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Jožef Šimenko and Vedran Hadžić

Purpose: This study investigates bilateral performance with the Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) and its associations with competition performance (CP) and competition volume (CV) in judo. Methods: The SJFT compared movement patterns of the dominant (D) and nondominant (ND) sides on a sample of 27 youth judoka. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to determine differences in SJFT execution to the D and ND side, and for associations, the Pearson correlation was used (P < .05). Results: The total number of throws is significantly higher on the D side, with better performance in the final SJFT index. The CP showed positive correlations with the D side of SJFT executions in the second part of SJFT (P = .042) and the total number of throws (P = .036). On the ND side, the CP showed a positive correlation with the second part of the SJFT (P = .014), a negative correlation with the third part of the SJFT (P = .035), and a positive correlation in the total number of throws (P = .027). CV shows significant correlations with all parameters of the SJFT in the D and ND sides, with stronger correlations on the ND side. Conclusions: The study presents significantly better performance in judokas’ D side in SJFT. Associations between CP and CV with the SJFT were significant in connection to both body sides. It highlights the importance of bilateral movement development and good execution of the throwing techniques for the D and ND body sides of youth judoka to achieve greater CP all year round.

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Felipe Guimarães Teixeira, Paulo Tadeu Cardozo Ribeiro Rosa, Roger Gomes Tavares Mello, and Jurandir Nadal

Purpose: The study aimed to identify the variables that differentiate judo athletes at national and regional levels. Multivariable analysis was applied to biomechanical, anthropometric, and Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT) data. Method: Forty-two male judo athletes from 2 competitive groups (14 national and 28 state levels) performed the following measurements and tests: (1) skinfold thickness, (2) circumference, (3) bone width, (4) longitudinal length, (5) stabilometric tests, (6) dynamometric tests, and (7) SJFT. The variables with significant differences in the Wilcoxon rank-sum test were used in stepwise logistic regression to select those that better separate the groups. The authors considered models with a maximum of 3 variables to avoid overfitting. They used 7-fold cross validation to calculate optimism-corrected measures of model performance. Results: The 3 variables that best differentiated the groups were the epicondylar humerus width, the total number of throws on the SJFT, and the stabilometric mean velocity of the center of pressure in the mediolateral direction. The area under the receiver-operating-characteristic curve for the model (based on 7-fold cross validation) was 0.95. Conclusion: This study suggests that a reduced set of anthropometric, biomechanical, and SJFT variables can differentiate judo athlete’s levels.

Open access

Alannah K.A. McKay, Trent Stellingwerff, Ella S. Smith, David T. Martin, Iñigo Mujika, Vicky L. Goosey-Tolfrey, Jeremy Sheppard, and Louise M. Burke

Throughout the sport-science and sports-medicine literature, the term “elite” subjects might be one of the most overused and ill-defined terms. Currently, there is no common perspective or terminology to characterize the caliber and training status of an individual or cohort. This paper presents a 6-tiered Participant Classification Framework whereby all individuals across a spectrum of exercise backgrounds and athletic abilities can be classified. The Participant Classification Framework uses training volume and performance metrics to classify a participant to one of the following: Tier 0: Sedentary; Tier 1: Recreationally Active; Tier 2: Trained/Developmental; Tier 3: Highly Trained/National Level; Tier 4: Elite/International Level; or Tier 5: World Class. We suggest the Participant Classification Framework can be used to classify participants both prospectively (as part of study participant recruitment) and retrospectively (during systematic reviews and/or meta-analyses). Discussion around how the Participant Classification Framework can be tailored toward different sports, athletes, and/or events has occurred, and sport-specific examples provided. Additional nuances such as depth of sport participation, nationality differences, and gender parity within a sport are all discussed. Finally, chronological age with reference to the junior and masters athlete, as well as the Paralympic athlete, and their inclusion within the Participant Classification Framework has also been considered. It is our intention that this framework be widely implemented to systematically classify participants in research featuring exercise, sport, performance, health, and/or fitness outcomes going forward, providing the much-needed uniformity to classification practices.

