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Ana Gay, Gracia López-Contreras, Ricardo J. Fernandes and Raúl Arellano

Purpose: To observe changes in performance, physiological, and general kinematic variables induced by the use of wetsuits vs swimsuits in both swimming-pool and swimming-flume conditions. Methods: In a randomized and counterbalanced order, 33 swimmers (26.46 [11.72] y old) performed 2 × 400-m maximal front crawl in a 25-m swimming pool (with wetsuit and swimsuit), and their mean velocities were used later in 2 swimming-flume trials with both suits. Velocity, blood lactate concentration, heart rate (HR), Borg scale (rating of perceived exertion), stroke rate, stroke length (SL), stroke index, and propelling efficiency were evaluated. Results: The 400-m performance in the swimming pool was 0.07 m·s−1 faster when using the wetsuit than when using the swimsuit, evidencing a reduction of ∼6% in time elapsed (P < .001). Maximal HR, maximal blood lactate concentration, rating of perceived exertion, stroke rate, and propelling efficiency were similar when using both swimsuits, but SL and stroke index presented higher values with the wetsuit in both the swimming pool and the swimming flume. Comparing swimming conditions, maximal HR and maximal blood lactate concentration were lower, and SL, stroke index, and propelling efficiency were higher when swimming in the flume than when swimming in the pool with both suits. Conclusions: The 6% velocity improvement was the result of an increase of 4% in SL. Swimmers reduced stroke rate and increased SL to benefit from the hydrodynamic reduction of the wetsuit and increase their swimming efficiency. Wetsuits might be utilized during training seasons to improve adaptations while swimming.

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Lucas A. Pereira, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Saul Martín-Rodríguez, Ronaldo Kobal, César C.C. Abad, Ademir F.S. Arruda, Aristide Guerriero and Irineu Loturco

Purpose: To examine the variations in the velocity of contraction (V c) assessed using tensiomyography, vertical jumping ability, and sprinting speed induced by 4 different exercise protocols (ie, strength, sprint, plyometric, and technical training sessions) in 14 male national-team rugby players (age 21.8 [2.6] y, weight 83.6 [8.5] kg, and height 177.4 [6.7] cm). Methods: Physical tests were conducted immediately before and after 4 distinct workouts in the following order: tensiomyography in the rectus femoris and biceps femoris muscles, squat and countermovement jumps, and 30-m sprint velocity. To analyze the differences in the assessed variables before and after each training session, the differences based on magnitudes were calculated. Results: After strength and plyometric workouts, the players presented possible to almost certain impairments in sprint and jump performance and in the V c of the rectus femoris (effect sizes 0.26–0.64). After the sprint-training session, possible to very likely decreases were observed in the squat jump, 30-m sprint, and V c of the biceps femoris (effect sizes 0.21–0.44). By contrast, after the technical training, athletes demonstrated a possible increase in the squat jump and V c in both muscles examined (effect sizes 0.13–0.20). Conclusions: The main finding of this research is that, for the vast majority of results, the direction of changes observed in V c were the same as those observed in performance assessments. This suggests that V c might be used as a sensitive marker of acute variations in speed and power performance of elite team-sport athletes.

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Joseph Hamill

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Shelley Lucas

The Red Zinger Bicycle Classic, later renamed the Coors International Bicycle Classic, is renowned for its influence on the development of men’s and women’s cycle racing in the United States. Recent efforts to create a United States Cycling Monument in Boulder, Colorado, centered on commemorating what is commonly referred to as the Coors Classic. I use the proposed monument as a starting point for exploring how the Coors Classic is being remembered, particularly with respect to the women’s competition. Where do women cyclists and their contests fit into the commemoration of this race? My analysis illuminates gendered aspects of this race and what I refer to as re-cycled narratives. I conclude with a concern about the impact of re-cycled narratives on present-day women’s cycling and consider historian Beverly Southgate’s call for thinking about histories for the future.

