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Melissa J. Crowe, Anthony S. Leicht and Warwick L. Spinks

This study investigated the effects of caffeine on repeated, anaerobic exercise using a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. Seventeen subjects (five female) underwent cognitive (reaction time, number recall) and blood (glucose, potassium, catecholamines, lactate) testing before and after consuming caffeine (6 mg/kg), placebo, or nothing (control). An exercise test (two 60 s maximal cycling bouts) was conducted 90 min after caffeine/placebo consumption. Plasma caffeine concentrations significantly increased after caffeine ingestion, however, there were no positive effects on cognitive or blood parameters except a significant decrease in plasma potassium concentrations at rest. Potentially negative effects of caffeine included significantly higher blood lactate compared to control and significantly slower time to peak power in exercise bout 2 compared to control and placebo. Caffeine had no significant effect on peak power, work output, RPE, or peak heart rate. In conclusion, caffeine had no ergogenic effect on repeated, maximal cycling bouts and may be detrimental to anaerobic performance.

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Daniel A. Boullosa, Laurinda Abreu, Fábio Y. Nakamura, Víctor E. Muñoz, Eduardo Domínguez and Anthony S. Leicht

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to evaluate changes in autonomic control of heart rate (HR) and fitness in a group of elite soccer players during the preseason.

Methods:

Eight professional male soccer players competing in the Spanish First Division were evaluated in July (wk 1) and September (wk 8) with night-time HR variability (HRV) over 4 different days, ultra-short-term HR recovery (HRR) during a small-sided-games session, Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery test level 1 (Yo-Yo IR1), and a field test for determination of maximum aerobic speed.

Results:

Players exhibited a greater HRV and a faster ultra-short-term HRR at wk 8, with the players with a lower HRV at wk 1 exhibiting the greatest improvements at wk 8. However, there were unclear improvements in performance parameters, with maximum HR (HRmax) being reduced over the preseason period. This change in HRmax was correlated with the change in short-term HRV parameters (ρ = 0.829, P = .042). Large correlations were observed among HRV, ultra-short-term HRR, and field performance parameters only at wk 8. Furthermore, the variation (%) of the root-mean-square of successive differences between R-R intervals was increased during the preseason (12.95% ± 15.14% to 29.39% ± 21.93%, P = .013) and significantly correlated (r = .898, P = .006) with Yo-Yo IR1 performance (~2600 ± 786 m) at wk 8.

Conclusions:

The current results support the appropriateness and practicality of night-time HRV and ultra-short-term HRR for evaluation of autonomic adaptations in professional soccer players, despite the unclear improvements in specific field performance parameters.

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Victor H. de Freitas, Lucas A. Pereira, Eberton A. de Souza, Anthony S. Leicht, Maurizio Bertollo and Fábio Y. Nakamura

Purpose:

This study examined the sensitivity of maximal (Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery [IR] 1 and 2) and submaximal (5’-5’) tests to identify training adaptations in futsal players along with the suitability of heart-rate (HR) and HR-variability (HRV) measures to identify these adaptations.

Methods:

Eleven male professional futsal players were assessed before (pretraining) and after (posttraining) a 5-wk period. Assessments included 5’-5’ and Yo-Yo IR1 and IR2 performances and HR and HRV at rest and during the IR and 5’-5’ tests. Magnitude-based-inference analyses examined the differences between pre- and posttraining, while relationships between changes in variables were determined via correlation.

Results:

Posttraining, Yo-Yo IR1 performance likely increased while Yo-Yo IR2 performance almost certainly increased. Submaximal HR during the Yo-Yo IR1 and Yo-Yo IR2 almost certainly and likely, respectively, decreased with training. HR during the 5’-5’ was very likely decreased, while HRV at rest and during the 5’-5’ was likely increased after training. Changes in both Yo-Yo IR performances were negatively correlated with changes in HR during the Yo-Yo IR1 test and positively correlated with the change in HRV during the 5’-5’.

Conclusions:

The current study has identified the Yo-Yo IR2 as more responsive for monitoring training-induced changes of futsal players than the Yo-Yo IR1. Changes in submaximal HR during the Yo-Yo IR and HRV during the 5’-5’ were highly sensitive to changes in maximal performance and are recommended for monitoring training. The 5’-5’ was recommended as a time-efficient method to assess training adaptations for futsal players.