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Tomás Chacón Torrealba, Jaime Aranda Araya, Nicolas Benoit and Louise Deldicque

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a 6-week taekwondo-specific high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in simulated normobaric hypoxia on physical fitness and performance in taekwondoists. Methods: Eighteen male and female black-belt taekwondoists trained twice a week for 6 weeks in normoxia or in hypoxia (FiO2 = 0.143 O2). The HIIT was composed of specific taekwondo movements and simulated fights. Body composition analyses and a frequency speed of kick test during 10 seconds (FSKT10s) and 5 × 10 seconds (FSKTmult), countermovement jump (CMJ) test, Wingate test, and an incremental treadmill test were performed before and after training. Blood lactate concentrations were measured after the FSKTmult and Wingate tests, and a fatigue index during the tests was calculated. Results: A training effect was found for FSKT10s (+35%, P < .001), FSKTmult (+32%, P < .001), and fatigue index (−48%, P = .002). A training effect was found for CMJ height (+5%, P = .003) during the CMJ test. After training, CMJ height increased in hypoxia only (+7%, P = .005). No effect was found for the parameters measured during Wingate test. For the incremental treadmill test, a training effect was found for peak oxygen consumption (P = .002), the latter being 10% lower after than before training in normoxia only (P = .002). Conclusions: In black-belt taekwondoists, hypoxic HIIT twice a week for 6 weeks provides tiny additional gains on key performance parameters compared with normoxic HIIT. Whether the trivial effects reported here might be of physiological relevance to improve performance remains debatable and should be tested individually.

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Jonathon R. Lever, Alistair P. Murphy, Rob Duffield and Hugh H.K. Fullagar

Purpose: To investigate the effects of combined sleep hygiene recommendations and mindfulness on actigraphy-based sleep parameters, perceptual well-being, anxiety, and match outcomes during high-performance junior tennis tournaments. Methods: In a randomized crossover design, 17 high-performance junior tennis players completed the baseline, control, and intervention (INT) conditions across 3 separate weeks. The baseline consisted of unassisted, habitual sleep during a regular training week, and the control was unassisted sleep during a tournament week. The players attended a sleep education workshop and completed a nightly sleep hygiene protocol during a tournament week for the INT. Analysis was performed on the weekly means and on the night prior to the first match of the tournament (T-1). Results: Significant differences were observed for increased time in bed, total sleep time, and an earlier bedtime (P < .05) across the INT week. These parameters also significantly improved on T-1 of the INT. A moderate effect size (P > .05, d > 1.00) was evident for decreased worry on T-1 of the INT. Small effect sizes were also evident for improved mood, cognitive anxiety, and sleep rating across the INT week. The match performance outcomes remained unchanged (P > .05). Conclusions: Sleep hygiene INTs increase the sleep duration of high-performance junior tennis players in tournament settings, including the night prior to the tournament’s first match. The effects on perceptual well-being and anxiety are unclear, although small trends suggest improved mood, despite no effect on generic match performance outcomes.

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Daniel W. Sample, Tanner A. Thorsen, Joshua T. Weinhandl, Kelley A. Strohacker and Songning Zhang

The purpose of this study was to investigate effects of preferred step width and increased step width modification on knee biomechanics of obese and healthy-weight participants during incline and decline walking. Seven healthy-weight participants and 6 participants who are obese (body mass index ≥ 30) performed 5 walking trials on level ground and a 10° inclined and declined instrumented ramp system at both preferred and wide step-widths. A 2 × 2 (step-width × group) mixed-model analysis of variance was used to examine selected variables. There were significant increases in step-width between the preferred and wide step-width conditions for all 3 walking conditions (all P < .001). An interaction was found for peak knee extension moment (P = .048) and internal knee abduction moment (KAM) (P = .025) in uphill walking. During downhill walking, there were no interaction effects. As step-width increased, KAM was reduced (P = .007). In level walking, there were no interaction effects for peak medial ground reaction force and KAM (P = .007). There was a step-width main effect for KAM (P = .007). As step-width increased, peak medial ground reaction force and peak knee extension moment increased, while KAM decreased for both healthy weight and individuals who are obese. The results suggest that increasing step-width may be a useful strategy for reducing KAM in healthy and young populations.

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Aviv Emanuel, Isaac Rozen Smukas and Israel Halperin

Context: The Feeling Scale (FS) is a unique and underexplored scale in sport sciences that measures affective valence. The FS has the potential to be used in athletic environments as a monitoring and prescription tool. Purpose: To examine whether FS ratings, as measured on a repetition-by-repetition basis, can predict proximity to task failure and bar velocity across different exercises and loads. Methods: On the first day, 20 trained participants (10 females) completed 1-repetition-maximum (1-RM) tests in the barbell bench and squat exercises and were introduced to the FS. In the following 3 sessions, participants completed 3 sets to task failure with either (1) 70% 1-RM bench press, (2) 70% 1-RM squat (squat-70%), or (3) 80% 1-RM squat (squat-80%). Sessions were completed in a randomized, counterbalanced order. After every completed repetition, participants verbally reported their FS ratings. Bar velocity was measured via a linear position transducer. Results: FS ratings predicted failure proximity and bar velocity in all 3 conditions (P < .001, R 2 .66–.85). Based on the analysis, which included over 2400 repetitions, a reduction of 1 unit in the FS corresponded to approaching task failure by 14%, 11%, and 11%, and to a reduction in bar velocity of 10%, 4%, and 3%, in the bench, squat-70%, and squat-80%, respectively. Conclusion: This is the first study to investigate whether the FS can be used in resistance-training environments among resistance-trained participants on a repetition-by-repetition basis. The results indicate that the FS can be used to monitor and prescribe resistance training and that its benefits should be further explored.

