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Peter Düking, Dennis-Peter Born and Billy Sperlich

Purpose:

To determine the reliability, usefulness, and validity of 3 different change-of-direction tests on a SpeedCourt (SCCODT) in team-sport players.

Methods:

For reliability and usefulness, 30 players (16 female and 14 male; age 19 ± 3 y, height 169 ± 30 cm, body mass 70 ± 11 kg) performed 3 SCCODTs differing in duration (7–45 s) on 3 occasions 1 wk apart. The total sprint times (TT) and time to change direction (TCD) were analyzed for each SCCODT. For validity, 14 players performed the Illinois Agility Test (IAT) and 505 test on a separate occasion.

Results:

TT for all SCCODTs is reliable (ICC > .79, CV < 5%), useful (TE < SWC0.5), and valid (IAT r > .71, P < .05; 505 test r > .54, P < .05). SCCODT variable TCD may be useful (TE = SWC0.5) but shows limited reliability with ICC >.65 and a CV >5%.

Conclusions:

All SCCODTs are reliable, useful, and valid to detect moderate performance changes regarding TT, with limited reliability for TCD. The quality of assessment improves when players are well familiarized with the SCCODT.

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Billy Sperlich, Christoph Zinner, David Trenk and Hans-Christer Holmberg

Purpose:

To examine whether a 3-min all-out test can be used to obtain accurate values for the maximal lactate steady state (v MLSS) and/or peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) of well-trained runners.

Methods:

The 15 male volunteers (25 ± 5 y, 181 ± 6 cm, 76 ± 7 kg, VO2peak 69.3 ± 9.5 mL · kg−1 · min−1) performed a ramp test, a 3-min all-out test, and several submaximal 30-min runs at constant paces of v END (mean velocity during the last 30 s of the 3-min all-out test) itself and v END +0.2, +0.1, –0.1, –0.2, –0.3, or –0.4 m/s.

Results:

v MLSS and v END were correlated (r = .69, P = .004), although v MLSS was lower (mean difference: 0.26 ± 0.32 m/s, 95% CI –.44 to –.08 m/s, P = .007, effect size = 0.65). The VO2peak values derived from the ramp and 3-min all-out tests were not correlated (r = .41, P = .12), with a mean difference of 523 ± 1002 mL (95% CI –31 to 1077 mL).

Conclusion:

A 3-min all-out test does not provide a suitable measure of v MLSS or VO2peak for well-trained runners.

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Dennis-Peter Born, Billy Sperlich and Hans-Christer Holmberg

To assess original research addressing the effect of the application of compression clothing on sport performance and recovery after exercise, a computer-based literature research was performed in July 2011 using the electronic databases PubMed, MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, and Web of Science. Studies examining the effect of compression clothing on endurance, strength and power, motor control, and physiological, psychological, and biomechanical parameters during or after exercise were included, and means and measures of variability of the outcome measures were recorded to estimate the effect size (Hedges g) and associated 95% confidence intervals for comparisons of experimental (compression) and control trials (noncompression). The characteristics of the compression clothing, participants, and study design were also extracted. The original research from peer-reviewed journals was examined using the Physiotherapy Evidence Database (PEDro) Scale. Results indicated small effect sizes for the application of compression clothing during exercise for shortduration sprints (10–60 m), vertical-jump height, extending time to exhaustion (such as running at VO2max or during incremental tests), and time-trial performance (3–60 min). When compression clothing was applied for recovery purposes after exercise, small to moderate effect sizes were observed in recovery of maximal strength and power, especially vertical-jump exercise; reductions in muscle swelling and perceived muscle pain; blood lactate removal; and increases in body temperature. These results suggest that the application of compression clothing may assist athletic performance and recovery in given situations with consideration of the effects magnitude and practical relevance.

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Thorsten Schiffer, Anne Möllinger, Billy Sperlich and Daniel Memmert

Context:

The application of kinesio tape (KT) to lower-extremity muscles as an ergogenic aid to improve muscle-strength-related parameters such as jumping is controversial.

Objective:

To test the hypothesis that the application of KT enhances the jumping performance of healthy uninjured elite female track and field athletes.

Design:

A double 1-legged jump test was performed before and after the application of blue K-Active tape without traction on the maximally stretched gastrocnemius, hamstrings, rectus femoris, and iliopsoas muscles according to the generally accepted technique.

Participants:

18 German elite female track and field athletes (age 21 ± 2 y, height 172 ± 4 cm, body mass 62 ± 5 kg, active time in their sport 13 ± 4 y).

Results:

Factorial analysis of variance with repeated measures (ANOVA, Bonferroni) revealed no significant differences in jumping performance between the tests (P > .05, d = 0.26).

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that the application of KT has no influence on jumping performance in healthy, uninjured female elite athletes. The authors do not recommend the use of KT for the purpose of improving jump performance.

