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Basic Psychological Needs, Motivation, Engagement, and Disaffection in Mexican Students During Physical Education Classes

Jorge Zamarripa, René Rodríguez-Medellín, and Fernándo Otero-Saborido

Purpose: To test a structural equations model that analyzes the effects from satisfaction and frustration of the basic psychological needs on motivation types and the same effects on engagement and disaffection in physical education class, and to validate invariance among gender groups. Method: The participants were 1,470 fifth- and sixth-grade students from elementary schools in the metropolitan area of Monterrey, Nuevo León, Mexico. Results: The model showed satisfactory data fit. The results underscore the importance of fulfilling basic psychological needs to generate both autonomous motivation and engagement, as well as to prevent amotivation and disaffection in the students, regardless of sex. Discussion/Conclusion: The findings were discussed and are deemed consistent with other studies, sustaining the idea of basic psychological needs universality as set forth by the self-determination theory.

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Effects of Resisted Sprints With Changes of Direction Through Several Relative Loads on Physical Performance in Soccer Players

David Rodríguez-Osorio, Oliver Gonzalo-Skok, and Fernando Pareja-Blanco

Purpose: To compare the effects of resisted change-of-direction (COD) movements, using several relative loads, on soccer players’ physical performance. Methods: Fifty-four male soccer players were randomly assigned to 1 of the following 3 groups, which differed only in the magnitude of the external load used during the COD training: COD training without external load (COD-0; n = 16), COD training with a 12.5% body-mass external load (COD-12.5; n = 19), and COD training with a 50% body-mass external load (COD-50; n = 19). Participants performed the specific COD training twice per week for 6 wk. Before and after the training period, a battery of tests was completed: countermovement jump, 30-m running sprint (time in 10 m [T10], 20 m [T20], and 30 m [T30]), L-run test, and V-cut test. Results: Within-group comparisons showed substantial improvements in countermovement jump and T10 (likely) in COD-0, whereas countermovement jump, T10, and T20 were substantially enhanced (possibly to likely) in COD-50. COD-12.5 induced substantial improvements in all analyzed variables (likely to most likely). Between-groups comparisons showed better effects on all analyzed variables for COD-12.5 than for COD-0 (possibly to very likely), whereas COD-50 only showed possibly better effects than COD-0 on T10. In addition, COD-12.5 induced a better effect on L-run and V-cut tests than COD-50 (possibly to likely). Conclusions: These results indicate that COD training, especially moderate load (12.5% body mass) resisted COD training, may have a positive effect on COD skills, running sprint performance, and jumping ability in young soccer players.

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Effects of Velocity Loss Threshold Within Resistance Training During Concurrent Training on Endurance and Strength Performance

Miguel Sánchez-Moreno, David Rodríguez-Rosell, David Díaz-Cueli, Fernando Pareja-Blanco, and Juan José González-Badillo

Purpose: This study analyzed the effects of 3 training interventions: 1 isolated endurance training (ET) and 2 concurrent training (CT), which differed in the velocity loss (VL) magnitude allowed during the resistance training (RT) set: 15% (VL15) versus 45%, on strength and endurance running performance. Methods: A total of 33 resistance- and endurance-trained men were randomly allocated into 3 groups: VL15, VL 45%, and ET. ET was similar across all groups. The CT groups differed in the VL allowed during the RT set. Before and after the 8-week training program the following tests were performed: (1) running sprints, (2) vertical jump, (3) progressive loading test in the squat exercise, and (4) incremental treadmill running test up to maximal oxygen uptake. Results: Significant differences (P < .001) in RT volume (approximately 401 vs 177 total repetitions for VL 45% and VL15, respectively) were observed. Significant “group” × “time” interactions were observed for vertical jump and all strength-related variables: the CT groups attained significantly greater gains than ET. Moreover, a significant “group” × “time” interaction (P = .03) was noted for velocity at maximal oxygen uptake. Although all groups showed increases in velocity at maximal oxygen uptake, the VL15 group achieved greater gains than the ET group. Conclusions: CT interventions experienced greater strength gains than the ET group. Although all groups improved their endurance performance, the VL15 intervention resulted in greater gains than the ET approach. Therefore, moderate VL thresholds in RT performed during CT could be a good strategy for concurrently maximizing strength and endurance development.

