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  • Author: Emerson Franchini x
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Seihati A. Shiroma, Ursula F. Julio and Emerson Franchini

Purpose: To evaluate criterion validity, reliability, and usefulness of a test to measure maximal aerobic power using judo-specific movements (uchi-komi test [UKtest]). Methods: A total of 12 judokas performed 5 graded exercise tests (GETs) in 4 sessions. In sessions 1 and 2, upper-body (UBtest), lower-body (LBtest), and familiarization UKtest were performed. GETs were randomly performed and separated by at least 48 h. In sessions 3 and 4, test and retest UKtest were performed (7 d apart). For all GETs, peak oxygen consumption (V˙O2peak), maximal heart rate (HRmax), peak blood lactate concentration [Lapeak], maximal aerobic intensity, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were determined. Another group of 12 judokas performed the UKtest and 1 confirmation test (20 min after the UKtest) at 105% of maximal aerobic speed until exhaustion to confirm whether maximal responses were achieved. Results: V˙O2peak did not differ (P > .05) between UKtest (46.04 [5.34] mL·kg−1·min−1) and LBtest (44.78 [5.98] mL·kg−1·min−1), but it was higher (P < .05) than UBtest (37.03 [7.16] mL·kg−1·min−1). Total duration (551 [60] s) and [Lapeak] (7.10 [1.76] mmol·L−1) in the UKtest were different (P < .05) from UBtest (416 [47] s, 9.93 [2.15] mmol·L−1, respectively) and LBtest (433 [54] s, 10.29 [2.23] mmol·L−1, respectively). Very large relationships between V˙O2peak in UKtest with UBtest (r = .78; P = .003) and LBtest (r = .87; P < .001) were found. Maximal values were achieved for the UKtest V˙O2peak, HRmax, [Lapeak], RPE, and maximal aerobic speed, with no difference between test and retest (P > .05). In addition, very large intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) for V˙O2peak (ICC = .86), HRmax (ICC = .90), and maximal aerobic speed (ICC = .81) were found. Conclusion: The UKtest can be considered a valid, reliable, and useful test to measure maximal aerobic power using judo-specific movements.

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Jose Morales, Emerson Franchini, Xavier Garcia-Massó, Mónica Solana-Tramunt, Bernat Buscà and Luis-Millán González

Purpose:

To adapt the work endurance recovery (WER) method based on randori maximal time to exhaustion (RMTE) for combat situations in judo.

Methods:

Eleven international-standard judo athletes (7 men and 4 women; mean age 20.73 ± 2.49 y, height 1.72 ± 0.11 m, body mass 67.36 ± 10.67 kg) were recruited to take part in the study. All participants performed a maximal incremental test (MIT), a Wingate test (WIN), a Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT), and 2 RMTE tests. They then took part in a session at an international training camp in Barcelona, Spain, in which 4 methods of load quantification were implemented: the WER method, the Stagno method, the Lucia method, and the session rating of perceived exertion (RPEsession).

Results:

RMTE demonstrated a very high test–retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = .91), and correlations of the performance tests ranged from moderate to high: RMTE and MIT (r = .66), RMTE and WIN variables (r = .38–.53), RMTE and SJFT variables (r = .74–.77). The correlation between the WER method, which considers time to exhaustion, and the other systems for quantifying training load was high: WER and RPEsession (r = .87), WER and Stagno (r = .77), WER and Lucia (r = .73). A comparative repeated-measures analysis of variance of the normalized values of the quantification did not yield statistically significant differences.

Conclusions:

The WER method using RMTE is highly adaptable to quantify randori judo sessions and enables one to plan a priori individualized training loads.

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Fabio Y. Nakamura, Lucas A. Pereira, César C. Cal Abad, Emerson Franchini and Irineu Loturco

Purpose:

To quantify the training loads reported by karate athletes of the Brazilian national team in the week immediately before their participation in the 2015 Pan American Games.

