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Gerasimos Terzis, Thomas Kyriazis, Giorgos Karampatsos, and Giorgos Georgiadis

Purpose:

Although muscle mass and strength are thought to be closely related to throwing performance, there are few scientific data about these parameters in elite shot-putters. The purpose of this case report was to present longitudinal data for muscle strength and body composition in relation to performance of an elite male shot-putter.

Methods:

A male national champion with the best rotational shot-put performance of 20.36 m (in 2010) was followed from 2003 to 2011 (current age: 29 y). Data regarding body composition (dual X-ray absorptiometry), as well as 1-repetition-maximum muscle strength (bench press, squat, snatch) and rotational shot-put performance, were collected every February for the last 9 y, 4 wk before the national indoor championship event.

Results:

The athlete’s personal-best performances in squat, bench press, and snatch were 175 kg, 210 kg, and 112.5 kg, respectively. His peak total lean body mass was 92.4 kg, bone mineral density 1.55 g/cm2, and lowest body fat 12.9%. His shot-put performance over these 9 years was significantly correlated with 1-repetition-maximum squat strength (r = .93, P < .01), bench press (r = .87, P < .01), and snatch (r = .92, P < .01). In contrast, shot-put performance was not significantly correlated with any of the body-composition parameters.

Conclusions:

The results of this case study suggest that elite rotational shot-put performance may not be directly correlated with lean body mass. Instead, it seems that it is closely related with measures of muscle strength.

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Thomas Kyriazis, Gerasimos Terzis, Giorgos Karampatsos, Stavros Kavouras, and Giorgos Georgiadis

Purpose:

The purpose of the current study was to investigate the relationship between fat-free mass and shot put performance at the beginning of the winter preparation cycle and at the first peak of the season (12 wk later) in well-trained shot-putters using the rotational style.

Methods:

Eight national-level shot put athletes followed their individual training programs for a period of 12 wk aiming at the national indoor championship. Shot put performance with the rotational style as well as from the power position was determined before and after this 12 wk period. Body composition was determined before and after the training period with dual x-ray absorptiometry.

Results:

Shot put from the power position was increased by 3% (P = .03) while shot put with the rotational style was increased by 6.5% (P < .01). Fat-free mass, body fat and bone mineral density were not altered after the training period. The correlation coefficient between fat-free mass and shot put performance from the power position was significant (r = .76 preseason vs r = .66, competition; P < .05). The correlation coefficient between fat-free mass and shot put performance with the rotational style was significant at the beginning of the training period (r = .70, P < .05) but it was decreased to moderate and nonsignificant levels at competition (r = .55, ns).

Conclusions:

These results suggest that the increase of fat-free mass might not be the most essential element for competition when the rotational shot put style is involved.

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Nikolaos Zaras, Angeliki-Nikoletta Stasinaki, Polyxeni Spiliopoulou, Giannis Arnaoutis, Marios Hadjicharalambous, and Gerasimos Terzis

Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the relationship between weightlifting performance and the rate of force development (RFD), muscle architecture, and body composition in elite Olympic weightlifters. Methods: Six male Olympic weightlifters (age 23.3 [3.4] y, body mass 88.7 [10.2] kg, body height 1.76 [0.07] m, snatch 146.7 [15.4] kg, clean and jerk 179.4 [22.1] kg), all members of the national team, participated in the study. Athletes completed a 16-week periodized training program aiming to maximize their performance at the national competition event. Measurements, including maximal strength (1-repetition maximum) in snatch, clean and jerk, back and front squat, isometric leg press RFD and peak force, countermovement jump, vastus lateralis muscle architecture, and body composition, were performed before and after the training period. Results: Weightlifting performance increased significantly after training (P < .05). Leg press RFD increased only in time windows of 0 to 200 and 0 to 250 milliseconds after training (8.9% [8.5%] and 9.4% [7.7%], respectively, P < .05) while peak force remained unaltered (P < .05). Front squat strength increased significantly (P < .05), while countermovement jump power increased 2.3% (2.1%) (P < .05). No changes were observed for muscle architecture and lean body mass (P > .05). Significant correlations were observed between performance in snatch and clean and jerk with isometric leg press RFD, at all time windows, as well as with lean body mass and squat 1-repetition maximum. Conclusions: These results suggest that regular examination of RFD, lean body mass, and lower extremities’ 1-repetition maximum may be useful performance predictors in elite Olympic weightlifters.

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Gavriil G. Arsoniadis, Gregory C. Bogdanis, Gerasimos Terzis, and Argyris G. Toubekis

Purpose: To examine the acute effect of dry-land strength training on physiological and biomechanical parameters in a subsequent swim training session. Methods: Twelve male swimmers (age: 19.0 [2.2] y, peak oxygen uptake: 65.5 [11.4] mL·kg−1·min−1) performed a 5 × 200-m test with progressively increasing intensity. Blood lactate (BL) concentration was measured after each 200-m bout, and the speed corresponding to 4 mmol·L−1 (V4) was calculated. In the experimental (EXP) and control (CON) conditions, swimmers participated in a swim training session consisting of 1000-m warm-up, a bout of 10-second tethered swimming sprint, and 5 × 400 m at V4. In EXP condition, swimmers completed a dry-land strength training session (load: 85% of 1-repetition maximum) 15 minutes before the swimming session. In CON condition, swimmers performed the swimming session only. Oxygen uptake, BL concentration, arm-stroke rate, arm-stroke length, and arm-stroke efficiency were measured during the 5 × 400 m. Results: Force in the 10-second sprint was not different between conditions (P = .61), but fatigue index was higher in the EXP condition (P = .03). BL concentration was higher in EXP condition and showed large effect size at the fifth 400-m repetition compared with CON condition (6.4 [2.7] vs 4.6 [2.8] mmol·L−1, d = 0.63). During the 5 × 400 m, arm-stroke efficiency remained unchanged, arm-stroke length was decreased from the third repetition onward (P = .01), and arm-stroke rate showed a medium increment in EXP condition (d = 0.23). Conclusions: Strength training completed 15 minutes before a swim training session caused moderate changes in biomechanical parameters and increased BL concentration during swimming. Despite these changes, swimmers were able to maintain force and submaximal speed during the endurance training session.