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Flavio A. Cadegiani, Pedro Henrique L. Silva, Tatiana C.P. Abrao and Claudio E. Kater

Purposes: Overtraining syndrome (OTS) is an unexplained underperformance syndrome triggered by excessive training, insufficient caloric intake, inadequate sleep, and excessive cognitive and social demands. Investigation of the recovery process from OTS has not been reported to date. The objective was to unveil novel markers and biochemical and clinical behaviors during the restoration process of OTS. Methods: This was a 12-week interventional protocol in 12 athletes affected by OTS, including increase of caloric intake, transitory interruption of training, improvement of sleep quality, and management of stress, followed by the assessment of 50 parameters including basal and hormonal responses to an insulin tolerance test and nonhormonal biochemical markers, and body metabolism and composition. Results: Early cortisol (P = .023), late ACTH (adrenocorticotrophic hormone) (P = .024), and early and late growth hormone (P = .005 and P = .038, respectively) responses, basal testosterone (P = .038), testosterone:estradiol ratio (P = .0005), insulinlike growth factor 1 (P = .004), cortisol awakening response (P = .001), and free thyronine (P = .069) increased, while basal estradiol (P = .033), nocturnal urinary catecholamines (P = .038), and creatine kinase (P = .071) reduced. Conversely, markers of body metabolism and composition had slight nonsignificant improvements. Conclusion: After a 12-week intervention, athletes affected by actual OTS disclosed a mix of non-, partial, and full recovery processes, demonstrating that remission of OTS is as complex as its occurrence.

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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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Catalina Belalcazar and Bettina Callary

The purpose of this article is to describe the evolution and influence of Masters Player-Coaches (MPCs) in the Asociación de Futbolistas Adultos Mayores del Tolima (in English: Masters Athletes’ Football Association of Tolima in Colombia, South America), a football league for men aged 60–70+ years. Historical forces shape a cultural backdrop that pervades football (soccer) and coaching and provides an understanding of how MPCs perceive themselves. After exploring the evolution and influence of the league, the authors uncover a peer-coaching approach in Asociación de Futbolistas Adultos Mayores del Tolima, described by the MPCs as Compañero Orientador. The authors link the importance of formally acknowledging the MPCs with their influence in fighting ageism, community building, and promoting lifelong sport. Further, MPCs provide high-quality Masters sport experiences, and their recognition supports a formal sporting structure in applying for local government grants to support the growing Masters context in Colombia.