Methods:

Eleven elite karate athletes (7 men and 4 women, 24.42 ± 3.75 y, 1.70 ± 0.09 m, 69.6 ± 13.2 kg) from the Brazilian national team took part in this study. Session rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE) was quantified in all training sessions. Moreover, resting heart-rate variability (HRV), as analyzed through the natural log of the root-mean-square difference of successive normal RR intervals (lnRMSSD), and countermovement-jump (CMJ) performance before and after 8 training sessions were assessed throughout the week. The differences based on magnitudes were calculated comparing pre- and posttraining session, as well as measures performed every morning during the week.

Results:

The weekly s-RPE was 2608.5 ± 431.2 a.u. The lnRMSSD was very likely higher on Monday than on the following days of the week, remaining stable during this period. CMJ height did not change during the week. Almost certain differences were observed in lnRMSSD pre- and posttraining session, while CMJ height did not change.

Conclusions:

The national karate-team athletes did not present signs of fatigue accumulation, as indicated by relatively steady HRV and unchanged CMJ during the week, as planned by the coaches for precompetition technical and tactical refinement.

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Ibrahim Ouergui, Philip Davis, Nizar Houcine, Hamza Marzouki, Monia Zaouali, Emerson Franchini, Nabil Gmada and Ezzedine Bouhlel

The aim of the current study was to investigate the hormonal, physiological, and physical responses of simulated kickboxing competition and evaluate if there was a difference between winners and losers. Twenty athletes of regional and national level participated in the study (mean ± SD age 21.3 ± 2.7 y, height 170.0 ± 5.0 cm). Hormone (cortisol, testosterone, growth hormone), blood lactate [La], and glucose concentrations, as well as upper-body Wingate test and countermovement-jump (CMJ) performances, were measured before and after combats. Heart rate (HR) was measured throughout rounds 1, 2, and 3 and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was taken after each round. All combats were recorded and analyzed to determine the length of different activity phases (high-intensity, low-intensity, and referee pause) and the frequency of techniques. Hormones, glucose, [La], HR, and RPE increased (all P < .001) precombat to postcombat, while a decrease was observed for CMJ, Wingate test performance, body mass (all P < .001), and time of high-intensity activities (P = .005). There was no difference between winners and losers for hormonal, physiological, and physical variables (P > .05). However, winners executed more jab cross, total punches, roundhouse kicks, total kicks, and total attacking techniques (all P < .042) than losers. Kickboxing is an intermittent physically demanding sport that induces changes in the stress-related hormones soliciting the anaerobic lactic system. Training should be oriented to enhance kickboxers’ anaerobic lactic fitness and their ability to strike at a sufficient rate. Further investigation is needed to identify possible differences in tactical and mental abilities that offer some insight into what makes winners winners.

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Helmi Chaabène, Emerson Franchini, Bianca Miarka, Mohamed Amin Selmi, Bessem Mkaouer and Karim Chamari

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to measure and compare physiological and time–motion variables during karate fighting and to assess eventual differences between winners and defeated elite karatekas in an ecologically valid environment.

Methods:

Fourteen elite male karatekas who regularly participated in national and international events took part in a national-level competition.

Results:

There were no significant differences between winners and defeated karatekas regarding all the studied variables. Karatekas used more upper-limb (76.19%) than lower-limb techniques (23.80%). The kisami-zuki represented the most frequent technique, with 29.1% of all used techniques. The duration of each fighting activity ranged from <1 s to 5 s, with 83.8% ± 12.0% of the actions lasting less than 2 s. Karatekas executed 17 ± 7 high-intensity actions per fight, which corresponded to ~6 high-intensity actions per min. Action-to-rest ratio was about 1:1.5, and high-intensityaction- to-rest ratio was ~1:10. The mean blood lactate response at 3 min postcombat (Lapost) elicited during karate fighting was 11.18 ± 2.21 mmol/L (difference between Lapre and Lapost = 10.01 ± 1.81 mmol/L). Mean heart rate (HR) was 177 ± 14 beats/min (91% ± 5% of HRpeak). Karatekas spent 65% of the time exercising at HR >90% of the individual HRpeak.

