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Claudia Benavides-Espinoza

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Brynn Adamson, Mina Woo, Toni Liechty, Chung-Yi Chiu, Nic Wyatt, Cailey Cranny, and Laura Rice

Lack of disability awareness of fitness professionals is a well-established barrier to exercise participation among people with disabilities that is likely related to the lack of disability awareness training for group fitness instructors. The purposes of this study were to develop, implement, and evaluate a disability awareness training for group fitness instructors. A 90-min video training and resource manual were developed. We recruited 10 group fitness instructors from one recreation center to participate. Participants completed baseline, posttraining, and 2-month follow-up testing on survey-based outcomes including disability attitudes, confidence in exercise adaptations, and training satisfaction. Participants’ confidence to adapt fitness classes was significantly improved; however, disability attitudes were high in the pretest and not significantly different posttraining. Semistructured interviews were conducted posttraining and revealed three themes: Formal disability training is needed, Managing inclusive class dynamics, and Training suggestions and satisfaction. This training demonstrated a feasible intervention for increasing disability awareness among community-based group fitness instructors.

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Stephen P. Fenemor, Matthew W. Driller, Nicholas D. Gill, Brad Anderson, Julia R. Casadio, Stacy T. Sims, and C. Martyn Beaven

Purpose: Although recommendations for effective heat acclimation (HA) strategies for many circumstances exist, best-practice HA protocols specific to elite female team-sport athletes are yet to be established. Therefore, the authors aimed to investigate the effectiveness and retention of a passive HA protocol integrated in a female Olympic rugby sevens team training program. Methods: Twelve elite female rugby sevens athletes undertook 10 days of passive HA across 2 training weeks. Tympanic temperature (T Tymp), sweat loss, heart rate, and repeated 6-second cycling sprint performance were assessed using a sport-specific heat stress test Pre-HA, after 3 days (Mid-HA), after 10 days (Post-HA), and 15 days post-HA (Decay). Results: Compared with Pre-HA, submaximal T Tymp was lower Mid-HA and Post-HA (both by −0.2 [0.7] °C; d ≥ 0.71), while resting T Tymp was lower Post-HA (by −0.3 [0.2] °C; d = 0.81). There were no differences in T Tymp at Decay compared with Pre-HA, nor were there any differences in heart rate or sweat loss at any time points. Mean peak 6-second power output improved Mid-HA and Post-HA (76 [36] W; 75 [34] W, respectively; d ≥ 0.45) compared with Pre-HA. The observed performance improvement persisted at Decay by 65 (45) W (d = 0.41). Conclusions: Ten days of passive HA can elicit some thermoregulatory and performance benefits when integrated into a training program in elite female team-sport athletes. However, such a protocol does not provide a sufficient thermal impulse for thermoregulatory adaptations to be retained after 15 days with no further heat stimulus.