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Jose Antonio, John Uelmen, Ramsey Rodriguez and Conrad Earnest

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of the herbal preparation Tribulus terrestris (tribulus) on body composition and exercise performance in resistance-trained males. Fifteen subjects were randomly assigned to a placebo or tribulus (3.21 mg per kg body weight daily) group. Body weight, body composition, maximal strength, dietary intake, and mood states were determined before and after an 8-week exercise (periodized resistance training) and supplementation period. There were no changes in body weight, percentage fat, total body water, dietary intake, or mood states in either group. Muscle endurance (determined by the maximal number of repetitions at 100—200% of body weight) increased for the bench and leg press exercises in the placebo group (p < .05; bench press ±28.4%. leg press ±28.6%), while the tribulus group experienced an increase in leg press strength only (bench press ±3.1 %, not significant; leg press ±28.6%, p < .05). Supplementation with tribulus does not enhance body composition or exercise performance in resistance-trained males.

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Alfredo Santalla, Conrad P. Earnest, José A. Marroyo and Alejandro Lucia

From its initial inception in 1903 as a race premised on a publicity stunt to sell newspapers, the Tour de France had grown and evolved over time to become one of the most difficult and heralded sporting events in the world. Though sporting science and the Tour paralleled each other, it was not until the midlate 1980s, and especially the midlate 1990s (with the use of heart-rate monitors) that the 2 began to unify and grow together. The purpose of this brief review is to summarize what is currently known of the physiological demands of the Tour de France, as well as of the main physiological profile of Tour de France competitors.

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Fernando Naclerio, Marco Seijo-Bujia, Eneko Larumbe-Zabala and Conrad P. Earnest

Beef powder is a new high-quality protein source scarcely researched relative to exercise performance. The present study examined the impact of ingesting hydrolyzed beef protein, whey protein, and carbohydrate on strength performance (1RM), body composition (via plethysmography), limb circumferences and muscular thickness (via ultrasonography), following an 8-week resistance-training program. After being randomly assigned to one of the following groups: Beef, Whey, or Carbohydrate, twenty four recreationally physically active males (n = 8 per treatment) ingested 20 g of supplement, mixed with orange juice, once a day (immediately after workout or before breakfast). Post intervention changes were examined as percent change and 95% CIs. Beef (2.0%, CI, 0.2–2.38%) and Whey (1.4%, CI, 0.2–2.6%) but not Carbohydrate (0.0%, CI, -1.2–1.2%) increased fat-free mass. All groups increased vastus medialis thickness: Beef (11.1%, CI, 6.3–15.9%), Whey (12.1%, CI, 4.0, -20.2%), Carbohydrate (6.3%, CI, 1.9–10.6%). Beef (11.2%, CI, 5.9–16.5%) and Carbohydrate (4.5%, CI, 1.6–7.4%), but not Whey (1.1%, CI, -1.7–4.0%), increased biceps brachialis thickness, while only Beef increased arm (4.8%, CI, 2.3–7.3%) and thigh (11.2%, 95%CI 0.4–5.9%) circumferences. Although the three groups significantly improved 1RM Squat (Beef 21.6%, CI 5.5–37.7%; Whey 14.6%, CI, 5.9–23.3%; Carbohydrate 19.6%, CI, 2.2–37.1%), for the 1RM bench press the improvements were significant for Beef (15.8% CI 7.0–24.7%) and Whey (5.8%, CI, 1.7–9.8%) but not for carbohydrate (11.4%, CI, -0.9-23.6%). Protein-carbohydrate supplementation supports fat-free mass accretion and lower body hypertrophy. Hydrolyzed beef promotes upper body hypertrophy along with similar performance outcomes as observed when supplementing with whey isolate or maltodextrin.

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Timothy S. Church, Thomas M. Gill, Anne B. Newman, Steven N. Blair, Conrad P. Earnest and Marco Pahor

Background:

The authors sought to evaluate the acceptability and feasibility of maximal fitness testing in sedentary older individuals at risk for mobility disability.

Methods:

Maximal cycle-ergometer testing was performed at baseline and 6 and 12 months later in a subset of LIFE-P study participants at the Cooper Institute site. The mean age of the 20 participants (80% female) tested was 74.7 ± 3.4 years. The following criteria were used to determine whether participants achieved maximal effort: respiratory-exchange ratio (RER) ≥1.1, heart rate within 10 beats/min of the maximal level predicted by age, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) >17.

Results:

Participants’ mean peak VO2 was 12.1 (3.7) mL · kg–1 · min–1. At baseline testing, only 20% of participants attained an RER ≥1.10, only 35% achieved a peak heart rate within 10 beats of their age-predicted maximum, and 18% had an RPE of >17. Subsequent testing at 6 and 12 months produced similar results.

Conclusions:

In this pilot study of sedentary older persons at risk for mobility disability, very few participants were able to achieve maximal effort during graded cycle-ergometer testing.