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Alannah K.A. McKay, Peter Peeling, David B. Pyne, Nicolin Tee, Marijke Welveart, Ida A. Heikura, Avish P. Sharma, Jamie Whitfield, Megan L. Ross, Rachel P.L. van Swelm, Coby M. Laarakkers, and Louise M. Burke

This study implemented a 2-week high carbohydrate (CHO) diet intended to maximize CHO oxidation rates and examined the iron-regulatory response to a 26-km race walking effort. Twenty international-level, male race walkers were assigned to either a novel high CHO diet (MAX = 10 g/kg body mass CHO daily) inclusive of gut-training strategies, or a moderate CHO control diet (CON = 6 g/kg body mass CHO daily) for a 2-week training period. The athletes completed a 26-km race walking test protocol before and after the dietary intervention. Venous blood samples were collected pre-, post-, and 3 hr postexercise and measured for serum ferritin, interleukin-6, and hepcidin-25 concentrations. Similar decreases in serum ferritin (17–23%) occurred postintervention in MAX and CON. At the baseline, CON had a greater postexercise increase in interleukin-6 levels after 26 km of walking (20.1-fold, 95% CI [9.2, 35.7]) compared with MAX (10.2-fold, 95% CI [3.7, 18.7]). A similar finding was evident for hepcidin levels 3 hr postexercise (CON = 10.8-fold, 95% CI [4.8, 21.2]; MAX = 8.8-fold, 95% CI [3.9, 16.4]). Postintervention, there were no substantial differences in the interleukin-6 response (CON = 13.6-fold, 95% CI [9.2, 20.5]; MAX = 11.2-fold, 95% CI [6.5, 21.3]) or hepcidin levels (CON = 7.1-fold, 95% CI [2.1, 15.4]; MAX = 6.3-fold, 95% CI [1.8, 14.6]) between the dietary groups. Higher resting serum ferritin (p = .004) and hotter trial ambient temperatures (p = .014) were associated with greater hepcidin levels 3 hr postexercise. Very high CHO diets employed by endurance athletes to increase CHO oxidation have little impact on iron regulation in elite athletes. It appears that variations in serum ferritin concentration and ambient temperature, rather than dietary CHO, are associated with increased hepcidin concentrations 3 hr postexercise.

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Mikael Derakhti, Domen Bremec, Tim Kambič, Lasse Ten Siethoff, and Niklas Psilander

Purpose: This study compared the effects of heavy resisted sprint training (RST) versus unresisted sprint training (UST) on sprint performance among adolescent soccer players. Methods: Twenty-four male soccer players (age: 15.7 [0.5] y; body height: 175.7 [9.4] cm; body mass: 62.5 [9.2] kg) were randomly assigned to the RST group (n = 8), the UST group (n = 10), or the control group (n = 6). The UST group performed 8 × 20 m unresisted sprints twice weekly for 4 weeks, whereas the RST group performed 5 × 20-m heavy resisted sprints with a resistance set to maximize the horizontal power output. The control group performed only ordinary soccer training and match play. Magnitude-based decision and linear regression were used to analyze the data. Results: The RST group improved sprint performances with moderate to large effect sizes (0.76–1.41) across all distances, both within and between groups (>92% beneficial effect likelihood). Conversely, there were no clear improvements in the UST and control groups. The RST evoked the largest improvements over short distances (6%–8%) and was strongly associated with increased maximum horizontal force capacities (r = .9). Players with a preintervention deficit in force capacity appeared to benefit the most from RST. Conclusions: Four weeks of heavy RST led to superior improvements in short-sprint performance compared with UST among adolescent soccer players. Heavy RST, using a load individually selected to maximize horizontal power, is therefore highly recommended as a method to improve sprint acceleration in youth athletes.

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James Parr, Keith Winwood, Emma Hodson-Tole, Frederik J.A. Deconinck, James P. Hill, and Sean P. Cumming

Purpose: To investigate the influence of maturation on match running performance in elite male youth soccer players. Methods: A total of 37 elite male youth soccer participants from an English professional soccer academy from the U14s, U15s, and U16s age groups were assessed over the course of 1 competitive playing season (2018–2019). Relative biological maturity was assessed using percentage of predicted adult height. A global positioning system device was used between 2 and 30 (mean = 8 [5]) times on each outfield player. The position of each player in each game was defined as defender, midfielder, or attacker and spine or lateral. A total of 5 match-running metrics were collected total distance covered, high-speed running distance, very high-speed running distance, maximum speed attained, and number of accelerations. Results: Relative biological maturity was positively associated with all global positioning system running metrics for U14s. The U15/16s showed variation in the associations among the global positioning system running metrics against maturity status. A multilevel model which allowed slopes to vary was the best model for all parameters for both age groups. In the U14 age group, advanced maturation was associated with greater high-speed running distance. However, maturation did not contribute toward variance in any of the indices of running performance in the U15/16s. In the U15/16 age group, significance was observed in the spine/lateral playing positions when undertaking actions that required covering distance at high speeds. Conclusions: Maturation appeared to have an impact on match-running metrics within the U14s cohort. However, within the U15/16s, the influence of maturation on match-running metrics appeared to have less of an impact.

