Performance during human movements is highly related to force and velocity muscle capacities. Those capacities are highly developed in elite athletes practicing power-oriented sports. However, it is still unclear whether the balance between their force and velocity-generating capacities constitutes an optimal profile. In this study, we aimed to determine the effect of elite sport background on the force–velocity relationship in the squat jump, and evaluate the level of optimization of these profiles. Ninetyfive elite athletes in cycling, fencing, taekwondo, and athletic sprinting, and 15 control participants performed squat jumps in 7 loading conditions (range: 0%–60% of the maximal load they were able to lift). Theoretical maximal power (Pm), force (F 0), and velocity (v 0) were determined from the individual force–velocity relationships. Optimal profiles were assessed by calculating the optimal force (F 0th) and velocity (v 0th). Athletic sprinters and cyclists produced greater force than the other groups (P < .05). F 0 was significantly lower than F 0th, and v 0 was significantly higher than v 0th for female fencers and control participants, and for male athletics sprinters, fencers, and taekwondo practitioners (P < .05). Our study shows that the chronic practice of an activity leads to differently balanced force–velocity profiles. Moreover, the differences between measured and optimal force–velocity profiles raise potential sources of performance improvement in elite athletes.
Caroline Giroux, Giuseppe Rabita, Didier Chollet and Gaël Guilhem
Hugo Maciejewski, Abderrahmane Rahmani, Frédéric Chorin, Julien Lardy, Caroline Giroux and Sébastien Ratel
The aim of the current study was to determine whether the anaerobic performance assessed by a modified Wingate test could account for the 1,500-m rowing ergometer performance in young competitive rowers.
Fourteen national-level adolescent rowers performed on a rowing ergometer i) a 30-s allout exercise (i.e., modified Wingate test) and ii) a 1,500-m all-out exercise (i.e., rowing performance). For each of these two exercises, the mean power output was considered as the main performance criterion (PWIN and P1500, respectively).
PWIN was correlated to P1500 (r 2 = .83, p < .0001, β = 100%). Furthermore, the estimated total muscle mass was correlated to PWIN and P1500 (r 2 = .72 and r 2 = .83, p < .0001, β = 100%, respectively). The allometric scaling also indicated that total muscle mass accounts 62% for the relationship between PWIN and P1500.
Our results highlight the importance of considering the contribution of total muscle mass and anaerobic energy pathways to 1,500-m rowing performance in competitive adolescent rowers. Therefore, the modified Wingate test could be used by rowing coaches to potentially identify talented young rowers.