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Jeffrey Martin

The goal of this study was to determine if emotional expressions at the end of swimmers’ 2016 Paralympic races varied according to medal won and if their race wins and losses were close or not close. Using FaceReader software, videos of 46 races of medal-winning Paralympic (M age = 24.6; SD = 5.4) swimmers’ faces (78 males and 60 females) from 22 countries were analyzed. Silver medalists were angrier and sadder than gold medalists and angrier and more disgusted than bronze medalists. Swimmers who swam slower than their 2015 best time were angrier than Paralympians who swam faster. Paralympians who finished lower than their 2015 world ranking had more neutral emotions and were less happy than Paralympians who finished higher. Gold medalists who narrowly defeated silver medalists were less happy and more fearful than gold medalists who won easily. Bronze medalists with close wins had fewer neutral emotions and were happier, less angry, and more surprised than bronze medalists with not-close wins. All medalists with close wins were more surprised than medalists with easier wins. Bronze medalists with close losses to silver medalists were happier and less angry than bronze medalists who lost more easily. Effect sizes ranged from d = 0.27 to 1.01. These results provide theoretical support to basic emotion theory and confirm the anecdotal observations that Paralympic competition generates wide-ranging and diverse emotions.

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Madison Taylor, Nicki Almquist, Bent Rønnestad, Arnt Erik Tjønna, Morten Kristoffersen, Matt Spencer, Øyvind Sandbakk, and Knut Skovereng

Purpose: To investigate the effects of including repeated sprints in a weekly low-intensity (LIT) session during a 3-week transition period on cycling performance 6 weeks into the subsequent preparatory period (PREP) in elite cyclists. Methods: Eleven elite male cyclists (age = 22.0 [3.8] y, body mass = 73.0 [5.8] kg, height = 186 [7] cm, maximal oxygen uptake [VO2max] = 5469 [384] mL·min−1) reduced their training load by 64% and performed only LIT sessions (CON, n = 6) or included 3 sets of 3 × 30-second maximal sprints in a weekly LIT session (SPR, n = 5) during a 3-week transition period. There was no difference in the reduction in training load during the transition period between groups. Physiological and performance measures were compared between the end of the competitive period and 6 weeks into the PREP. Results: SPR demonstrated a 7.3% (7.2%) improvement in mean power output during a 20-minute all-out test at PREP, which was greater than CON (−1.3% [4.6%]) (P = .048). SPR had a corresponding 7.0% (3.6%) improvement in average VO2 during the 20-minute all-out test, which was larger than the 0.7% (6.0%) change in CON (P = .042). No change in VO2max, gross efficiency, or power output at blood lactate concentration of 4 mmol·L−1 from competitive period to PREP occurred in either group. Conclusion: Including sprints in a weekly LIT session during the transition period of elite cyclists provided a performance advantage 6 weeks into the subsequent PREP, which coincided with a higher performance VO2.

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Timo B. van den Bogaard, Jabik-Jan Bastiaans, and Mathijs J. Hofmijster

Purpose: To investigate how resistance training (RT) in a regular training program affects neuromuscular fatigue (NMF) and gross efficiency (EGROSS) in elite rowers. Methods: Twenty-six elite male rowers performed 4 RT sessions within 10 days. At baseline and after the first and fourth RT, EGROSS and NMF were established. From breathing gas, EGROSS was determined during submaximal rowing tests. Using a countermovement jump test, NMF was assessed by jump height, flight time, flight-to-contraction-time ratio, peak power, and time to peak power. Muscle soreness was assessed using a 10-cm-long visual analog scale. Results: No significant differences were found for EGROSS (P = .565, ω2 = .032). Muscle soreness (P = .00, ω2 = .500) and time to peak power (P = .08, ω2 = 0.238) were higher compared with baseline at all test moments. Flight-to-contraction-time ratio, jump height, and peak power after the fourth RT differed from baseline (P < .05, ω2 = .36, ω2 = .38, and ω2 = .31) and from results obtained after the first RT (P < .05, ω2 = .36, ω2 = .47, and ω2 = .22). Conclusions: RT in general does not influence EGROSS, but large individual differences (4.1%–14.8%) were observed. NMF is affected by RT, particularly after multiple sessions. During periods of intensified RT, imposed external load for low-intensity endurance training need not be altered, but rowers are recommended to abstain from intensive endurance training. Individual monitoring is strongly recommended.

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Kati S. Karinharju, Sjaan R. Gomersall, Kelly M. Clanchy, Stewart G. Trost, Li T. Yeo, and Sean M. Tweedy

This study evaluated the validity of two wheelchair-mounted devices—the Cateye® and Wheeler—for monitoring wheelchair speed and distance traveled. Speed estimates were validated against a calibrated treadmill at speeds from 1.5 to 10 km/hr. Twenty-five wheelchair users completed a course of known distance comprising a sequence of everyday wheelchair activities. Speed estimate validity was very good (mean absolute percentage error ≤ 5%) for the Wheeleri at all speeds and for the Cateye at speeds >3 km/hr but not speeds <3 km/hr (mean absolute percentage error > 20%). Wheeleri distance estimates were good (mean absolute percentage error < 10%) for linear pushing activities and general maneuvering but poor for confined-space maneuvering. Cateye estimates were good for continuous linear propulsion but poor for discontinuous pushing and maneuvering (both general and confined space). Both devices provided valid estimates of speed and distance for typical wheelchair-based exercise activities. However, the Wheeleri provided more accurate estimates of speed and distance during typical everyday wheelchair activities.

