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Jaime Gil-Cabrera, Pedro L. Valenzuela, Lidia B. Alejo, Eduardo Talavera, Almudena Montalvo-Pérez, Alejandro Lucia, and David Barranco-Gil

Purpose: To compare the effectiveness of optimum power load training (OPT, training with an individualized load and repetitions that maximize power output) and traditional resistance training (TRT, same number of repetitions and relative load for all individuals) in professional cyclists. Methods: Participants (19 [1] y, peak oxygen uptake 75.5 [6] mL/kg/min) were randomly assigned to 8 weeks (2 sessions per week) of TRT (n = 11) or OPT (n = 9), during which they maintained their usual cycle training schedule. Training loads were continuously registered, and measures of muscle strength/power (1-repetition maximum and maximum mean propulsive power on the squat, hip thrust, and lunge exercises), body composition (assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry), and endurance performance (assessed on both an incremental test and an 8-min time trial) were collected before and at the end of the intervention. Results: OPT resulted in a lower average intensity (percentage of 1-repetition maximum) during resistance training sessions for all exercises (P < .01), but no differences were found for overall training loads during resistance or cycling sessions (P > .05). Both programs led to significant improvements in all strength/power-related parameters, muscle mass (with no changes in total body mass but a decreased fat mass), and time-trial performance (all Ps < .05). A trend toward increased power output at the respiratory compensation point was also found (P = .056 and .066 for TRT and OPT, respectively). No between-groups differences were noted for any outcome (P > .05). Conclusion: The addition of either TRT or OPT to an endurance training regimen of elite cyclists results in similar improvements of body composition, muscle strength/power, and endurance performance.

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Kurt Jensen, Morten Frydkjær, Niels M.B. Jensen, Lucas M. Bannerholt, and Søren Gam

Purpose: To examine the relationship between the maximal power output (MPO) in an individualized 7 × 2-minute incremental (INCR) test, average power in a 2k (W2k) rowing ergometer test, and maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) and to develop a regression equation to predict V˙O2max. Methods: A total of 34 male club rowers (age 18–30 y) performed a 2k and an INCR test in a Concept2 rowing ergometer to determine and compare MPO, W2k, and V˙O2max. Results: No significant difference was found between V˙O2max measured during INCR or 2k test (P = .73). A very high correlation coefficient (r = .96) was found between MPO and V˙O2max and between W2k and V˙O2max (r = .93). Linear regression analyses were developed for predicting V˙O2max from MPO: (1) V˙O2max (mL·min−1) = 11.49 × MPO + 810 and V˙O2max from W2k: (2) V˙O2max = 10.96 × W2k + 1168. Cross-validation analyses were performed using an independent sample of 14 rowers. There was no difference between the mean predicted V˙O2max in the INCR test (4.41 L·min−1) or the 2k test (4.39 L·min−1) and the observed V˙O2max (4.40 L·min−1). Technical error of measurement was 3.1% and 3.6%, standard error of estimate was 0.136 and 0.157 mL·min−1, and validation coefficients (r) were .95 and .94 using Equation () and (), respectively. Conclusion: A prediction model only including MPO or W2k explains 88% to 90% of the variability in V˙O2max and is suggested for practical use in male club rowers.

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Mikayla J. Lyons, Jennifer Conlon, Amy Perejmibida, Paola Chivers, and Christopher Joyce

Purpose: This study examined the maintenance of passing performance following soccer-specific high-intensity intermittent exercise in elite (n = 9) and subelite (n = 11) Western Australian female soccer players (19.5 [2.5] y). Methods: A total of 20 participants completed the Loughborough Soccer Passing Test (LSPT) prior to, during, and following 90 minutes of a modified, female-specific, individualized exercise protocol (Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test [LIST]) to simulate 2 halves of a soccer match. Performance in the LSPT was calculated by adding “raw time” to the accumulated “penalty time” for each test. Results: Elite players recorded greater distances (t 58 = 4.671, P < .001, effect size [ES] = 1.21) and higher derived VO2max values (t 58 = 4.715, P < .001, ES = 1.20) for the LIST exercise protocol over the subelite players. The total performance times for each LSPT were longer in the subelites in comparison with the elites, with a very large ES difference seen in post-LIST1 (t 18 = −6.64, P < .001, ES = 2.99) and post-LIST2 (t 18 = −9.143, P < .001, ES = 4.12). No between-groups differences were identified for “raw time” at any time point. Hence, all reported LSPT performance differences are attributed to “penalty time.” Conclusion: These data suggest that elite players can sustain their passing performance more efficiently throughout match play that can subelite female soccer players. These findings may contribute to future talent-identification testing by helping to distinguish between elite- and subelite-level players through sustained passing performance. Coaches may also use this information to better inform best-practice training methods through modification of male soccer-specific high-intensity intermittent exercise to a female cohort.