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Movement Velocity as Indicator of Relative Intensity and Level of Effort Attained During the Set in Pull-Up Exercise

Miguel Sánchez-Moreno, David Rodríguez-Rosell, Fernando Pareja-Blanco, Ricardo Mora-Custodio, and Juan José González-Badillo

Purpose: To analyze the relationship between movement velocity and relative load (%1RM) in the pull-up exercise (PU) and to determine the pattern of repetition-velocity loss during a single set to failure in pulling one’s own body mass. Methods: Fifty-two men (age = 26.5 ± 3.9 y, body mass = 74.3 ± 7.2 kg) performed a first evaluation (T1) consisting of an 1-repetition-maximum test (1RM) and a test of maximum number of repetitions to failure pulling one’s own body mass (MNR) in the PU exercise. Thirty-nine subjects performed both tests on a second occasion (T2) following 12 wk of training. Results: The authors observed a strong relationship between mean propulsive velocity (MPV) and %1RM (r = −.96). Mean velocity attained with 1RM load (V1RM) was 0.20 ± 0.05 m·s−1, and it influenced the MPV attained with each %1RM. Although 1RM increased by 3.4% from T1 to T2, the relationship between MPV and %1RM, and V1RM, remained stable. The authors also confirmed stability in the V1RM regardless of individual relative strength. The authors found a strong relationship between percentage of velocity loss and percentage of performed repetitions (R 2 = .88), which remained stable despite a 15% increase in MNR. Conclusions: Monitoring repetition velocity allows estimation of the %1RM used as soon as the first repetition with a given load is performed, and the number of repetitions remaining in reserve when a given percentage of velocity loss is achieved during a PU exercise set.

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Maximal Velocity as a Discriminating Factor in the Performance of Loaded Squat Jumps

Pedro Jiménez-Reyes, Fernando Pareja-Blanco, David Rodríguez-Rosell, Mario C. Marques, and Juan José González-Badillo


To determine what variables determine the differences in performance on 2 tests of squat jump (SJ) performed under light load in highly trained athletes using maximal velocity (Vmax) or flight time (FT) as the discriminating factor of SJ performance.


Thirty-two participants performed 2 maximal weighted SJs using a force platform synchronized with a linear transducer. Mean force (Fmean), mean and maximal power (Pmean, Pmax), peak force (PF), maximal rate of force development (RFDmax), and time required to attain PF (TPF) and RFDmax (TRFDmax) were analyzed. SJs were divided into 2 segments: from the initiation of force application to PF1 and from the moment after PF1 to Vmax.


Traditional significance statistics revealed significant differences in the same variables between best and worst SJs using both FT and Vmax. However, to use an approach based on the magnitude of the effect, the best SJ showed greater Pmax (83/17/0%), Pmean (85/15/0%), Fmean (71/29/0%), RFDmax1 (73/27/0%), and PF1 (53/47/0%) and lower TPF2 (0/61/39%) than the worst SJ when Vmax was used to discriminate SJ performance. However, using FT to differentiate SJ performance, no difference was observed between best and worst.


Although jump height assessed through FT is a valid measure, these results suggest that Vmax is a more sensitive variable than FT to detect differences in loaded-SJ performance.

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Energy Expenditure in Playground Games in Primary School Children Measured by Accelerometer and Heart Rate Monitors

Jorge Cañete García-Prieto, Vicente Martinez-Vizcaino, Antonio García-Hermoso, Mairena Sánchez-López, Natalia Arias-Palencia, Juan Fernando Ortega Fonseca, and Ricardo Mora-Rodriguez