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Claire J. Brady, Andrew J. Harrison, Eamonn P. Flanagan, G. Gregory Haff and Thomas M. Comyns

Purpose: To examine the relationships between the isometric midthigh pull (IMTP), isometric squat (ISqT), and sprint acceleration performance in track-and-field sprinters and to determine whether there are differences between men and women. Methods: Fifteen male and 10 female sprinters performed 3 maximal-effort IMTPs, ISqTs, and 3 × 30-m sprints from blocks. Results: Among the men, the results showed significant negative correlations between IMTP and ISqT peak force; relative peak force; force at 100, 150, and 200 ms; rate of force development (0–150 and 0–200 ms); and impulse (0–200 ms) and 0- to 5-m time (r = −.517 to −.714; P < .05). IMTP impulse (B = −0.582, P = .023) and ISqT relative peak force (B = −0.606, P = .017) significantly predicted 0- to 5-m time. Among the women, no IMTP or ISqT variables significantly correlated with any sprint times. Men measured significantly higher than women for all IMTP measures except relative peak force. Men were significantly faster than women at all splits. When comparing measures of the ISqT, there were no significant differences between men and women. Conclusions: Variables measured during the IMTP and ISqT significantly correlated with 0- to 5-m sprint performance in male athletes. Isometric strength can have a sizable influence on 0- to 5-m time, but in some cases, the maximum effect could be very small.

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John Wong and Scott R. Jedlicka

In 1966, the National Hockey League (NHL) expanded for the first time since the 1920s, doubling its size from six teams to twelve. Although hockey was still perceived as a distinctly Canadian passion, none of the NHL’s six new teams were located in Canada. The disappointment across the country was palpable, especially in Canada’s third-largest city, Vancouver, which had applied to be one of the expansion locations. A stable presence in minor league hockey on Canada’s west coast for decades, it seemed only natural that Vancouver, as the lone bidder from the ostensible birthplace of ice hockey, would be tapped for NHL expansion. This paper examines Vancouver’s attempted entry into the NHL and argues that the forces of commercialism and national identity, combined with political maneuvering among NHL owners, not only influenced the content and trajectory of the Vancouver bid, but also contributed to its ultimate failure.

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M. Ann Hall

During the nineteenth century in North America, a small group of working-class women turned to sport to earn a living. Among them were circus performers, race walkers, wrestlers, boxers, shooters, swimmers, baseball players, and bicycle racers. Through their athleticism, these women contested and challenged the prevailing gender norms, and at the same time expanded notions about Victorian women’s capabilities and appropriate work. This article focuses on one of these professional sports, namely high-wheel bicycle racing. Bicycle historians have mostly dismissed women’s racing during the brief high-wheel era of the 1880s as little more than sensational entertainment, and have not fully understood its importance. I hope to change these perceptions by providing evidence that female high-wheel racers in the United States, who often began as pedestriennes (race walkers), were superb athletes competing in an exciting, well-attended, and profitable sport.

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Ibrahim M. Altubasi

The purposes of this study were first to examine the association between aging and both the magnitude and asymmetry in the femoral neck-shaft angle (NSA). The second purpose was to determine the effects of both the magnitude and NSA asymmetry on the performance of functional activities in healthy individuals. Fifty-one subjects participated in this study. The femoral NSA was measured on computed tomography scout images. The participants performed four performance tests. Four hierarchical regression models were constructed to explore the effect of each predictor on the outcomes. Aging was associated with NSA asymmetry, but not with the degree of NSA. Age contributed significantly to the variability of all functional performance tests except the 10-m walking speed. The degree of the NSA did not contribute to the prediction of the functional performance tests. However, asymmetry in the NSA added significantly to the prediction of all functional performance tests except the 10-m walking speed.

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Marco Beato, Stuart A. McErlain-Naylor, Israel Halperin and Antonio Dello Iacono

Purpose: To summarize the evidence on postactivation potentiation (PAP) protocols using flywheel eccentric overload (EOL) exercises. Methods: Studies were searched using the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, and Institute for Scientific Information Web of Knowledge. Results: In total, 7 eligible studies were identified based on the following results: First, practitioners can use different inertia intensities (eg, 0.03–0.88 kg·m2), based on the exercise selected, to enhance sport-specific performance. Second, the PAP time window following EOL exercise seems to be consistent with traditional PAP literature, where acute fatigue is dominant in the early part of the recovery period (eg, 30 s), and PAP is dominant in the second part (eg, 3 and 6 min). Third, as EOL exercises require large force and power outputs, a volume of 3 sets with the conditioning activity (eg, half-squat or lunge) seems to be a sensible approach. This could reduce the transitory muscle fatigue and thereby allow for a stronger potentiation effect compared with larger exercise volumes. Fourth, athletes should gain experience by performing EOL exercises before using the tool as part of a PAP protocol (3 or 4 sessions of familiarization). Finally, the dimensions of common flywheel devices offer useful and practical solutions to induce PAP effects outside of normal training environments and prior to competitions. Conclusions: EOL exercise can be used to stimulate PAP responses to obtain performance advantages in various sports. However, future research is needed to determine which EOL exercise modalities among intensity, volume, and rest intervals optimally induce the PAP phenomenon and facilitate transfer effects on athletic performances.