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Physiological Profiles of Male and Female CrossFit Athletes

Gommaar D’Hulst, Deni Hodžić, Rahel Leuenberger, Janik Arnet, Elena Westerhuis, Ralf Roth, Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss, Raphael Knaier, and Jonathan Wagner

Objective : To (1) establish extensive physiological profiles of highly trained CrossFit® athletes using gold-standard tests and (2) investigate which physiological markers best correlate with CrossFit Open performance. Methods : This study encompassed 60 participants (30 men and 30 women), all within the top 5% of the CrossFit Open, including 7 CrossFit semifinalists and 3 CrossFit Games finalists. Isokinetic dynamometers were employed to measure maximum isometric and isokinetic leg and trunk strength. Countermovement-jump height and maximum isometric midthigh-pull strength were assessed on a force plate. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) was measured by a cardiopulmonary exercise test, and critical power and W′ were evaluated during a 3-minute all-out test, both on a cycle ergometer. Results: Male and female athletes’ median (interquartile range) VO2peak was 4.64 (4.43, 4.80) and 3.21 (3.10, 3.29) L·min−1, critical power 314.5 (285.9, 343.6) and 221.3 (200.9, 238.9) W, and midthigh pull 3158 (2690, 3462) and 2035 (1728, 2347) N. Linear-regression analysis showed strong evidence for associations between different anthropometric variables and CrossFit Open performance in men and women, whereas for markers of cardiorespiratory fitness such as VO2peak, this was only true for women but not men. Conventional laboratory evaluations of strength, however, manifested minimal evidence for associations with CrossFit Open performance across both sexes. Conclusions : This study provides the first detailed insights into the physiology of high-performing CrossFit athletes and informs training optimization. Furthermore, the results emphasize the advantage of athletes with shorter limbs and suggest potential modifications to CrossFit Open workout designs to level the playing field for athletes across different anthropometric characteristics.

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Reexamining the Association Between Preseason Challenge and Threat States and Performance Across the Season

Matthew Jewiss, Chris Hodgson, and Iain Greenlees

Challenge and threat (C/T) states have been shown to predict sport performance under pressure. Nevertheless, only one study has examined whether preseason C/T states are associated with season-long performance, yielding promising findings. Despite promising findings, this work is not without limitations that warrant addressing. We aimed to address these limitations and contribute to the scarce literature which tests the effect of anticipatory C/T states on longer term performance. Thirty-eight amateur cricketers prepared and delivered two counterbalanced speeches: a control speech and a speech about an important cricket batting situation approximately 16 weeks prior to the start of their competitive season. Regression analysis showed that cardiovascular reactivity in anticipation of delivering a speech about an important cricket batting scenario the next season did not predict season-long batting performance. The findings have potential to challenge the role C/T states play in predicting longer term performance in the sport domain.

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Validity of Synchronous Online Physical Education Amidst COVID-19 Pandemic

Janet S. Mariano and Luisito S. Macapagal

Purpose: Various online physical education activities and methods have been applied to colleges in the Philippines during the COVID-19 confinement. However, much remains unknown about the effects of the physical activity given to students. This study aimed to analyze the validity of online synchronous physical education classes using a progressive cardio workout program among college students. Method: One hundred and ninety-four physical education students enrolled in morning class voluntarily participated. Baseline and posttest measures included resting heart rates, training heart rates, heart rate recovery (HRR), and the YMCA 3-min step test (YMCA 3MST). Results: The progressive cardio workout program over the 8 weeks significantly improved the training heart rate of the participants, X 2 F (7) = 475.397, p = .001. Also, there is a significant difference between pretest HRR (Mdn = 24) from posttest HRR (Mdn = 16), W = 10,863, p < .001. The pretest HRR was significantly higher than the posttest HRR, the rank–biserial correlation, r B  = .586, suggests that this is a large effect size. Further, the pretest YMCA 3MST (Mdn = 120.5) was significantly different from the posttest YMCA 3MST (Mdn = 116), W = 10,946, p < .001, the rank–biserial correlation, r B  = .286, suggests that this is a small to medium effect size. Conclusion: This study demonstrated that the 8-week progressive cardio workout program significantly improves the participants’ cardiorespiratory fitness based on the pre- and posttraining heart rate, HRR, and YMCA 3MST results.