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Fernando G. Beltrami and Timothy D. Noakes

Purpose: This study aimecd to investigate whether elite athletes could reach higher values of maximal oxygen uptake (V˙O2max) during a decremental exercise test in comparison with a traditional incremental test, as recently demonstrated in trained individuals. Methods: Nine male runners (age 25.8 [5.1] y, season best 10-km time 31:19 [1:50]) performed, on different days, 3 maximal uphill (5% grade) running exercise tests in fixed order: an incremental test (INC1), a V-shape exercise test (where speed started at 0.5 km·h−1 higher than the top stage finished during INC1 and was slowly decreased during 5.5 min, when it was again increased in similar fashion to the INC tests), and a final incremental test (INC2). Results: V˙O2max during the V-shape exercise test was higher than during INC1 (6.3% [3.0%], P = .01), although running speed was lower (16.6 [1.7] vs 17.9 [1.6] km·h−1, P = .01). Performance was similar between INC1 and INC2, but V˙O2max during INC2 was higher than INC1 (P < .001). During the V-shape exercise test, 5 participants reached the incremental part of the test, but V˙O2 did not increase (ΔV˙O2=52 [259]mL·min1, P = .67), despite higher running speed (approximately 1.1 km·h−1, P < .01). Heart rate, pulmonary ventilation, breathing rate, and respiratory exchange ratio measured at V˙O2max were not different between tests. Conclusion: A decremental exercise test of sufficient intensity can produce higher V˙O2max than a traditional incremental test, even in elite athletes, and this is maintained during a subsequent incremental test.

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Ana C. Santos-Mariano, Fabiano Tomazini, Cintia Rodacki, Romulo Bertuzzi, Fernando De-Oliveira, and Adriano E. Lima-Silva

Purpose: To investigate the effects of caffeine (CAF) on performance during high- and long-jump competitions. Methods: Using a crossover and double-blind design, 6 well-trained high jumpers and 6 well-trained long jumpers performed a simulation of a high- and long-jump competition 60 minutes after ingesting a capsule containing either 5 mg·kg−1 body mass of anhydrous CAF or a placebo. The high jumps were video recorded for kinematic analysis. The velocity during the approach run of the long jump was also monitored using photocells. Results: CAF improved jump performance (ie, the highest bar height overlap increased by 5.1% [2.3%], P = .008), as well as enhancing the height displacement of the central body mass (+1.3% [1.7%], P = .004) compared with the placebo. CAF had no ergogenic effect on jump distance (P = .722); however, CAF increased the velocity during the last 10 m of the long jump (P = .019), and the percentage of “foul jumps” was higher than that expected by chance in the CAF group (80.5% [12.5%], χ2 = 13.44, P < .001) but not in the cellulose condition (58.3% [22.9%], χ2 = 1.48, P = .224). Conclusion: CAF ingestion (5 mg·kg−1 body mass) improves high-jump performance but seems to negatively influence technical aspects during the approach run of the long jump, resulting in no improvement in long-jump performance. Thus, CAF can be useful for jumpers, but the specificity of the jump competition must be taken into account.

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Adrien Vachon, Nicolas Berryman, Iñigo Mujika, Jean-Baptiste Paquet, and Laurent Bosquet

Purpose: To investigate the relationship between physical fitness and repeated high-intensity effort (RHIE) ability in elite rugby union players, depending on playing position. Method: Thirty-nine players underwent a fitness testing battery composed of a body composition assessment, upper-body strength (1-repetition maximum bench press and 1-repetition maximum bench row), lower-body strength (6-repetition maximum back squat), and power (countermovement jump, countermovement jump with arms, and 20-m sprint), as well as aerobic fitness (Bronco test) and RHIE tests over a 1-week period. Pearson linear correlations were used to quantify relationships between fitness tests and the RHIE performance outcomes (total sprint time [TST] and percentage decrement [%D]). Thereafter, a stepwise multiple regression model was used to verify the influence of physical fitness measures on RHIE ability. Results: TST was strongly to very strongly associated to body fat (BF, r = .82, P < .01), the 20-m sprint (r = .86, P < .01), countermovement jump (r = −.72, P < .01), and Bronco test (r = .90, P < .01). These fitness outcomes were related to %D, with moderate to strong associations (.82 > ∣r∣ > .54, P < .01). By playing position, similar associations were observed in forwards, but RHIE ability was only related to the 20-m sprint in backs (r = .53, P < .05). The RHIE performance model equations were TST = 13.69 + 0.01 × BF + 0.08 × Bronco + 10.20 × 20 m and %D = −14.34 + 0.11 × BF +0.18 × Bronco − 9.92 × 20 m. These models explain 88.8% and 68.2% of the variance, respectively. Conclusion: Body composition, lower-body power, and aerobic fitness were highly related with RHIE ability. However, backs expressed a different profile than forwards, suggesting that further research with larger sample sizes is needed to better understand the fitness determinants of backs’ RHIE ability.