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Disability and Motor Behavior: A Handbook of Research

Martin E. Block

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Volume 34 (2024): Issue S1 (Feb 2024)

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Volume 19 (2024): Issue 2 (Feb 2024)

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Monitoring Readiness to Train and Perform in Female Football: Current Evidence and Recommendations for Practitioners

Marco Beato, Esben Elholm Madsen, Jo Clubb, Stacey Emmonds, and Peter Krustrup

Purpose: Monitoring player readiness to train and perform is an important practical concept in football. Despite an abundance of research in this area in the male game, to date, research is limited in female football. The aims of this study were, first, to summarize the current literature on the monitoring of readiness in female football; second, to summarize the current evidence regarding the monitoring of the menstrual cycle and its potential impact on physical preparation and performance in female footballers; and third, to offer practical recommendations based on the current evidence for practitioners working with female football players. Conclusions: Practitioners should include both objective (eg, heart rate and countermovement jump) and subjective measures (eg, athlete-reported outcome measures) in their monitoring practices. This would allow them to have a better picture of female players’ readiness. Practitioners should assess the reliability of their monitoring (objective and subjective) tools before adopting them with their players. The use of athlete-reported outcome measures could play a key role in contexts where technology is not available (eg, in semiprofessional and amateur clubs); however, practitioners need to be aware that many single-item athlete-reported outcome measures instruments have not been properly validated. Finally, tracking the menstrual cycle can identify menstrual dysfunction (eg, infrequent or irregular menstruation) that can indicate a state of low energy availability or an underlying gynecological issue, both of which warrant further investigation by medical practitioners.

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Validity and Reliability of Finger-Strength Testing in 6 Common Grip Techniques for the Assessment of Bouldering Ability in Men

Karl Söderqvist, Fredrik Identeg, Jonas Zimmerman, Eric Hamrin Senorski, Mikael Sansone, and Henrik Hedelin

Objective: To determine the criterion validity and test–retest reliability of isometric finger-strength testing in 6 differentiated grip techniques for the assessment of bouldering ability among male climbers. Methods: We recruited participants at climbing gyms in Sweden and through online advertisements. We included climbers over 15 years of age with a minimum bouldering performance level of 17 International Rock Climbing and Research Association (IRCRA) for men and 15 IRCRA for women. We tested unilateral, maximal isometric peak finger strength in the front 3 drag, half crimp, closed crimp, 35 sloper, 45 × 90-mm, and 90 × 90-mm pinch through maximal force deloaded of a force plate. We analyzed criterion validity, test–retest reliability, and capacity to determine bouldering performance ability using a stepwise multivariable regression model. Results: Women were excluded from the analysis due to insufficient sample size (n = 16). Thirty-two male participants were included in the primary analysis. The median (interquartile range) age in the advanced and elite group was 27 (25; 35) and 23 (22; 32) years, respectively. The half crimp for the participants’ weak and strong hand displayed the highest ability to determine bouldering grade performance, explaining 48% to 58% of the variance. In the stepwise regression, maximal strength in the half crimp and the front 3 drag collectively explained 66% of the variance for performance. Conclusion: Strength in the half crimp proved the most important performance indicator. The results of this study provide a reliable and valid framework for maximal isometric peak finger-strength testing in advanced and elite male boulderers.

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Abstracts From the 2023 International Sport + Exercise Nutrition Conference

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Effects of Load and Focus of Attention on Mechanical Parameters During Bench-Press Throw in Resistance-Trained Men

Olaf Prieske, Vidar Andersen, Tom A. Moberg Johansen, and Atle H. Saeterbakken

Purpose: Power output is dependent on the load used during exercise such as bench-press throw (BPT). Attentional focus (external [EXT] vs internal [INT]) during exercise significantly modulates power performance. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of load and attentional focus on mechanical parameters during BPT. Methods: In a crossover study, 31 resistance-trained men (mean age 23.5 [3.0] y) performed BPT at 30% (light), 50% (moderate), and 70% (heavy) of 1-repetition maximum (1-RM) using an INT or EXT focus of attention in randomized order. A linear encoder was used to identify barbell vertical displacement, throw time, peak/average velocity, force, and power during the concentric lifting phase. Results: Statistical analysis revealed significant load × focus interaction effects for velocity and vertical displacement (P ≤ .045; 0.66 ≤ d ≤ 0.89). Post hoc analyses indicated significantly larger velocities and displacements at 30% and 70% of 1-RM in favor of EXT (P ≤ .038; 0.79 ≤ d ≤ 1.13) but similar values at 50% of 1-RM (P > .05). Furthermore, significant main effects of load were found for throw time, force, and power (P < .001; 4.20 ≤ d ≤ 14.0). While time and force gradually increased with higher loads (P < .001; 1.45 ≤ d ≤ 14.0), power output was larger at 50% compared with 30% and 70% 1-RM (P < .001; 3.09 ≤ d ≤ 7.07), irrespective of attentional focus. Conclusions: The present findings indicated that practitioners may use EXT over INT attentional focus to enhance velocity and vertical displacement during BPT at light and heavy loads (ie, 30% and 70% 1-RM). At moderate loads (ie, 50% 1-RM), mechanical bench-press parameters appear to be less affected by attentional focus.

