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  • Author: Gerard Rietjens x
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Lieselot Decroix, Maria Francesca Piacentini, Gerard Rietjens and Romain Meeusen

Purpose:

High training loads combined with other stressors can lead to performance decrements. The time needed to recover determines the diagnosis of (non)-functional overreaching or the overtraining syndrome. The aim of this study was to describe the effects of an 8-day (intensified) training camp of professional female cyclists on physical and cognitive performance.

Methods:

Nine subjects performed a 30-min time trial (TT), cognitive test, and Profile of Mood States questionnaire before, during, and after a training camp (49% increased training volume). On data collection, cyclists were classified as “overreached” (OR) or “adapted” (A) based on TT performance. Two-way repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to detect changes in physical and cognitive parameters.

Results:

Five cyclists were described as OR based on decreased mean power output (MPO) (–7.03%) on day 8. Four cyclists were classified as A (increased MPO: +1.72%). MPO and maximal heart rate were significantly different between A and OR groups. A significant slower reaction time (RT) (+3.35%) was found in OR subjects, whereas RT decreased (–4.59%) in A subjects. The change in MPO was negatively correlated with change in RT in the cognitive test (R 2 = .52).

Conclusions:

This study showed that the use of objective, inexpensive, and easy-to-interpret physical and cognitive tests can facilitate the monitoring of training adaptations in professional female athletes.

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Robert P. Lamberts, Theresa N.C. Mann, Gerard J. Rietjens and Hendrik H. Tijdink

Iliac blood-flow restrictions causing painful and “powerless” legs are often attributed to overtraining and may develop for some time before being correctly diagnosed. In the current study, differences between actual performance parameters and performance parameters predicted from the Lamberts and Lambert Submaximal Cycle Test (LSCT) were studied in a world-class cyclist with bilateral kinking of the external iliac artery before and after surgery. Two performance-testing sessions, including a peak-poweroutput (PPO) test and a 40-km time trial (TT) were conducted before surgery, while 1 testing session was conducted after the surgery. Actual vs LSCT-predicted performance parameters in the world-class cyclists were compared with 82 symptom-free trained to elite male cyclists. No differences were found between actual and LSCT-predicted PPO before and after surgical intervention. However, there were differences between actual and LSCT-predicted 40-km TT time in the tests performed before the surgery (2:51and 2:55 min:s, respectively). These differences were no longer apparent in the postsurgery 40-km TT (2 s). This finding suggests that iliac blood-flow restrictions seem to mainly impair endurance performance rather than peak cycling performance. A standard PPO test without brachial ankle blood-pressure measurements might not be able to reflect iliac bloodflow restrictions. Differences between actual and LSCT-predicted 40-km TT time may assist in earlier referral to a cardiovascular specialist and result in earlier detection of iliac blood-flow restrictions.

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Kevin De Pauw, Bart Roelands, Stephen S. Cheung, Bas de Geus, Gerard Rietjens and Romain Meeusen

Purpose:

The aim of this systematic literature review was to outline the various preexperimental maximal cycle-test protocols, terminology, and performance indicators currently used to classify subject groups in sportscience research and to construct a classification system for cycling-related research.

Methods:

A database of 130 subject-group descriptions contains information on preexperimental maximal cycle-protocol designs, terminology of the subject groups, biometrical and physiological data, cycling experience, and parameters. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, 1-way ANOVA, post hoc Bonferroni (P < .05), and trend lines were calculated on height, body mass, relative and absolute maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), and peak power output (PPO).

Results:

During preexperimental testing, an initial workload of 100 W and a workload increase of 25 W are most frequently used. Three-minute stages provide the most reliable and valid measures of endurance performance. After obtaining data on a subject group, researchers apply various terms to define the group. To solve this complexity, the authors introduced the neutral term performance levels 1 to 5, representing untrained, recreationally trained, trained, well-trained, and professional subject groups, respectively. The most cited parameter in literature to define subject groups is relative VO2max, and therefore no overlap between different performance levels may occur for this principal parameter. Another significant cycling parameter is the absolute PPO. The description of additional physiological information and current and past cycling data is advised.

Conclusion:

This review clearly shows the need to standardize the procedure for classifying subject groups. Recommendations are formulated concerning preexperimental testing, terminology, and performance indicators.