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Brantley K. Ballenger, Emma E. Schultz, Melody Dale, Bo Fernhall, Robert W. Motl, and Stamatis Agiovlasitis

This systematic review examined whether physical activity interventions improve health outcomes in adults with Down syndrome (DS). We searched PubMed, APA PsycInfo, SPORTDiscus, APA PsycARTICLES, and Psychology and Behavioral Sciences Collection using keywords related to DS and physical activity. We included 35 studies published in English since January 1, 1990. Modes of exercise training programs included aerobic exercise, strength training, combined aerobic and strength training, aquatic, sport and gaming, and aerobic and strength exercise interventions combined with health education. The evidence base indicates that aerobic and strength exercise training improve physical fitness variables including maximal oxygen uptake, maximal heart rate, upper and lower body strength, body weight, and body fat percentage. Sport and gaming interventions improve functional mobility, work task performance, and sport skill performance. We concluded that adults with DS can accrue health benefits from properly designed physical activity and exercise interventions.

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Brynn Adamson, Mina Woo, Toni Liechty, Chung-Yi Chiu, Nic Wyatt, Cailey Cranny, and Laura Rice

Lack of disability awareness of fitness professionals is a well-established barrier to exercise participation among people with disabilities that is likely related to the lack of disability awareness training for group fitness instructors. The purposes of this study were to develop, implement, and evaluate a disability awareness training for group fitness instructors. A 90-min video training and resource manual were developed. We recruited 10 group fitness instructors from one recreation center to participate. Participants completed baseline, posttraining, and 2-month follow-up testing on survey-based outcomes including disability attitudes, confidence in exercise adaptations, and training satisfaction. Participants’ confidence to adapt fitness classes was significantly improved; however, disability attitudes were high in the pretest and not significantly different posttraining. Semistructured interviews were conducted posttraining and revealed three themes: Formal disability training is needed, Managing inclusive class dynamics, and Training suggestions and satisfaction. This training demonstrated a feasible intervention for increasing disability awareness among community-based group fitness instructors.

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Stephen P. Fenemor, Matthew W. Driller, Nicholas D. Gill, Brad Anderson, Julia R. Casadio, Stacy T. Sims, and C. Martyn Beaven

Purpose: Although recommendations for effective heat acclimation (HA) strategies for many circumstances exist, best-practice HA protocols specific to elite female team-sport athletes are yet to be established. Therefore, the authors aimed to investigate the effectiveness and retention of a passive HA protocol integrated in a female Olympic rugby sevens team training program. Methods: Twelve elite female rugby sevens athletes undertook 10 days of passive HA across 2 training weeks. Tympanic temperature (T Tymp), sweat loss, heart rate, and repeated 6-second cycling sprint performance were assessed using a sport-specific heat stress test Pre-HA, after 3 days (Mid-HA), after 10 days (Post-HA), and 15 days post-HA (Decay). Results: Compared with Pre-HA, submaximal T Tymp was lower Mid-HA and Post-HA (both by −0.2 [0.7] °C; d ≥ 0.71), while resting T Tymp was lower Post-HA (by −0.3 [0.2] °C; d = 0.81). There were no differences in T Tymp at Decay compared with Pre-HA, nor were there any differences in heart rate or sweat loss at any time points. Mean peak 6-second power output improved Mid-HA and Post-HA (76 [36] W; 75 [34] W, respectively; d ≥ 0.45) compared with Pre-HA. The observed performance improvement persisted at Decay by 65 (45) W (d = 0.41). Conclusions: Ten days of passive HA can elicit some thermoregulatory and performance benefits when integrated into a training program in elite female team-sport athletes. However, such a protocol does not provide a sufficient thermal impulse for thermoregulatory adaptations to be retained after 15 days with no further heat stimulus.

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Sofie Kent, Tracey Devonport, Rachel Arnold, and Faye Didymus

Guided by transactional stress theory, this study aimed to explore elite U.K. soccer coaches’ perceived stressors, the situational properties, appraisals, and coping during the COVID-19 pandemic. This study also aimed to explore any variation in stress experiences across football league standards A total of 13 professional first-team male U.K. association football coaches between 38 and 59 years of age (M = 43.00, SD = 6.94) participated in telephone (n = 5) or online (n = 8) semistructured interviews. Informed by the philosophical position of critical realism, Braun et al.’s six-phase approach to thematic analysis was used to generate competitive, organizational, and personal stressor themes. Deductive thematic analysis generated themes reflective of all situational properties of stressors identified by Lazarus and Folkman and an array of appraisal and coping strategies. Future research and recommendations for supporting coach performance and well-being post-COVID-19 pandemic are offered.

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Derrik Motz, Bradley W. Young, Scott Rathwell, and Bettina Callary

The Adult-Oriented Sport Coaching Survey assesses how often coaches use practices tailored to adult and older adult athletes. Cross-sectionally, said practices contribute to a quality masters sport experience for masters athletes (MAs); however, the stability of adult-oriented coaching over time and whether changes in coaching over time correspond with psychosocial outcomes for MAs is unknown. Therefore, coaches (N = 32; M age = 49.0) and MAs (N = 103; M age = 51.5) completed the Adult-Oriented Sport Coaching Survey twice 8 weeks apart. MAs also completed criterion measures for facets of the coach–athlete relationship, basic needs satisfaction, and thwarting. Our first question was whether mean group values for adult-oriented coaching changed over time. Repeated measures analysis of variance demonstrated stability of coaches’ and MAs’ scores. Our second question was whether changes in adult-oriented coaching corresponded with changes on criterion measures. Path analyses showed increased perceived frequency of adult-oriented coaching that, generally, was associated with enhancing three facets of the coach–athlete relationship, relatedness satisfaction, autonomy satisfaction, and reducing competency thwarting. The discussion centers on how adult-oriented coaching might facilitate quality sporting relationships, empowerment, and mastery in adult sport programming. These nonintervention results are interpreted with an eye toward considerations in future Adult-Oriented Sport Coaching Survey-based coaching interventions.