Conclusion:

Karatekas predominantly use upper-limb karate techniques. Karate’s nature is intermittent, with fighting activities representing ~6% of total combat’s duration and ~84% of actions lasting less than 2 s, with ~21-s mean time interval in between. Kumite combat sessions induced high La and near-maximal cardiovascular strain. Other key success factors should be investigated to properly discriminate winners and defeated athletes.

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Emerson Franchini, Stanislaw Sterkowicz, Urszula Szmatlan-Gabrys, Tomasz Gabrys and Michal Garnys

Purpose:

This study investigated the energy system contributions of judo athletes to the Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT).

Methods:

Fourteen male judo athletes performed the SJFT, which comprised three periods of judo activity (A = 15 s, B and C = 30 s) interspersed with 10 s rest intervals. During this test, one athlete threw two others positioned 6 m from each other using the ippon-seoi-nage technique. The fractions of the aerobic, anaerobic alactic and anaerobic lactic systems were calculated based on oxygen uptake, the fast component of excess postexercise oxygen uptake, and changes in net blood lactate, respectively. The contribution of the three energy systems was compared using a repeated measures analysis of variance and Bonferroni’s multiple comparisons test. Compound symmetry, or sphericity, was determined by Mauchly’s test. A level of significance of 5% (P < .05) was adopted in all analyses.

Results:

The alactic energy system presented a higher (F = 20.9; P < .001; power observed = 1.0) contribution (86.8 ± 23.6 kJ; 42.3 ± 5.9%) during the test when compared with both aerobic (57.1 ± 11.3 kJ; 28.2 ± 2.9%) and lactic (58.9 ± 12.1 kJ; 29.5 ± 6.2%) energy systems (P < .001 for both comparisons).

Conclusions:

The higher alactic contribution seems to be a consequence of the high-intensity efforts performed during the test, and its intermittent nature. Thus, when using the SJFT, coaches are evaluating mainly their athletes’ anaerobic alactic system, which can be considered to be the most predominant system contributing to the actions (techniques) performed in the match.

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Raquel Escobar-Molina, Sonia Rodríguez-Ruiz, Carlos Gutiérrez-García and Emerson Franchini

Purpose:

This study aimed at comparing weight loss methods (WLM) performed near competition by elite judo athletes from different age and gender groups and relating WLM with the prevalence of eating disorders.

Methods:

144 athletes (66 females and 78 males) from the Spanish judo teams participated in this observational descriptive study grouped into cadets, juniors, and seniors. Data were collected during previous training meetings to international tournaments. The used tools are a basic data questionnaire, State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI-T), Food Craving Questionnaire-Trait (FCQ-T), Restraint Scale (RS), and Eating Attitude Test (EAT-40). Two-way ANOVAs and chi-square tests were used to compare groups.

Results:

Seniors presented higher use of WLM, especially one week before competition compared with juniors. Judoists were more involved in their diets and reduced more weight as they were older. Females were more concerned about their diets, presented higher anxiety, scored higher in the emotion scale, and more eating disorders symptoms, although weight loss was lower. Anxiety and eating disorders symptoms differences were more common in juniors and cadets, respectively, with higher scores in females.

Conclusions and Implications:

Seniors seem to develop more effective strategies to cope with weight loss. Cadet and junior females are more likely to suffer from the psychological-related states associated to weight loss. Implications: (1) Educational programs might help competitors and coaches to adopt and promote healthier weight loss processes, (2) special attention should be paid to female young judoists to detect eating disorders in its early stages, and (3) judo organizations should consider implementing new rules to sanction harmful weight loss practices.

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Montassar Tabben, Jeremy Coquart, Helmi Chaabène, Emerson Franchini, Karim Chamari and Claire Tourny

Purpose:

This study determined the validity and reliability of a new specific field test that was based on the scientific data from the latest research.

Methods:

Seventeen international-level karatekas participated in the study: 14 men (age 24.1 ± 4.6 y, body mass 65.7 ± 10.8 kg) and 3 women (age 19 ± 3.6 y, body mass 54.1 ± 0.9 kg). All performed the new karate-specific test (KST) 2 times (test and retest sessions were carried out on separated occasions 1 wk apart). Thirteen men also performed a laboratory test to assess maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max).

