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Fernando G. Beltrami, Christian Froyd, Alexis R. Mauger, Alan J. Metcalfe, and Timothy D. Noakes

Objective: To investigate whether a cycling test based on decremental loads (DEC) could elicit higher maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) values compared with an incremental test (INC). Design: Nineteen well-trained individuals performed an INC and a DEC test on a single day, in randomized order. Methods: During INC, the load was increased by 20 W·min−1 until task failure. During DEC, the load started at 20 W higher than the peak load achieved during INC (familiarization trial) and was progressively decreased. Gas exchange and electromyography (EMG) activity (n = 11) from 4 lower-limb muscles were monitored throughout the tests. Physiological and EMG data measured at V˙O2max were compared between the 2 protocols using paired t tests. Results: V˙O2max during the DEC was 3.0% (5.9%) higher than during INC (range 94%–116%; P = .01), in spite of a lower power output (−21 [20] W, P < .001) at V˙O2max. Pulmonary ventilation (P = .036) and breathing rate (P = .023) were also higher during DEC. EMG activity measured at V˙O2max was not different between tests, despite the lower output during DEC. Conclusions: A DEC exercise test produces higher V˙O2max in cycling compared with an INC test, which was accompanied by higher pulmonary ventilation and similar EMG activity. The additional O2 uptake during DEC might be related to extra work performed either by the respiratory muscles and/or the less oxidatively efficient leg muscles.

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Jan Gajdošík, Jirˇí Baláš, Dominika Krupková, Lukáš Psohlavec, and Nick Draper

Purpose: Although sport climbing is a self-paced whole-body activity, speed varies with climbing style, and the effect of this on systemic and localized oxygen responses is not well understood. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to determine muscle and pulmonary oxygen responses during submaximal climbing at differing speeds of ascent. Methods: Thirty-two intermediate and advanced sport climbers completed three 4-minute-long ascents of the same route at 4, 6, and 9 m·min−1 on a motorized climbing ergometer (treadwall) on separate laboratory visits. Gas analysis and near-infrared spectroscopy were used to determine systemic oxygen uptake (V˙O2) and muscle oxygen saturation (StO2) of the flexor digitorum profundus. Results: Increases in ascent speed of 1 m·min−1 led to increases of V˙O2 by 2.4 mL·kg−1·min−1 (95% CI, 2.1 to 2.8 mL·kg−1·min−1) and decreases in StO2 by −1.3% (95% CI, 1.9% to −0.7%). There was a significant interaction of climbing ability and speed for StO2 (P < .001, ηp2=.224). The results revealed that the decrease of StO2 was present for intermediate but not advanced climbers. Conclusions: In this study, the results suggest that V˙O2 demand during climbing was largely determined by climbing speed; however, the ability level of the climber appeared to mitigate StO2 at a cellular level. Coaches and instructors may prescribe climbing ascents with elevated speed to improve generalized cardiorespiratory fitness. To stimulate localized aerobic capacity, however, climbers should perhaps increase the intensity of training ascents through the manipulation of wall angle or reduction of hold size.

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Geoffrey M. Minett, Valentin Fels-Camilleri, Joshua J. Bon, Franco M. Impellizzeri, and David N. Borg

Purpose: This study aimed to examine the effect of peer presence on session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) responses. Method: Fourteen males, with mean (SD) age 22.4 (3.9) years, peak oxygen uptake 48.0 (6.6) mL·kg−1·min−1, and peak power output 330 (44) W, completed an incremental cycling test and 3 identical experimental sessions, in groups of 4 or 5. Experimental sessions involved 24 minutes of cycling, whereby the work rate alternated between 40% and 70% peak power output every 3 minutes. During cycling, heart rate was collected every 3 minutes, and session-RPE was recorded 10 minutes after cycling, in 3 communication contexts: in written form unaccompanied (intrapersonal communication), verbally by the researcher only (interpersonal communication), and in the presence of the training group. Session-RPE was analyzed using ordinal regression and heart rate using a linear mixed-effects model, with models fit in a Bayesian framework. Results: Session-RPE was voted higher when collected in the group’s presence compared with when written (odds ratio = 4.26, 95% credible interval = 1.27–14.73). On average, the posterior probability that session-RPE was higher in the group setting than when written was .53. Session-RPE was not different between the group and verbal, or verbal and written collection contexts. Conclusions: This study suggests that contextual psychosocial inputs influence session-RPE and highlights the importance of session-RPE users controlling the measurement environment when collecting votes.