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Kobe M. Vermeire, Kevin Caen, Jan G. Bourgois, and Jan Boone

Purpose: To examine the differences in training load (TL) metrics when quantifying training sessions differing in intensity and duration. The relationship between the TL metrics and the acute performance decrement measured immediately after the sessions was also assessed. Methods: Eleven male recreational cyclists performed 4 training sessions in a random order, immediately followed by a 3-km time trial (TT). Before this period, participants performed the time TT in order to obtain a baseline performance. The difference in the average power output for the TTs following the training sessions was then expressed relative to the best baseline performance. The training sessions were quantified using 7 different TL metrics, 4 using heart rate as input, 2 using power output, and 1 using the rating of perceived exertion. Results: The load of the sessions was estimated differently depending on the TL metrics used. Also, within the metrics using the same input (heart rate and power), differences were found. TL using the rating of perceived exertion was the only metric showing a response that was consistent with the acute performance decrements found for the different training sessions. The Training Stress Score and the individualized training impulse demonstrated similar patterns but overexpressed the intensity of the training sessions. The total work done resulted in an overrepresentation of the duration of training. Conclusion: TL metrics provide dissimilar results as to which training sessions have higher loads. The load based on TL using the rating of perceived exertion was the only one in line with the acute performance decrements found in this study.

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Ewan Clements, Fabian Ehrmann, Andrew Clark, Mark Jones, Alan McCall, and Rob Duffield

Purpose: This study investigated the association between (1) time zone difference and (2) travel direction (east vs west) with posttravel changes in perceptual responses of national-team footballers. Methods: Travel schedules from 355 national-team trips (50 elite soccer players) were verified using an online flight database. All players provided perceptual ratings of fatigue, sleep quality, soreness, and stress to calculate changes in scores up to 2 days after travel. Trips were categorized as <3, 3 to 6, 6 to 9, or 9+ time zone changes, along with travel direction (eastward or westward). The pretravel to posttravel changes in perceptual ratings at days 1 and 2 postarrival were compared between time zone change and travel direction with linear mixed models. Results: For every time zone crossed, poorer ratings of perceptual fatigue (β = 0.068, P < .001), sleep (β = 0.095, P < .001), soreness (β = 0.0049, P < .001), and total wellness (β = 0.214, P < .001) were observed. However, the models explained only small proportions of the variation in postflight perceptual responses (7%–18%). Regardless, travel across 9+ time zones resulted in significantly worse perceived fatigue, sleep, and total wellness for days 1 and 2 postarrival compared with travel with <6 time zones (P < .05). Additionally, fatigue, sleep, and total scores were worse on day 2 following trips of 9+ time zones. Eastward travel resulted in poorer sleep ratings (β = 0.52, P < .001) than westward travel within time zone groupings. Conclusions: Perceptual ratings of fatigue and sleep become progressively worse as travel increases in national-team soccer players, especially after travel across 9+ time zones and eastward travel.

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Iñigo Mujika, Nicolas Bourdillon, Rafa González De Txabarri, and Gregoire P. Millet

Purpose: Oxygen uptake kinetics (VO2kinetics) is a measure of an athlete’s capacity to respond to variations in energy demands. Faster VO2kinetics is associated with better performance in endurance sports, but optimal training methods to improve VO2kinetics remain unclear. This study compared the effects of 2 high-intensity interval-training (HIIT) programs on traditional rowing performance and VO2kinetics. Methods: Twelve highly trained rowers performed one of two 6-week HIIT protocols: either 3-minute repetitions at 90% (HIIT90; n = 5) of peak aerobic power (PAP) or 90-second repetitions at 100% (HIIT100; n = 7) of PAP. Before (PRE) and after (POST) the training intervention, they performed an incremental test to exhaustion to determine the individual lactate threshold, onset of blood lactate accumulation and PAP, and two 6-minute rest-to-exercise transitions to determine VO2kinetics. Results: No significant changes (P > .05) were observed for rowing ergometer power output at individual lactate threshold (HIIT90 PRE 255 [12], POST 264 [13]; HIIT100 247 [24], 266 [28] W), onset of blood lactate accumulation (279 [12], 291 [16]; 269 [23], 284 [32] W), or PAP (359 [13], 381 [15]; 351 [21], 363 [29] W) or for any parameters of VO2kinetics. No differences were observed between HIIT interventions. Conclusion: The HIIT interventions did not induce significant performance or VO2kinetics improvements, although mean power output at individual lactate threshold, onset of blood lactate accumulation, and PAP increased by 5.7%, 5.0%, and 4.5%, respectively. This suggests that the exact intensity and duration of HIIT sessions performed in the same intensity domain may be of lesser importance than other well-established influential factors (eg, training volume progression, training intensity distribution, altitude training) to develop aerobic qualities in endurance athletes.