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Motoko Taguchi, Akiko Hara, Hiroko Murata, Suguru Torii, and Takayuki Sako

For athletes to gain body mass, especially muscle, an increase in energy consumption is necessary. To increase their energy intake, many athletes consume more meals, including supplementary meals or snacks. However, the influence of meal frequency on changes in body composition and appetite is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of meal frequency on changes in body composition and appetite during weight gain in athletes through a well-controlled dietary intervention. Ten male collegiate rowers with weight gain goals were included in this study. The subjects were randomly classified into two groups, and dietary intervention was implemented using a crossover method. During the intervention period, all subjects were provided identical meals aimed to provide a positive energy balance. The meals were consumed at a frequency of either three times (regular frequency) or six times (high frequency) a day. Body composition was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and the visual analog scale was used for the evaluation of appetite. In both trials, body weight, fat-free mass, and fat mass significantly increased; however, an interaction (Trial × Time) was not observed. Visual analog scale did not vary between trials. Our data suggest that partitioning identical excess dietary intakes over three or six meals does not influence changes in body composition or appetite during weight gain in athletes.

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Alice M. Wallett, Naroa Etxebarria, Nicole A. Beard, Philo U. Saunders, Marijke Welvaert, Julien D. Périard, Andrew J. McKune, and David B. Pyne

Purpose: The risk of exercise-induced endotoxemia is increased in the heat and is primarily attributable to changes in gut permeability resulting in the translocation of lipopolysaccharides (LPS) into the circulation. The purpose of this study was to quantify the acute changes in gut permeability and LPS translocation during submaximal continuous and high-intensity interval exercise under heat stress. Methods: A total of 12 well-trained male runners (age 37 [7] y, maximal oxygen uptake [VO2max] 61.0 [6.8] mL·min−1·kg−1) undertook 2 treadmill runs of 2 × 15-minutes at 60% and 75% VO2max and up to 8 × 1-minutes at 95% VO2max in HOT (34°C, 68% relative humidity) and COOL (18°C, 57% relative humidity) conditions. Venous blood samples were collected at the baseline, following each running intensity, and 1 hour postexercise. Blood samples were analyzed for markers of intestinal permeability (LPS, LPS binding protein, and intestinal fatty acid–binding protein). Results: The increase in LPS binding protein following each exercise intensity in the HOT condition was 4% (5.3 μg·mL−1, 2.4–8.4; mean, 95% confidence interval, P < .001), 32% (4.6 μg·mL−1, 1.8–7.4; P = .002), and 30% (3.0 μg·mL−1, 0.03–5.9; P = .047) greater than in the COOL condition. LPS was 69% higher than baseline following running at 75% VO2max in the HOT condition (0.2 endotoxin units·mL−1, 0.1–0.4; P = .011). Intestinal fatty acid–binding protein increased 43% (2.1 ng·mL−1, 0.1–4.2; P = .04) 1 hour postexercise in HOT compared with the COOL condition. Conclusions: Small increases in LPS concentration during exercise in the heat and subsequent increases in intestinal fatty acid–binding protein and LPS binding protein indicate a capacity to tolerate acute, transient intestinal disturbance in well-trained endurance runners.

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Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey, Julia O. Totosy de Zepetnek, Mhairi Keil, Katherine Brooke-Wavell, and Alan M. Batterham

Purpose: To evaluate the tracking of within-athlete changes in criterion measures of whole-body fat percentage (BF%; dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) with skinfold thickness (Σ 4, 6, or 8) in wheelchair basketball players. Methods: Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry-derived whole BF% and Σ 4, 6, or 8 skinfolds were obtained at 5 time points over 15 months (N = 16). A linear mixed model with restricted maximum likelihood (random intercept, with identity covariance structure) to derive the within-athlete prediction error for predicting criterion BF% from Σ skinfolds was used. This prediction error allowed us to evaluate how well a simple measure of the Σ skinfolds could track criterion changes in BF %; that is, the authors derived the change in Σ skinfolds that would have to be observed in an individual athlete to conclude that a substantial change in criterion BF% had occurred. Data were log-transformed prior to analysis. Results: The Σ 8 skinfolds was the most precise practical measure for tracking changes in BF%. For the monitoring of an individual player, a change in Σ 8 skinfolds by a factor of greater than 1.28 (multiply or divide by 1.28) is associated with a practically meaningful change in BF% (≥1 percentage point). Conclusions: The Σ 8 skinfolds can track changes in BF% within individuals with reasonable precision, providing a useful field monitoring tool in the absence of often impractical criterion measures.