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Malte Krüger, Markus de Mareés, Karl-Heinrich Dittmar, Billy Sperlich and Joachim Mester

Purpose:

To examine the effects of a whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) protocol (3 min at –110°C) on acute recovery and key variables of endurance performance during high-intensity intermittent exercise in a thermoneutral environment.

Methods:

Eleven endurance athletes were tested twice in a randomized crossover design in which 5 × 5 min of high-intensity running (HIR) were followed by 1 h of passive rest at ~22°C, including either 3 min of whole-body exposure to –110°C (WBC) or a placebo intervention of 3 min walking (PBO). A ramp-test protocol was performed before HIR (R1) and after the 1-h recovery period (R2). Time to exhaustion (t lim) was measured along with alterations in oxygen content of the vastus lateralis (TSI), oxygen consumption (VO2), capillary blood lactate, heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during submaximal and maximal running.

Results:

The difference in t lim between R1 and R2 was lower in WBC than in PBO (P < .05, effect size d = 1.13). During R2, TSI was higher in WBC during submaximal and maximal running (P < .01, d = 0.68−1.01). In addition, VO2, HR, and RPE were lower at submaximal level of R2 after WBC than in PBO (P = .04 to <.01, d = 0.23−0.83).

Conclusion:

WBC improves acute recovery during high-intensity intermittent exercise in thermoneutral conditions. The improvements might be induced by enhanced oxygenation of the working muscles, as well as a reduction in cardiovascular strain and increased work economy at submaximal intensities.

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Billy Sperlich, Dennis-Peter Born, Christoph Zinner, Anna Hauser and Hans-Christer Holmberg

Purpose:

To evaluate whether upper-body compression affects power output and selected metabolic, cardiorespiratory, hemodynamic, and perceptual responses during three 3-min sessions of double-poling (DP) sprint.

Method:

Ten well-trained male athletes (25 ± 4 y, 180 ± 4 cm, 74.6 ± 3.2 kg) performed such sprints on a DP ski ergometer with and without a long-sleeved compression garment.

Result:

Mean power output was not affected by such compression (216 ± 25 W in both cases; P = 1.00, effect size [ES] = 0.00), although blood lactate concentration was lowered (P < .05, ES = 0.50–1.02). Blood gases (ES = 0.07–0.50), oxygen uptake (ES = 0.04–0.28), production of carbon dioxide (ES = 0.01–0.46), heart rate (ES = 0.00–0.21), stroke volume (ES = 0.33–0.81), and cardiac output (ES = 0.20–0.91) were also all unaffected by upper-body compression (best P = 1.00). This was also the case for changes in the tissue saturation index (ES = 0.45–1.17) and total blood content of hemoglobin (ES = 0.09–0.85), as well as ratings of perceived exertion (ES = 0.15–0.88; best P = .96).

Conclusion:

The authors conclude that the performance of well-trained athletes during 3 × 3-min DP sprints will not be enhanced by upper-body compression.

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Dennis-Peter Born, Christoph Zinner, Britta Herlitz, Katharina Richter, Hans-Christer Holmberg and Billy Sperlich

Purpose:

The current investigation assessed tissue oxygenation and local blood volume in both vastus lateralis muscles during 3000-m race simulations in elite speed skaters on ice and the effects of leg compression on physiological, perceptual, and performance measures.

Methods:

Ten (6 female) elite ice speed skaters completed 2 on-ice trials with and without leg compression. Tissue oxygenation and local blood volume in both vastus lateralis muscles were assessed with near-infrared spectroscopy. Continuous measures of oxygen uptake, ventilation, heart rate, and velocity were conducted throughout the race simulations, as well as blood lactate concentration and ratings of perceived exertion before and after the trials. In addition, lap times were assessed.

Results:

The investigation of tissue oxygenation in both vastus lateralis muscles revealed an asymmetry (P < .00; effect size = 1.81) throughout the 3000-m race simulation. The application of leg compression did not affect oxygenation asymmetry (smallest P = .99; largest effect size = 0.31) or local blood volume (P = .33; 0.95). Lap times (P = .88; 0.43), velocity (P = .24; 0.84), oxygen uptake (P = .79; 0.10), ventilation (P = .11; 0.59), heart rate (P = .21; 0.89), blood lactate concentration (P = .82; 0.59), and ratings of perceived exertion (P = .19; 1.01) were also unaffected by the different types of clothing.

Conclusion:

Elite ice speed skaters show an asymmetry in tissue oxygenation of both vastus lateralis muscles during 3000-m events remaining during the long gliding phases along the straight sections of the track. Based on the data, the authors conclude that there are no performance-enhancing benefits from wearing leg compression under a normal racing suit.