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Teun van Erp, Robert P. Lamberts, and Dajo Sanders

Purpose: This study evaluated the power profile of a top 5 result achieved in World Tour cycling races of varying types, namely: flat sprint finish, semi-mountain race with a sprint finish, semi-mountain race with uphill finish, and mountain races (MT). Methods: Power output data from 33 professional cyclists were collected between 2012 and 2019. This large data set was filtered so that it only included top 5 finishes in World Tour races (18 participants and 177 races). Each of these top 5 finishes were subsequently classified as flat sprint finish, semi-mountain race with uphill finish, semi-mountain race with a sprint finish, and MT based on set criteria. Maximal mean power output (MMP) for a wide range of durations (5 s to 60 min), expressed in both absolute (in Watts) and relative terms (in Watts per kilogram), were assessed for each race type. Result: Short-duration power outputs (<60 s), both in relative and in absolute terms, are of higher importance to be successful in flat sprint finish and semi-mountain race with a sprint finish. Longer-duration power outputs (≥3 min) are of higher importance to be successful in semi-mountain race with uphill finish and MT. In addition, relative power outputs of >10 minutes seem to be a key determining factor for success in MT. These race-type specific MMPs of importance (ie, short-duration MMPs for sprint finishes, longer-duration MMPs for races with more elevation gain) are performed at a wide range (80%–97%) of the cyclist’s personal best MMP. Conclusions: This study shows that the relative importance of certain points on the power–duration spectrum varies with different race types and provides insight into benchmarks for achieving a result in a World Tour cycling race.

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Jonathon R. Lever, Dina C. Janse van Rensburg, Audrey Jansen van Rensburg, Peter Fowler, and Hugh H.K. Fullagar

Purpose: To assess the impact of long-haul transmeridian travel on subjective sleep patterns and jet lag symptoms in youth athletes around an international tournament. Methods: An observational descriptive design was used. Subjective sleep diaries and perceived responses to jet lag were collected and analyzed for a national junior netball team competing in an international tournament. Sleep diaries and questionnaires were completed daily prior to and during travel, and throughout the tournament. Results were categorized into pretravel, travel, training, and match nights. Means were compared performing a paired Student t test with significance set at P < .05. Data are presented as mean (SD) and median (minimum, maximum). Results: Athletes reported significantly greater time in bed on match days compared with training (P < .001) and travel (P = .002) days, and on pretravel days compared with travel (P < .001) and training (P = .028) days. Sleep ratings were significantly better on pretravel days compared with match (P = .013) days. Perceived jet lag was worse on match (P = .043) days compared with pretravel days. Significant differences were also observed between a number of conditions for meals, mood, bowel activity, and fatigue. Conclusion: Youth athletes experience significantly less opportunity for sleep during long-haul transmeridian travel and face disruptions to daily routines during travel which impact food intake. Young athletes also experience disturbed sleep prior to and during competition. These results highlight the need for practices to alleviate jet lag symptoms and improve the sleep of young athletes traveling for tournaments in an effort to optimize recovery and performance.

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Jason C. Bartram, Dominic Thewlis, David T. Martin, and Kevin I. Norton

Purpose: Modeling intermittent work capacity is an exciting development to the critical power model with many possible applications across elite sport. With the Skiba 2 model validated using subelite participants, an adjustment to the model’s recovery rate has been proposed for use in elite cyclists (Bartram adjustment). The team pursuit provides an intermittent supramaximal event with which to validate the modeling of W′ in this population. Methods: Team pursuit data of 6 elite cyclists competing for Australia at a Track World Cup were solved for end W′ values using both the Skiba 2 model and the Bartram adjustment. Each model’s success was evaluated by its ability to approximate end W′ values of 0 kJ, as well as a count of races modeled to within a predetermined error threshold of ±1.840 kJ. Results: On average, using the Skiba 2 model found end W′ values different from zero (P = .007; mean ± 95% confidence limit, –2.7 ± 2.0 kJ), with 3 out of 8 cases ending within the predetermined error threshold. Using the Bartram adjustment on average resulted in end W′ values that were not different from zero (P = .626; mean ± 95% confidence limit, 0.5 ± 2.5 kJ), with 4 out of 8 cases falling within the predetermined error threshold. Conclusions: On average, the Bartram adjustment was an improvement to modeling intermittent work capacity in elite cyclists, with the Skiba 2 model underestimating the rate of W′ recovery. In the specific context of modeling team pursuit races, all models were too variable for effective use; hence, individual recovery rates should be explored beyond population-specific rates.

