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Iva Obrusnikova, Albert R. Cavalier, Richard R. Suminski, Ashleigh E. Blair, Cora J. Firkin, and Ashley M. Steinbrecher

Adults with an intellectual disability have significantly lower levels of fitness compared with the general population. This study examined the effects of a 13-week theoretically guided, community-based, multicomponent resistance training intervention, resistance training for empowerment, on muscular strength and independent functional performance in 24 adults with an intellectual disability, aged 18–44 years. Twelve participants were randomly allocated to an experimental group and 12 to an active control group. An analysis of covariance revealed that the experimental group had significantly greater increases (p < .05) on the chest press and leg press one-repetition maximum tests and the 6-min walk test from the baseline to postintervention compared with the control group. The experimental group correctly and independently performed a significantly greater number of steps of resistance training exercise tasks than the control group. Marginal significance and large effect sizes were found for the prone plank test and the stair climb test. The resistance training for empowerment was effective in promoting muscular strength and independent functional performance among adults with an intellectual disability.

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Julia Kathrin Baumgart, Espen Tønnessen, Morten Eklund, and Øyvind Sandbakk

Purpose: To describe the training volume, intensity distribution, and use of swimming styles during a Paralympic cycle in a multiple swimming champion with paraplegia. Methods: The female Paralympic swimmer was 23–26 years of age and had a body mass of 60 to 62 kg and a body height of 174 cm. She has a spinal cord injury at the Th6 level, competed in the S5/SB4 Para swimming classes, and uses a wheelchair for mobility. Training time, as well as distance in the different intensity zones and swimming styles, was registered with the “workouts for swim coaches” software throughout a full Paralympic cycle. Results: The Para swimmer performed a total of 388, 524, 471, and 656 annual hours of swimming, corresponding to 1126, 1504, 1463, and 1993 km, in the 2012–13, 2013–14, 2014–15, and 2015–16 seasons, respectively. In addition, she performed 1 to 3 weekly dry-land strength sessions and 4 to 6 weekly dry-land basic skill sessions. She conducted 91% to 94% of the swimming distance in each macrocycle at low intensity, 2% to 4% at moderate intensity, and 3% to 6% at high intensity. She performed 78% to 84% of the swimming distance in each macrocycle in the freestyle swimming technique and the remaining 16% to 22% in the backstroke, breaststroke, and butterfly techniques. Conclusion: This case study exemplifies how a female Paralympic swimmer with paraplegia progressed her training in the seasons leading up to the Paralympic Games, reaching an annual training distance of 2000 km, which is similar to that of able-bodied swimmers.

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Fredrik Tonstad Vårvik, Thomas Bjørnsen, and Adam M. Gonzalez

Citrulline malate (CitMal) is a dietary supplement that is suggested to enhance strength training performance. However, there is conflicting evidence on this matter. Thus, the purpose of this meta-analysis was to determine whether supplementing with CitMal prior to strength training could increase the total number of repetitions performed before reaching voluntary muscular failure. A systematic search was conducted wherein the inclusion criteria were double-blind, placebo-controlled studies in healthy participants that examined the effect of CitMal on repetitions to failure during upper body and lower body resistance exercises. The Hedges’s g standardized mean differences (SMD) between the placebo and CitMal trials were calculated and used in a random effect model. Two separate subanalyses were performed for upper body and lower body exercises. Eight studies, including 137 participants who consisted of strength-trained men (n = 101) and women (n = 26) in addition to untrained men (n = 9), fulfilled the inclusion criteria. Across the studies, 14 single-joint and multijoint exercises were performed with an average of 51 ± 23 total repetitions during 5 ± 3 sets per exercise at ∼70% of one-repetition maximum. Supplementing with 6–8 g of CitMal 40–60 min before exercise increased repetitions by 3 ± 5 (6.4 ± 7.9%) compared with placebo (p = .022) with a small SMD (0.196). The subanalysis for the lower body resulted in a tendency for an effect of the supplement (8.1 ± 8.4%, SMD: 0.27, p = .051) with no significant effect for the upper body (5.7 ± 8.4%, SMD: 0.16, p = .131). The current analysis observed a small ergogenic effect of CitMal compared with placebo. Acute CitMal supplementation may, therefore, delay fatigue and enhance muscle endurance during high-intensity strength training.

