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Konstantinos Tambalis, Demosthenes Panagiotakos, Giannis Arnaoutis, and Labros Sidossis

We aimed to model endurance, explosive power, and muscle strength in relation to body mass index (BMI) and physical-fitness tests in Greek children aged 7–10 years old. In the present large epidemiological study, anthropometric measurements and physical-fitness tests (i.e., multistage shuttle run, vertical jump, standing long jump, small ball throw and 30-m sprint) from 141,169 children were analyzed. Age- and sex-specific normative values for physical fitness tests were expressed as tabulated percentiles using the LMS statistical method. The correlation coefficients between BMI and performances were negative and significant for both sexes (p < .01) in all physical-fitness tests. The only exception was a positive correlation between ball throw and BMI (p < .01). Only 2.9% and 4.0% of boys and girls respectively, passed the upper quartiles in all tests. The performance in speed may serve as a predictive factor explaining, at least in part, the performance in aerobic endurance and explosive power in children aged 7–10 years. The presented population-based data for physical-fitness tests revealed that only a small percentage of these children are in the upper quartiles in all tests. Furthermore, the data suggests that speed performance can be used to predict physical fitness.

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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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Giannis Arnaoutis, Panagiotis Verginadis, Adam D. Seal, Ioannis Vogiatzis, Labros S. Sidossis, and Stavros A. Kavouras

The purpose of this article is to assess the hydration status of elite young sailing athletes during World Championship competition. Twelve young, elite, male, Laser Class sailors (age: 15.8 ± 1.1 y, height: 1.74 ± 0.1 m, weight: 65.1 ± 1.5 kg, body fat: 12.5 ± 3.1%, training experience: 7.0 ± 1.2 y) participated in this descriptive study. After three-day baseline bodyweight measurements, hydration status was assessed via pre- and post-race body weights, urine-specific gravity, and thirst ratings via a visual analog scale during four consecutive days of racing. Measurements and data collection took place at the same time each racing day, with mean environmental temperature, humidity, and wind speed at 23.0 ± 0.8°C, 64–70%, and 9 ± 1 knots, respectively. Average racing time was 130 ± 9 min. Body weight was significantly decreased following each race-day as compared to prerace values (Day 1: −1.1 ± 0.2, Day 2: −2.5 ± 0.1, Day 3: −2.8 ± 0.1, and Day 4: −3.0 ± 0.1% of body weight; p < 0.05). The participants exhibited dehydration of −2.9 ± 0.2 and −5.8 ± 0.2% of body weight before and after the fourth racing day as compared to the three-day baseline body weight. Urine-specific gravity (pre–post → Day 1: 1.014–1.017; Day 2: 1.019–1.024; Day 3: 1.021–1.026; Day 4: 1.022–1.027) and thirst (pre–post → Day 1: 2.0–5.2; Day 2: 3.2–5.5; Day 3: 3.7–5.7; Day 4: 3.8–6.8) were also progressively and significantly elevated throughout the four days of competition. The data revealed progressive dehydration throughout four consecutive days of racing as indicated by decreased body weight, elevated urine concentration, and high thirst.

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Giannis Arnaoutis, Stavros A. Kavouras, Yiannis P. Kotsis, Yiannis E. Tsekouras, Michalis Makrillos, and Costas N. Bardis

There is a lack of studies concerning hydration status of young athletes exercising in the heat.

Purpose:

To assess preexercise hydration status in young soccer players during a summer sports camp and to evaluate bodywater balance after soccer training sessions.

Methods:

Initial hydration status was assessed in 107 young male soccer players (age 11–16 yr) during the 2nd day of the camp. Seventy-two athletes agreed to be monitored during 2 more training sessions (3rd and 5th days of the camp) to calculate dehydration via changes in body weight, while water drinking was allowed ad libitum. Hydration status was assessed via urine specific gravity (USG), urine color, and changes in total body weight. Mean environmental temperature and humidity were 27.2 ± 2 °C and 57% ± 9%, respectively.

Results:

According to USG values, 95 of 107 of the players were hypohydrated (USG ≥ 1.020) before practice. The prevalence of dehydration observed was maintained on both days, with 95.8% and 97.2% of the players being dehydrated after the training sessions on the 3rd and 5th days, respectively. Despite fluid availability, 54 of the 66 (81.8%) dehydrated players reduced their body weight (–0.35 ± 0.04 kg) as a response to training, while 74.6% (47 out of the 63) further reduced their body weight (–0.22 ± 0.03 kg) after training on the 5th day.

Conclusion:

Approximately 90% of the young soccer players who began exercising under warm weather conditions were hypohydrated, while drinking ad libitum during practice did not prevent further dehydration in already dehydrated players.