Rebecca K. Tanner and Christopher J. Gore
Andrew J. Vogler, Anthony J. Rice, and Christopher J. Gore
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Amelia J. Carr, Christopher J. Gore, and Brian Dawson
The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of ingested caffeine, sodium bicarbonate, and their combination on 2,000-m rowing performance, as well as on induced alkalosis (blood and urine pH and blood bicarbonate concentration [HCO3−]), blood lactate concentration ([La−]), gastrointestinal symptoms, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE).
In a double-blind, crossover study, 8 well-trained rowers performed 2 baseline tests and 4 × 2,000-m rowing-ergometer tests after ingesting 6 mg/kg caffeine, 0.3 g/kg body mass (BM) sodium bicarbonate, both supplements combined, or a placebo. Capillary blood samples were collected at preingestion, pretest, and posttest time points. Pairwise comparisons were made between protocols, and differences were interpreted in relation to the likelihood of exceeding the smallestworthwhile- change thresholds for each variable. A likelihood of >75% was considered a substantial change.
Caffeine supplementation elicited a substantial improvement in 2,000-m mean power, with mean (± SD) values of 354 ± 67 W vs. placebo with 346 ± 61 W. Pretest [HCO3−] reached 29.2 ± 2.9 mmol/L with caffeine + bicarbonate and 29.1 ± 1.9 mmol/L with bicarbonate. There were substantial increases in pretest [HCO3−] and pH and posttest urine pH after bicarbonate and caffeine + bicarbonate supplementation compared with placebo, but unclear performance effects.
Rowers’ performance in 2,000-m efforts can improve by ~2% with 6 mg/kg BM caffeine supplementation. When caffeine is combined with sodium bicarbonate, gastrointestinal symptoms may prevent performance enhancement, so further investigation of ingestion protocols that minimize side effects is required.
Blake D. McLean, Kevin White, Christopher J. Gore, and Justin Kemp
Purpose: There is debate as to which environmental intervention produces the most benefit for team sport athletes, particularly comparing heat and altitude. This quasi-experimental study aimed to compare blood volume (BV) responses with heat and altitude training camps in Australian footballers. Methods: The BV of 7 professional Australian footballers (91.8 [10.5] kg, 191.8 [10.1] cm) was measured throughout 3 consecutive spring/summer preseasons. During each preseason, players participated in altitude (year 1 and year 2) and heat (year 3) environmental training camps. Year 1 and year 2 altitude camps were in November/December in the United States, whereas the year 3 heat camp was in February/March in Australia after a full exposure to summer heat. BV, red cell volume, and plasma volume (PV) were measured at least 3 times during each preseason. Results: Red cell volume increased substantially following altitude in both year 1 (d = 0.67) and year 2 (d = 1.03), before returning to baseline 4 weeks postaltitude. Immediately following altitude, concurrent decreases in PV were observed during year 1 (d = −0.40) and year 2 (d = −0.98). With spring/summer training in year 3, BV and PV were substantially higher in January than temporally matched postaltitude measurements during year 1 (BV: d = −0.93, PV: d = −1.07) and year 2 (BV: d = −1.99, PV: d = −2.25), with year 3 total BV, red cell volume, and PV not changing further despite the 6-day heat intervention. Conclusions: We found greater BV after training throughout spring/summer conditions, compared with interrupting spring/summer exposure to train at altitude in the cold, with no additional benefits observed from a heat camp following spring/summer training.
Amelia J. Carr, Gary J. Slater, Christopher J. Gore, Brian Dawson, and Louise M. Burke
Sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) is often ingested at a dose of 0.3 g/kg body mass (BM), but ingestion protocols are inconsistent in terms of using solution or capsules, ingestion period, combining NaHCO3 with sodium citrate (Na3C6H5O7), and coingested food and fluid.
