Maximum- and reactive-strength qualities both have important roles in athletic movements and sporting performance. Very little research has investigated the relationship between maximum strength and reactive strength. The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between maximum-strength (isometric midthigh-pull peak force [IMTP PF]) and reactive-strength (drop-jump reactive-strength index [DJ-RSI]) variables at 0.3-m, 0.4-m, 0.5-m, and 0.6-m box heights. A secondary aim was to investigate the between- and within-group differences in reactive-strength characteristics between relatively stronger athletes (n = 11) and weaker athletes (n = 11). Forty-five college athletes across various sports were recruited to participate in the study (age, 23.7 ± 4.0 y; mass, 87.5 ± 16.1 kg; height, 1.80 ± 0.08 m). Pearson correlation results showed that there was a moderate association (r = .302–.431) between maximum-strength variables (absolute, relative, and allometric scaled PF) and RSI at 0.3, 0.4, 0.5 and 0.6 m (P ≤ .05). In addition, 2-tailed independent-samples t tests showed that the RSIs for relatively stronger athletes (49.59 ± 2.57 N/kg) were significantly larger than those of weaker athletes (33.06 ± 2.76 N/kg) at 0.4 m (Cohen d = 1.02), 0.5 m (d = 1.21), and 0.6 m (d = 1.39) (P ≤ .05). Weaker athletes also demonstrated significant decrements in RSI as eccentric stretch loads increased at 0.3-m through 0.6-m box heights, whereas stronger athletes were able to maintain their reactive-strength ability. This research highlights that in specific sporting scenarios, when there are high eccentric stretch loads and fast stretch-shortening-cycle demands, athletes’ reactive-strength ability may be dictated by their relative maximal strength, specifically eccentric strength.
Kris Beattie, Brian P. Carson, Mark Lyons, and Ian C. Kenny
Kris Beattie, Brian P. Carson, Mark Lyons, and Ian C. Kenny
Cycling economy (CE), power output at maximal oxygen uptake (WV̇O2max), and anaerobic function (ie, sprinting ability) are considered the best physiological performance indicators in elite road cyclists. In addition to cardiovascular function, these physiological indicators are partly dictated by neuromuscular factors. One technique to improve neuromuscular function in athletes is through strength training. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a 20-wk maximal- and explosive-strength-training intervention on strength (maximal strength, explosive strength, and bike-specific explosive strength), WV̇O2max, CE, and body composition (body mass, fat and lean mass) in cyclists. Fifteen competitive road cyclists were divided into an intervention group (endurance training and strength training: n = 6; age, 38.0 ± 10.2 y; weight, 69.1 ± 3.6 kg; height, 1.77 ± 0.04 m) and a control group (endurance training only: n = 9; age, 34.8 ± 8.5 y; weight, 72.5 ± 7.2 kg; height, 1.78 ± 0.05 m). The intervention group strength-trained for 20 wk. Each participant completed 3 assessments: physiology (CE, WV̇O2max, power at 2 and 4 mmol/L blood lactate), strength (isometric midthigh pull, squat-jump height, and 6-s bike-sprint peak power), and body composition (body mass, fat mass, overall leanness, and leg leanness). The results showed significant between- and within-group changes in the intervention group for maximal strength, bike-specific explosive strength, absolute WV̇O2max, body mass, overall leanness, and leg leanness at wk 20 (P < .05). The control group showed no significant within-group changes in measures of strength, physiology, or body composition. This study demonstrates that 20 wk of strength training can significantly improve maximal strength, bike-specific explosive strength, and absolute WV̇O2max in competitive road cyclists.
Hilkka Kontro, Marta Kozior, Gráinne Whelehan, Miryam Amigo-Benavent, Catherine Norton, Brian P. Carson, and Phil Jakeman
Supplementing postexercise carbohydrate (CHO) intake with protein has been suggested to enhance recovery from endurance exercise. The aim of this study was to investigate whether adding protein to the recovery drink can improve 24-hr recovery when CHO intake is suboptimal. In a double-blind crossover design, 12 trained men performed three 2-day trials consisting of constant-load exercise to reduce glycogen on Day 1, followed by ingestion of a CHO drink (1.2 g·kg−1·2 hr−1) either without or with added whey protein concentrate (CHO + PRO) or whey protein hydrolysate (CHO + PROH) (0.3 g·kg−1·2 hr−1). Arterialized blood glucose and insulin responses were analyzed for 2 hr postingestion. Time-trial performance was measured the next day after another bout of glycogen-reducing exercise. The 30-min time-trial performance did not differ between the three trials (M ± SD, 401 ± 75, 411 ± 80, 404 ± 58 kJ in CHO, CHO + PRO, and CHO + PROH, respectively, p = .83). No significant differences were found in glucose disposal (area under the curve [AUC]) between the postexercise conditions (364 ± 107, 341 ± 76, and 330 ± 147, mmol·L−1·2 hr−1, respectively). Insulin AUC was lower in CHO (18.1 ± 7.7 nmol·L−1·2 hr−1) compared with CHO + PRO and CHO + PROH (24.6 ± 12.4 vs. 24.5 ± 10.6, p = .036 and .015). No difference in insulin AUC was found between CHO + PRO and CHO + PROH. Despite a higher acute insulin response, adding protein to a CHO-based recovery drink after a prolonged, high-intensity exercise bout did not change next-day exercise capacity when overall 24-hr macronutrient and caloric intake was controlled.
Simone J.J.M. Verswijveren, Cormac Powell, Stephanie E. Chappel, Nicola D. Ridgers, Brian P. Carson, Kieran P. Dowd, Ivan J. Perry, Patricia M. Kearney, Janas M. Harrington, and Alan E. Donnelly
Aside from total time spent in physical activity behaviors, how time is accumulated is important for health. This study examined associations between sitting, standing, and stepping bouts, with cardiometabolic health markers in older adults. Participants from the Mitchelstown Cohort Rescreen Study (N = 221) provided cross-sectional data on activity behaviors (assessed via an activPAL3 Micro) and cardiometabolic health. Bouts of ≥10-, ≥30-, and ≥60-min sitting, standing, and stepping were calculated. Linear regression models were fitted to examine the associations between bouts and cardiometabolic health markers. Sitting (≥10, ≥30, and ≥60 min) and standing (≥10 and ≥30 min) bouts were detrimentally associated with body composition measures, lipid markers, and fasting glucose. The effect for time spent in ≥60-min sitting and ≥30-min standing bouts was larger than shorter bouts. Fragmenting sitting with bouts of stepping may be targeted to benefit cardiometabolic health. Further insights for the role of standing need to be elicited.