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  • Author: Remco Polman x
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Remco Polman, Jonathan Bloomfield and Andrew Edwards

Purpose:

The main objective of this study was to investigate the efficacy of both programmed (speed, agility, and quickness; SAQ) and random (small-sided games; SSG) conditioning methods on selected neuromuscular and physical performance variables.

Methods:

Twenty volunteers (21.1 ± 4.0 y, 1.71 ± 0.09 m, 66.7 ± 9.9 kg; mean ± SD) completed the study. The study design used two physically challenging periodized experimental conditions (SAQ and SSG conditions) and a non exercise control condition (CON). Participants engaged in 12.2 ± 2.1 h of directed physical conditioning. All participants had at least 24 h of recovery between conditioning sessions, and each 1-h session included 15 min of general warm-up and a 45-min exercise session. Participants completed a battery of tests (15-m sprint, isokinetic flexion/extension, depth jump) before and following the training program.

Results:

There was a 6.9% (95% CI: -4.4 to 18.3) greater improvement in 5-m acceleration time and 4.3% (95% CI: -0.9 to 9.5) in 15-m mean running velocity time for the SAQ group compared with the SSG group. In addition, increases in maximal isokinetic concentric strength for both the flexor and extensor muscles, with the exception of 180 °/s flexion, were greater in the SAQ than SSG condition. The SAQ group also showed 19.5% (95% CI: -11.2 to 50.2) greater gain in reactive strength (contact time depth jump) and 53.8% (95% CI: 11.2 to 98.6) in mean gastrocnemius medialis activity in comparison with SSG.

Conclusions:

SAQ training should benefit the physical conditioning programs of novice players performing invasion games.

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Adam R. Nicholls, Nicholas L. Holt and Remco C.J. Polman

The purpose of this study was to examine instances when international agegroup golfers coped effectively and ineffectively with performance-related stressors during competition. Eighteen male Irish international golfers (M age = 17 years) participated in semistructured interviews pertaining to their coping experiences during golf competition. Data were thematically analyzed using Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis (Smith & Osborn, 2003). Strategies associated with effective coping were rationalizing, reappraising, blocking, positive self-talk, following a routine, breathing exercises, physical relaxation, and seeking on-course social support. Alternatively, different types of coping responses (trying too hard, speeding up, routine changes, negative thoughts, lack of coping) were associated with ineffective coping. Theoretical and applied implications of these findings are discussed.

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Theocharis Ispoglou, Roderick F.G.J. King, Remco C.J. Polman and Cathy Zanker

Purpose:

To investigate the effects of daily oral L-leucine ingestion on strength, bone mineral-free lean tissue mass (LTM) and fat mass (FM) of free living humans during a 12-wk resistance-training program.

Methods:

Twenty-six initially untrained men (n = 13 per group) ingested either 4 g/d of L-leucine (leucine group: age 28.5 ± 8.2 y, body mass index 24.9 ± 4.2 kg/m2) or a corresponding amount of lactose (placebo group: age 28.2 ± 7.3 y, body mass index 24.9 ± 4.2 kg/m2). All participants trained under supervision twice per week following a prescribed resistance training program using eight standard exercise machines. Testing took place at baseline and at the end of the supplementation period. Strength on each exercise was assessed by fve repetition maximum (5-RM), and body composition was assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA).

Results:

The leucine group demonstrated significantly higher gains in total 5-RM strength (sum of 5-RM in eight exercises) and 5-RM strength in five out of the eight exercises (P < .05). The percentage total 5-RM strength gains were 40.8% (± 7.8) and 31.0% (± 4.6) for the leucine and placebo groups respectively. Significant differences did not exist between groups in either total percentage LTM gains or total percentage FM losses (LTM: 2.9% ± 2.5 vs 2.0% ± 2.1, FM: 1.6% ± 15.6 vs 1.1% ± 7.6).

Conclusion:

These results suggest that 4 g/d of L-leucine supplementation may be used as a nutritional supplement to enhance strength performance during a 12-week resistance training program of initially untrained male participants.

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Christos K. Argus, James R. Broatch, Aaron C. Petersen, Remco Polman, David J. Bishop and Shona Halson

Context:

An athlete’s ability to recover quickly is important when there is limited time between training and competition. As such, recovery strategies are commonly used to expedite the recovery process.

Purpose:

To determine the effectiveness of both cold-water immersion (CWI) and contrast water therapy (CWT) compared with control on short-term recovery (<4 h) after a single full-body resistance-training session.

Methods:

Thirteen men (age 26 ± 5 y, weight 79 ± 7 kg, height 177 ± 5 cm) were assessed for perceptual (fatigue and soreness) and performance measures (maximal voluntary isometric contraction [MVC] of the knee extensors, weighted and unweighted countermovement jumps) before and immediately after the training session. Subjects then completed 1 of three 14-min recovery strategies (CWI, CWT, or passive sitting [CON]), with the perceptual and performance measures reassessed immediately, 2 h, and 4 h postrecovery.

Results:

Peak torque during MVC and jump performance were significantly decreased (P < .05) after the resistance-training session and remained depressed for at least 4 h postrecovery in all conditions. Neither CWI nor CWT had any effect on perceptual or performance measures over the 4-h recovery period.

Conclusions:

CWI and CWT did not improve short-term (<4-h) recovery after a conventional resistance-training session.

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Adam R. Nicholls, Nicholas L. Holt, Remco C.J. Polman and Jonny Bloomfield

The overall purpose of this study was to examine stressors, coping strategies, and perceived coping effectiveness among professional rugby union players. Eight first class professional male rugby union players maintained diaries over a 28-day period. The diaries included a stressor checklist, an open-ended coping response section, and a Likert-type scale evaluation of coping effectiveness. Total reported stressors and coping strategies were tallied and analyzed longitudinally. The most frequently cited stressors were injury concerns, mental errors, and physical errors. The most frequently cited coping strategies were increased concentration, blocking, positive reappraisal, and being focused on the task. The most effective coping strategies were focusing on task and increasing effort. Professional rugby players use a variety of different coping strategies in order to manage the stressors they experience, but the effectiveness of their coping attempts can vary.