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Marie-Louise Bird, Keith Hill, Madeleine Ball, and Andrew D. Williams

This research explored the balance benefits to untrained older adults of participating in community-based resistance and flexibility programs. In a blinded randomized crossover trial, 32 older adults (M = 66.9 yr) participated in a resistance-exercise program and a flexibility-exercise program for 16 weeks each. Sway velocity and mediolateral sway range were recorded. Timed up-and-go, 10 times sit-to-stand, and step test were also assessed, and lower limb strength was measured. Significant improvements in sway velocity, as well as timed up-and-go, 10 times sit-to-stand, and step test, were seen with both interventions, with no significant differences between the 2 groups. Resistance training resulted in significant increases in strength that were not evident in the flexibility intervention. Balance performance was significantly improved after both resistance training and standing flexibility training; however, further investigation is required to determine the mechanisms responsible for the improvement.

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Amy Warren, Erin J. Howden, Andrew D. Williams, James W. Fell, and Nathan A. Johnson

Postexercise fat oxidation may be important for exercise prescription aimed at optimizing fat loss. The authors examined the effects of exercise intensity, duration, and modality on postexercise oxygen consumption (VO2) and substrate selection/respiratory-exchange ratio (RER) in healthy individuals. Three experiments (n = 7 for each) compared (a) short- (SD) vs. long-duration (LD) ergometer cycling exercise (30 min vs. 90 min) matched for intensity, (b) low- (LI) vs. high-intensity (HI) cycling (50% vs. 85% of VO2max) matched for energy expenditure, and (c) continuous (CON) vs. interval (INT) cycling matched for energy expenditure and mean intensity. All experiments were administered by crossover design. Altering exercise duration did not affect postexercise VO2 or RER kinetics (p > .05). However, RER was lower and fat oxidation was higher during the postexercise period in LD vs. SD (p < .05). HI vs. LI resulted in a significant increase in total postexercise energy expenditure and fat oxidation (p < .01). Altering exercise modality (CON vs. INT) did not affect postexercise VO2, RER, or fat oxidation (p > .05). These results demonstrate that postexercise energy expenditure and fat oxidation can be augmented by increasing exercise intensity, but these benefits cannot be exploited by undertaking interval exercise (1:2-min work:recovery ratio) when total energy expenditure, duration, and mean intensity remain unchanged. In spite of the apparent benefit of these strategies, the amount of fat oxidized after exercise may be inconsequential compared with that oxidized during the exercise bout.

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Matthew W. Driller, James W. Fell, John R. Gregory, Cecilia M. Shing, and Andrew D. Williams


Several recent studies have reported substantial performance and physiological gains in well-trained endurance runners, swimmers, and cyclists following a period of high-intensity interval training (HIT). The aim of the current study was to compare traditional rowing training (CT) to HIT in well-trained rowers.


Subjects included 5 male and 5 female rowers (mean ± SD; age = 19 ± 2 y; height = 176 ± 8 cm; mass = 73.7 ± 9.8 kg; Vo2peak = 4.37 ± 1.08 L·min−1). Baseline testing included a 2000-m time trial and a maximal exercise test to determine Vo2peak, 4-min all-out power, and 4 mmol·L−1 blood lactate threshold. Following baseline testing, rowers were randomly allocated to HIT or CT, which they performed seven times over a 4-wk period. The HIT involved 8 × 2.5-min intervals at 90% of the velocity maintained at Vo2peak, with individual recoveries returning to 70% of the subjects’ maximal heart rate between intervals. The CT intensity consisted of workloads corresponding to 2 and 3 mmol·L−1 blood lactate concentrations. On completion of HIT or CT, rowers repeated the testing performed at baseline and were then allocated to the alternative training program and completed a crossover trial.


HIT produced greater improvements in 2000-m time (1.9 ± 0.9%; mean ± SD), 2000-m power (5.8 ± 3.0%), and relative Vo2peak (7.0 ± 6.4%) than CT.


