Date of Award

January 2014

Degree Type

Open Access Thesis

Document Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Exercise and Sport Science

First Advisor

Peter Chomentowski

Department Affiliation

Exercise and Sport Science


Purpose: With the development of more intense and complex strength and conditioning programs, it is necessary to discover the best possible means of recovery during workout sessions to increase athletic performance. The objective of this study is to evaluate the effects of active recovery during the rest periods of a resistance training session on lactate clearance in varsity collegiate athletes.

Methods: Twenty healthy varsity collegiate athletes age 18-22 yr participated in a collegiate strength and conditioning workout session. Participants were randomly divided into an active recovery group (A.R.) and a passive recovery group (P.R.). Both groups performed 5 exercises for 2 sets of 8 repetitions at 70% 1RM, with 3 minutes of recovery between each set. The exercises were performed in the following order: Power Clean, Barbell Squat, Barbell Bench Press, Barbell Bent-Over Row, and Kettlebell swings. A.R. consisted of cycling on a Monark cycle ergometer at minimum resistance at 60 rpm during each 3 minute rest period, while P.R. remained stationary for the duration of the rest period. The blood lactate levels were recorded during each 2nd rest period utilizing finger prick blood analysis via Nova blood lactate analyzers. The changes in blood lactate were compared between A.R. and P.R. groups using a 5 x 2 repeated measures ANOVA statistical analysis.

Results: The repeated measures ANOVA revealed no significant difference of blood lactate levels between groups overall during the workout session. However, the results yielded a strong trend between groups during the power clean exercise circuit; p=.053.

Conclusions: There were no significant differences between A.R and P.R. groups during the overall resistance training session, but significant differences between groups during power cleans, revealing that active recovery interventions may be beneficial if performed after more strenuous, full-body resistance training movements.