) (p < 0.01). Analysis of covariance to adjust for the pre-test difference in TTE also revealed a larger improvement in the BET group (+126%) compared to the control group (+42%) (p < 0.01). RPE during the TTE was significantly lower in the BET group compared to the control group (p < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The results of this study provide initial evidence that the combination of BET and standard endurance training is more effective than standard endurance training alone in ameliorating our measures of fatigue (TTE and RPE) during endurance exercise in healthy male adults. Future studies should investigate the brain adaptations underlying the positive effects of BET and its efficacy in other populations such as females and elite endurance athletes.

© 2015 American College of Sports Medicine