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Daniel P. Joaquim, Claudia R. Juzwiak, and Ciro Winckler

This study aimed to assess the diet quality of Brazilian Paralympic track-and-field team sprinters and its variation between days. All sprinters (n = 28) were invited, and 20 (13 men and seven women) accepted the invitation consisting of 13 athletes with visual impairment, four with cerebral palsy, and three with limb deficiency. The dietary intake was recorded by photographic register on four consecutive days, and diet quality was determined using a revised version of the Healthy Eating Index for the Brazilian population. Physical activity was assessed using an accelerometer, and metabolic unit information was used to classify exercise intensity. Variance Analysis Model and Bonferroni multiple comparisons were used to assess relationships between variables. The correlations between variables used Pearson linear correlation coefficient. The results show that revised version of the Healthy Eating Index score was classified as “needs to be modified” for all athletes. The maximum score for the components “Whole fruits,” “Total vegetables,” and “Dark green and orange vegetables and legumes” was achieved by 23.1% and 14.3%, 7.7% and 14.3%, and 46.2% and 57.8% of male and female athletes, respectively. Only 38.5% of the male athletes achieved the maximum score for the “Total cereal” component. Female athletes achieved higher scores than male athletes for the “Milk and dairy products” component (p = .03). Intake of whole grain cereals, dairy products, vegetables, and whole fruits needs modifications to improve adequate intake of vitamins and antioxidants, highlighting the need of continuous actions of nutrition education for this population.

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Claudia Ridel Juzwiak, Ciro Winckler, Daniel Paduan Joaquim, Andressa Silva, and Marco Tulio de Mello

To compare basal metabolic rate (BMR) predicted by different equations with measured BMR of the Brazilian paralympic track & field team aiming to verify which of these equations is best suited for use in this group. Method: 19 male and 11 female athletes grouped according to functional classification (vision impairment-VI, limb deficiency-LD, and cerebral palsy-CP) had their BMR measured by indirect calorimetry and compared with values predicted by different equations: Cunningham, Owen, Harris-Benedict, FAO/OMS, Dietary Reference Intakes, and Mifflin. Body composition data were obtained by skinfold measurements. Results were reported as mean and standard deviation and analyzed using the Wilcoxon test and Pearson´s Correlation Coefficient. The Root Mean Squared Prediction Error (RMSPE) was calculated to identify the similarity between the estimated and predicted BMR. Results: Mean measured BMR was 25 ± 4.2, 26 ± 2.4, and 26 ± 2.7 kcal/kg of fat free mass/day for VI, LD, and CP, respectively. Owen´s equation had the best predictive performance in comparison with measured BMR for LD and CP athletes, within 104 and 125 kcal/day, while Mifflin’s equation predicted within 146 kcal/day for VI athletes. Conclusion: for this specific group of athletes the Owen and Mifflin equations provided the best predictions of BMR.

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Tomás T. Freitas, Pedro E. Alcaraz, Ciro Winckler, Santiago Zabaloy, Lucas A. Pereira, and Irineu Loturco

Purpose: To compare the strength, speed, and power performance of elite sprinters with and without visual impairment. Methods: Twelve elite able-bodied sprinters and 15 Paralympic sprinters with visual impairment took part in this study. Sprinters from both groups performed the following tests: squat and countermovement jumps, maximum bar-power output in the half-squat and jump-squat exercises, and 60-m sprint. The differences between groups in all variables examined were analyzed using the independent t test. Results: Olympic sprinters revealed better performances in all tests when compared with Paralympic sprinters with visual impairment (effect sizes ranging from 1.29 to 9.04; P < .001). Differences of ∼32% and ∼20% were found for the half-squat and loaded and unloaded vertical jumps, respectively. Smaller differences (from ∼8% to ∼11%) were obtained in linear sprint performance. Conclusions: Between-groups differences peaked at low-velocity exercises (eg, ∼32% in the half-squat) and decreased as movement velocity and specificity increased (eg, ∼8% at 60-m sprint). Thus, the greatest differences between Olympic and Paralympic sprinters seem to be related to their ability to apply force at low movement velocities. Coaches are encouraged to work on all sprinting phases and across the entire force–velocity spectrum, bearing in mind that improvements in strength capacity will possibly lead to increased sprint performance in Paralympic sprinters with visual impairment, especially in the acceleration phase of sprinting.