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Rachel A. Van Woezik, Colin D. McLaren, Jean Côté, Karl Erickson, Barbi Law, Denyse Lafrance Horning, Bettina Callary, and Mark W. Bruner

In an ever-evolving society, sport coaches are presented with a number of avenues through which they can acquire and refine their coaching knowledge. The purpose of this research was to replicate and extend past research to gain an up-to-date understanding of how coaches are presently gaining knowledge. This was done through a constructive replication using a sequential explanatory mixed-method design. Study 1 included 798 coaches who completed an online questionnaire detailing their use of 16 sources of coaching knowledge. Coaches’ top three most used sources were interacting with coaches, learning by doing, and observing others. In contrast, the top three most preferred sources were observing others, interacting with coaches, and having a mentor. To contextualize these findings, Study 2 used a qualitative design in which 14 coaches were interviewed to understand their experiences with different knowledge sources. Five distinct narrative types were identified: recent elite athletes, parent coaches, coach developers, teacher coaches, and experienced coaches. Coaches reported engaging in more social and unstructured learning experiences, and the reasons for their preferences appeared to differ based on lifestyle and perceived barriers. Collectively, these findings highlight how coaches gain knowledge and why they prefer certain sources over others.

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Austin J. Kulp and Xihe Zhu

Background/Purpose: Before school exercise programs (BSEPs) give students time for breakfast and add time to their daily physical activity. However, the effects of BSEP on physical fitness and academic achievement in the classroom remain unclear. The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of BSEP on cardiorespiratory fitness and academic performance among fourth- and fifth-grade students. Method: A retrospective case-controlled design was used in this study. Fourth and fifth graders (N = 84) were participants, half signed up for BSEP that met once a week for 10 weeks. A retrospectively case-controlled comparison group was generated from the classmates of those in BSEP in the same school. All students took PACER and statewide academic performance assessments. Multivariate analysis of covariance for student cardiorespiratory fitness, and mathematics and reading, were conducted, adjusting for pretest performances. Analysis/Results: There were improvements for both groups in academic performances and cardiorespiratory fitness. The cardiorespiratory fitness and reading test improvements were greater in the BSEP group than those in the comparison group, controlling for their pretests. However, there was no significant difference in student mathematics test performances. Conclusion: Students in BSEP group benefited from participating in the program with greater improvement in cardiorespiratory and reading test performances than the comparison group. These findings suggested that providing a BSEP once a week for 45 min may be beneficial to fourth and fifth graders.

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A. Rui Gomes, Alexandre Gonçalves, Catarina Morais, Clara Simães, and Rui Resende

According to the Leadership Efficacy Model, leadership efficacy depends on leaders’ tendency to make linear relationships between leadership philosophy, practice, and criteria (i.e., congruence of leadership cycles). Moreover, efficacy increases if coaches make these linear relationships by using the optimal leadership profile and by considering the antecedent factors of leadership (characteristics of the leader, team members, and organizational conditions; i.e., favorability of conditions for leadership). This study compared the perceptions of athletes and their coaches regarding leadership cycles, and tested the moderator role of optimal leadership profile and leadership favorability in the relationship between leadership cycles and leadership efficacy. This study included 92 football athletes (ages less than 17 and 19 years) and respective coaches (n = 5). The evaluation protocol included measures of leadership cycles, leadership styles, leadership favorability, and sport performance perception. Athletes and coaches agreed on coaches’ need to increase their practice and criteria, but athletes also considered that coaches should better clarify their philosophy. Regression analyses confirmed that leadership congruency predicts higher perceptions of team performance in athletes. Moreover, optimal leadership profile and higher leadership favorability were associated with higher team and individual performance. However, these two factors did not moderate the relationship between leadership congruency and efficacy.

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Steffen Greve, Kira Elena Weber, Björn Brandes, and Jessica Maier

Purpose: A previous study about a long-term internship implemented in the Master’s program of eleven physical education preservice teachers showed that the preservice teachers had low performance scores in the area of Instructional Support. These results left many questions unanswered, so the written self-reflections of the preservice teachers were investigated. Method and Results: A quantitative content analysis of their written reflections, based on the dimensions of the Classroom Assessment Scoring System K–3, showed that the participants pay little attention to the domain of Instructional Support. A qualitative content analysis showed that the preservice teachers relied on self-made experiences and the advice given by their mentors from school who pay little attention to Instructional Support. Discussion and Conclusion: Instructional Support should be given a higher priority in the context of long-term internships and in accompanying reflective assignments, especially with regard to differentiation and inclusion of all students.