The aim of this study was to examine the energy expenditure (EE) measured using indirect calorimetry (IC) during playground games and to assess the validity of heart rate (HR) and accelerometry counts as indirect indicators of EE in children´s physical activity games. 32 primary school children (9.9 ± 0.6 years old, 19.8 ± 4.9 kg · m-2 BMI and 37.6 ± 7.2 ml · kg-1 · min-1 VO2max). Indirect calorimetry (IC), accelerometry and HR data were simultaneously collected for each child during a 90 min session of 30 playground games. Thirty-eight sessions were recorded in 32 different children. Each game was recorded at least in three occasions in other three children. The intersubject coefficient of variation within a game was 27% for IC, 37% for accelerometry and 13% for HR. The overall mean EE in the games was 4.2 ± 1.4 kcals · min-1 per game, totaling to 375 ± 122 kcals/per 90 min/session. The correlation coefficient between indirect calorimetry and accelerometer counts was 0.48 (p = .026) for endurance games and 0.21 (p = .574) for strength games. The correlation coefficient between indirect calorimetry and HR was 0.71 (p = .032) for endurance games and 0.48 (p = .026) for strength games. Our data indicate that both accelerometer and HR monitors are useful devices for estimating EE during endurance games, but only HR monitors estimates are accurate for endurance games.

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Effects of 6 Weeks Resistance Training Combined With Plyometric and Speed Exercises on Physical Performance of Pre-Peak-Height-Velocity Soccer Players

David Rodríguez-Rosell, Felipe Franco-Márquez, Fernando Pareja-Blanco, Ricardo Mora-Custodio, Juan M. Yáñez-García, José M. González-Suárez, and Juan J. González-Badillo


To analyze the effects of low-load, high-velocity resistance training (RT) combined with plyometrics on physical performance in pre-peak-height-velocity (PHV) soccer players.


Thirty young soccer players from the same academy were randomly assigned to either a strength training (STG, n = 15) or a control group (CG, n = 15). Strength training consisted of full squat exercise with low load (45–58% 1RM) and low volume (4–8 repetitions/set) combined with jumps and sprints twice a week over 6 wk of preseason. The effect of the training protocol was assessed using sprint performance over 10 and 20 m, countermovement jump, estimated 1-repetition maximum, and average velocity attained against all loads common to pre- and posttests in full squat.


STG showed significant improvements (P = .004–.001) and moderate to very large standardized effects (ES = 0.71–2.10) in all variables measured, whereas no significant gains were found in CG (ES = –0.29 to 0.06). Moreover, significant test × group interactions (P < .003–.001) and greater between-groups ESs (0.90–1.97) were found for all variables in favor of STG compared with CG.


Only 6 wk of preseason low-volume and low-load RT combined with plyometrics can lead to relevant improvements in strength, jump, and sprint performance. Thus, the combination of field soccer training and lightweight strength training could be used for a greater development of the tasks critical to soccer performance in pre-PHV soccer players.

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Effects of Unloaded Sprint and Heavy Sled Training on Sprint Performance in Physically Active Women

Fernando Pareja-Blanco, Eduardo Sáez de Villarreal, Beatriz Bachero-Mena, Ricardo Mora-Custodio, José Antonio Asián-Clemente, Irineu Loturco, and David Rodríguez-Rosell

Purpose: This study aimed to compare the effects of unresisted versus heavy sled sprint training (0% vs 40% body mass [BM]) on sprint performance in women. Moreover, the effects of the aforementioned loads on resisted sprint and jump performance were analyzed. Methods: Twenty-eight physically active women were randomly allocated into 2 groups: unloaded sprint training group (G0%, n = 14), and resisted sprint training with 40% BM group (G40%, n = 14). Pretraining and posttraining assessments included countermovement jump, unloaded 30-m sprint, and 20-m sprint with 20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% BM. Times to cover 0 to 10 (T10), 0 to 20 (T20), 0 to 30 (T30), 10 to 20 (T10–20), 20 to 30 (T20–30), and 10 to 30 m (T10–30) were recorded. Both groups were trained once a week for 8 weeks and completed the same training program, but with different loads (0% vs 40% BM). Results: No significant time × group interactions were observed. For unloaded sprint performance, G0% showed significant (P = .027) decreases only in T10–20, while G40% attained significant decreases in T30 (P = .021), T10–30 (P = .015), and T20–30 (P = .003). Regarding resisted sprint performance, G0% showed significant (P = .010) improvements only for the 20% BM condition. The G40% group attained significant improvements in all loading conditions (20%, 40%, 60%, and 80% BM). Both groups showed significant improvements (P < .001) in countermovement jump height. Conclusions: In physically active women, no significant differences in sprint and countermovement jump performance were detected after 8 weeks of resisted and unresisted sprint training programs. Future studies should, therefore, be devoted to how sprint training should be individualized to maximize performance.

