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  • Author: Anthony J. Rice x
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Andrew J. Vogler, Anthony J. Rice and Christopher J. Gore

Purpose:

This study evaluated the validity of ergometer tests against the criterion of on-water rowing and determined the reliability of feld measurements by comparing results between ergometer (ERG) and on-water (OW) tests.

Methods:

Seven male rowers completed incremental tests on a Concept2 rowing ergometer and in a single scull. Average power output, oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), blood lactate concentration (BLa) and distance completed were measured during each ERG and OW workload.

Data treatment:

Linear regression between power output and HR, BLa, VO2 and distance allowed submaximal results to be compared between ERG and OW tests at equivalent intensities based on five standard power outputs. Submaximal results were analyzed using repeated measure factorial ANOVAs and maximal data used dependent t tests (P < .05), the magnitude of differences were also classified using effect size analyses. The reliability of repeated measurements was established using Typical Error.

Results:

Differences between ERG and OW submaximal results were not statistically significant for power output, HR, BLa, and VO2, but distance completed (P < .001) was higher during the ERG test. However, the magnitude of physiological response differences between the ERG and OW tests varied between individuals. Mean HR at anaerobic threshold showed good agreement between both tests (r = .81), but the standard error of the estimate was 9 beats per minute.

Conclusions:

Individual variation in physiological response differences between ERG and OW tests meant that training intensity recommendations from the ERG test were not applicable to on-water training for some rowers, but provided appropriate prescriptions for most athletes.

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Andrew J. Vogler, Anthony J. Rice and Robert T. Withers

Purpose:

The Concept II model C (IIC) rowing ergometer was replaced by the Concept II model D (IID), but the design modifications of the updated ergometer might alter resistance characteristics and rowing technique, thereby potentially influencing ergometer test results. This study evaluated the physiological response to rowing on the IIC and IID ergometers during a submaximal progressive incremental test and maximal-performance time trial.

Methods:

Eight national-level rowers completed submaximal and maximal tests on the IIC and IID ergometers separated by 48 to 72 h. Physiological responses and calculated blood lactate thresholds (LT1 and LT2) were compared between ergometer models (IIC vs IID) using standardized drag-factor settings.

Results:

Power output, oxygen consumption, rowing economy (mL O2 · min−1 · W−1), heart rate, blood lactate concentration, stroke rate, and rating of perceived exertion all displayed similar responses regardless of ergometer model. Calculated physiological values equivalent to LT1 and LT2 were also similar between models, except for blood lactate concentration at LT1, which displayed a small but statistically signifcant difference (P = .02) of 0.2 mmol/L.

Conclusions:

The physiological response when rowing on IIC and IID ergometers is nearly identical, and testing can therefore be carried out on either ergometer and the results directly compared.

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Gary J. Slater, Anthony J. Rice, David Jenkins, Jason Gulbin and Allan G. Hahn

To strengthen the depth of lightweight rowing talent, we sought to identify experienced heavyweight rowers who possessed physique traits that predisposed them to excellence as a lightweight. Identified athletes (n = 3) were monitored over 16 wk. Variables measured included performance, anthropometric indices, and selected biochemical and metabolic parameters. All athletes decreased their body mass (range 2.0 to 8.0 kg), with muscle mass accounting for a large proportion of this (31.7 to 84.6%). Two athletes were able to maintain their performance despite reductions in body mass. However, performance was compromised for the athlete who experienced the greatest weight loss. In summary, smaller heavyweight rowers can successfully make the transition into the lightweight category, being nationally competitive in their first season as a lightweight.

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Jacqueline Tran, Anthony J. Rice, Luana C. Main and Paul B. Gastin

Purpose:

To investigate changes in physiology, performance, and training practices of elite Australian rowers over 6 mo.

Methods:

Twenty-one elite rowers (14 male, 7 female) were monitored throughout 2 phases: phase 1 (specific preparation) and phase 2 (domestic competition). Incremental tests and rowing-ergometer time trials over 100, 500, 2000, and 6000 m were conducted at the start of the season, midseason, and late season. Weekly external (frequency, duration, distance rowed) and internal (T2minute method) loads are reported.

Results:

Heavyweight male rowers achieved moderate improvements in VO2max and power at VO2max. Most other changes in physiology and performance were small or unclear. External loads decreased from phase 1 to phase 2 (duration 19.3 to 18.0 h/wk, distance rowed 140 to 125 km/wk, respectively). Conversely, internal loads increased (phase 1 = 19.0 T2hours, phase 2 = 20.3 T2hours). Low-intensity training predominated (~80% of training hours at T1 and T2), and high-intensity training was greater in phase 2. Training was rowing-focused (68% of training duration), although 32% of training time was spent in nonspecific modes. The distribution of specificity was not different between phases.

Conclusion:

Physiology and performance results were stable over the 6-mo period. Training-load patterns differed depending on the measure, highlighting the importance of monitoring both external and internal loads. The distribution of intensity was somewhat polarized, and substantial volumes of nonspecific training were undertaken. Experimental studies should investigate the effects of different distributions of intensity and specificity on rowing performance.