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“En el buen camino”: Colaboración entre maestros e investigadores para la implementación del aprendizaje cooperativo en la educación física de educación primaria

Joan Arumí-Prat, Gemma Torres-Cladera, and Gil Pla-Campas

Propósito : Dada la dificultad existente en la implementación de los Modelo Basado en la Práctica (MBP) en la educación física (EF) expresada en la literatura, se presenta un estudio sobre la aplicación del Aprendizaje Cooperativo (AC) en la EF de primaria. Método : Un equipo investigador trans-institucional (escuela-universidad) experto en AC, supervisó y desarrolló un análisis temático narrativo de caso único a partir de los relatos autoetnográficos creativos, pero no ficticios, de una maestra de EF de 5° curso. Resultados : Se presentan cinco relatos no ficcionales que narran en crudo eventos significativos de cada una de las condiciones básicas de la AC. Discusión/Conclusión : La investigación evidencia el valor de las narrativas como motor de reflexión educativa que contribuye a mostrar la complejidad en la aplicación del AC en un aula y a disminuir la brecha existente entre la teoría de los MBP y su aplicación práctica.

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Cardiorespiratory Markers Relate to Change-of-Direction Performance During Incremental Endurance Tests and Friendly Matches in Professional Male Handball Players

Leonard Achenbach, Christoph Zinner, Florian Zeman, and Matthias Obinger

Purpose: To compare the standard Yo-Yo intermittent recovery (IR) test and an agility Yo-Yo IR test with a higher number of change-of-direction movements to cardiorespiratory match performance. Methods: The study included 11 professional male handball players (age 24.5 [4.6] y) of a German second-league team. The performance parameters of the players of the seasons 2016–17 to 2018–19 were analyzed. The Yo-Yo IR test was compared to a Yo-Yo IR test with multiple multidirectional changes of direction in response to visual stimuli, which was conducted on a SpeedCourt (Yo-Yo SC IR). Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) and maximum heart rate (HRmax) were measured. Between-methods differences of individual athletes were quantified with Bland–Altman plots. Results: HRmax was not statistically different during the Yo-Yo SC IR test compared to the Yo-Yo IR test (181 [10] vs 188 [8] beats·min−1; P = .16). Agreement between the 2 tests was moderate for HRmax and good for heart rates >180 beats·min−1. Mean average VO2peak was 51.7 (3.9) and 50.9 (2.8) mL·min–1·kg–1 for the Yo-Yo SC IR test and the Yo-Yo IR test (P = .693), respectively. Conclusions: A Yo-Yo test with multidirectional changes of direction in response to visual stimuli yielded good agreement with the frequently used linear running tests and can be used to assess players’ VO2peak. The HRmax achieved during this test should be used with caution.

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Reliability of Three Landmine-Punch-Throw Variations and Their Load–Velocity Relationships Performed With the Dominant and Nondominant Hands

Dan Omcirk, Tomas Vetrovsky, Cian O’Dea, Alan Ruddock, Daniel Wilson, Jan Maleček, Jan Padecky, Martin Tino Janikov, and James J. Tufano

