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.
Irineu Loturco, Antonio Dello Iacono, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Tomás T. Freitas, Daniel Boullosa, Pedro L. Valenzuela, Lucas A. Pereira, and Michael R. McGuigan
Purpose: The optimal power load is defined as the load that maximizes power output in a given exercise. This load can be determined through the use of various instruments, under different testing protocols. Specifically, the “optimum power load” (OPL) is derived from the load–velocity relationship, using only bar force and bar velocity in the power computation. The OPL is easily assessed using a simple incremental testing protocol, based on relative percentages of body mass. To date, several studies have examined the associations between the OPL and different sport-specific measures, as well as its acute and chronic effects on athletic performance. The aim of this brief review is to present and summarize the current evidence regarding the OPL, highlighting the main lines of research on this topic and discussing the potential applications of this novel approach for testing and training. Conclusions: The validity and simplicity of OPL-based schemes provide strong support for their use as an alternative to more traditional strength–power training strategies. The OPL method can be effectively used by coaches and sport scientists in different sports and populations, with different purposes and configurations.
Bart Roelands, Vincent Kelly, Suzanna Russell, and Jelle Habay
Jason C. Siegler, Amelia J. Carr, William T. Jardine, Lilia Convit, Rebecca Cross, Dale Chapman, Louise M. Burke, and Megan Ross
Buffering agents have not been comprehensively profiled in terms of their capacity to influence water retention prior to exercise. The purpose of this investigation was to profile the fluid retention characteristics of sodium bicarbonate (BIC) and sodium citrate (CIT) to determine the efficacy of these buffering mediums as hyperhydrating agents. Nineteen volunteers (13 males and six females; age = 28.3 ± 4.9 years) completed three trials (randomized and cross-over design). For each trial, a baseline measurement of body mass, capillary blood, and urine was collected prior to ingestion of their respective condition (control condition [CON] = 25 ml/kg artificially sweetened water; BIC condition = CON + 7.5 g/L of sodium in the form of BIC; CIT condition = CON + 7.5 g/L of sodium in the form of CIT). The fluid loads were consumed in four equal aliquots (0, 20, 40 and 60 min; fluid intake was 1.972 ± 361 ml [CON]; 1.977 ± 360 ml [BIC]; 1.953 ± 352 ml [CIT]). Samples were recorded at 20 (body mass and urine) and 60 min (blood) intervals for 180 min. Blood buffering capacity (HCO3 −) was elevated (p < .001) in both BIC (32.1 ± 2.2 mmol/L) and CIT (28.9 ± 3.8 mmol/L) at 180 min compared with CON (25.1 ± 1.8 mmol/L). Plasma volume expansion was greater (p < .001) in both BIC (8.1 ± 1.3%) and CIT (5.9 ± 1.8%) compared with CON (−1.1 ± 1.4%); whereas, total urine production was lower in BIC and CIT at 180 min (BIC vs. CON, mean difference of 370 ± 85 ml; p < .001; CIT vs. CON, mean difference of 239 ± 102 ml; p = .05). There were no increases observed in body mass (p = .9). Under resting conditions, these data suggest BIC and CIT induce a greater plasma hypervolemic response as compared with water alone.
Sally Taunton Miedema, Ali Brian, Adam Pennell, Lauren Lieberman, Larissa True, Collin Webster, and David Stodden
Many interventions feature a singular component approach to targeting children’s motor competency and proficiency. Yet, little is known about the use of integrative interventions to meet the complex developmental needs of children aged 3–6 years. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of an integrative universally designed intervention on children with and without disabilities’ motor competency and proficiency. We selected children (N = 111; disability = 24; no disability = 87) to participate in either a school-based integrative motor intervention (n = 53) or a control condition (n = 58). Children in the integrative motor intervention both with and without disabilities showed significant improvement in motor competency and proficiency (p < .001) as compared with peers with and without disabilities in a control condition. Early childhood center directors (e.g., preschool and kindergarten) should consider implementing integrative universally designed interventions targeting multiple aspects of motor development to remediate delays in children with and without disabilities.
James A. Betts
Dana M. Lis, Matthew Jordan, Timothy Lipuma, Tayler Smith, Karine Schaal, and Keith Baar
Background: Exercise and vitamin C-enriched collagen supplementation increase collagen synthesis, potentially increasing matrix density, stiffness, and force transfer. Purpose: To determine whether vitamin C-enriched collagen (hydrolyzed collagen [HC] + C) supplementation improves rate of force development (RFD) alongside a strength training program. Methods: Using a double-blinded parallel design, over 3 weeks, healthy male athletes (n = 50, 18–25 years) were randomly assigned to the intervention (HC + C; 20 g HC + 50 mg vitamin C) or placebo (20 g maltodextrin). Supplements were ingested daily 60 min prior to training. Athletes completed the same targeted maximal muscle power training program. Maximal isometric squats, countermovement jumps, and squat jumps were performed on a force plate at the same time each testing day (baseline, Tests 1, 2, and 3) to measure RFD and maximal force development. Mixed-model analysis of variance compared performance variables across the study timeline, whereas t tests were used to compare the change between baseline and Test 3. Results: Over 3 weeks, maximal RFD in the HC + C group returned to baseline, whereas the placebo group remained depressed (p = .18). While both groups showed a decrease in RFD through Test 2, only the treatment group recovered RFD to baseline by Test 3 (p = .036). In the HC + C group, change in countermovement jumps eccentric deceleration impulse (p = .008) and eccentric deceleration RFD (p = .04) was improved. A strong trend was observed for lower limb stiffness assessed in the countermovement jumps (p = .08). No difference was observed in maximal force or squat jump parameters. Conclusion: The HC + C supplementation improved RFD in the squat and countermovement jump alongside training.