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Amy L. Woods, Laura A. Garvican-Lewis, Anthony J. Rice and Kevin G. Thompson

The aim of the current study was to determine if a single ParvoMedics TrueOne 2400 metabolic cart provides valid and reliable measurement of RMR in comparison with the criterion Douglas Bag method (DB). Ten endurance-trained participants completed duplicate RMR measurements on 2 consecutive days using the ParvoMedics system in exercise mode, with the same expirate analyzed using DB. Typical error (TE) in mean RMR between the systems was 578.9 kJ or 7.5% (p = .01). In comparison with DB, the ParvoMedics system over-estimated RMR by 946.7 ± 818.6 kJ. The bias between systems resulted from ParvoMedics VE(STPD) values. A regression equation was developed to correct the bias, which reduced the difference to -83.3 ± 631.9 kJ. TE for the corrected ParvoMedics data were 446.8 kJ or 7.2% (p = .70). On Day 1, intraday reliability in mean RMR for DB was 286.8 kJ or 4.3%, (p = .54) and for ParvoMedicsuncorrected, 359.3 kJ or 4.4%, (p = .35), with closer agreement observed on Day 2. Interday reliability for DB was 455.3 kJ or 6.6% (p = .61) and for ParvoMedicsuncorrected, 390.2 kJ or 6.3% (p = .54). Similar intraday and interday TE was observed between ParvoMedicsuncorrected and ParvoMedicscorrected data. The ParvoMedics TrueOne 2400 provided valid and reliable RMR values compared with DB when the VE(STPD) error was corrected. This will enable widespread monitoring of RMR using the ParvoMedics system in a range of field-based settings when DB is not available.

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T. Brock Symons, Anthony A. Vandervoort, Charles L. Rice, Tom J. Overend and Greg D. Marsh

Because of the need for efficient, consistent strength measurements, the test–retest reliability of concentric, isometric, and eccentric strength; concentric work; and concentric power was determined in older women without a familiarization session. The reliability of measures derived from a single peak score were compared with those derived from an averaged score. On 2 occasions 25 older women with a mean age of 72 ± 6 years performed 3 submaximal knee extensions and 5 maximal contractions on an isokinetic dynamometer at 90°/s (CON), 0°/s, and –90°/s on both lower limbs. Statistical analyses for peak and averaged values (best 3 contractions of 5) exhibited good relative reliability (ICCs > .88), except for CON power. Typical error as a coefficient of variation and ratio limits of agreement for peak and averaged score values were larger than desired, with CON power scores demonstrating unacceptable error ranges. Although relative reliability of this 1-session assessment protocol was acceptable, further research is needed to determine whether additional practice trials could enhance absolute reliability.

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Amy L. Woods, Avish P. Sharma, Laura A. Garvican-Lewis, Philo U. Saunders, Anthony J. Rice and Kevin G. Thompson

High altitude exposure can increase resting metabolic rate (RMR) and induce weight loss in obese populations, but there is a lack of research regarding RMR in athletes at moderate elevations common to endurance training camps. The present study aimed to determine whether 4 weeks of classical altitude training affects RMR in middle-distance runners. Ten highly trained athletes were recruited for 4 weeks of endurance training undertaking identical programs at either 2200m in Flagstaff, Arizona (ALT, n = 5) or 600m in Canberra, Australia (CON, n = 5). RMR, anthropometry, energy intake, and hemoglobin mass (Hbmass) were assessed pre- and posttraining. Weekly run distance during the training block was: ALT 96.8 ± 18.3km; CON 103.1 ± 5.6km. A significant interaction for Time*Group was observed for absolute (kJ.day-1) (F-statistic, p-value: F(1,8)=13.890, p = .01) and relative RMR (F(1,8)=653.453, p = .003) POST-training. No significant changes in anthropometry were observed in either group. Energy intake was unchanged (mean ± SD of difference, ALT: 195 ± 3921kJ, p = .25; CON: 836 ± 7535kJ, p = .75). A significant main effect for time was demonstrated for total Hbmass (g) (F(1,8)=13.380, p = .01), but no significant interactions were observed for either variable [Total Hbmass (g): F(1,8)=1.706, p = .23; Relative Hbmass (g.kg-1): F(1,8)=0.609, p = .46]. These novel findings have important practical application to endurance athletes routinely training at moderate altitude, and those seeking to optimize energy management without compromising training adaptation. Altitude exposure may increase RMR and enhance training adaptation,. During training camps at moderate altitude, an increased energy intake is likely required to support an increased RMR and provide sufficient energy for training and performance.

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Matthew W. Hoon, Andrew M. Jones, Nathan A. Johnson, Jamie R. Blackwell, Elizabeth M. Broad, Bronwen Lundy, Anthony J. Rice and Louise M. Burke

Context:

Beetroot juice is a naturally rich source of inorganic nitrate (NO3), a compound hypothesized to enhance endurance performance by improving exercise efficiency.

Purpose:

To investigate the effect of different doses of beetroot juice on 2000-m ergometer-rowing performance in highly trained athletes.

Methods:

Ten highly trained male rowers volunteered to participate in a placebo-controlled, double-blinded crossover study. Two hours before undertaking a 2000-m rowing-ergometer test, subjects consumed beetroot juice containing 0 mmol (placebo), 4.2 mmol (SINGLE), or 8.4 mmol (DOUBLE) NO3. Blood samples were taken before supplement ingestion and immediately before the rowing test for analysis of plasma [NO3] and [nitrite (NO2)].

Results:

The SINGLE dose demonstrated a trivial effect on time to complete 2000 m compared with placebo (mean difference: 0.2 ± 2.5 s). A possibly beneficial effect was found with DOUBLE compared with SINGLE (mean difference –1.8 ± 2.1 s) and with placebo (–1.6 ± 1.6 s). Plasma [NO2] and [NO3] demonstrated a dose-response effect, with greater amounts of ingested nitrate leading to substantially higher concentrations (DOUBLE > SINGLE > placebo). There was a moderate but insignificant correlation (r = –.593, P = .055) between change in plasma [NO2] and performance time.

Conclusion:

Compared with nitratedepleted beetroot juice, a high (8.4 mmol NO3) but not moderate (4.2 mmol NO3) dose of NO3 in beetroot juice, consumed 2 h before exercise, may improve 2000-m rowing performance in highly trained athletes.