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Energy Expenditure of Elite Male and Female Professional Tennis Players During Habitual Training

Daniel G. Ellis, James P. Morton, Graeme L. Close, and Tim F. Donovan

Understanding the daily energy expenditure of athletes during training is important to support recovery, adaptation, and the maintenance of performance. The aim of the current research was to assess the total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) and the acute energy expenditure (EE) of tennis training sessions during habitual training of elite tennis players. Using a cohort study design, 27 (n = 10, male; age; 22.3 ± 3.2 years and n = 17, female; age: 23.8 ± 3.5 years) elite singles tennis players were assessed for TDEE and tennis training EE. Using Actiheart activity monitors during a 2- to 5-day training period, male players were analyzed for 26 days and 33 (1.3 ± 0.5 sessions/day) tennis training sessions, and female players for 43 days and 58 (1.2 ± 0.4 sessions/day) tennis training sessions. Male TDEE (4,708 ± 583 kcal/day) was significantly higher than female (3,639 ± 305 kcal/day). Male absolute and relative tennis training EEs (10.2 ± 2.3 kcal/min and 7.9 ± 1.4 kcal·hr−1·kg−1) were significantly higher than those of females (7.6 ± 1.0 kcal/min and 6.8 ± 0.9 kcal·hr−1·kg−1). The resting metabolic rate was assessed via indirect calorimetry. The physical activity level for both groups was 2.3 AU. The TDEE of male and female players during habitual training now highlights the continual cycle of high energy demands experienced by the elite tennis player. The broad ranges of TDEE and EE reported here suggest individual assessment and nutritional planning be prioritized, with a particular focus on carbohydrate requirements.

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Caffeine Does Not Alter Performance, Perceptual Responses, and Oxidative Stress After Short Sprint Interval Training

Mauro F. Bernardo, Alysson Enes, Elisangela F. Rezende, Alexandre R. Okuyama, Ragami C. Alves, Murilo de Andrade, Ana Carolina G. Macedo, Marcelo Paes de Barros, Darren G. Candow, Scott C. Forbes, and Tácito P. Souza-Junior

Despite the abundance of research investigating the efficacy of caffeine supplementation on exercise performance, the physiological and biochemical responses to caffeine supplementation during intermittent activities are less evident. This study investigated the acute effects of caffeine supplementation on measures of exercise performance, ratings of perceived exertion, and biomarkers of oxidative stress induced by an acute bout of sprint interval training. In a randomized crossover design, 12 healthy males (age: 26 ± 4 years, height: 177.5 ± 6 cm, body mass: 80.7 ± 7.6 kg) ingested 6 mg/kg of caffeine or placebo 60 min prior to performing sprint interval training (12 × 6 s “all-out sprints” interspersed by 60 s of rest). Performance scores and ratings of perceived exertion were assessed after every sprint. Blood samples were collected before supplementation, prior to and following each sprint, and 5 and 60 min after the last sprint. Caffeine had no effect on any performance measures, ratings of perceived exertion, or biomarkers of oxidative stress (p > .05). In conclusion, caffeine supplementation does not improve performance or decrease oxidative stress after an acute bout of sprint interval training.

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Relationship Between Objective and Subjective Markers of Muscle Recovery in Professional Handball Players

Alexander-Stephan Henze, Lynn Matits, Jochen Huth, and Frieder Mauch

Purpose: To evaluate the relationship between items of the Short Recovery and Stress Scale (SRSS) related to physical stress and recovery and the biomarker creatine kinase (CK) in professional handball. Methods: CK and SRSS items (physical performance capability, overall recovery, muscular stress, and overall stress) were assessed in an observational study of 16 adult male professional handball players from a team in the highest German league during the 2019–20 preseason. Their preseason training schedule included several microcycles, each consisting of 3 consecutive days of intense training followed by a rest day. On 5 of these rest days, when players were classified as nonrested, and the 5 immediately following days, when players were classified as rested, players completed the SRSS between 8:00 and 9:00 AM, followed by blood sampling. Correlations between SRSS items were performed using Kendall τ. The relationship between each SRSS item and CK levels over time was examined using a mixed-effects model with a random intercept. Results: CK levels and SRSS stress items were significantly higher and SRSS recovery items were significantly lower in nonrested players. SRSS items were significantly positively or negatively correlated (all items: P < .001) and showed a significant effect indicating lower CK levels in rested players (all items: P ≤ .001; η p 2 = .1 .32 ). Conclusions: The investigated SRSS items may be a viable option for assessing muscle recovery in adult male professional handball players in a cost-effective and noninvasive manner. They can be used as a single monitoring tool or as part of a multimodal approach.