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Markus N.C. Williams, Jordan L. Fox, Cody J. O’Grady, Samuel Gardner, Vincent J. Dalbo, and Aaron T. Scanlan

Purpose: To compare weekly training, game, and overall (training and games) demands across phases of the regular season in basketball. Methods: Seven semiprofessional, male basketball players were monitored during all on-court team-based training sessions and games during the regular season. External monitoring variables included PlayerLoad and inertial movement analysis events per minute. Internal monitoring variables included a modified summated heart rate zones model calculated per minute and rating of perceived exertion. Linear mixed models were used to compare training, game, and overall demands between 5-week phases (early, middle, and late) of the regular season with significance set at P ≤ .05. Effect sizes were calculated between phases and interpreted as: trivial, <0.20; small, 0.20 to 0.59; moderate, 0.60 to 1.19; large, 1.20 to 1.99; very large, ≥2.00. Results: Greater (P > .05) overall inertial movement analysis events (moderate–very large) and rating of perceived exertion (moderate) were evident in the late phase compared with earlier phases. During training, more accelerations were evident in the middle (P = .01, moderate) and late (P = .05, moderate) phases compared with the early phase, while higher rating of perceived exertion (P = .04, moderate) was evident in the late phase compared with earlier phases. During games, nonsignificant, trivial–small differences in demands were apparent between phases. Conclusions: Training and game demands should be interpreted in isolation and combined given overall player demands increased as the season progressed, predominantly due to modifications in training demands given the stability of game demands. Periodization strategies administered by coaching staff may have enabled players to train at greater intensities late in the season without compromising game intensity.

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Gabriel Barreto, Gabriel P. Esteves, Felipe Miguel Marticorena, and Bryan Saunders

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Oliver C. Witard, Laurent Bannock, and Kevin D. Tipton

The acute response of muscle protein synthesis (MPS) to resistance exercise and nutrition is often used to inform recommendations for exercise programming and dietary interventions, particularly protein nutrition, to support and enhance muscle growth with training. Those recommendations are worthwhile only if there is a predictive relationship between the acute response of MPS and subsequent muscle hypertrophy during resistance exercise training. The metabolic basis for muscle hypertrophy is the dynamic balance between the synthesis and degradation of myofibrillar proteins in muscle. There is ample evidence that the process of MPS is much more responsive to exercise and nutrition interventions than muscle protein breakdown. Thus, it is intuitively satisfying to translate the acute changes in MPS to muscle hypertrophy with training over a longer time frame. Our aim is to examine and critically evaluate the strength and nature of this relationship. Moreover, we examine the methodological and physiological factors related to measurement of MPS and changes in muscle hypertrophy that contribute to uncertainty regarding this relationship. Finally, we attempt to offer recommendations for practical and contextually relevant application of the information available from studies of the acute response of MPS to optimize muscle hypertrophy with training.

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Jeane Franco Pires Medeiros, Michelle Vasconcelos de Oliveira Borges, Aline Alves Soares, Elys Costa de Sousa, José Ronaldo Ribeiro da Costa, Weberthon Alessanderson Costa Silva, Magnus Vinícius Bezerra de Sousa, Vivian Nogueira Silbiger, Paulo Moreira Silva Dantas, and André Ducati Luchessi

Although vitamin D is related to cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength, there is no evidence in the literature about the genetic influence of the response to vitamin D supplementation and improvements in these parameters. Therefore, we evaluate the effect of longitudinal supplementation of vitamin D on parameters of physical fitness in monozygotic twins. In total, 74 participants were included, with a mean age of 25 years, divided into two groups, one group received supplementation with cholecalciferol for 60 days and the other group did not. Cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength were measured before and after supplementation through maximal treadmill tests and dynamometry, respectively. Wilcoxon tests were used to compare intragroup results and the Mann–Whitney test to examine intergroup differences. There was an increase in the serum concentration of vitamin D in participants who ingested the supplementation. Cardiorespiratory fitness improved after supplementation through increases in the values of maximum oxygen consumption of 28% (p < .001). Muscle strength in left hand grip increased 18% in participants who received the supplement (p = .007). Sixty days of cholecalciferol supplementation improved cardiorespiratory fitness and upper limb muscle strength.