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Billy Sperlich, Karsten Koehler, Hans-Christer Holmberg, Christoph Zinner and Joachim Mester

Purpose:

The aim of the study was to determine the cardiorespiratory and metabolic characteristics during intense and moderate table tennis (TT) training, as well as during actual match play conditions.

Methods:

Blood lactate concentration (Lac), heart rate (HR, beats per minute [bpm]), oxygen uptake (VO2), and energy expenditure (EE) in 7 male participants of the German junior national team (age: 14 ± 1 y, weight: 60.5 ± 5.6 kg height; 165 ± 8 cm) were examined during six training sessions (TS) and during an international match. The VO2 was measured continuously with portable gas analyzers. Lac was assessed every 1 to 3 min during short breaks.

Results:

Mean (peak) values for Lac, HR, VO2, and EE during the TS were 1.2 ± 0.7 (4.5) mmol·L–1, 135 ± 18 (184) bpm, 23.5 ± 7.3 (43.0) mL·kg–1· min–1, and 6.8 ± 2.0 (11.2) METs, respectively. During match play, mean (peak) values were 1.1 ± 0.2 (1.6) mmol·L–1, 126 ± 22 (189) bpm, 25.6 ± 10.1 (45.9) mL·kg–1·min–1, and 4.8 ± 1.4 (9.6) METs, respectively.

Conclusions:

For the frst time, cardiorespiratory and metabolic data in elite junior table tennis have been documented demonstrating low cardiorespiratory and metabolic demands during TT training and match play in internationally competing juniors.

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Billy Sperlich, Silvia Achtzehn, Mirijam Buhr, Christoph Zinner, Stefan Zelle and Hans-Christer Holmberg

Purpose:

This study aimed to quantify the intensity profile of elite downhill mountain bike races during competitions.

Methods:

Seventeen male downhill racers (22 ± 5 y; 185.1 ± 5.3 cm; 68.0 ± 3.9 kg; VO2peak: 59.4 ± 4.1 mL·min·kg−1) participated in the International German Downhill Championships in 2010. The racers’ peak oxygen uptake and heart rate (HR) at 2 and 4 mmol·L−1 blood lactate (HR2 and HR4), were assessed during an incremental laboratory step test (100 W, increase 40 W every 5 min). During the races, the HR was recorded and pre- and postrace blood lactate concentrations as well as salivary cortisol levels were obtained.

Results:

During the race, the absolute time spent in the “easy” intensity zone was 23.3 ± 6.8 s, 24.2 ± 12.8 s (HR2–HR4) in the “moderate” zone, and 151.6 ± 18.3 s (>HR4) in the “hard” zone. Eighty percent of the entire race was accomplished at intensities >90% HRpeak. Blood lactate concentrations postrace were higher than those obtained after the qualification heat (8.0 ± 2.5 mmol·L−1 vs 6.7 ± 1.8 mmol·L−1, P < .01). Salivary levels of cortisol before the competition and the qualification heat were twice as high as at resting state (P < .01).

Conclusions:

This study shows that mountain bike downhill races are conducted at high heart rates and levels of blood lactate as well as increased concentration of salivary cortisol as marker for psycho-physiological stress.

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Matthias W. Hoppe, Christian Baumgart, Jutta Bornefeld, Billy Sperlich, Jürgen Freiwald and Hans-Christer Holmberg

The aims of this study were (1) to assess the running activities of adolescent tennis players during match play with respect to velocity, acceleration, and deceleration; (2) to characterize changes in these activities during the course of a match; and (3) to identify potential differences between winners and losers. Twenty well-trained adolescent male athletes (13 ± 1 y) played one simulated match each (giving a total of 10 matches), during which distances covered at different velocity categories (0 to < 1, 1 to < 2, 2 to < 3, 3 to < 4, and ≥ 4 m·s−1) and number of running activities involving high velocity (≥ 3 m·s−1), acceleration (≥ 2 m·s−2), and deceleration (≤ −2 m·s−2) were monitored using a global positioning system (10 Hz). Heart rate was also assessed. The total match time, total distance covered, peak velocity, and mean heart rate were 81.2 ± 14.6 min, 3362 ± 869 m, 4.4 ± 0.8 ms−1, and 159 ± 12 beats min−1, respectively. Running activities involving high acceleration (0.6 ± 0.2 n·min−1) or deceleration (0.6 ± 0.2 n·min−1) were three times as frequent as those involving high velocity (0.2 ± 0.1 n·min−1). No change in the pattern of running activities (P ≥ .13, d ≤ 0.39) and no differences between winners and losers (P ≥ .22, d ≤ 0.53) were evident during match play. We conclude that training of well-trained adolescent male tennis players need not focus on further development of their running abilities, since this physical component of multifactorial tennis performance does not change during the course of a match and does not differ between the winners and losers.