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Optimal Resistive Forces for Maximizing the Reliability of Leg Muscles’ Capacities Tested on a Cycle Ergometer

Amador García-Ramos, Alejandro Torrejón, Antonio J. Morales-Artacho, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, and Slobodan Jaric

This study determined the optimal resistive forces for testing muscle capacities through the standard cycle ergometer test (1 resistive force applied) and a recently developed 2-point method (2 resistive forces used for force-velocity modelling). Twenty-six men were tested twice on maximal sprints performed on a leg cycle ergometer against 5 flywheel resistive forces (R1–R5). The reliability of the cadence and maximum power measured against the 5 individual resistive forces, as well as the reliability of the force-velocity relationship parameters obtained from the selected 2-point methods (R1–R2, R1–R3, R1–R4, and R1–R5), were compared. The reliability of outcomes obtained from individual resistive forces was high except for R5. As a consequence, the combination of R1 (≈175 rpm) and R4 (≈110 rpm) provided the most reliable 2-point method (CV: 1.46%–4.04%; ICC: 0.89–0.96). Although the reliability of power capacity was similar for the R1–R4 2-point method (CV: 3.18%; ICC: 0.96) and the standard test (CV: 3.31%; ICC: 0.95), the 2-point method should be recommended because it also reveals maximum force and velocity capacities. Finally, we conclude that the 2-point method in cycling should be based on 2 distant resistive forces, but avoiding cadences below 110 rpm.

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Reliability of the Load–Velocity Relationship Obtained Through Linear and Polynomial Regression Models to Predict the 1-Repetition Maximum Load

Francisco Luis Pestaña-Melero, G. Gregory Haff, Francisco Javier Rojas, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, and Amador García-Ramos

This study aimed to compare the between-session reliability of the load–velocity relationship between (1) linear versus polynomial regression models, (2) concentric-only versus eccentric–concentric bench press variants, as well as (3) the within-participants versus the between-participants variability of the velocity attained at each percentage of the 1-repetition maximum. The load–velocity relationship of 30 men (age: 21.2 [3.8] y; height: 1.78 [0.07] m, body mass: 72.3 [7.3] kg; bench press 1-repetition maximum: 78.8 [13.2] kg) were evaluated by means of linear and polynomial regression models in the concentric-only and eccentric–concentric bench press variants in a Smith machine. Two sessions were performed with each bench press variant. The main findings were: (1) first-order polynomials (coefficient of variation: 4.39%–4.70%) provided the load–velocity relationship with higher reliability than the second-order polynomials (coefficient of variation: 4.68%–5.04%); (2) the reliability of the load–velocity relationship did not differ between the concentric-only and eccentric–concentric bench press variants; and (3) the within-participants variability of the velocity attained at each percentage of the 1-repetition maximum was markedly lower than the between-participants variability. Taken together, these results highlight that, regardless of the bench press variant considered, the individual determination of the load–velocity relationship by a linear regression model could be recommended to monitor and prescribe the relative load in the Smith machine bench press exercise.

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Validity of a Linear Velocity Transducer for Testing Maximum Vertical Jumps

Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Belén Feriche, Slobodan Jaric, Paulino Padial, and Amador García-Ramos

This study aimed to examine the validity of mechanical variables obtained by a linear velocity transducer from the unconstrained and constrained squat jump (SJ). Twenty-three men were tested on the unconstrained SJ and the SJ constrained by a Smith machine. Maximum values of force, velocity, and power were simultaneously recorded both by a linear velocity transducer attached to a bar of mass of 17, 30, 45, 60, and 75 kg and by a force plate. Linear velocity transducer generally overestimated the outcomes measured as compared to the force plate, particularly in unconstrained SJ. Bland-Altman plots revealed that heteroscedasticity of errors was mainly observed for velocity variables (r 2 = .26–.58) where the differences were negatively associated with the load magnitude. However, exceptionally high correlations were observed between the same outcomes recorded with the 2 methods in both unconstrained (median r = .89 [.71–.95]) and constrained SJ (r = .90 [.65–.95]). Although the systematic and proportional bias needs to be acknowledged, the high correlations between the variables obtained by 2 methods suggest that the linear velocity transducer could provide valid values of the force, velocity, and power outputs from both unconstrained and constrained SJ.

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Influence of Coaching Condition on the Magnitude and Reliability of Drop Jump Height in Men and Women

Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, F. Javier Rojas, John F.T. Fernandes, Federico Gómez-Martínez, and Amador García-Ramos

This study examined the effect of different coaching conditions on the magnitude and reliability of drop jump height in men and women. Nineteen collegiate sport sciences students (10 men) performed two sets of 10 drop jumps under four different coaching conditions: neutral, augmented feedback, external focus of attention, and a combination of augmented feedback and external focus of attention. The augmented feedback condition revealed a significantly higher jump height than the neutral condition (p = .002), while no significant differences were observed for the remaining conditions (p ≥ .38). The external focus of attention condition was more reliable than the neutral and augmented feedback conditions (coefficient of variationratio ≥ 1.15), while no differences were observed between the remaining conditions. These results suggest that both the magnitude and reliability of the drop jump height performance are influenced by the coaching condition.

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Velocity Performance Feedback During Ballistic Training: Which Is the Optimal Frequency of Feedback Administration?

Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Ainara Jiménez-Alonso, Mar Cepero, Sergio Miras-Moreno, F. Javier Rojas, and Amador García-Ramos

This study explored the impact of different frequencies of knowledge of results (KR) on velocity performance during ballistic training. Fifteen males completed four identical sessions (three sets of six repetitions at 30% one-repetition maximum during the countermovement jump and bench press throw) with the only difference of the KR condition provided: no feedback, velocity feedback after the first half of repetitions of each set (HalfKR), velocity feedback immediately after each repetition (ImKR), and feedback of the average velocity of each set (AvgKR). When compared with the control condition, the ImKR reported the highest velocity performance (1.9–5.3%), followed by the HalfKR (1.3–3.6%) and AvgKR (0.7–4.3%). These results support the verbal provision of velocity performance feedback after every repetition to induce acute improvements in velocity performance.

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Validation of a Novel Reaction Time Test Specific for Military Personnel

Danica Janicijevic, Sergio Miras-Moreno, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Jesús Vera, Beatriz Redondo, Raimundo Jiménez, and Amador Garcia-Ramos

A military-specific reaction time (RT) test was developed to explore its reliability and sensitivity to discriminate between military personnel and sport science students. Fifteen male professional Spanish soldiers and 16 male sport science students completed two RT test modalities: military-specific and nonspecific RT tests. For each RT test modality, both the Simple (i.e., one stimulus, one response) and the Go, No-Go RT (i.e., true, and false stimuli, one response) were tested. The military-specific RT test consisted of a video presented through virtual reality glasses of a forest environment in which soldiers would appear from behind different bushes (stimuli) and the response consisted of pressing the button of a gun-shaped mouse (when they saw a soldier pointing a rifle at them). Both Simple and Go, No-Go RT reached acceptable reliability in both populations (coefficient of variation ≤ 9.64%). Military personnel presented a lower RT than sport science students during the military-specific RT test (p ≤ .001), while no differences were obtained during the nonspecific RT test. RT values were not significantly correlated between the military-specific and nonspecific RT tests (r ≤ .02). These findings collectively suggest that the novel military-specific RT test is an ecologically valid alternative to evaluate the information processing abilities of military personnel.