Four weeks of HIT improves 2000-m time-trial performance and relative Vo2peak in competitive rowers, more than a traditional approach.

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Matthew W. Driller, John R. Gregory, Andrew D. Williams, and James W. Fell

Recent research has reported performance improvements after chronic NaHCO3 ingestion in conjunction with high-intensity interval training (HIT) in moderately trained athletes. The purpose of the current study was to determine the effects of altering plasma H+ concentration during HIT through NaHCO3 ingestion over 4 wk (2 HIT sessions/wk) in 12 Australian representative rowers (M ± SD; age 22 ± 3 yr, mass 76.4 ± 4.2 kg, VO2peak 65.50 ± 2.74 ml · kg−1 · min−1). Baseline testing included a 2,000-m time trial and an incremental exercise test. After baseline testing, rowers were allocated to either a chronic NaHCO3 (ALK) or placebo (PLA) group. Starting 90 min before each HIT session, subjects ingested a 0.3-g/kg body mass dose of NaHCO3 or a placebo substance. Fingertip blood samples were taken throughout the study to analyze bicarbonate and pH levels. The ALK group did not produce any additional improvements in 2,000-m rowing performance time compared with PLA (p > .05). Magnitude-based inferential analysis indicated an unclear or trivial effect on 2,000-m power, 2,000-m time, peak power output, and power at 4 mmol/L lactate threshold in the ALK group compared with the PLA group. Although there was no difference between groups, during the study there was a significant mean (± SD) 2,000-m power improvement in both the ALK and PLA groups of 17.8 ± 14.5 and 15.2 ± 18.3 W, respectively. In conclusion, despite overall improvements in rowing performance after 4 wk of HIT, the addition of chronic NaHCO3 supplementation during the training period did not significantly enhance performance further.

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Paul J. Cribb, Andrew D. Williams, Michael F. Carey, and Alan Hayes

Different dietary proteins affect whole body protein anabolism and accretion and therefore, have the potential to influence results obtained from resistance training. This study examined the effects of supplementation with two proteins, hydrolyzed whey isolate (WI) and casein (C), on strength, body composition, and plasma glutamine levels during a 10 wk, supervised resistance training program. In a double-blind protocol, 13 male, recreational bodybuilders supplemented their normal diet with either WI or C (1.5 gm/kg body wt/d) for the duration of the program. Strength was assessed by 1-RM in three exercises (barbell bench press, squat, and cable pull-down). Body composition was assessed by dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Plasma glutamine levels were determined by the enzymatic method with spectrophotometric detection. All assessments occurred in the week before and the week following 10 wk of training. Plasma glutamine levels did not change in either supplement group following the intervention. The WI group achieved a significantly greater gain (P < 0.01) in lean mass than the C group (5.0 ± 0.3 vs. 0.8 ± 0.4 kg for WI and C, respectively) and a significant (P < 0.05) change in fat mass (−1.5 ± 0.5 kg) compared to the C group (+0.2 ± 0.3 kg). The WI group also achieved significantly greater (P < 0.05) improvements in strength compared to the C group in each assessment of strength. When the strength changes were expressed relative to body weight, the WI group still achieved significantly greater (P < 0.05) improvements in strength compared to the C group.

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Bryson Carrier, Andrew Creer, Lauren R. Williams, Timothy M. Holmes, Brayden D. Jolley, Siri Dahl, Elizabeth Weber, and Tyler Standifird

