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Scott Van Horne and Darren J. Stefanyshyn

Acceptance of the klap speed skate was fully realized on the world speed skating scene in 1997. However, one of the most important unknowns regarding the klapskate was the positioning of the point of foot rotation (pivot point), which is believed to play an important role in optimizing klapskate performance. The purposes of this study were to explore the ankle, knee, and hip joint mechanical changes that occurred when the pivot point location was modified, and to determine whether maximal ankle torques provide predictive ability as to where the optimal pivot point positioning is for a skater. We tested 16 proficient skaters at three pivot point (PP) locations, ranging from just in front of the metatarsal-phalangeal joint to just in front of the first phalangeal joint. Of the 16 skaters, 10 were tested at a fourth position: tip of the toe. Push phase kinetics and kinematics were measured on a modified slide board. The optimal PP for each skater was defined as the position that allowed him to generate the most total push energy. Maximum voluntary static torque measures of the ankle and knee were collected on a Biodex dynamometer. Overall, anterior pivot point shifting led to a significant increase in ankle energy generated and a decrease in knee energy generated, with no significant change at the hip joint. We found no significant correlations between the static strength measures and the skaters' optimal pivot points.

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Hugh Millward, Jamie E. L. Spinney and Darren Scott

Background:

This study employs national time-diary data to evaluate how much aerobic activity Canadians engage in on a daily basis, how that activity is apportioned by activity domain, and how subgroups within the population vary in their aerobic attainment.

Methods:

The study employs time-use data from the 2010 General Social Survey of Canada, for 15,390 respondents aged 15 and older. To estimate effort levels, the authors harmonized survey codes with those in the Compendium of Physical Activities. Aerobic activity was defined as moderate or vigorous effort at 3.5 Metabolic Equivalent of Task (MET) or higher.

Results:

Among the 4 activity domains, aerobic participation is highest in leisure activities, followed by chores, paid work, and active transportation (AT). Only a minority (42%) of respondents recorded at least 20 mins/day of aerobic activity. Aerobic totals were particularly low for women and those in poor or fair health, and low for students, 15- to 24-year-olds, and those residing in Quebec, Ontario, and larger cities.

Conclusions:

The majority of Canadian adults are failing to meet recommended aerobic activity levels. However, there is considerable opportunity to increase aerobic participation for some groups, particularly women and young adults, especially in the leisure and AT domains.

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Jamie E. L. Spinney, Hugh Millward and Darren Scott

Background:

Walking is the most common physical activity for adults with important implications for urban planning and public health. Recreational walking has received considerably more attention than walking for transport, and differences between them remain poorly understood.

Methods:

Using time-use data collected from 1971 randomly-chosen adults in Halifax, Canada, we identified walking for transport and walking for recreation events, and then computed participation rates, occurrences, mean event durations, and total daily durations in order to examine the participants and timing, while the locations were examined using origin-destination matrices. We compared differences using McNemar’s test for participation rates, Wilcoxon test for occurrences and durations, and Chi-Square test for locations.

Results:

Results illustrate many significant differences between the 2 types of walking, related to participants, timing, and locations. For example, results indicate a daily average of 3.1 walking for transport events, each lasting 8 minutes on average, compared with 1.4 recreational walking events lasting 39 minutes on average. Results also indicate more than two-thirds of recreational walks are home-based, compared with less than one-fifth of transport walks.

Conclusions:

This research highlights the importance of both types of walking, while also casting suspicion on the traditional home-based paradigm used to measure “walkability.”

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Jonathan. P. Little, Scott C. Forbes, Darren G. Candow, Stephen M. Cornish and Philip D. Chilibeck

Creatine (Cr) supplementation increases muscle mass, strength, and power. Arginine α-ketoglutarate (A-AKG) is a precursor for nitric oxide production and has the potential to improve blood flow and nutrient delivery (i.e., Cr) to muscles. This study compared a commercial dietary supplement of Cr, A-AKG, glutamine, taurine, branchedchain amino acids, and medium-chain triglycerides with Cr alone or placebo on exercise performance and body composition. Thirty-five men (~23 yr) were randomized to Cr + A-AKG (0.1 g · kg−1 · d−1 Cr + 0.075 g · kg−1 · d−1 A-AKG, n = 12), Cr (0.1 g · kg−1 · d−1, n = 11), or placebo (1 g · kg−1 · d−1 sucrose, n = 12) for 10 d. Body composition, muscle endurance (bench press), and peak and average power (Wingate tests) were measured before and after supplementation. Bench-press repetitions over 3 sets increased with Cr + A-AKG (30.9 ==6.6 → 34.9 ± 8.7 reps; p < .01) and Cr (27.6 ± 5.9 → 31.0 ± 7.6 reps; p < .01), with no change for placebo (26.8 ± 5.0 → 27.1 ± 6.3 reps). Peak power significantly increased in Cr + A-AKG (741 ± 112 → 794 ± 92 W; p < .01), with no changes in Cr (722 ± 138 → 730 ± 144 W) and placebo (696 ± 63 → 705 ± 77 W). There were no differences in average power between groups over time. Only the Cr-only group increased total body mass (79.9 ± 13.0→81.1 ± 13.8 kg; p < .01), with no significant changes in lean-tissue or fat mass. These results suggest that Cr alone and in combination with A-AKG improves upper body muscle endurance, and Cr + A-AKG supplementation improves peak power output on repeated Wingate tests.

