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Thimo Wiewelhove, Constantin Thase, Marcel Glahn, Anthony Hessel, Christoph Schneider, Laura Hottenrott, Tim Meyer, Michael Kellmann, Mark Pfeiffer, and Alexander Ferrauti

Purpose: To identify whether the use of active recovery (ACT) the day after high-intensity interval training (HIIT) benefits recovery and to assess whether individual responses to ACT are repeatable. Methods: Eleven well-trained, male intermittent-sport athletes (age: 25.5 ± 1.8 y) completed 4 HIIT sessions, each separated by a 2-week washout period. Of the 4 sessions, 2 were followed by passive recovery (PAS) and 2 by 60 minutes of moderate biking (ACT) 24 hours postexercise in the following sequences: ACT→PAS→ACT→PAS or PAS→ACT→PAS→ACT. Before and after HIIT and after 24 and 48 hours of recovery, maximal voluntary isometric strength (MVIC), countermovement jump height (CMJ), tensiomyographic markers of muscle fatigue (TMG), serum concentration of creatine kinase (CK), muscle soreness (MS), and perceived stress state (PS) were determined. Results: A 3-way repeated-measure analysis of variance with a triple-nested random effects model revealed a significant (P < .05) fatigue-related time effect of HIIT on markers of fatigue (MVIC↓; CMJ↓; TMG↑; CK↑; MS↑; PS↑). No significant (P > .05) main effect of recovery strategy was detected. In 9 subjects, the individual results revealed inconsistent and nonrepeatable responses to ACT, while a consistent and repeatable positive or negative response to ACT was found in 2 individuals. Conclusions: The repeated failure of ACT to limit the severity of fatigue was found both at the group level and with most individuals. However, a small percentage of athletes may be more likely to benefit repeatedly from either ACT or PAS. Therefore, the use of ACT should be individualized.

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Teresa Anne Fowler

The “boy crisis” in education has spurred responses to improve boy’s underachievement in schools, and one response has been to increase access to physical activity and sports. The rise in specialized sports academies within schools has created space for young elite male athletes to increase engagement in academics, as well as to meet the potential of athletes. This study, conducted with an elite U18 male hockey team, used photovoice as a means to enquire into male athlete experiences with the curriculum and disengagement in schools. When young male athletes use photography to document their experiences, through a Bourdieusian analysis, they reveal the ways in which an entrenchment of the “boys will be boys” and the “hockey boys” identities in schools perpetuate hypermasculine traits. Complacency by both participants and adults in the field of schooling contributes to elite male youth hockey players becoming both producers and products of these narratives, which are causing young men to be isolated within an exclusive heteronormative community.

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Oliver W.A. Wilson, Kelsey E. Holland, Lucas D. Elliott, Michele Duffey, and Melissa Bopp

Background: Investigating the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on both physical activity (PA) and mental health is important to demonstrate the need for interventions. This study examined the apparent impact of the pandemic on college students’ PA, perceived stress, and depressive symptoms. Methods: From 2015 through 2020, data were collected at the beginning and end of the spring semester at a large Northeastern US university via an online survey assessing student demographics, PA, perceived stress, and depressive symptoms. Mixed ANOVA examined differences in PA and mental health changes over the spring semester between “normal” and COVID-19 circumstances. Two-way ANOVA examined the interaction between circumstance and changes in PA in relation to changes in mental health. Results: Participants (n = 1019) were predominately women and non-Hispanic white. There was a significant decline in PA and an increase in perceived stress under COVID-19, but not normal, circumstances and a significant increase in depressive symptoms under COVID-19, but not normal, circumstances among women. Conclusions: A significant decline in PA and mental health among college students occurred under COVID-19 circumstances, and PA did not appear to protect against deterioration in mental health. Proactive and innovative policies, programs, and practices to promote student health and well-being must be explored immediately.

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Bryndan W. Lindsey, Ali Boolani, Justin J. Merrigan, Nelson Cortes, Shane V. Caswell, and Joel R. Martin

Background: The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our working environment and divided workers into essential or nonessential statuses. Employment status is a major factor determining the amount of physical activity performed. Our purpose was to understand how employment status affects physical activity and sitting time. Methods: Between April 13 and May 4, 2020, 735 full-time employed individuals responded to a survey investigating daily life and overall health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants reported how much physical activity they had performed in the last 7 days. Multiple linear regressions were performed for physical activity and sitting time. Results: Physical activity was not associated with employment status. An interaction effect between hours worked and employment status was found for sitting time. Conclusions: Employment status was not related to physical activity; however, it did affect the amount of time spent sitting, with nonessential employees sitting more and working more hours than essential employees. Because greater amounts of daily total sitting time have been associated with increased risk of all-cause mortality, it is important that increased sitting time be attenuated by greater physical activity.

