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Alejandro Lucía, María Morán, He Zihong, and Jonatan R. Ruiz

Recent research has analyzed the genetic factors that influence world-class athletic status. Much of what we know comes from association studies, with the ACE I/D and ACTN3 R577X polymorphisms having been extensively studied. The association between the ACTN3 R577X variation and elite athlete status in power sports is strongly documented, yet whether the current body of knowledge on other variants can be extrapolated to athletic champion status remains to be determined. Athletic champion status is a complex polygenic trait in which numerous candidate genes, complex gene–gene interactions, and environment–gene interactions are involved. Besides the need for more studies and new approaches taking into account the complexity of the problem, we believe that factors beyond genetic endowment are likely to have a stronger influence in the attainment of athletic champion status.

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Jonatan R. Ruiz, Carmen Fiuza-Luces, Nuria Garatachea, and Alejandro Lucia

For centuries, the general consensus has been that vigorous, competitive exercise was harmful and shortened life expectancy. Recent data from prospective cohort studies conducted on marathon runners, professional cyclists, and Olympic athletes indicate, however, that regular intense endurance-exercise training has protective benefits against cardiovascular disease and premature death. There are still important questions to be answered, such as what is the optimal dose, in terms of both duration and intensity of training or competition, beyond which the health benefits of regular exercise stabilize or might even potentially disappear.

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Sonsoles Hernández-Sánchez, Pedro L. Valenzuela, Javier S. Morales, Juan J. Carrero, Alejandro Lucia, and Jonatan R. Ruiz

Context: Exercise improves the commonly impaired physical fitness and cardiovascular health of transplant recipients. However, concerns remain about the safety of strenuous physical exercise in this population. Purpose: To describe the physiological effects of ultraendurance exercise in a renal transplant recipient. Methods: After a 25-week training program, a 31-year-old male with stage 3 chronic kidney disease who had undergone 2 kidney transplants participated in a 62-km (5600 m of positive altitude change) trail-running race. Blood and urine analyses were performed at baseline (24 h before the race), 4 days after the race, and at different time points up to 16 weeks postexercise. Results: The participant completed the race in 12 hours 18 minutes. No noticeable side effects were recorded during the whole study period, including the prerace training program. No major urine or blood alterations were observed after ultraendurance exercise, with glomerular filtration rate remaining steady during the study period. Conclusions: Ultraendurance exercise induced no adverse physiological effects in a well-trained young renal transplant recipient.

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Francisco J. Amaro-Gahete, Lucas Jurado-Fasoli, Alejandro R. Triviño, Guillermo Sanchez-Delgado, Alejandro De-la-O, Jørn W. Helge, and Jonatan R. Ruiz

Purpose: To analyze the diurnal variation of maximal fat oxidation (MFO) and the intensity that elicits MFO (Fatmax) in trained male athletes. Methods: A total of 12 endurance-trained male athletes age 24.7 (4.1) y participated in the study. The authors measured MFO, Fatmax, maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), and VO2 percentage at ventilatory threshold 2 with a graded exercise protocol performed on 2 days separated by 1 wk. One test was performed in the morning and the other in the afternoon. The authors assessed the participants’ chronotype using the HÖME questionnaire. Results: MFO and Fatmax were greater in the afternoon than in the morning (Δ = 13%, P < .001 and Δ = 6%, P = .001, respectively), whereas there were similar VO2max and ventilatory threshold 2 in the morning, than in the afternoon test (Δ = 0.2%, P = .158 and Δ = 7%, P = .650, respectively). There was a strong positive association between VO2max and MFO in both morning and afternoon assessments (R 2 = .783, P = .001 and R 2 = .663, P < .001, respectively). Similarly, there was a positive association between VO2max and Fatmax in both morning and afternoon assessments (R 2 = .406, P = .024 and R 2 = .414, P = .026, respectively). Conclusion: MFO and Fatmax may partially explain some of the observed diurnal variation in the performance of endurance sports.

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Daniel A. Boullosa, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Jonatan R. Ruiz, Stephen Seiler, Jonathan Esteve-Lanao, Alejandro Lucia, John A. Hawley, and David T. Martin

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Maria Jose Arias-Tellez, Francisco M. Acosta, Jairo H. Migueles, Jose M. Pascual-Gamarra, Elisa Merchan-Ramirez, Clarice M. de Lucena Martins, Jose M. Llamas-Elvira, Borja Martinez-Tellez, and Jonatan R. Ruiz

The role of lifestyle behaviors on neck adipose tissue (NAT), a fat depot that appears to be involved in the pathogenesis of different cardiometabolic diseases and in inflammatory status, is unknown. In this cross-sectional and exploratory study, the authors examined the relationship between sedentary time and physical activity (PA) with neck adiposity in young adults. A total of 134 subjects (69% women, 23 ± 2 years) were enrolled. The time spent in sedentary behavior and PA of different intensity were objectively measured for 7 consecutive days (24 hr/day), using a wrist (nondominant)-worn accelerometer. The NAT volume was assessed using computed tomography, and the compartmental (subcutaneous, intermuscular, and perivertebral) and total NAT volumes were determined at the level of vertebra C5. Anthropometric indicators and body composition (by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) were determined. The time spent in light physical activity and moderate physical activity (MPA) and the overall PA were inversely associated with the intermuscular NAT volume in men, as were the MPA and overall PA with total NAT volume (all ps ≤ .04). Sedentary time was directly related to the total NAT volume (p = .04). An opposite trend was observed in women, finding a direct relationship of MPA with the subcutaneous NAT; of light physical activity, MPA, and overall PA with the perivertebral NAT; and of light physical activity with total NAT volumes (all ps ≤ .05). The observed associations were weak, and after adjusting for multiplicity, the results became nonsignificant (p > .05). These findings suggest that the specific characteristics of PA (time and intensity) might have sex-dependent implications in the accumulation of NAT.