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Scott C. Forbes, Darren G. Candow, Jonathan P. Little, Charlene Magnus and Philip D. Chilibeck

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of Red Bull energy drink on Wingate cycle performance and muscle endurance. Healthy young adults (N = 15, 11 men, 4 women, 21 ± 5 y old) participated in a crossover study in which they were randomized to supplement with Red Bull (2 mg/kg body mass of caffeine) or isoenergetic, isovolumetric, noncaffeinated placebo, separated by 7 d. Muscle endurance (bench press) was assessed by the maximum number of repetitions over 3 sets (separated by 1-min rest intervals) at an intensity corresponding to 70% of baseline 1-repetition maximum. Three 30-s Wingate cycling tests (load = 0.075 kp/kg body mass), with 2 min recovery between tests, were used to assess peak and average power output. Red Bull energy drink significantly increased total bench-press repetitions over 3 sets (Red Bull = 34 ± 9 vs. placebo = 32 ± 8, P < 0.05) but had no effect on Wingate peak or average power (Red Bull = 701 ± 124 W vs. placebo = 700 ± 132 W, Red Bull = 479 ± 74 W vs. placebo = 471 ± 74 W, respectively). Red Bull energy drink significantly increased upper body muscle endurance but had no effect on anaerobic peak or average power during repeated Wingate cycling tests in young healthy adults.

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Darren Steeves, Leo J. Thornley, Joshua A. Goreham, Matthew J. Jordan, Scott C. Landry and Jonathon R. Fowles

Purpose: To determine the reliability and validity of a novel trunk maximal isometric force assessment involving 7 different tasks with 200-m times for elite sprint flat-water kayakers. Methods: Ten elite sprint flat-water kayakers performed a series of maximal isometric voluntary contractions (MVCs) on 2 separate days to assess reliability. MVC force was assessed as the participants sat on a modified kayak ergometer and applied their maximal isometric force to a uniaxial load cell during 7 different tasks. The 7 tasks of interest were a seated trunk-forward flexion, bilateral (left and right) rotational pulls, bilateral rotational pushes, and a sport-specific bilateral kayak-stroke simulation. Twenty elite flat-water kayak athletes (10 male and 10 female) participated in the validity portion by completing the series of tasks in conjunction with a 200-m race. Results: MVC force values ranged from 84 to 800 N across all participants and all tasks. The average coefficient of variation of the 7 tasks ranged from 2.4% to 7.7%. Regression analysis showed Pearson correlations ranging from −.84 to −.22 for both absolute and relative values with 200-m performance times. Conclusions: MVC force measured in each task was considered reliable as a small degree of variance between trials was found. The summation of the 7 trunk scores showed very strong correlations with on-water performance, indicating that this assessment is valid for elite sprint kayakers.

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Stephen M. Cornish, Darren G. Candow, Nathan T. Jantz, Philip D. Chilibeck, Jonathan P. Little, Scott Forbes, Saman Abeysekara and Gordon A. Zello

Purpose:

The authors examined the combined effects of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), creatine (C), and whey protein (P) supplementation during strength training.

Methods:

Sixty-nine participants (52 men, 17 women; M ± SD age 22.5 ± 2.5 yr) were randomly assigned (double-blind) to 1 of 3 groups: CCP (6 g/d CLA + 9 g/d C + 36 g/d P; n = 22), CP (C + P + placebo oil; n = 25), or P (P + placebo oil; n = 22) during 5 wk of strength training (4–5 sets, 6–12 repetitions, 6 d/wk). Measurements were taken for body composition (air-displacement plethysmography), muscle thickness (ultrasound) of the flexors and extensors of the elbow and knee, 1-repetitionmaximum (1-RM) strength (leg press and bench press), urinary markers of bone resorption (N-telopeptides, NTx), myofibrillar protein catabolism (3-methylhistidine; 3-MH), oxidative stress (8-isoprostanes), and kidney function (microalbumin) before and after training.

Results:

Contrast analyses indicated that the CCP group had a greater increase in bench-press (16.2% ± 11.3% vs. 9.7% ± 17.0%; p < .05) and legpress (13.1% ± 9.9% vs. 7.7% ± 14.2%; p < .05) strength and lean-tissue mass (2.4% ± 2.8% vs. 1.3% ± 4.1%; p < .05) than the other groups combined. All groups increased muscle thickness over time (p < .05). The relative change in 3-MH (CCP –4.7% ± 70.2%, CP –0.4% ± 81.4%, P 20.3% ± 75.2%) was less in the groups receiving creatine (p < .05), with the difference for NTx also close to significance (p = .055; CCP–3.4% ± 66.6%, CP–3.9% ± 64.9%, P 26.0% ± 63.8%). There were no changes in oxidative stress or kidney function.

Conclusion:

Combining C, CLA, and P was beneficial for increasing strength and lean-tissue mass during heavy resistance training.