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Specific Adaptations to 0%, 15%, 25%, and 50% Velocity-Loss Thresholds During Bench Press Training

Luis Rodiles-Guerrero, Pedro Jesús Cornejo-Daza, Juan Sánchez-Valdepeñas, Julian Alcazar, Carlos Rodriguez-López, Miguel Sánchez-Moreno, Luis María Alegre, Juan A. León-Prados, and Fernando Pareja-Blanco

Purpose : To compare the effect of 4 velocity-loss (VL) thresholds—0% (VL0), 15% (VL15), 25% (VL25), and 50% (VL50)—on strength gains, neuromuscular adaptations, and muscle hypertrophy during the bench press (BP) exercise using intensities ranging from 55% to 70% of 1-repetition maximum (1RM). Methods : Fifty resistance-trained men were randomly assigned to 4 groups that followed an 8-week (16 sessions) BP training program at 55% to 70% 1RM but differed in the VL allowed in each set (VL0, VL15, VL25, and VL50). Assessments performed before (pre) and after (post) the training program included (1) cross-sectional area of pectoralis major muscle, (2) maximal isometric test, (3) progressive loading test, and (4) fatigue test in the BP exercise. Results : A significant group × time interaction was found for 1RM (P = .01), where all groups except VL0 showed significant gains in 1RM strength (P < .001). The VL25 group attained the greatest gains in 1RM strength and most load–velocity relationship parameters analyzed. A significant group × time interaction was observed for EMG root mean square in pectoralis major (P = .03) where only the VL25 group showed significant increases (P = .02). VL50 showed decreased EMG root mean square in triceps brachii (P = .006). Only the VL50 group showed significant increases in cross-sectional area (P < .001). Conclusions : These findings indicate that a VL threshold of about 25% with intensities from 55% to 70% 1RM in BP provides an optimal training stimulus to maximize dynamic strength performance and neuromuscular adaptations, while higher VL thresholds promote higher muscle hypertrophy.

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Test–Retest Reliability of 3 Specific Strength Tests in Professional Handball Players

Maria Dolores Morenas-Aguilar, Luis J. Chirosa Rios, Angela Rodriguez-Perea, Juan Antonio Vázquez Diz, Ignacio J. Chirosa Rios, José Fernando Vera Vera, Lorenzo Ruiz-Orellana, and Daniel Jerez-Mayorga

Context: Current devices to assess strength performance in handball may not be sufficiently sports-specific and reliable methods. Functional electromechanical dynamometry is a new technology that allows the development of accurate strength tests in athletes. Purpose: To determine the absolute and relative reliability and to compare the reliability of the right and left side, and mean and peak force of 3 specific strength tests in handball players with a functional electromechanical dynamometer: unilateral pullover, standing lift, and step forward. Methods: Fourteen male handball players of the first Spanish division (28.79 [4.81] y; 10.38 [4.63] y of professional experience) performed a repeated-measurement design. Three testing sessions were performed (one per week). The first measurement consisted of 4 isometric tests (right and left unilateral pullover, and right and left standing lift) to obtain isometric peak force, and in the second and third sessions, 6 incremental tests until failure (right and left unilateral pullover, and right and left standing lift, right and left step forward) were performed. Results: The tests provided high reliability or acceptable reliability for mean and peak strength of unilateral pullover, standing lift and step forward (intraclass correlation coefficient = .83–.97; coefficient of variation = 3.90–11.57). Effect side was negligible in any of the parameters, except for a small effect side in the left peak force for unilateral pullover and a small effect side on the left side for a step forward. Significant differences in reliability (coefficient of variation ratio > 1.15) were found between the right and left sides and peak and mean force in all exercises except peak force in unilateral pullover and step forward. Conclusion: These results confirm that the tests could be applied to assess physical performance in handball at the same time as regular gym training. Moreover, this is an excellent opportunity to individualize the player’s weekly load.