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Tércio A.R. Barros, Wagner L. do Prado, Thiago R.S. Tenório, Raphael M. Ritti-Dias, Antônio H. Germano-Soares, Babu P. Balagopal, James O. Hill, and Ricardo Freitas-Dias

This study compared the effects of self-selected exercise intensity (SEI) versus predetermined exercise intensity (PEI) on blood pressure (BP) and arterial stiffness in adolescents with obesity. A total of 37 adolescents, 14.7 (1.6) years old, body mass index ≥95th percentile were randomly allocated into SEI (n = 18; 12 boys) or PEI (n = 19; 13 boys). Both groups exercised for 35 minutes on a treadmill, 3 times per week, for 12 weeks. The SEI could set the speed at the beginning of the sessions and make changes every 5 minutes. The PEI adolescents were trained at an intensity set at 60% to 70% of heart rate reserve. Brachial and central BP, pulse pressure, augmentation index, and carotid–femoral pulse wave were determined at baseline and after 12 weeks. Both groups reduced brachial systolic BP (SEI, Δ = −9 mm Hg; PEI, Δ = −4 mm Hg; P < .01), central systolic BP (SEI, Δ = −4 mm Hg; PEI, Δ = −4 mm Hg; P = .01), and central pulse pressure (SEI, Δ = −4 mm Hg; PEI, Δ = −3 mm Hg; P = .02) without differences between groups. No changes in the augmentation index and carotid–femoral pulse wave were observed in either group. The SEI induced similar changes in various cardiovascular outcomes compared with PEI in adolescents with obesity.

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Tércio A.R. Barros, Wagner L. do Prado, Thiago R.S. Tenório, Raphael M. Ritti-Dias, Antônio H. Germano-Soares, Babu P. Balagopal, James O. Hill, and Ricardo Freitas-Dias

This study compared the effects of self-selected exercise intensity (SEI) versus predetermined exercise intensity (PEI) on blood pressure (BP) and arterial stiffness in adolescents with obesity. A total of 37 adolescents, 14.7 (1.6) years old, body mass index ≥95th percentile were randomly allocated into SEI (n = 18; 12 boys) or PEI (n = 19; 13 boys). Both groups exercised for 35 minutes on a treadmill, 3 times per week, for 12 weeks. The SEI could set the speed at the beginning of the sessions and make changes every 5 minutes. The PEI adolescents were trained at an intensity set at 60% to 70% of heart rate reserve. Brachial and central BP, pulse pressure, augmentation index, and carotid–femoral pulse wave were determined at baseline and after 12 weeks. Both groups reduced brachial systolic BP (SEI, Δ = −9 mm Hg; PEI, Δ = −4 mm Hg; P < .01), central systolic BP (SEI, Δ = −4 mm Hg; PEI, Δ = −4 mm Hg; P = .01), and central pulse pressure (SEI, Δ = −4 mm Hg; PEI, Δ = −3 mm Hg; P = .02) without differences between groups. No changes in the augmentation index and carotid–femoral pulse wave were observed in either group. The SEI induced similar changes in various cardiovascular outcomes compared with PEI in adolescents with obesity.

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Jeremy B. Ducharme, Ann L. Gibson, and Christine M. Mermier

The BodPod® (COSMED, Concord, CA) uses predicted (pTGV) or measured thoracic gas volume (mTGV) during estimations of percentage body fat (%BF). In young adults, there is inconsistent evidence on the variation between pTGV and mTGV, and the effect of sex as a potential covariate on this relationship is unknown. This study examined the difference between TGV assessments and its effect on %BF and potential sex differences that may impact this relationship. A retrospective analysis of BodPod® pTGV and mTGV for 95 men and 86 women ages 18–30 years was performed. Predicted TGV was lower than mTGV for men (−0.49 ± 0.7 L; p < .0001). For men, %BF derived by pTGV was lower than that by mTGV (−1.3 ± 1.8%; p < .0001). For women, no differences were found between pTGV and mTGV (−0.08 ± 0.6 L; p > .05) or %BF (−0.03 ± 0.2%; p > .05). The two-predictor model of sex and height was able to account for 57.9% of the variance in mTGV, F(2, 178) = 122.5, p < .0001. Sex corrected for the effect of height was a significant predictor of mTGV (β = 0.483 L, p < .0001). There is bias for pTGV to underestimate mTGV in individuals with a large mTGV, which can lead to significant underestimations of %BF in young adults; this was especially evident for men in this study. Sex is an important covariate that should be considered when deciding to use pTGV. The results indicate that TGV should be measured whenever possible for both men and women ages 18–30 years.

