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Teresa Alentejano, Dru Marshall and Gordon Bell

Purpose:

To determine the total amount and relative time periods of face immersion (FI) in a synchronized swimming solo routine and the relationship between FI, distance covered, and the technical-merit score of the 11 top Canadian soloists at a synchronized swimming national championship (mean age 20 ± 1.8 y, height 173.3 ± 4.1 cm, and body mass 58.3 ± 4 kg).

Methods:

Videotape and timing of solo performances combined with manual tracking of pool patterns.

Results:

Analysis of performance revealed that an average of 18 FI periods, mean of 6.8 s, were performed for an average total time of 133.7 ± 27.1 s (range 102.2 to 199.8 s). The average longest FI time period was 25.45 ± 6.2 s (range 18.18 to 38.72 s), and most (10/11) of these were in the first third of the solo. The mean total horizontal distance covered was 57.61 ± 6.84 m (range 48.61 to 68.2 m), and the total horizontal distance covered relative to time was 0.276 ± 0.034 m/s (range 0.235 to 0.340 m/s). No significant relationships were found between any of the FI periods and the distance covered or between the technical-merit score and FI periods. Each solo contained 6 to 8 underwater sequences, none of which were longer than 40 seconds, the cutoff deemed dangerous by FINA (Fédération Internationale de Natation).

Conclusion:

This study shows that the times underwater for solos in Canada are within safety limits recommended by FINA and that judging in Canada is not related to underwater periods of swimming.

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Scott C. Forbes, Vicki Harber and Gordon J. Bell

L-arginine may enhance endurance performance mediated by two primary mechanisms including enhanced secretion of endogenous growth hormone (GH) and as a precursor of nitric oxide (NO); however, research in trained participants has been equivocal. The purpose was to investigate the effect of acute L-arginine ingestion on the hormonal and metabolic response during submaximal exercise in trained cyclists. Fifteen aerobically trained men (age: 28 ± 5 y; body mass: 77.4 ± 9.5 kg; height: 180.9 ± 7.9 cm; VO2max: 59.6 ± 5.9 ml·kg-1·min−1) participated in a randomized, double-blind, crossover study. Subjects consumed L-arginine (ARG; 0.075 g·kg-1 body mass) or a placebo (PLA) before performing an acute bout of submaximal exercise (60 min at 80% of power output achieved at ventilatory threshold). The ARG condition significantly increased plasma L-arginine concentrations (~146%), while no change was detected in the PLA condition. There were no differences between conditions for GH, nonesterified fatty acids (NEFA), lactate, glucose, VO2, VCO2, RER, CHO oxidation, and NOx. There was reduced fat oxidation at the start of exercise (ARG: 0.36 ± 0.25 vs. PLA: 0.42 ± 0.23 g·min−1, p < .05) and an elevated plasma glycerol concentrations at the 45-min time point (ARG: 340.3 vs. PLA: 288.5 μmol·L-1, p < .05) after L-arginine consumption. In conclusion, the acute ingestion of L-arginine did not alter any hormonal, metabolic, or cardio-respiratory responses during submaximal exercise except for a small but significant increase in glycerol at the 45-min time point and a reduction in fat oxidation at the start of exercise.

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Scott C. Forbes, Linda McCargar, Paul Jelen and Gordon J. Bell

The purpose was to investigate the effects of a controlled typical 1-day diet supplemented with two different doses of whey protein isolate on blood amino acid profiles and hormonal concentrations following the final meal. Nine males (age: 29.6 ± 6.3 yrs) completed four conditions in random order: a control (C) condition of a typical mixed diet containing ~10% protein (0.8 g·kg–1), 65% carbohydrate, and 25% fat; a placebo (P) condition calorically matched with carbohydrate to the whey protein conditions; a low-dose condition of 0.8 grams of whey protein isolate per kilogram body mass per day (g·kg–1·d–1; W1) in addition to the typical mixed diet; or a high-dose condition of 1.6 g·kg–1·d–1 (W2) of supplemental whey protein in addition to the typical mixed diet. Following the final meal, significant (p < .05) increases in total amino acids, essential amino acids (EAA), branch-chained amino acids (BCAA), and leucine were observed in plasma with whey protein supplementation while no changes were observed in the control and placebo conditions. There was no significant group difference for glucose, insulin, testosterone, cortisol, or growth hormone. In conclusion, supplementing a typical daily food intake consisting of 0.8 g of protein·kg–1·d–1 with a whey protein isolate (an additional 0.8 or 1.6 g·kg–1·d–1) significantly elevated total amino acids, EAA, BCAA, and leucine but had no effect on glucose, insulin, testosterone, cortisol, or growth hormone following the final meal. Future acute and chronic supplementation research examining the physiological and health outcomes associated with elevated amino acid profiles is warranted.

