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

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Adapted Physical Activity Across the Life Span

Paul R. Malinowski, Paul H. Warner, and Wesley J. Wilson,

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Energetics of a World-Tour Female Road Cyclist During a Multistage Race (Tour de France Femmes)

Jose L. Areta, Emily Meehan, Georgie Howe, and Leanne M. Redman

Despite the increased popularity of female elite road cycling, research to inform the fueling requirements of these endurance athletes is lacking. In this case study, we report for the first time the energetics of a female world-tour cyclist competing in the 2023 Tour de France Femmes, an 8-day race of the Union Cycliste Internationale. The 29-year-old athlete presented with oligomenorrhea and low T3 before the race. Total daily energy expenditure assessed with the doubly labeled water technique was 7,572 kcal/day (∼4.3 physical activity levels), among the highest reported in the literature to date for a female. Crank-based mean maximal power was consistent with female world-tour cyclists (5 min, mean 342 W, 4.8 W/kg; 20 min 289 W, 4.1 W/kg). The average daily energy intake measured with the remote food photography method (Stage Days 1–7) was 5,246 kcal and carbohydrate intake was 13.7 g/kg (range 9.7–15.9 g/kg), and 84 g/hr during stages, and an average fat intake of 15% of daily energy intake. An estimated 2,326 kcal/day energy deficit was evidenced in a 2.2 kg decrease in body mass. Notwithstanding the high carbohydrate intake, the athlete was unable to match the energy requirements of the competition. Despite signs of energy deficiency preexisting (oligomenorrhea and low T3), and other further developing during the race (weight loss), performance was in line with that of other world-tour cyclists and a best personal performance was recorded for the last stage. This case study emphasizes the need for further research to inform energy requirements for female athletes’ optimal performance and health.

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Special Olympics: Inclusion Debates and Equity in Sport, 1st Edition

Wonjun Choi and Sophia D. Min

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Skimmed, Lactose-Free Milk Ingestion Postexercise: Rehydration Effectiveness and Gastrointestinal Disturbances Versus Water and a Sports Drink in Physically Active People

Luis F. Aragón-Vargas, Julián C. Garzón-Mosquera, and Johnny A. Montoya-Arroyo

Postexercise hydration is fundamental to replace fluid loss from sweat. This study evaluated rehydration and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms for each of three beverages: water (W), sports drink (SD), and skimmed, lactose-free milk (SLM) after moderate-intensity cycling in the heat. Sixteen college students completed three exercise sessions each to lose ≈2% of their body mass. They drank 150% of body mass loss of the drink assigned in randomized order; net fluid balance, diuresis, and GI symptoms were measured and followed up for 3 hr after completion of fluid intake. SLM showed higher fluid retention (∼69%) versus W (∼40%; p < .001); SD (∼56%) was not different from SLM or W (p > .05). Net fluid balance was higher for SLM (−0.26 kg) and SD (−0.42 kg) than W (−0.67 kg) after 3 hr (p < .001), resulting from a significantly lower diuresis with SLM. Reported GI disturbances were mild and showed no difference among drinks (p > .05) despite ingestion of W (1,992 ± 425 ml), SD (1,999 ± 429 ml), and SLM (1,993 ± 426 ml) in 90 min. In conclusion, SLM was more effective than W for postexercise rehydration, showing greater fluid retention for the 3-hr follow-up and presenting with low-intensity GI symptoms similar to those with W and SD. These results confirm that SLM is an effective option for hydration after exercise in the heat.

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Relegated to the Sidelines: A Qualitative Inquiry of Gatekeepers’ Perspectives and Values of Physical Education for Disabled Children

Scott W.T. McNamara, Patrica Craig, Megan Henly, and Jill Gravink

Several institutional aspects within the U.S. public school system impede the delivery of adapted physical education (APE) services to disabled children, including a lack of understanding and prioritization of these services by the special education team and a lack of qualified APE professionals to deliver these services. Thus, we conducted a qualitative inquiry grounded in a critical-ableism perspective to explore special education gatekeepers’ experiences and perspectives of APE. Gatekeepers included parents, physical educators, and school administrators. Using a reflexive thematic analysis, we developed four interrelated themes: (a) disregard, negative, and charity mindsets toward disability; (b) systemic challenges in valuing and prioritizing APE; (c) presence as inclusion: (un)intentional marginalization in physical education; and (d) physical education for my child was a nightmare. These findings illustrate the complexities around the provision of physical education and APE to disabled children.

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The Autoregulation Rest-Redistribution Training Method Mitigates Sex Differences in Neuromuscular and Perceived Fatigue During Resistance Training

Antonio Dello Iacono, Kevin Watson, and Ivan Jukic

Purpose: To examine the sex differences in performance and perceived fatigue during resistance training prescribed using traditional (TRA) and autoregulation rest-redistribution training (ARRT) approaches. Methods: Twelve resistance-trained men and 12 women completed 2 sessions including the bench-press exercise matched for load (75% of 1-repetition maximum), volume (24 repetitions), and total rest (240 s). Sessions were performed in a counterbalanced randomized design with TRA consisting of 3 sets of 8 repetitions with 120-second interset rest and ARRT employing a personalized combination of clusters, repetitions per cluster, and between-clusters rest regulated with a 20% velocity-loss threshold. The effects of TRA and ARRT on velocity loss, unilateral isometric peak force, and rating of fatigue (ROF) were compared between sexes. Results: The velocity loss was generally lower during ARRT compared with TRA (−0.47% [0.11%]), with velocity loss being mitigated by ARRT to a greater extent among males compared with females (−0.37% [0.15%]). A smaller unilateral isometric peak force decline was observed after ARRT than TRA among males compared with females (−38.4 [8.4] N). Lower ROF after ARRT than TRA was found among males compared to females (−1.97 [0.55] AU). Additionally, males reported greater ROF than females across both conditions (1.92 [0.53] AU), and ARRT resulted in lower ROF than TRA overall (−0.83 [0.39] AU). Conclusions: The ARRT approach resulted in decreased velocity loss, peak force impairment, and ROF compared with TRA in both sexes. However, male subjects exhibited more pronounced acute within-session benefits from the ARRT method.