Results:

Test–retest results showed the KST to be reliable. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), peak heart rate (HRpeak), blood lactate concentration, rating of perceived exertion, and time to exhaustion (TE) did not display a difference between the test and the retest. The SEM and ICC for relative and absolute VO2peak and TE were <5% and >.90, respectively. Significant correlations were found between VO2peak (mL · kg−1 · min−1) and TE measured from the KST (r = .71, 95%CI 0.35–0.88, P < .0001). There was also no significant difference between VO2peak measured from the KST and VO2max recorded from the cycle-ergometer laboratory test (55.1 ± 4.8 vs 53.2 ± 6.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1, respectively; t = –1.85, df = 12, P = .08, dz = 0.51 [small]). The Bland and Altman analyses reported a mean difference (bias) ± the 95% limits of agreement of 1.9 ± 7.35 mL · kg−1 · min−1.

Conclusions:

This study showed that the new KST test, with effort patterns replicating real karate combat sessions, can be considered a valid and reliable karate-specific field test for assessing karatekas’ endurance fitness.

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Jose Morales, Carla Ubasart, Mónica Solana-Tramunt, Israel Villarrasa-Sapiña, Luis-Millán González, David Fukuda and Emerson Franchini

Balance, reaction time, and strength are key factors affecting judo performance. Although ample research has been done examining potential strength changes caused by weight loss prior to competition, changes in balance and reaction time have been overlooked. Purpose: To examine the effects of rapid and progressive weight loss (RWL and PWL) on balance, reaction time, and strength in a group of elite judo athletes. Methods: A total of 38 female and male judo athletes (age = 20.6 [2.6] y) completed balance, reaction-time, and strength assessments 1 wk prior to an official weigh-in (pretest) and immediately after the weigh-in (posttest). The athletes were divided into 3 groups, 1 control group who maintained regular training and eating habits, 1 experimental group who engaged in PWL (<3% reductions in body mass), and a second experimental group who used RWL techniques (>3% reductions in body mass). Results: The RWL group showed significant decreases (P < .05) in balance performance (ellipse area: 4.83 [0.87] vs 6.31 [1.39] mm2 with eyes closed; mean mediolateral velocity: 2.07 [0.2] vs 2.52 [0.45] mm·s−1 with eyes closed; and mean anteroposterior velocity: 2.25 [0.20] vs 2.51 [0.32] mm·s−1 with eyes open and 2.44 [0.26] vs 3.06 [0.56] mm·s−1 with eyes closed) and reaction time (0.38 [0.04] vs 0.42 [0.06] s) with no changes in strength from pretesting to posttesting. The athletes in the PWL and control groups maintained performance in all variables. Conclusion: These findings demonstrate negative effects on perceptual motor-skill performance in judo athletes engaging in RWL strategies prior to competition.

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Ciro José Brito, Aendria Fernanda Castro Martins Roas, Igor Surian Souza Brito, João Carlos Bouzas Marins, Claudio Córdova and Emerson Franchini

The aim of this study was to investigate the methods adopted to reduce body mass (BM) in competitive athletes from the grappling (judo, jujitsu) and striking (karate and tae kwon do) combat sports in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. An exploratory methodology was employed through descriptive research, using a standardized questionnaire with objective questions self-administered to 580 athletes (25.0 ± 3.7 yr, 74.5 ± 9.7 kg, and 16.4% ± 5.1% body fat). Regardless of the sport, 60% of the athletes reported using a method of rapid weight loss (RWL) through increased energy expenditure. Strikers tend to begin reducing BM during adolescence. Furthermore, 50% of the sample used saunas and plastic clothing, and only 26.1% received advice from a nutritionist. The authors conclude that a high percentage of athletes uses RWL methods. In addition, a high percentage of athletes uses unapproved or prohibited methods such as diuretics, saunas, and plastic clothing. The age at which combat sport athletes reduce BM for the first time is also worrying, especially among strikers.