Open access

Sérgio M. Querido, Régis Radaelli, João Brito, João R. Vaz, and Sandro R. Freitas

Background: Sleep, nutrition, active recovery, cold-water immersion, and massage were recently reported as the most used postmatch recovery methods in professional football. However, the recommendations concerning the effect of these methods remain unclear. Purpose: To systematically review the literature regarding the effectiveness of the most common recovery methods applied to male and female football players (or other team sports) 72 hours postmatches and to provide graded recommendations for their use. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was performed, and the level of evidence of randomized and nonrandomized studies was classified as 1 or 2, respectively, with additional ++, +, and − classification according to the quality of the study and risk of bias. Graded recommendations were provided regarding the effectiveness of recovery methods for physical, physiological, and perceptive variables. Results: From the 3472 articles identified, 39 met the inclusion criteria for analysis. The studies’ levels of evidence varied among methods (sleep: 2+ to 1++; nutrition: 2− to 1+; cold-water immersion: 2− to 1++; active recovery: 2− to 1+; and massage: 1− to 1+). Different graded recommendations were attributed, and none of them favored the effective use of recovery methods for physiological and physical parameters, whereas massage and cold-water immersion were recommended as beneficial for perceptive variables. Conclusions: Cold-water immersion and massage can be recommended to recover up to 72 hours postmatch at a perceptive level. However, there is a current need for high-quality research that identifies effective recovery strategies that enhance recovery at the physical and physiological levels.

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QinLong Li, Charles J. Steward, Tom Cullen, Kaixuan Che, and Yue Zhou

Purpose: To evaluate the effectiveness of heart-rate variability (HRV) biofeedback in improving autonomic function, mood, and sleep in elite bobsleigh athletes. Methods: Eight Chinese Winter Olympic bobsleigh athletes (age: 24 [2] y, body mass: 89 [15] kg, and height: 184 [5] cm) completed a randomized crossover study with and without HRV biofeedback before a single night’s sleep. HRV biofeedback was provided 35 minutes prior to bedtime in the experimental condition. The assessment of HRV took place 45 and 10 minutes before bedtime. The Profile of Mood States questionnaire was completed 50 and 15 minutes prior to bedtime. Sleep duration and quality were measured through an air-mattress sleep-monitoring system. Results: Sleep efficiency (P = .020; F = 7.831; CI, 0.008 to 0.072) and the percentage of deep sleep duration increased (P = .013; F = 10.875; CI, 0.006 to 0.035), while the percentage of light sleep decreased (P = .034; F = 6.893; CI, −0.038 to −0.002). Presleep HRV biofeedback increased parasympathetic and decreased sympathetic activity. Mood states of anger (P = .006, F = 7.573), panic (P = .031, F = 4.288), tension (P = .011, F = 6.284), depression (P = .010, F = 6.016), fatigue (P = .000, F = 16.901), and total mood disturbance (P = .001, F = 11.225) were reduced before sleep. Conclusion: Presleep HRV biofeedback improved some measures of autonomic function, mood, and sleep quality in Chinese Olympic bobsleigh athletes. Presleep HRV biofeedback provides a practical strategy that may help reduce sleep disturbances during periods of training and competition.

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Sébastien Duc, Tomas Urianstad, and Bent R. Rønnestad

Purpose: Previous research suggests that the percentage of maximal oxygen uptake attained and the time it is sustained close to maximal oxygen uptake (eg, >90%) can serve as a good criterion to judge the effectiveness of a training stimulus. The aim of this study was to investigate the acute effects of adding vibration during varied high-intensity interval training (HIIT) sessions on physiological and neuromuscular responses. Methods: Twelve well-trained cyclists completed a counterbalanced crossover protocol, wherein 2 identical varied HIIT cycling sessions were performed with and without intermittent vibration to the lower-intensity workloads of the work intervals (6 × 5-min work intervals and 2.5-min active recovery). Each 5-minute work interval consisted of 3 blocks of 40 seconds performed at 100% of maximal aerobic power interspersed with 60-second workload performed at a lower power output, equal to the lactate threshold plus 20% of the difference between lactate threshold and maximal aerobic power. Oxygen uptake and electromyographic activity of lower and upper limbs were recorded during all 5-minute work intervals. Results: Adding vibration induced a longer time ≥90% maximal oxygen uptake (11.14 [7.63] vs 8.82 [6.90] min, d = 0.64, P = .048) and an increase in electromyographic activity of lower and upper limbs during the lower-intensity workloads by 20% (16%) and 34% (43%) (d = 1.09 and 0.83; P = .03 and .015), respectively. Conclusion: Adding vibration during a varied HIIT session increases the physiological demand of the cardiovascular and neuromuscular systems, indicating that this approach can be used to optimize the training stimulus of well-trained cyclists.

Open access

Iñigo Mujika and Karim Chamari

Open access

Louis Passfield, Juan M. Murias, Massimo Sacchetti, and Andrea Nicolò