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Scott C. Forbes, Vicki Harber and Gordon J. Bell

Acute resistance exercise and L-arginine have both been shown to independently elevate plasma growth hormone (GH) concentrations; however, their combined effect is controversial. The purpose was to investigate the combined effects of resistance exercise and L-arginine supplementation on plasma L-arginine, GH, GH secretagogues, and IGF-1 in strength trained participants. Fourteen strength trained males (age: 25 ± 4 y; body mass: 81.4 ± 9.0 kg; height: 179.4 ± 6.9 cm; and training experience: 6.3 ± 3.4 y) participated in a randomized double-blind crossover design (separated by ~7 days). Subjects reported to the laboratory at 08:00 in a fasted state, consumed L-arginine (ARG; 0.075 g·kg−1 body mass) or a placebo (PLA) before performing an acute bout of resistance exercise (3 sets of 8 exercises, 10 repetitions at ~75% 1RM). Blood samples were collected at rest, before exercise, and at 0, 15, 30, and 60 min of rest-recovery. The ARG condition significantly increased plasma L-arginine concentrations (~120%) while no change was detected in the PLA condition. There were no differences between conditions for GH, GH-releasing hormone, ghrelin, or IGF-1 at any time point. GH-inhibiting hormone was significantly lower in the ARG condition. However, integrated area under the curve for GH was blunted in the ARG condition (L-arginine = 288.4 ± 368.7 vs. placebo = 487.9 ± 482.0 min·ng·mL−1, p < .05). L-arginine ingested before resistance exercise significantly elevated plasma L-arginine concentration but attenuated plasma GH in strength trained individuals despite a lower GHIH. Furthermore our data shows that the GH suppression was not due to a GH or IGF-1 induced autonegative feedback loop.

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Gordon J. Bell, Gary D. Snydmiller and Alex B. Game

Twenty-four National Hockey League (NHL) goaltenders were observed to determine the types and frequency of their movements during actual games. A secondary purpose was to compare these movements across the 3 periods of game play and between 2 NHL seasons (2003–04 and 2005–06) as a result of several rule changes between seasons. The mean (± SD) age, height, body mass, and years of NHL experience of the goaltenders were 30 ± 4 y, 85.4 ± 4.4 kg, 184.0 ± 3.8 cm, 6.6 ± 4.0 y, respectively. The mean (± SD) number of times and type of movements used during a game in order of most frequent were vertical movement (43.7 ± 10.3), moving laterally (39.7 ± 12.7), moving into full-butterfly position (32.1), anterior–posterior movement in front of goal crease (31.5 ± 11.5), skating out of the goal area to play the puck (19.7 ± 6.3), and using a half butterfly on a single leg pad (left = 5.2 ± 1.9, right = 6.4 ± 2.1). Goaltenders played the puck less frequently during the final period of the game than during the first 2 periods and more frequently between the 2 different NHL seasons after certain rule changes. It was concluded that NHL goaltenders move most frequently vertically, laterally, and out of the net to play the puck. In addition, goaltenders moved out of the goal area to play the puck less often in the third period but more frequently after several league rule changes designed to reduce this movement.

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Daniel G. Syrotuik, Kirsten L. MacFadyen, Vicki J. Harber and Gordon J. Bell

To examine the effects of elk velvet antler supplementation (EVA) combined with training on resting and exercise-stimulated hormonal response, male (n = 25) and female (n = 21) rowers ingested either E VA (560 mg/d) or placebo (PL) during 10 wk of training. VO2max, 2000 m rowing time, leg and bench press strength were determined before and after 5 and 10 wk of training. Serum hormone levels were measured prior to and 5 and 60 min after a simulated 2000 m rowing race. VO2max and strength increased and 2000 m times decreased similarly (P < 0.05) with training. There was no significant difference between the EVA and PL group for any hormonal response. Testosterone (males only) and growth hormone (both genders) were higher 5 min after the simulated race (P < 0.05) but returned to baseline at 60 min. Cortisol was higher 5 and 60 min compared to rest (both genders) (P < 0.05) and was higher 60 min post-exercise following 5 and 10 wk of training. It appears that 10 wk of EVA supplementation does not significantly improve rowing performance nor alter hormonal responses at rest or after acute exercise than training alone.

