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Physiological consequences of military high-speed boat transits

Physiological consequences of military high-speed boat transits

European Journal of Applied Physiology 111(9): 2041-2049

The purpose of this study was to investigate the consequences of a high-speed boat transit on physical performance. Twenty-four Royal Marines were randomly assigned to a control (CON) or transit (TRAN) group. The CON group sat onshore for 3 h whilst the TRAN group completed a 3-h transit in open-boats running side-by-side, at 40 knots in moderate-to-rough seas, with boat deck and seat-pan acceleration recorded. Performance tests (exhaustive shuttle-run, handgrip, vertical-jump, push-up) were completed pre- and immediately post-transit/sit, with peak heart rate (HRpeak) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) recorded. Serial blood samples (pre, 24, 36, 48, 72 h) were analyzed for creatine kinase (CK) activity. The transit was typified by frequent high shock impacts, but moderate mean heart rates (<45% HRpeak). The TRAN group post-transit run distance (-219 m, P < 0.01) and vertical-jump height (5%, P < 0.05) were reduced, the CON group showed no change. The TRAN group post-transit test RPE increased (P < 0.05), however, HRpeak was similar for each group (98%). Post-transit CK activity increased in the TRAN group up to 72 h (P < 0.01) and also, but less markedly, in the CON group (24 and 48 h, P < 0.05). Post-transit run and jump performances were reduced despite mean transit heart rates indicating low energy expenditure. The greater TRAN CK activity suggests muscle damage may have been a contributory factor. These findings have operational implications for Special Forces/naval/police/rescue services carrying out demanding, high-risk physical tasks during and immediately after high-speed boat transits.

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Accession: 055001567

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 21249380

DOI: 10.1007/s00421-010-1765-3

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