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Matthew W. Driller, Christos K. Argus and Cecilia M. Shing

Purpose:

To determine the reliability of a 30-s sprint cycle test on the Wattbike cycle ergometer.

Methods:

Over 3 consecutive weeks, 11 highly trained cyclists (mean ± SD; age 31 ± 6 y, mass 74.6 ± 10.6 kg, height 180.5 ± 8.1cm) completed four 30-s maximal sprints on a Wattbike ergometer after a standardized warmup. The sprint test implemented a “rolling start” that consisted of a 60-s preload (at an intensity of 4.5 W/kg) before the 30-s maximal sprint. Variables determined across the duration of the sprint were peak power (Wpeak), mean power (Wmean), W/kg, mean cadence (rpm), maximum heart rate (n = 10), and postexercise blood lactate.

Results:

The average intraclass correlation coefficients between trials (2v1, 3v2, 4v3, 4v1) were Wpeak .97 (90%CI .94–.99), Wmean .99 (90%CI .97–1.00), W/kg .96 (90%CI .91–.98), mean cadence .96 (90%CI .92–.99), maximum heart rate .99 (90%CI .97–.99), and postexercise blood lactate .94 (90%CI .87–.98). The average typical error of measurement (expressed as a CV% and absolute value between trials—2v1, 3v2, 4v3, 4v1) was Wpeak 4.9%, 52.7 W; Wmean 2.4%, 19.2 W; W/kg 2.3%, 0.18 W/kg; mean cadence 1.4%, 1.6 rpm; maximum heart rate 0.9%, 1.6 beats/min; and postexercise blood lactate 4.6%, 0.48 mmol/L.

Conclusion:

A 30-s sprint test on the Wattbike cycle ergometer is highly reproducible in trained cyclists.

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Christos K. Argus, James R. Broatch, Aaron C. Petersen, Remco Polman, David J. Bishop and Shona Halson

Context:

An athlete’s ability to recover quickly is important when there is limited time between training and competition. As such, recovery strategies are commonly used to expedite the recovery process.

Purpose:

To determine the effectiveness of both cold-water immersion (CWI) and contrast water therapy (CWT) compared with control on short-term recovery (<4 h) after a single full-body resistance-training session.

Methods:

Thirteen men (age 26 ± 5 y, weight 79 ± 7 kg, height 177 ± 5 cm) were assessed for perceptual (fatigue and soreness) and performance measures (maximal voluntary isometric contraction [MVC] of the knee extensors, weighted and unweighted countermovement jumps) before and immediately after the training session. Subjects then completed 1 of three 14-min recovery strategies (CWI, CWT, or passive sitting [CON]), with the perceptual and performance measures reassessed immediately, 2 h, and 4 h postrecovery.

Results:

Peak torque during MVC and jump performance were significantly decreased (P < .05) after the resistance-training session and remained depressed for at least 4 h postrecovery in all conditions. Neither CWI nor CWT had any effect on perceptual or performance measures over the 4-h recovery period.

Conclusions:

CWI and CWT did not improve short-term (<4-h) recovery after a conventional resistance-training session.

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Christos K. Argus, Matthew W. Driller, Tammie R. Ebert, David T. Martin and Shona L. Halson

Purpose:

To evaluate the effectiveness of different recovery strategies on repeat cycling performance where a short duration between exercise bouts is required.

Methods:

Eleven highly trained cyclists (mean ± SD; age = 31 ± 6 y, mass = 74.6 ± 10.6 kg, height = 180.5 ± 8.1 cm) completed 4 trials each consisting of three 30-s maximal sprints (S1, S2, S3) on a cycle ergometer, separated by 20-min recovery periods. In a counterbalanced, crossover design, each trial involved subjects performing 1 of 4 recovery strategies: compression garments (COMP), electronic muscle stimulation (EMS), humidification therapy (HUM), and a passive control (CON). The sprint tests implemented a 60-s preload (at an intensity of 4.5 W/kg) before a 30-s maximal sprint. Mean power outputs (W) for the 3 sprints, in combination with perceived recovery and blood lactate concentration, were used to examine the effect of each recovery strategy.

