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Alejandro Martínez-Cava, Alejandro Hernández-Belmonte, and Jesús G. Pallarés

Purpose: To compare the strength and athletic adaptations induced by 4 programming models. Methods: Fifty-two men were allocated into 1 of the following models: linear programming (intensity increased while intraset volume decreased), undulating programming (intensity and intraset volume were varied in each session or set of sessions), reverse programming (intensity decreased while intraset volume increased), or constant programming (intensity and intraset volume kept constant throughout the training plan). All groups completed a 10-week resistance-training program made up of the free-weight bench press, squat, deadlift, prone bench pull, and shoulder press exercises. The 4 models used the same frequency (2 sessions per week), number of sets (3 per exercise), interset recoveries (4 min), and average intensity throughout the intervention (77.5%). The velocity-based method was used to accurately adjust the planned intensity for each model. Results: The 4 programming models exhibited significant pre–post changes in most strength variables analyzed. When considering the effect sizes for the 5 exercises trained, we observed that the undulating programming (mean effect size = 0.88–2.92) and constant programming (mean effect size = 0.61–1.65) models induced the highest and lowest strength enhancements, respectively. Moreover, the 4 programming models were found to be effective to improve performance during shorter (jump and sprint tests) and longer (upper- and lower-limb Wingate test) anaerobic tasks, with no significant differences between them. Conclusion: The linear, undulating, reverse, and constant programming models are similarly effective to improve strength and athletic performance when they are implemented in a real-context routine.

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Alejandro Hernández-Belmonte, Alejandro Martínez-Cava, and Jesús G. Pallarés

Purpose: To analyze the feasibility of the 2-point method for estimating ultrasound-derived quadriceps femoris cross-sectional area (QUADACSA). First, (1) the agreement between QUADACSA measured by panoramic ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was studied, and thereafter, we examined 2 approaches of the 2-point method in terms of (2) estimation errors and (3) test–retest repeatability. Methods: Both thighs of 16 young men were analyzed. Ultrasound-QUADACSA versus MRI-QUADACSA comparison was conducted at 6 thigh lengths (20%–70% of the thigh length). Thereafter, ultrasound-QUADACSA corresponding to 30% and 60% (2-point30%–60%) or 20% and 70% (2-point20%–70%) were used to estimate QUADACSA of the remaining regions. Estimated QUADACSA resulting from both 2-point approaches was compared with the measured one. Finally, the test–retest repeatability was examined by comparing the errors generated on 2 separate estimations. Statistics included the standard error of measurement (SEM) expressed in absolute (in square centimeters) and relative terms (in percentage) as a coefficient of variation (CV), as well as the intraclass correlation cofficient (ICC) and bias. Results: An excellent agreement (ICC ≥ 0.980) and reduced errors (SEM ≤ 2.43 cm2) resulted from the ultrasound-QUADACSA versus MRI-QUADACSA comparison. Although estimation errors found were reduced (CV ≤ 7.50%), they proved to be lower and less biased for the 2-point30%–60%, especially at the central regions (SEM ≤ 2.01 cm2; bias ≤ 0.89 cm2). Similarly, repeatability analysis revealed lower test–retest errors for the 2-point30%–60% (CV ≤ 1.9%) than for the 2-point20%–70% (CV ≤ 4.6%). Conclusion: The 2-point method, especially that implemented using the 30% and 60% regions, represents an accurate and repeatable strategy to evaluate QUADACSA.

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Alejandro Martínez-Cava, Alejandro Hernández-Belmonte, Javier Courel-Ibáñez, Elena Conesa-Ros, Ricardo Morán-Navarro, and Jesús G. Pallarés

Purpose: A variation of the traditional squat (SQ) rebound technique (REBOUND) including a momentary pause ∼2 seconds (PAUSE) between eccentric and concentric phases has been proposed. Although there is a consensus about the lower acute effects on performance of this PAUSE variant compared with traditional REBOUND technique, no information exists about the differences in longitudinal adaptations of these SQ executions. Methods: A total of 26 men were randomly assigned into the PAUSE (n = 13) or REBOUND (n = 13) groups and completed a 10-week velocity-based training using the SQ exercise, only differing in the technique. Neuromuscular adaptations were assessed by the changes in the 1-repetition maximum strength and mean propulsive velocity achieved against the absolute loads (in kilograms) common to pretest and posttest. Functional performance was evaluated by the following tests: countermovement jump, Wingate, and sprint time at 0 to 10, 10 to 20, and 0 to 20 m. Results: Whereas both groups showed significant increases in most of the neuromuscular tests (P < .05), the PAUSE (effect size [ES] = 0.76–1.12) presented greater enhancements than REBOUND (ES = 0.45–0.92). Although not significant, improvements in Wingate and sprint time at 0 to 10 and 0 to 20 m were higher for PAUSE (ES = 0.31–0.46) compared with REBOUND (ES = 0.10–0.29). Conversely, changes on countermovement jump and sprint time at 10 to 20 m were superior for REBOUND (ES = 0.17–0.88) than for PAUSE (ES = 0.09–0.75). Conclusion: Imposing a pause between eccentric and concentric phases in the SQ exercise could be an interesting strategy to increase neuromuscular and functional adaptations in sport actions that mainly depend on concentric contractions. Moreover, sport abilities highly dependent on the stretch-shortening cycle could benefit from the REBOUND or a combination of the 2 techniques.

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Víctor Rodríguez-Rielves, Alejandro Martínez-Cava, Ángel Buendía-Romero, José Ramón Lillo-Beviá, Javier Courel-Ibáñez, Alejandro Hernández-Belmonte, and Jesús G. Pallarés

Purpose: To examine the reproducibility (intradevice and interdevice agreement) of the Rotor 2INpower device under a wide range of cycling conditions. Methods: Twelve highly trained male cyclists and triathletes completed 5 cycling tests, including graded exercise tests at different cadences (70–100 rpm), workloads (100–650 W), pedaling positions (seated and standing), and vibration conditions (20–40 Hz) and an 8-second maximal sprint (>1000 W). An intradevice analysis included a comparison between the power output registered by 3 units of Rotor 2INpower, whereas the power output provided by each one of these units and the gold-standard SRM crankset were compared for the interdevice analysis. Among others, statistical calculations included the standard error of measurement, expressed in absolute (in watts) and relative terms as the coefficient of variation (CV). Results: Except for the graded exercise test seated at 100 rpm/100 W (CV = 10.2%), the intradevice analysis showed an acceptable magnitude of error (CV ≤ 6.9%, standard error of measurement ≤ 12.3 W) between the 3 Rotor 2INpower. Similarly, these 3 units showed an acceptable agreement with the gold standard in all graded exercise test situations (CV ≤ 4.0%, standard error of measurement ≤ 13.1 W). On the other hand, both the intradevice and interdevice agreements proved to be slightly reduced under high cadences (intradevice: CV ≤ 10.2%; interdevice: CV ≤ 4.0%) and vibration (intradevice: CV ≤ 4.0%; interdevice: CV ≤ 3.6%), as well as during standing pedaling (intradevice: CV ≤ 4.1%; interdevice: CV ≤ 2.5%). Although within the limits of an acceptable agreement, measurement errors increased during the sprint tests (CV ≤ 7.4%). Conclusions: Based on these results, the Rotor 2INpower could be considered a reproducible tool to monitor power output in most cycling situations.