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Medicine & Science in Sports Exercise


the American College of Sports Medicine


Acute Floatation-REST, Resistance Exercise, Floatation-Restricted Environmental Stimulation Therapy, Muscle Soreness Recovery



The aim of the present investigation was to determine whether a 1-h floatation-restricted environmental stimulation therapy (floatation-REST) session could augment recovery from high-intensity resistance exercise (6 × 10 back squats, 2-min rest) known to induce significant metabolic, adrenergic, and mechanical stress.


Eleven healthy resistance-trained males (age, 22.5 ± 2.3 yr; height, 176.4 ± 6.0 cm; weight, 85.7 ± 6.2 kg; back squat one-repetition maximum, 153.1 ± 20.1 kg; strength-to-weight ratio, 1.8 ± 0.2) completed the within-subject, crossover controlled study design. Participants completed two exercise testing blocks separated by a 2-wk washout. In one block, the high-intensity resistance exercise protocol was followed by a 1-h floatation-REST session, whereas recovery in the alternate block consisted of a passive sensory-stimulating control. Markers of metabolic stress, neuroendocrine signaling, structural damage, inflammation, and perceptions of soreness, mood state, and fatigue were assessed over a 48-h recovery window.


Floatation-REST significantly attenuated muscle soreness across recovery (P = 0.035) with greatest treatment difference immediately after the intervention (P = 0.002, effect size (ES) = 1.3). Significant differences in norepinephrine (P = 0.028, ES = 0.81) and testosterone (P = 0.028, ES = 0.81) immediately after treatment revealed the modification of neuroendocrine signaling pathways, which were accompanied by greater improvements in mood disturbance (P = 0.029, ES = 0.81) and fatigue (P = 0.001, ES = 1.04).


Because no adverse effects and significant and meaningful benefits were observed, floatation-REST may prove a valuable intervention for managing soreness and enhancing performance readiness after exercise.

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Original Citation

CALDWELL, LYDIA K.; KRAEMER, WILLIAM J.; POST, EMILY M.; VOLEK, JEFF S.; FOCHT, BRIAN C.; NEWTON, ROBERT U.; HÄKKINEN, KEIJO; MARESH, CARL M.. Acute Floatation-REST Improves Perceived Recovery After a High-Intensity Resistance Exercise Stress in Trained Men. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise 54(8):p 1371-1381, August 2022. | DOI: 10.1249/MSS.0000000000002906



Peer Reviewed



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