Results:

In CON, S2 and S3 were (mean ± SD) –2.1% ± 3.9% and –3.1% ± 4.2% lower than S1, respectively. Compared with CON, COMP resulted in a higher mean power output from S1 to S2 (mean ± 90%CL: 0.8% ± 1.2%; possibly beneficial) and from S1 to S3 (1.2% ± 1.9%; possibly beneficial), while HUM showed a higher mean power output from S1 to S3 (2.2% ± 2.5%; likely beneficial) relative to CON.

Conclusion:

The authors suggest that both COMP and HUM may be effective strategies to enhance recovery between repeated sprint-cycling bouts separated by ~30 min.

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Christos K. Argus, Nicholas D. Gill, Justin W.L. Keogh, Michael R. McGuigan and Will G. Hopkins

Purpose:

There is little literature comparing contrast training programs typically performed by team-sport athletes within a competitive phase. We compared the effects of two contrast training programs on a range of measures in high-level rugby union players during the competition season.

Methods:

The programs consisted of a higher volume-load (strength-power) or lower volume-load (speed-power) resistance training; each included a tapering of loading (higher force early in the week, higher velocity later in the week) and was performed twice a week for 4 wk. Eighteen players were assessed for peak power during a bodyweight countermovement jump (BWCMJ), bodyweight squat jump (BWSJ), 50 kg countermovement jump (50CMJ), 50 kg squat jump (50SJ), broad jump (BJ), and reactive strength index (RSI; jump height divided by contact time during a depth jump). Players were then randomized to either training group and were reassessed following the intervention. Inferences were based on uncertainty in outcomes relative to thresholds for standardized changes.

Results:

There were small between-group differences in favor of strength-power training for mean changes in the 50CMJ (8%; 90% confidence limits, ±8%), 50SJ (8%; ±10%), and BJ (2%; ±3%). Differences between groups for BWCMJ, BWSJ, and reactive strength index were unclear. For most measures there were smaller individual differences in changes with strength-power training.

Conclusion:

Our findings suggest that high-level rugby union athletes should be exposed to higher volume-load contrast training which includes one heavy lifting session each week for larger and more uniform adaptation to occur in explosive power throughout a competitive phase of the season.

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Matthew W. Driller, Christos K. Argus, Jason C. Bartram, Jacinta Bonaventura, David T. Martin, Nicholas P. West and Shona L. Halson

Purpose:

To determine the intraday and interday reliability of a 2 × 4-min performance test on a cycle ergometer (Wattbike) separated by 30 min of passive recovery (2 × 4MMP).

Methods:

Twelve highly trained cyclists (mean ± SD; age = 20 ± 2 y, predicted VO2max = 59.0 ± 3.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1) completed six 2 × 4MMP cycling tests on a Wattbike ergometer separated by 7 d. Mean power was measured to determine intraday (test 1 [T1] to test 2 [T2]) and interday reliability (weeks 1–6) over the repeated trials.

Results:

The mean intraday reliabilities of the 2 × 4MMP test, as expressed by the typical error of measurement (TEM, W) and coefficient of variation (CV, %) over the 6 wk, were 10.0 W (95% confidence limits [CL] 8.2–11.8), and 2.6% (95%CL 2.1–3.1), respectively. The mean interday reliability TEM and CV for T1 over the 6 wk were 10.4 W (95%CL 8.7–13.3) and 2.7% (95%CL 2.3–3.5), respectively, and 11.7 W (95%CL 9.8–15.1) and 3.0% (95%CL 2.5–3.9) for T2.

Conclusion:

The testing protocol performed on a Wattbike cycle ergometer in the current study is reproducible in highly trained cyclists. The high intraday and interday reliability make it a reliable method for monitoring cycling performance and for investigating factors that affect performance in cycling events.