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  • Author: Diamanda Leontsini x
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Eleni Michopoulou, Alexandra Avloniti, Antonios Kambas, Diamanda Leontsini, Maria Michalopoulou, Symeon Tournis and Ioannis G. Fatouros

This study determined dietary intake and energy balance of elite premenarcheal rhythmic gymnasts during their preseason training. Forty rhythmic gymnasts and 40 sedentary age-matched females (10–12 yrs) participated in the study. Anthropometric profile and skeletal ages were determined. Dietary intake and physical activity were assessed to estimate daily energy intake, daily energy expenditure, and resting metabolic rate. Groups demonstrated comparable height, bone age, pubertal development, resting metabolic rate. Gymnasts had lower body mass, BMI, body fat than age-matched controls. Although groups demonstrated comparable daily energy intake, gymnasts exhibited a higher daily energy expenditure resulting in a daily energy deficit. Gymnasts also had higher carbohydrate intake but lower fat and calcium intake. Both groups were below the recommended dietary allowances for fiber, water, calcium, phosphorus and vitamin intake. Gymnasts may need to raise their daily energy intake to avoid the energy deficit during periods of intense training.

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Athanasios Chatzinikolaou, Konstantinos Michaloglou, Alexandra Avloniti, Diamanda Leontsini, Chariklia K. Deli, Dimitris Vlachopoulos, Luis Gracia-Marco, Sotirios Arsenis, Ioannis Athanailidis, Dimitrios Draganidis, Athanasios Z. Jamurtas, Craig A. Williams and Ioannis G. Fatouros

Purpose: To investigate the effect of a complex, short-term strength/power training protocol on performance and body composition of elite early adolescent soccer players. Methods: Twenty-two players (14–15 y) were randomly assigned to (1) an experimental group (N = 12; participated in a 5-wk training protocol with traditional multijoint power resistance exercises, Olympic-style lifts, plyometric drills, and speed work; 4 times per week) or (2) a control group (N = 10). Strength and power performance (jumping, speed, change of direction, repeated sprint ability, endurance, isokinetic strength of knee flexors and extensors, maximal strength in various lifts, and speed-endurance) were evaluated pretraining and posttraining. Results: Cessation of training for 5 weeks in the control group induced a marked performance deterioration (∼5%–20%). Training not only prevented strength performance deterioration but also increased it (∼2%–30%). Endurance and repeated sprint ability declined to a smaller extent in experimental group compared with control group (15% vs 7.5%). Isometric strength and body composition remained unaltered in both groups. Conclusions: Results demonstrate that (1) young players exhibit a high level of trainability of their strength/power performance (but not endurance) in response to a short-term complex training protocol during early adolescence, (2) Olympic-style lifts are characterized by increased safety in this age group and appear to be highly effective, (3) lifts incorporating a hip thrust result in increased strength of both knee extensors and flexors, (4) cessation of training for only 5 weeks results in marked deterioration of strength/power and endurance performance, and (5) improvement of strength/power performance may be related to neural-based adaptation as body composition remained unaffected.