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Subjective and Objective Monitoring Markers: Are They Related to Game Performance Indicators in Elite Female Volleyball Players?

André Rebelo, Diogo V. Martinho, Inês G. Pires, Inês Arrais, Ricardo Lima, João Valente-dos-Santos, and João R. Pereira

Purpose: This cohort study aimed to investigate the relationship between subjective (wellness and internal training load [ITL]) and objective (neuromuscular fatigue) monitoring markers and performance aspects (reception quality [RQ] and attack efficiency [AE]) in professional female volleyball players. Methods: The study was conducted over an 8-week period during the final mesocycle of the competitive phase. A total of 24 training sessions and 10 matches were included in the analysis. Subjective measures of wellness and ITL were assessed, and neuromuscular fatigue was evaluated using countermovement-jump (CMJ) height. RQ and AE were determined based on game statistics. Results: The study found a positive relationship between wellness and RQ, particularly affecting outside hitters and liberos. ITL showed a positive association with AE, primarily impacting outside hitters, opposite hitters, and middle blockers. Additionally, ITL demonstrated a negative correlation with RQ, mainly affecting outside hitters and liberos. CMJ performance was associated with AE, where a decrease in CMJ height was linked to reduced AE. Conclusions: The findings highlight the importance of considering players’ wellness scores in training and match strategies for different positions. Careful management of training loads, considering both physical and technical demands, is crucial for optimizing performance outcomes. Monitoring neuromuscular fatigue, as indicated by CMJ performance, is particularly relevant for outside hitters, opposite hitters, and middle blockers involved in attack actions. Coaches, trainers, and sports practitioners can use these insights to develop position-specific training protocols and implement effective strategies for maintaining or improving performance metrics under various stressors.

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Myths and Methodologies: Standardisation in Human Physiology Research—Should We Control the Controllables?

Lucy H. Merrell, Oliver J. Perkin, Louise Bradshaw, Harrison D. Collier-Bain, Adam J. Collins, Sophie Davies, Rachel Eddy, James A. Hickman, Anna P. Nicholas, Daniel Rees, Bruno Spellanzon, Lewis J. James, Alannah K.A. McKay, Harry A. Smith, James E. Turner, Francoise Koumanov, Jennifer Maher, Dylan Thompson, Javier T. Gonzalez, and James A. Betts

The premise of research in human physiology is to explore a multifaceted system whilst identifying one or a few outcomes of interest. Therefore, the control of potentially confounding variables requires careful thought regarding the extent of control and complexity of standardisation. One common factor to control prior to testing is diet, as food and fluid provision may deviate from participants’ habitual diets, yet a self-report and replication method can be flawed by under-reporting. Researchers may also need to consider standardisation of physical activity, whether it be through familiarisation trials, wash-out periods, or guidance on levels of physical activity to be achieved before trials. In terms of pharmacological agents, the ethical implications of standardisation require researchers to carefully consider how medications, caffeine consumption and oral contraceptive prescriptions may affect the study. For research in females, it should be considered whether standardisation between- or within-participants in regards to menstrual cycle phase is most relevant. The timing of measurements relative to various other daily events is relevant to all physiological research and so it can be important to standardise when measurements are made. This review summarises the areas of standardisation which we hope will be considered useful to anyone involved in human physiology research, including when and how one can apply standardisation to various contexts.

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Cadence Paradox in Cycling—Part 2: Theory and Simulation of Maximal Lactate Steady State and Carbohydrate Utilization Dependent on Cycling Cadence

Ralph Beneke and Renate M. Leithäuser

Purpose: To develop and evaluate a theory on the frequent observation that cyclists prefer cadences (RPMs) higher than those considered most economical at submaximal exercise intensities via modeling and simulation of its mathematical description. Methods: The theory combines the parabolic power-to-velocity (v) relationship, where v is defined by crank length, RPM-dependent ankle velocity, and gear ratio, RPM effects on the maximal lactate steady state (MLSS), and lactate-dependent carbohydrate oxidation (CHO). It was tested against recent experimental results of 12 healthy male recreational cyclists determining the v-dependent peak oxygen uptake (VO 2PEAKv ), MLSS (MLSS v ), corresponding power output (P MLSSv ), oxygen uptake at P MLSSv (VO 2MLSSv ), and CHO MLSSv -management at 100 versus 50 per minute, respectively. Maximum RPM (RPM MAX ) attained at minimized pedal torque was measured. RPM-specific maximum sprint power output (P MAXv ) was estimated at RPMs of 100 and 50, respectively. Results: Modeling identified that MLSS v and P MLSSv related to P MAXv (IP MLSSv ) promote CHO and that VO 2MLSSv related to VO 2PEAKv inhibits CHO. It shows that cycling at higher RPM reduces IP MLSSv . It suggests that high cycling RPMs minimize differences in the reliance on CHO at MLSS v between athletes with high versus low RPM MAX . Conclusions : The present theory-guided modeling approach is exclusively based on data routinely measured in high-performance testing. It implies a higher performance reserve above IP MLSSv at higher RPM. Cyclists may prefer high cycling RPMs because they appear to minimize differences in the reliance on CHO at MLSS v between athletes with high versus low RPM MAX .