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Vitor de Salles Painelli, Emerson L. Teixeira, Bruno Tardone, Marina Moreno, Jonatas Morandini, Victória H. Larrain, and Flávio O. Pires

The long-standing caffeine habituation paradigm was never investigated in strength endurance and jumping exercise performance through a straightforward methodology. The authors examined if habitual caffeine consumption would influence the caffeine ergogenic effects on strength endurance and jumping performance as well as perceptual responses. Thirty-six strength-trained individuals were mathematically allocated into tertiles according to their habitual caffeine consumption: low (20 ± 11 mg/day), moderate (88 ± 33 mg/day), and high consumers (281 ± 167 mg/day). Then, in a double-blind, crossover, counterbalanced fashion, they performed a countermovement vertical jump test and a strength endurance test either after caffeine (6 mg/kg) and placebo supplementation or after no supplementation (control). Perceptual responses such as ratings of perceived exertion and pain were measured at the termination of the exercises. Acute caffeine supplementation improved countermovement vertical jump performance (p = .001) and total repetitions (p = .004), regardless of caffeine habituation. Accordingly, analysis of absolute change from the control session showed that caffeine promoted a significantly greater improvement in both countermovement vertical jump performance (p = .004) and total repetitions (p = .0001) compared with placebo. Caffeine did not affect the rating of perceived exertion and pain in any exercise tests, irrespective of tertiles (for all comparisons, p > .05 for both measures). Caffeine side effects were similar in low, moderate, and high caffeine consumers. These results show that habitual caffeine consumption does not influence the potential of caffeine as an ergogenic aid in strength endurance and jumping exercise performance, thus challenging recommendations to withdraw from the habitual caffeine consumption before supplementing with caffeine.

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Bruno Ruiz Brandão da Costa, Rafaela Rocha Roiffé, and Márcia Nogueira da Silva de la Cruz

The growing consumer awareness regarding health and fitness has been leading to a huge rise in the consumption of nutritional supplements and, consequently, to an increase in concerns about their quality. In this sense, one of the most consumed products is protein supplements and, despite being safer than other types of supplements, there are several studies showing incompatibilities between what is present on the labels and their actual content. Therefore, this review is focused on gathering information about the problems arising from poor manufacturing practices and inadequate quality control of sport protein supplements. These issues are mainly related to three aspects: reduction of the supplements’ nutritional value, the presence of pharmacological substances, and contamination with microorganisms or toxic metals. Regarding the first aspect, reports about the “classic” addition of nitrogen-rich compounds to mask the protein content measured by the Kjeldahl method were discussed, as well as recent topics such as the addition of cheaper proteins to produce an “undetectable” adulteration in whey protein supplements. With respect to the presence of pharmacological compounds, it is a finding that is not very common in protein supplements; however, even trace amounts of foreign substances in this type of product may cause adverse effects to consumers, and, in the case of an elite athlete, may result in doping. Finally, we discuss about the contamination with microorganisms and toxic metals, this latter being a subject that should be further explored due to few studies in the literature.

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Lambros Lazuras, Vassilis Barkoukis, Dmitriy Bondarev, Yannis Ntovolis, Konstantin Bochaver, Nikolaos Theodorou, and Kevin Bingham

Whistleblowing against doping misconduct represents an effective deterrent of doping use in elite competitive sport. The present study assessed the effects of social cognitive variables on competitive athletes’ intentions to report doping misconduct. A second objective was to assess whether the effects of social norms on whistleblowing intentions were mediated by actor prototype evaluations and group identification and orientation. In total, 1,163 competitive athletes from Greece, Russia, and the United Kingdom completed a questionnaire on demographics, past behavior, social cognitive variables, and intentions toward whistleblowing. Regression analyses showed that whistleblowing intentions were associated with different social cognitive variables in each country. Multiple mediation modeling showed that attitudes and subjective norms were associated with whistleblowing intentions indirectly, via the effects of anticipated negative affect and group identification and orientation, respectively. The findings of this study are novel and have important implications about the social, cognitive, and normative processes underlying decision making toward reporting doping misconduct.

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Lenore Dedeyne, Jorgen A. Wullems, Jolan Dupont, Jos Tournoy, Evelien Gielen, and Sabine Verschueren

Tools for objective monitoring of home-based training and physical behavior (PB) in (pre)sarcopenic older adults are needed. The present study explored two approaches with machine learning models, including accelerometer data either with or without additional gyroscope data (in an inertial measurement unit). Twenty-five community-dwelling (pre)sarcopenic adults mean 80.7 [5.5] years) performed the Otago exercise protocol (OEP) and PB modules (e.g., sitting or walking) while wearing an inertial measurement unit on the lower back (Dynaport MoveMonitor; McRoberts, The Hague, The Netherlands). Machine learning (ML) models for classification were developed by two approaches (top-down and bottom-up approaches) and with two levels of classification: general (no wear, OEP, and PB) and detailed (all subclassifications). Classification output was compared with video recordings. For the bottom-up approach, one ML model was developed. For the top-down approach, data were first classified as no wear, OEP, or PB. Thereafter, OEP and PB were subclassified by one ML model each into subclassification. Only classification of the general classification no wear and the subclassification sitting/lying reached the acceptable performance threshold of 80%. This result was independent of the approach used. Moreover, a gyroscope did not improve performance. Despite the progress in ML techniques and monitors, objective compliance registrations remain challenging.