Purpose: This study assessed the reliability and load–velocity profiles of 3 different landmine-punch-throw variations (seated without trunk rotation, seated with trunk rotation, and standing whole body) with different loads (20, 22.5, and 25.0 kg), all with the dominant hand and nondominant hand. Methods: In a quasi-randomized order, 14 boxers (24.1 [4.3] y, 72.6 [10.1] kg) performed 3 repetitions of each variation with their dominant hand and their nondominant hand, with maximal effort and 3 minutes of interset rest. Peak velocity was measured via the GymAware Power Tool (Kinetic Performance Technologies). The interclass correlation coefficients and their 95% CIs were used to determine the intrasession reliability of each variation × load × hand combination. Additionally, a 2 (hand) × 3 (variation) repeated-measures analysis of variance assessed the load–velocity profile slope, and a 3 (variation) × 2 (hand) × 3 (load) repeated-measures analysis of variance assessed the peak velocity of each variation. Results: Most variations were highly reliable (intraclass correlation coefficient > .91), with the nondominant hand being as reliable or more reliable than the dominant hand. Very strong linear relationships were observed for the group average for each variation (R 2 ≥ .96). However, there was no variation × hand interaction for the slope, and there was no main effect for variation or hand. Additionally, there was no interaction for the peak velocity, but there were main effects for variation, hand, and load (P < .01). Conclusion: Each variation was reliable and can be used to create upper-body ballistic unilateral load–velocity profiles. However, as with other research on load–velocity profile, individual data allowed for more accurate profiling than group average data.

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The Role of Musculoskeletal Training During Return to Performance Following Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport

Richard C. Blagrove, Katherine Brooke-Wavell, Carolyn R. Plateau, Carolyn Nahman, Amal Hassan, and Trent Stellingwerff

Background: Relative energy deficiency in sport (REDs) is a condition that is associated with negative health and performance outcomes in athletes. Insufficient energy intake relative to exercise energy expenditure, resulting in low energy availability, is the underlying cause, which triggers numerous adverse physiological consequences including several associated with musculoskeletal (MSK) health and neuromuscular performance. Purpose: This commentary aims to (1) discuss the health and performance implications of REDs on the skeletal and neuromuscular systems and (2) examine the role that MSK training (ie, strength and plyometric training) during treatment and return to performance following REDs might have on health and performance in athletes, with practical guidelines provided. Conclusions: REDs is associated with decreases in markers of bone health, lean body mass, maximal and explosive strength, and muscle work capacity. Restoration of optimal energy availability, mainly through an increase in energy intake, is the primary goal during the initial treatment of REDs with a return to performance managed by a multidisciplinary team of specialists. MSK training is an effective nonpharmacological component of treatment for REDs, which offers multiple long-term health and performance benefits, assuming the energy needs of athletes are met as part of their recovery. Supervised, prescribed, and gradually progressive MSK training should include a combination of resistance training and high-impact plyometric-based exercise to promote MSK adaptations, with an initial focus on achieving movement competency. Progressing MSK training exercises to higher intensities will have the greatest effects on bone health and strength performance in the long term.

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Volume 19 (2024): Issue 6 (Jun 2024)

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 2 (Jun 2024)

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Are Gender Stereotypes Still Prevalent in Physical Education? Spanish Teachers’ and Students’ Beliefs and Attitudes Toward Gender Equity

Marina Castro-García, Carmen Barquero-Ruiz, and Cristina López-Villar

Purpose: Grounded in doing gender theory, the purpose is to explore physical education teachers’ and students’ beliefs and attitudes toward gender equity in physical education and sports and to identify possible aspects to be addressed. Method: This is a cross-sectional study in which a random sampling by multistage clusters was followed. Participants included 90 physical education teachers and 644 secondary school students, who completed two different questionnaires. Data were analyzed using descriptive statistics and t tests, one-factor analysis of variance, and two-way analysis of variance comparisons. Findings: Most students and teachers showed equitable beliefs and attitudes at a sociocultural level. The intersection of teachers’ age and self-identified sex/gender, and the self-identified sex/gender of students, played a significant role in the stereotypes. There was a gap between teachers’ results and students’ perceptions. Conclusion: Findings emphasize the need to implement critical feminist curricular approaches, especially with preservice teachers. Moreover, it is important that these approaches work on masculinities.