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

Purpose:

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.

Methods:

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.

Results:

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.

Conclusion:

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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Werner F. Helsen, Nikola Medic, Janet L. Starkes and Andrew M. Williams

Inequalities in relative age distribution have previously been demonstrated to influence participation and performance achievements in Masters athletes. The purpose of the present study was to examine the participation- and performance-related constituent year effect among Masters athletes (N = 2,474) from the European Masters Track and Field Championships across subdisciplines and age. The results indicated that a participation-related constituent year effect was observed. The likelihood of participation was significantly higher for athletes in their first year of any 5-year age category (χ2 = 149.8, p < .001) and decreased significantly when they were in the fourth or fifth year. The results also indicated a performance-related constituent year effect. Masters athletes in their first year won significantly more medals than expected based on observed participation rate (χ2 = 23.39, p < .001). We compare our results with the existing literature and discuss potential mechanisms for this constituent year effect.

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Krista M. Hixson, Alex N. Allen, Andrew S. Williams and Tamara C. Valovich McLeod

Clinical Scenario:

Mild traumatic brain injury, or concussion, has been associated with physical, cognitive, and emotional sequelae. Little is understood in regard to many characteristics, such as anxiety, and their effect on post-concussion symptoms.

Clinical Question:

Is state anxiety, trait anxiety, or anxiety sensitivity a clinical predictor of symptoms in those presenting with mild traumatic brain injury or concussion?

Summary of Key Findings:

A literature search returned 3 possible studies; 3 studies met inclusion criteria and included. One study reported in athletes that greater social support was associated with decreased state-anxiety, lower state anxiety post-concussion was associated with increased social support, and that those with greater social support may experience reduced anxiety, regardless of injury type sustained. One study reported baseline trait anxiety in athletes was not significantly associated with post-concussion state anxiety, but that symptoms of depression at baseline was the strongest predictor for post-concussion state anxiety. Three studies reported that state and trait anxiety are not related to increased post-concussion symptom scores. One study reported that greater anxiety sensitivity is related to higher reported post-concussion symptom scores, which may manifest as somatic symptoms following concussion, and revealed that anxiety sensitivity may be a risk factor symptom development.

Clinical Bottom Line:

There is low-level to moderate evidence to support that anxiety sensitivity is linked to post-concussion symptoms. State and trait anxiety do not appear to be related to post-concussion symptoms alone. Post-concussion state anxiety may occur if post-concussion symptoms of depression are present or if baseline symptoms of depression are present. Better social support may improve state anxiety post-concussion.

Strength of Recommendation:

There is grade B evidence to support that state and trait anxiety are not risk factors for post-concussion symptom development. There is grade C evidence to support anxiety sensitivity as a risk factor for developing post-concussion symptoms.