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M. Greenhall, R.S. Taipale, J.K. Ihalainen and A.C. Hackney

Purpose: To examine the potential impact of fluctuations in sex steroid hormones across the menstrual cycle (MC) on marathon running performance of recreational female athletes. Methods: A survey questionnaire was administered to recreational, nonelite runners who had completed multiple marathons within the last 18 months. Results: A total of 599 questionnaires were returned and deemed viable for review. From these, 185 survey participants were found to have complete information and eligibility to have their surveys used in the statistical analysis. A total of 106 women had their best marathon performance in the luteal phase (high sex steroid hormones) of the MC, and 79 had their best performance in the follicular phase (low sex steroid hormones) of the MC (responses were significantly different; z-score value = 1.11; P < .05). Conclusion: Recreational female runners have varying performances in the marathon across their MC phases, specifically performing better in the luteal phase of the cycle.

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Mehdi Kordi, Martin Evans and Glyn Howatson

Purpose: Peak power output (PPO) is a determinant of sprint cycling performance and can be enhanced by resistance exercise that targets maximum strength. Conventional resistance training is not always suitable for elite cyclists because of chronic spinal issues; therefore, alternative methods to improve strength that concurrently reduce injury risk are welcome. In this case study, quasi-isometric cycling (QIC), a novel task-specific resistance-training method designed to improve PPO without the use of transitional resistance training, was investigated. Methods: A highly trained sprint track cyclist (10.401 s for 200 m) completed a 5-week training block followed by a second 5-week block that replaced conventional resistance training with the novel QIC training method. The replacement training method required the cyclist to maximally drive the crank of a modified cycle ergometer for 5 seconds as it passed through a ∼100° range (starting at 45° from top dead center) at a constant angular velocity. Each session consisted of 3 sets of 6 repetitions on each leg. The lab PPO was recorded in the saddle and out of the saddle. Results: Conventional training did not alter sprinting ability; however, the intervention improved the out-of-the-saddle PPO by 100 W (from 1751 to 1851 W), while the in-the-saddle PPO increased by 57 W from 1671 to 1728 W. Conclusion: QIC increased PPO in a highly trained, national-level sprint cyclist, which could be translated to improvements in performance on the track. Furthermore, QIC provides a simple, but nonetheless effective, alternative for sprint track cyclists who have compromised function to perform traditional strength training.

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Kevin G. Aubol, Jillian L. Hawkins and Clare E. Milner

Measurements of tibial acceleration during running must be reliable to ensure valid results and reduce errors. The purpose of this study was to determine the reliability and minimal detectable difference (MDD) of peak axial and peak resultant tibial acceleration during overground and treadmill running. The authors also compared reliability and MDDs when peak tibial accelerations were determined by averaging 5 or 10 trials. Tibial acceleration was measured during overground and treadmill running of 19 participants using a lightweight accelerometer mounted to the tibia. Peak axial and peak resultant tibial accelerations were determined for each trial. Intraclass correlation coefficients determined within-session reliability, and MDDs were also calculated. Within-session reliability was excellent for all conditions (intraclass correlation coefficients = .95–.99). The MDDs ranged from 0.6 to 1.4 g for peak axial acceleration and from 1.6 to 2.0 g for peak resultant acceleration and were lowest for peak axial tibial acceleration during overground running. Averaging 10 trials did not improve reliability compared to averaging 5 trials but did result in small reductions in MDDs. For peak axial tibial acceleration only, lower MDDs indicate that overground running may be the better option for detecting small differences.

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Bora Jin and Idethia Shevon Harvey

This review aims to understand how age-related stereotypes against older adults’ physical capabilities influence their ability to engage in regular physical activity. The authors wanted to know how people construe ageism in the fitness and health arena, how ageism manifests in this field, and how ageism influences older adults’ learning and practicing physical activity. Data was extracted using the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis. Twenty-two empirical studies met the selection criteria. The findings revealed that the attributes of ageism fell into either self-imposed or other-directed ageism categories and manifested as implicit or explicit ageism. The study also identified the following four themes: (a) perceptions of aging and exercise, (b) exercise motivation, (c) opportunities for older adults, and (d) ambiguous positionality as older exercisers. The research provides evidence for the existence of ageism against older exercisers. Further research considering the implication of ageism within the exercising industry is necessary.

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Dain TePoel

This article offers a consideration of physical activity within the contexts of social movement philosophies, decision making, strategies, and tactics through an examination of the 1986 Great Peace March for Global Nuclear Disarmament. Drawing from interviews with twenty activists on the Great Peace March, the author argues that physicality and endurance actions—literally, but also symbolically—signify particular meanings of movement for social movements, such as persistence, focus, and determination, to stretch sociopolitical limits and boundaries. Participants endeavor to accomplish difficult physical challenges and maintain the solidarity of their communities to analogize the coming into existence of equally extraordinary visions of social or political transformation. Physical and symbolic expressions of what the author terms “endurance activism” sustained the marchers’ vision of community and the survival of their organization. The article encourages sport historians to use a wider framework to interpret the links between physical activity, social activism, and oppositional movements.