The purpose of this study was to determine the validity of the Garmin fēnix® 3 HR fitness tracker. Methods: A total of 34 healthy recreational runners participated in biomechanical or metabolic testing. Biomechanics participants completed three running conditions (flat, incline, and decline) at a self-selected running pace, on an instrumented treadmill while running biomechanics were tracked using a motion capture system. Variables extracted were compared with data collected by the Garmin fēnix 3 HR (worn on the wrist) that was paired with a chest heart rate monitor and a Garmin Foot Pod (worn on the shoe). Metabolic testing involved two separate tests; a graded exercise test to exhaustion utilizing a metabolic cart and treadmill, and a 15-min submaximal outdoor track session while wearing the Garmin. 2 × 3 analysis of variances with post hoc t tests, mean absolute percentage errors, Pearson’s correlation (R), and a t test were used to determine validity. Results: The fēnix kinematics had a mean absolute percentage errors of 9.44%, 0.21%, 26.38%, and 5.77% for stride length, run cadence, vertical oscillation, and ground contact time, respectively. The fēnix overestimated (p < .05) VO2max with a mean absolute percentage error of 8.05% and an R value of .917. Conclusion: The Garmin fēnix 3 HR appears to produce a valid measure of run cadence and ground contact time during running, while it overestimated vertical oscillation in every condition (p < .05) and should be used with caution when determining stride length. The fēnix appears to produce a valid VO2max estimate and may be used when more accurate methods are not available.

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Andrew D. Williams, Isaac Selva Raj, Kristie L. Stucas, James W. Fell, Diana Dickenson, and John R. Gregory


Uncoupled cycling cranks are designed to remove the ability of one leg to assist the other during the cycling action. It has been suggested that training with this type of crank can increase mechanical efficiency. However, whether these improvements can confer performance enhancement in already well-trained cyclists has not been reported.


Fourteen well-trained cyclists (13 males, 1 female; 32.4 ± 8.8 y; 74.5 ± 10.3 kg; Vo2max 60.6 ± 5.5 mL·kg−1·min−1; mean ± SD) participated in this study. Participants were randomized to training on a stationary bicycle using either an uncoupled (n = 7) or traditional crank (n = 7) system. Training involved 1-h sessions, 3 days per week for 6 weeks, and at a heart rate equivalent to 70% of peak power output (PPO) substituted into the training schedule in place of other training. Vo2max, lactate threshold, gross efficiency, and cycling performance were measured before and following the training intervention. Pre- and post testing was conducted using traditional cranks.


No differences were observed between the groups for changes in Vo2max, lactate threshold, gross efficiency, or average power maintained during a 30-minute time trial.


Our results indicate that 6 weeks (18 sessions) of training using an uncoupled crank system does not result in changes in any physiological or performance measures in well-trained cyclists.

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Dale B. Read, Ben Jones, Sean Williams, Padraic J. Phibbs, Josh D. Darrall-Jones, Greg A.B. Roe, Jonathon J.S. Weakley, Andrew Rock, and Kevin Till

Purpose: To quantify the frequencies and timings of rugby union match-play phases (ie, attacking, defending, ball in play [BIP], and ball out of play [BOP]) and then compare the physical characteristics of attacking, defending, and BOP between forwards and backs. Methods: Data were analyzed from 59 male rugby union academy players (259 observations). Each player wore a microtechnology device (OptimEye S5; Catapult, Melbourne, Australia) with video footage analyzed for phase timings and frequencies. Dependent variables were analyzed using a linear mixed-effects model and assessed with magnitude-based inferences and Cohen d effect sizes (ES). Results: Attack, defense, BIP, and BOP times were 12.7 (3.1), 14.7 (2.5), 27.4 (2.9), and 47.4 (4.1) min, respectively. Mean attack (26 [17] s), defense (26 [18] s), and BIP (33 [24] s) phases were shorter than BOP phases (59 [33] s). The relative distance in attacking phases was similar (112.2 [48.4] vs 114.6 [52.3] m·min−1, ES = 0.00 ± 0.23) between forwards and backs but greater in forwards (114.5 [52.7] vs 109.0 [54.8] m·min−1, ES = 0.32 ± 0.23) during defense and greater in backs during BOP (ES = −0.66 ± 0.23). Conclusions: Total time in attack, defense, and therefore BIP was less than BOP. Relative distance was greater in forwards during defense, whereas it was greater in backs during BOP and similar between positions during attack. Players should be exposed to training intensities from in-play phases (ie, attack and defense) rather than whole-match data and practice technical skills during these intensities.