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Gordon J. Bell, Vicki Harber, Terra Murray, Kerry S. Courneya and Wendy Rodgers

Background:

Fitness and health variables were measured in 128 sedentary men and women randomly assigned to 6 months of fitness training (F), a walking program (W), or a control (C) group.

Methods:

The F program gradually increased volume and intensity until 4 d/wk of training, at 70% of peak VO2 for 43 min/session was prescribed while the W group performed daily walking monitored with pedometers and increased until 10,000 steps×d−1 were prescribed. Total weekly energy expenditure was matched between the activity groups. The control group was asked to maintain their usual activity.

Results:

Body mass, waist circumference, waist/hip ratio, resting HR were reduced in all groups after 6 months (P < .05). Fasting glucose, glucose tolerance, and total cholesterol were similarly improved in all groups (P < .05). Blood pressure and HR decreased during submaximal exercise in all groups (P < .05) but rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was decreased only in the F group (P < .05). Only the F participants showed a significant increase in ventilatory threshold (VT; ~15%) and peak VO2 (~9%) after 6 months.

Conclusions:

Supervised fitness training in previously sedentary adults produced greater improvements in submaximal RPE, BPsys, VT, and peak VO2 but not other fitness and health-related variables compared with a pedometer-based walking program matched for total energy cost.

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Michael A. Penkman, Catherine J. Field, Christopher M. Sellar, Vicki J. Harber and Gordon J. Bell

Purpose:

This study determined the effect of dehydration and rehydration (DR) on performance, immune cell response, and tympanic temperature after high-intensity rowing exercis.

Methods:

Seven oarswomen completed two simulated 2000-m rowing race trials separated by 72 h in a random, cross-over design. One trial was completed in a euhydrated (E) condition and the other using a DR protocol.

Results:

The DR condition resulted in a 3.33 ± 0.14% reduction in body mass (P < .05) over a 24-h period followed by a 2-h rehydration period immediately before the simulated rowing race. There was a greater change in tympanic temperature observed in the DR trial (P < .05). There were increases in the blood concentration of leukocytes, lymphocytes, lymphocyte subsets (CD3+, CD3+/4+, CD3+/8+, CD3/16+, CD4+/25+; P < .05) and decreases in lymphocyte proliferation and neutrophil oxidative burst activity immediately following the simulated race (P < .05) in both trials. Blood leukocyte and neutrophil concentrations were greater after exercise in the DR trial (P < .05). Whereas most immune measures returned to resting values after 60 min of recovery in both trials, lymphocyte proliferation and the concentrations of CD3+/4+ and CD4+/25+ cells were significantly lower than before exercise. Blood leukocyte and neutrophil concentrations were significantly higher before and after exercise in the E trial.

Conclusion:

The effects of dehydration/rehydration did not negatively influence simulated 2000-m rowing race performance in lightweight oarswomen but did produce a higher tympanic temperature and had a differential effect on blood leukocyte, neutrophil, and natural killer (CD3/16+) cell concentrations after exercise compared with the euhydrated state.

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Leyre Gravina, Frankie F. Brown, Lee Alexander, James Dick, Gordon Bell, Oliver C. Witard and Stuart D.R. Galloway

Omega-3 fatty acid (n-3 FA) supplementation could promote adaptation to soccer-specific training. We examined the impact of a 4-week period of n-3 FA supplementation during training on adaptations in 1RM knee extensor strength, 20-m sprint speed, vertical jump power, and anaerobic endurance capacity (Yo-Yo test) in competitive soccer players. Twenty six soccer players were randomly assigned to one of two groups: n-3 FA supplementation (n-3 FA; n = 13) or placebo (n = 13). Both groups performed two experimental trial days. Assessments of physical function and respiratory function were conducted pre (PRE) and post (POST) supplementation. Training session intensity, competitive games and nutritional intake were monitored during the 4-week period. No differences were observed in respiratory measurements (FEV1, FVC) between groups. No main effect of treatment was observed for 1RM knee extensor strength, explosive leg power, or 20 m sprint performance, but strength improved as a result of the training period in both groups (p < .05). Yo-Yo test distance improved with training in the n-3 FA group only (p < .01). The mean difference (95% CI) in Yo-Yo test distance completed from PRE to POST was 203 (66–340) m for n-3 FA, and 62 (-94–217) m for placebo, with a moderate effect size (Cohen’s d of 0.52). We conclude that 4 weeks of n-3 FA supplementation does not improve strength, power or speed assessments in competitive soccer players. However, the increase in anaerobic endurance capacity evident only in the n-3 FA treatment group suggests an interaction that requires further study.