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Irineu Loturco, Lucas A. Pereira, Ciro Winckler, Weverton L. Santos, Ronaldo Kobal, and Michael McGuigan

Purpose: To examine the relationships between different loading intensities and movement velocities in the bench-press exercise (BP) in Paralympic powerlifters. Methods: A total of 17 national Paralympic powerlifters performed maximum dynamic strength tests to determine their BP 1-repetition maximum (1RM) in a Smith-machine device. A linear position transducer was used to measure movement velocity over a comprehensive range of loads. Linear-regression analysis was performed to establish the relationships between the different bar velocities and the distinct percentages of 1RM. Results: Overall, the correlations between bar velocities and %1RM were strong over the entire range of loads (R 2 .80–.91), but the precision of the predictive equations (expressed as mean differences [%] between actual and predicted 1RM values) were higher at heavier loading intensities (∼20% for loads ≤70% 1RM and ∼5% for loads ≥70% 1RM). In addition, it seems that these very strong athletes (eg, 1RM relative in the BP = 2.22 [0.36] kg·kg−1, for male participants) perform BP 1RM assessments at lower velocities than those previously reported in the literature. Conclusions: The load–velocity relationship was strong and consistent in Paralympic powerlifters, especially at higher loads (≥70% 1RM). Therefore, Paralympic coaches can use the predictive equations and the reference values provided here to determine and monitor the BP loading intensity in national Paralympic powerlifters.

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Lucas Pereira, Ciro Winckler, Cesar C. Cal Abad, Ronaldo Kobal, Katia Kitamura, Amaury Veríssimo, Fabio Y. Nakamura, and Irineu Loturco

This study compared the physical performance of Paralympic sprinters with visual impairments (PSVI) and their guides in jump and sprint tests. Ten PSVI and guides executed squat jumps (SJ), countermovement jumps (CMJ), horizontal quintuple right/left-leg jumps (QR/QL), decuple jumps (DEC), and 50-m-sprint tests. The guides were superior to the PSVI in SJ (35.9 ± 6.3 vs 45.6 ± 3.2 cm), CMJ (38.5 ± 6.2 vs 46.7 ± 4.0 cm), QR (9.2 ± 1.9 vs 12.7 ± 1.0 m), QL (9.4 ± 1.9 vs 13.1 ± 0.8 m), DEC (21.0 ± 3.3 vs. 27.2 ± 1.7 m), and 50-m sprints (8.4 ± 0.4 vs 7.6 ± 0.5 m/s). The average differences between the PSVI and guides in the sprint tests was 10%, range 1–24%. Therefore, substantial differences in sprinting speed (in favor of the guides) between the peers were observed. Coaches should develop strategies to train the guides to improve their muscle-power performance.

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Irineu Loturco, Michael R. McGuigan, Valter P. Reis, Sileno Santos, Javier Yanci, Lucas A. Pereira, and Ciro Winckler

This study aimed to investigate the association between the optimum power load in the bench press (BP), shoulder press (SP), and prone bench pull (PBP) exercises and acceleration (ACC) and speed performances in 11 National Team wheelchair basketball (WB) players with similar levels of disability. All athletes were previously familiarized with the testing procedures that were performed on the same day during the competitive period of the season. First, athletes performed a wheelchair 20-m sprint assessment and, subsequently, a maximum power load test to determine the mean propulsive power (MPP) in the BP, SP, and PBP. A Pearson product–moment correlation was used to examine the relationships between sprint velocity (VEL), ACC, and the MPP in the three exercises. The significance level was set as p < .05. Large to very large significant associations were observed between VEL and ACC and the MPP in the BP, SP, and PBP exercises (r varying from .60 to .77; p < .05). The results reveal that WB players who produce more power in these three exercises are also able to accelerate faster and achieve higher speeds over short distances. Given the key importance of high and successive ACCs during wheelchair game-related maneuvers, it is recommended that coaches frequently assess the optimum power load in BP, SP, and PBP in WB players, even during their regular training sessions.