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Mário A.M. Simim, Marco Túlio de Mello, Bruno V.C. Silva, Dayane F. Rodrigues, João Paulo P. Rosa, Bruno Pena Couto, and Andressa da Silva

The aim of this review was to identify the main variables for load monitoring in training and competition situations in wheelchair sports. Studies were identified from a systematic search of three databases (PubMed, Web of Science, and SportDiscuss), with search phrases constructed from MeSH terms, alone or in combination, limited to English-language literature, and published up to January 2016. Our main findings were that variables related to external load (distance, speed, and duration) are used to monitor load in competition. In training situations, researchers have used variables related to internal load (heart rate and VO2); in both training and competition situations, researchers used internal load measurements (training impulse and ratings of perceived exertion). We conclude that the main variables for load monitoring in competitive situations were distance, speed, and duration, whereas the variables for training situations were heart rate, VO2, training impulse, and ratings of perceived exertion.

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Eduardo Stieler, Varley Teoldo da Costa, Aline Ângela Silva Cruz, João Paulo Pereira Rosa, Ingrid LudImilla Bastos Lôbo, Julia Romão, Andrea Maculano Esteves, Marco Tulio de Mello, and Andressa Silva

Context: Hormonal assessment in the sport context is important to monitor the physiological adaptations of athletes. However, Paralympic athletes, especially with cervical spinal cord injury (CSCI), may have different hormonal responses than nondisabled athletes. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the blood concentrations of total testosterone (TT) and cortisol (C) during acute (one training session) and chronic (1 and 2 month) training of athletes with CSCI in wheelchair rugby (WCR). Design: Longitudinal and observational study. Methods: Eight high-performance athletes with CSCI (31 [3.9] y; 75.6 [15.8] kg; 22.9 [4.2] kg/m2 body mass index; 6.2 [2] y of experience in sport) were evaluated at 3 different intervals (evaluations 1, 2, and 3 [E1, E2, and E3]) over 2 months of training. TT and C blood were evaluated before (pre) and after (post) the training sessions at each training moment, as well as the training load through the ratings of perceived exertion. Results: Athletes with CSCI had low TT concentrations. In acute training sessions, at E3, C decreases after the training session, unlike the TT/C ratio, which increased after the session. Regarding hormonal changes during chronic training at the end of the training period, unlike C, which increased. The training load (arbitrary units) decreased in E3 when compared with the other evaluation moments. Conclusion: It was concluded that in chronic training, TT concentrations decreased, while C increased at the end of the 2 months of training. These results may indicate that training volume was high throughout training and that a reduction in training volume could benefit athletes. On the other hand, in the acute training session with reduced training load, a decrease in C was observed after the training session. This indicates that athletes may be well recovered in this training session. Therefore, we suggest acute and long-term hormonal assessment for athletes with CSCI as a strategy to monitor anabolic/catabolic hormonal status during WCR training.

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Radamés M.V. Medeiros, Eduardo S. Alves, Valdir A. Lemos, Paulo A. Schwingel, Andressa da Silva, Roberto Vital, Alexandre S. Vieira, Murilo M. Barreto, Edilson A. Rocha, Sergio Tufik, and Marco T. de Mello

Context:

Body-composition assessments of high-performance athletes are very important for identifying physical performance potential. Although the relationship between the kinanthropometric characteristics and performance abilities of Olympic swimmers is extremely important, this subject is not completely understood for Paralympic swimmers.

Objective:

To investigate the relationship between body composition and sport performance in Brazilian Paralympic swimmers 6 mo after training.

Design:

Experimental pre/posttest design.

Setting:

Research laboratory and field evaluations of swimming were conducted to verify the 50-m freestyle time of each athlete.

Participants:

17 Brazilian Paralympic swim team athletes (12 men, 5 women).

Main Outcome Measures:

Body-composition assessments were performed using a BOD POD, and swimming performance was assessed using the 50-m freestyle, which was performed twice: before and after 6 mo of training.

Results:

Increased lean mass and significantly reduced relative fat mass and swimming time (P < .05) were observed 6 mo after training. Furthermore, a positive correlation between body-fat percentage and performance (r = .66, P < .05) was observed, but there was no significant correlation between body density and performance (r = –.14, P > .05).

Conclusions:

After a 6-mo training period, Paralympic swimmers presented reduced fat mass and increased lean body mass associated with performance, as measured by 50-m freestyle time. These data suggest that reduced fat-mass percentage was significantly correlated with improved swimming performance in Paralympic athletes.