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Brandon J. Shad, Janice L. Thompson, James Mckendry, Andrew M. Holwerda, Yasir S. Elhassan, Leigh Breen, Luc J.C. van Loon, and Gareth A. Wallis

The impact of resistance exercise frequency on muscle protein synthesis rates remains unknown. The aim of this study was to compare daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates over a 7-day period of low-frequency (LF) versus high-frequency (HF) resistance exercise training. Nine young men (21 ± 2 years) completed a 7-day period of habitual physical activity (BASAL). This was followed by a 7-day exercise period of volume-matched, LF (10 × 10 repetitions at 70% one-repetition maximum, once per week) or HF (2 × 10 repetitions at ∼70% one-repetition maximum, five times per week) resistance exercise training. The participants had one leg randomly allocated to LF and the other to HF. Skeletal muscle biopsies and daily saliva samples were collected to determine myofibrillar protein synthesis rates using 2H2O, with intracellular signaling determined using Western blotting. The myofibrillar protein synthesis rates did not differ between the LF (1.46 ± 0.26%/day) and HF (1.48 ± 0.33%/day) conditions over the 7-day exercise training period (p > .05). There were no significant differences between the LF and HF conditions over the first 2 days (1.45 ± 0.41%/day vs. 1.25 ± 0.46%/day) or last 5 days (1.47 ± 0.30%/day vs. 1.50 ± 0.41%/day) of the exercise training period (p > .05). Daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates were not different from BASAL at any time point during LF or HF (p > .05). The phosphorylation status and total protein content of selected proteins implicated in skeletal muscle ribosomal biogenesis were not different between conditions (p > .05). Under the conditions of the present study, resistance exercise training frequency did not modulate daily myofibrillar protein synthesis rates in young men.

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Mathew Dowling

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Stephanie G. Kerrigan, Evan M. Forman, Dave Williams, Mitesh Patel, Caitlin Loyka, Fengqing Zhang, Ross D. Crosby, and Meghan L. Butryn

Background: Financial incentives and feedback on behavior offer promise for promoting physical activity. However, evidence for the effect of each of these techniques is inadequate. The present study evaluated the effects of daily versus weekly feedback and incentives contingent on reaching a daily walking goal versus noncontingent incentives in a 2 × 2 trial. Methods: Participants (N = 57) had a body mass index >25 kg/m2 and were insufficiently active. Participants received a daily walking goal that adapted weekly. Results: Participants receiving daily feedback increased daily steps (P = .03) more than those receiving weekly feedback. Participants receiving contingent incentives did not significantly increase steps (P = .12) more than those receiving noncontingent incentives. A trend-level effect (P = .09) suggested that there may be an interaction such that the combination of daily feedback and contingent incentives is most effective. Conclusions: Results indicate that feedback is an important component of remotely delivered PA interventions and that evaluating each component of low-intensity interventions may help to improve efficacy. Moreover, results indicate that possible synergistic effects of feedback and rewards should be investigated further to help optimize interventions.

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Kristopher White, Kathryn Wilson, Theresa A. Walton-Fisette, Brian H. Yim, and Michele K. Donnelly

This work built upon previous research examining meritocracy in elite sport by examining the socioeconomic and racial composition of the high schools of 1,881 players on National Football League (NFL) rosters in 2016. The NFL player data from pro-football-reference.com and perceived race data coded from player pictures are matched to school data for 23,785 public high schools in the Common Core of Data and 3,333 private high schools in the Private School Universe Survey. Using t tests of differences in group averages and General Linear Model analysis of variance, the authors found large statistically significant racial disparities within the NFL with Black NFL players attending high schools with an average of twice as many students in poverty and five times as many Black students than the high schools attended by White NFL players. Overall, NFL players attended high schools with lower socioeconomic status student bodies than the general student population, suggesting more meritocracy. However, analysis by player race shows the difference driven by the racial composition of the NFL compared with the general student population, suggesting this meritocracy is more complex; Black NFL players attended higher socioeconomic status schools with more White students than the general Black student population, and White NFL players attended higher socioeconomic status schools with fewer Black students than the general White student population.

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Matías Henríquez, Aitor Iturricastillo, Arturo González-Olguín, Felipe Herrera, Sonny Riquelme, and Raul Reina

This study compared physical performance in a group of international cerebral palsy football players during two formats of small-sided games (SSGs) and performance in a simulated game (SG) according to players’ sport classes (FT1, FT2, and FT3). Internal load (heart rate and rating of perceived exertion) and external load (total distance, distance covered at different velocities, maximum speed reached, acceleration, and deceleration) were obtained with global positioning system devices during two formats of SSGs (2-a-side/SSG2 and 4-a-side/SSG4) and an SG (7-a-side). SSG2 demands faster actions compared with SSG4/SG, and significant differences and large effect sizes were found in the distance covered in Speed Zones 5 (16.0−17.9 km/hr) and 6 (>18.0 km/hr; p < .05; .35<ηp2<.50, large). Lower moderate accelerations and decelerations per minute in SSG4/SG compared with SSG2 were also found (p < .01; .77<ηp2<.81, large). In the SSG2 task, the FT3 players reached maximum speeds, covered more distance at the highest intensities, and performed more moderate/high accelerations/decelerations and more sprints compared with FT1 and FT2 players (p < .05; −0.85 < d g < −4.64, large). The SSG2 task could be the best option for discriminating physical demands in important variables for cerebral palsy football performance between classes FT3 versus FT1/FT2.