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Open access

Iñigo Mujika and David B. Pyne

Open access

Olli-Pekka Nuuttila, Santtu Seipäjärvi, Heikki Kyröläinen, and Ari Nummela

Purpose: To assess the reliability of nocturnal heart rate (HR) and HR variability (HRV) and to analyze the sensitivity of these markers to maximal endurance exercise. Methods: Recreational runners recorded nocturnal HR and HRV on nights after 2 identical low-intensity training sessions (n = 15) and on nights before and after a 3000-m running test (n = 23). Average HR, the natural logarithm of the root mean square of successive differences (LnRMSSD), and the natural logarithm of the high-frequency power (LnHF) were analyzed from a full night (FULL), a 4-hour (4H) segment starting 30 minutes after going to sleep, and morning value (MOR) based on the endpoint of the linear fit through all 5-minute averages during the night. Differences between the nights were analyzed with a general linear model, and intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) was used for internight reliability assessments. Results: All indices were similar between the nights followed by low-intensity training sessions. A very high ICC (P < .001) was observed in all analysis segments with a range of .97 to .98 for HR, .92 to .97 for LnRMSSD, and .91 to .96 for LnHF. HR increased (P < .001), whereas LnRMSSD (P < .01) and LnHF (P < .05) decreased after the 3000-m test compared with previous night only in 4H and FULL. Increments in HR (P < .01) and decrements in LnRMSSD (P < .05) were greater in 4H compared with FULL and MOR. Conclusions: Nocturnal HR and HRV indices are highly reliable. Demanding maximal exercise increases HR and decreases HRV most systematically in 4H and FULL segments.

Open access

Joshua Colomar, Francisco Corbi, Quim Brich, and Ernest Baiget

Purpose: To review the main physical aspects that could positively or negatively influence serve velocity (SV). Methods: An examination of existing literature including studies analyzing positive (biomechanical aspects, anthropometrics, range of motion, strength, and power) and negative (competition-induced fatigue) associations to SV are summarized in this review. Results: Aspects such as lower-leg drive, hip and trunk rotations, upper-arm extension, and internal rotation seem to be the major contributors to racquet and ball speed. Favorable anthropometric characteristics, such as body height, arm length, and a greater lean body mass, seem to positively influence SV. Also, strength indicators such as maximal isometric strength and rate of force development in specific joint positions involved in the kinetic chain alongside upper-body power seem to be related to faster serves. On the other hand, the effects of prolonged or repetitive match play may impair the aforementioned factors and negatively influence SV. Conclusions: Following specific serving models that seem to enhance velocity production and efficient motion is highly recommended. Moreover, achieving a higher impact point, alongside shifting body composition toward a greater lean body mass, will most likely aid toward faster serves. Programs aiming at improving maximal isometric strength and rate of force development in specific positions involved in the kinetic chain including stretch-shortening cycle predominance and the mimicking of the serve motion seem of great interest to potentially increase SV. Effective recovery and monitoring of these variables appear to be essential to avoid impairments produced by continued or repetitive competition loads.

Open access

Grant C. Brechney, Jack Cannon, and Stephen P. Goodman

Weight cutting in combat sports is a prevalent practice whereby athletes voluntarily dehydrate themselves via various methods to induce rapid weight loss (RWL) to qualify for a lower weight category than that of their usual training body weight. The intention behind this practice is to regain the lost body mass and compete at a heavier mass than permitted by the designated weight category. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively synthesize the available evidence examining the effects of weight cutting on exercise performance in combat-sport athletes. Following a systematic search of the literature, meta-analyses were performed to compare maximal strength, maximal power, anaerobic capacity, and/or repeated high-intensity-effort performance before rapid weight loss (pre-RWL), immediately following RWL (post-RWL), and 3 to 36 hours after RWL following recovery and rapid weight gain (post-RWG). Overall, exercise performance was unchanged between pre-RWL and post-RWG (g = 0.22; 95% CI, −0.18 to 0.62). Between pre-RWL and post-RWL analyses revealed small reductions in maximal strength and repeated high-intensity-effort performance (g = −0.29; 95% CI, −0.54 to −0.03 and g = −0.37; 95% CI, −0.59 to −0.16, respectively; both P ≤ .03). Qualitative analysis indicates that maximal strength and power remained comparable between post-RWL and post-RWG. These data suggest that weight cutting in combat-sport athletes does not alter short-duration, repeated high-intensity-effort performance; however, there is evidence to suggest that select exercise performance outcomes may decline as a product of RWL. It remains unclear whether these are restored by RWG.

Open access

Dionne A. Noordhof, Xanne A.K. Janse de Jonge, Anthony C. Hackney, Jos J. de Koning, and Øyvind Sandbakk

Open access

James A. Betts

Open access

Oliver J. Peacock, Javier T. Gonzalez, Simon P. Roberts, Alan Smith, Scott Drawer, and Keith A. Stokes

Ketone ingestion can alter metabolism but effects on exercise performance are unclear, particularly with regard to the impact on intermittent-intensity exercise and team-sport performance. Nine professional male rugby union players each completed two trials in a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. Participants ingested either 90 ± 9 g carbohydrate (CHO; 9% solution) or an energy matched solution containing 20 ± 2 g CHO (3% solution) and 590 mg/kg body mass β-hydroxybutyrate monoester (CHO + BHB-ME) before and during a simulated rugby union-specific match-play protocol, including repeated high-intensity, sprint and power-based performance tests. Mean time to complete the sustained high-intensity performance tests was reduced by 0.33 ± 0.41 s (2.1%) with CHO + BHB-ME (15.53 ± 0.52 s) compared with CHO (15.86 ± 0.80 s) placebo (p = .04). Mean time to complete the sprint and power-based performance tests were not different between trials. CHO + BHB-ME resulted in blood BHB concentrations that remained >2 mmol/L during exercise (p < .001). Serum lactate and glycerol concentrations were lower after CHO + BHB-ME than CHO (p < .05). Coingestion of a BHB-ME with CHO can alter fuel metabolism (attenuate circulating lactate and glycerol concentrations) and may improve high-intensity running performance during a simulated rugby match-play protocol, without improving shorter duration sprint and power-based efforts.