Performing in the Heat

Neil S. Maxwell*, Carl A. James, Ashley G. B. Willmott

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in book/report/conference proceedingChapter


Tests of human endeavour have assessed exercise performance since the Ancient Greeks who visually inspected their Spartan athletes. Hot environments exacerbate the physiological demands of exercise, often leading to performance impairments and/or a risk of heat-related illness (HRI). Heat tolerance represents an individual’s ability to mitigate or avoid extreme body temperature elevations when exercising in hot environments. Heat tolerance tests have evaluated military personnel that have previously experienced an HRI. The choice of exercise performance tests within heat stress is comparable to those undertaken in temperate conditions, albeit requiring additional safety monitoring and data interpretation considerations. Practitioners are encouraged to match heat stress conditions of the expected environment and the sport demands during testing for accurate performance interpretation. Education also facilitates the athlete’s ownership and ‘buy-in’ for implementing testing. Consideration of scientific principles of all measures is necessary for accurate data interpretation during single or repeated heat stress testing.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSport and Exercise Physiology Testing Guidelines. Volume I: Sport Testing
Subtitle of host publicationThe British Association of Sport and Exercise Sciences Guide
EditorsR. C. Richard Davison, Paul M. Smith, James Hopker, Michael J. Price, Florentina Hettinga, Garry Tew, Lindsay Bottoms
Place of PublicationLondon ; New York
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9781003045281
ISBN (Print)9780367492465, 9780367491338
Publication statusPublished - 22 Mar 2022


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