To quantify the effect of ingesting 0.3 g/kg NaHCO3 on blood pH, [HCO3−], and gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms over the subsequent 3 hr using a range of ingestion protocols and, thus, to determine an optimal protocol.
In a crossover design, 13 physically active subjects undertook 8 NaHCO3 experimental ingestion protocols and 1 placebo protocol. Capillary blood was taken every 30 min and analyzed for pH and [HCO3−]. GI symptoms were quantified every 30 min via questionnaire. Statistics used were pairwise comparisons between protocols; differences were interpreted in relation to smallest worthwhile changes for each variable. A likelihood of >75% was a substantial change.
[HCO3−] and pH were substantially greater than in placebo for all other ingestion protocols at almost all time points. When NaHCO3 was coingested with food, the greatest [HCO3−] (30.9 mmol/kg) and pH (7.49) and lowest incidence of GI symptoms were observed. The greatest incidence of GI side effects was observed 90 min after ingestion of 0.3 g/kg NaHCO3 solution.
The changes in pH and [HCO3−] for the 8 NaHCO3-ingestion protocols were similar, so an optimal protocol cannot be recommended. However, the results suggest that NaHCO3 coingested with a high-carbohydrate meal should be taken 120–150 min before exercise to induce substantial blood alkalosis and reduce GI symptoms.
Amelia J. Carr, Gary J. Slater, Christopher J. Gore, Brian Dawson, and Louise M. Burke
The aim of this study was to determine the effect and reliability of acute and chronic sodium bicarbonate ingestion for 2000-m rowing ergometer performance (watts) and blood bicarbonate concentration [HCO3 −].
In a crossover study, 7 well-trained rowers performed paired 2000-m rowing ergometer trials under 3 double-blinded conditions: (1) 0.3 grams per kilogram of body mass (g/kg BM) acute bicarbonate; (2) 0.5 g/kg BM daily chronic bicarbonate for 3 d; and (3) calcium carbonate placebo, in semi-counterbalanced order. For 2000-m performance and [HCO3 −], we examined differences in effects between conditions via pairwise comparisons, with differences interpreted in relation to the likelihood of exceeding smallest worthwhile change thresholds for each variable. We also calculated the within-subject variation (percent typical error).
There were only trivial differences in 2000-m performance between placebo (277 ± 60 W), acute bicarbonate (280 ± 65 W) and chronic bicarbonate (282 ± 65 W); however, [HCO3 −] was substantially greater after acute bicarbonate, than with chronic loading and placebo. Typical error for 2000-m mean power was 2.1% (90% confidence interval 1.4 to 4.0%) for acute bicarbonate, 3.6% (2.5 to 7.0%) for chronic bicarbonate, and 1.6% (1.1 to 3.0%) for placebo. Postsupplementation [HCO3 −] typical error was 7.3% (5.0 to 14.5%) for acute bicarbonate, 2.9% (2.0 to 5.7%) for chronic bicarbonate and 6.0% (1.4 to 11.9%) for placebo.
Performance in 2000-m rowing ergometer trials may not substantially improve after acute or chronic bicarbonate loading. However, performances will be reliable with both acute and chronic bicarbonate loading protocols.
Laura A. Garvican, Kristal Hammond, Matthew C. Varley, Christopher J. Gore, Francois Billaut, and Robert J. Aughey
This study investigated the decrement in running performance of elite soccer players competing at low altitude and time course for abatement of these decrements.
Twenty elite youth soccer players had their activity profile, in a sea-level (SL) and 2 altitude (Alt, 1600 m, d 4, and d 6) matches, measured with a global positioning system. Measures expressed in meters per minute of match time were total distance, low- and high-velocity running (LoVR, 0.01–4.16 m/s; HiVR, 4.17–10.0 m/s), and frequency of maximal accelerations (>2.78 m/s2). The peak and subsequent stanza for each measure were identified and a transient fatigue index calculated. Mean heart rate (HR) during the final minute of a submaximal running task (5 min, 11 km/h) was recorded at SL and for 10 d at Alt. Differences were determined between SL and Alt using percentage change and effect-size (ES) statistic with 90% confidence intervals.
Mean HR almost certainly increased on d 1 (5.4%, ES 1.01 ± 0.35) and remained probably elevated on both d 2 (ES 0.42 ± 0.31) and d3 (ES 0.30 ± 0.25), returning to baseline at d 5. Total distance was almost certainly lower than SL (ES –0.76 ± 0.37) at d 4 and remained probably reduced on d 6 (ES –0.42 ± 0.36). HiVR probably decreased at d 4 vs SL (–0.47 ± 0.59), with no clear effect of altitude at d 6 (–0.08 ± 0.41). Transient fatigue in matches was evident at SL and Alt, with a possibly greater decrement at Alt.
Despite some physiological adaptation, match running performance of youth soccer players is compromised for at least 6 d at low altitude.
Paul S.R. Goods, Brian T. Dawson, Grant J. Landers, Christopher J. Gore, and Peter Peeling
This study aimed to assess the impact of 3 heights of simulated altitude exposure on repeat-sprint performance in teamsport athletes.
Ten trained male team-sport athletes completed 3 sets of repeated sprints (9 × 4 s) on a nonmotorized treadmill at sea level and at simulated altitudes of 2000, 3000, and 4000 m. Participants completed 4 trials in a random order over 4 wk, with mean power output (MPO), peak power output (PPO), blood lactate concentration (Bla), and oxygen saturation (SaO2) recorded after each set.
Each increase in simulated altitude corresponded with a significant decrease in SaO2. Total work across all sets was highest at sea level and correspondingly lower at each successive altitude (P < .05; sea level < 2000 m < 3000 m < 4000 m). In the first set, MPO was reduced only at 4000 m, but for subsequent sets, decreases in MPO were observed at all altitudes (P < .05; 2000 m < 3000 m < 4000 m). PPO was maintained in all sets except for set 3 at 4000 m (P < .05; vs sea level and 2000 m). BLa levels were highest at 4000 m and significantly greater (P < .05) than at sea level after all sets.
These results suggest that “higher may not be better,” as a simulated altitude of 4000 m may potentially blunt absolute training quality. Therefore, it is recommended that a moderate simulated altitude (2000–3000 m) be employed when implementing intermittent hypoxic repeat-sprint training for team-sport athletes.
Philo U. Saunders, Richard D. Telford, David B. Pyne, Christopher J. Gore, and Allan G. Hahn
We quantified the effect of an extended live high-train low (LHTL) simulated altitude exposure followed by a series of training camps at natural moderate altitude on competitive performance in seven elite middle-distance runners (Vo2max 71.4 ± 3.4 mL·min−1·kg−1, mean ± SD). Runners spent 44 ± 7 nights (mean ± SD) at a simulated altitude of 2846 ± 32 m, and a further 4 X 7- to 10-d training at natural moderate altitude (1700–2200 m) before racing. The combination of simulated LHTL and natural altitude training improved competitive performance by 1.9% (90% confidence limits, 1.3-2.5%). Middle-distance runners can confidently use a combination of simulated and natural altitude to stimulate adaptations responsible for improving performance.
Laura A. Garvican, Louisa Lobigs, Richard Telford, Kieran Fallon, and Christopher J. Gore
Haemoglobin mass in a female endurance athlete was measured via carbon monoxide rebreathing upon diagnosis of iron-deficiency anemia (haemoglobin concentration = 8.8 g/dL, ferritin = 9.9 ng/mL) and regularly during treatment thereafter. Haemoglobin mass increased by 49% in the 2 wk following an intramuscular iron injection and continued to increase with oral iron supplementation for 15 wk. The presented case illustrates that haemoglobin mass is readily responsive to iron supplementation in a severely iron-defcient anemic athlete and that changes can be tracked efficiently using the CO-rebreathing method.