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  • Author: Irineu Loturco x
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Irineu Loturco, Lucas A. Pereira, Ciro Winckler, Weverton L. Santos, Ronaldo Kobal and Michael McGuigan

Purpose: To examine the relationships between different loading intensities and movement velocities in the bench-press exercise (BP) in Paralympic powerlifters. Methods: A total of 17 national Paralympic powerlifters performed maximum dynamic strength tests to determine their BP 1-repetition maximum (1RM) in a Smith-machine device. A linear position transducer was used to measure movement velocity over a comprehensive range of loads. Linear-regression analysis was performed to establish the relationships between the different bar velocities and the distinct percentages of 1RM. Results: Overall, the correlations between bar velocities and %1RM were strong over the entire range of loads (R 2 .80–.91), but the precision of the predictive equations (expressed as mean differences [%] between actual and predicted 1RM values) were higher at heavier loading intensities (∼20% for loads ≤70% 1RM and ∼5% for loads ≥70% 1RM). In addition, it seems that these very strong athletes (eg, 1RM relative in the BP = 2.22 [0.36] kg·kg−1, for male participants) perform BP 1RM assessments at lower velocities than those previously reported in the literature. Conclusions: The load–velocity relationship was strong and consistent in Paralympic powerlifters, especially at higher loads (≥70% 1RM). Therefore, Paralympic coaches can use the predictive equations and the reference values provided here to determine and monitor the BP loading intensity in national Paralympic powerlifters.

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Irineu Loturco, Timothy Suchomel, Chris Bishop, Ronaldo Kobal, Lucas A. Pereira and Michael McGuigan

Purpose: To compare the associations between optimum power loads and 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) values (assessed in half-squat and jump-squat exercises) and multiple performance measures in elite athletes. Methods: Sixty-one elite athletes (15 Olympians) from 4 different sports (track and field [sprinters and jumpers], rugby sevens, bobsled, and soccer) performed squat and countermovement jumps, half-squat exercise (to assess 1RM), half-squat and jump-squat exercises (to assess bar-power output), and sprint tests (60 m for sprinters and jumpers and 40 m for the other athletes). Pearson product–moment correlation test was used to determine relationships between 1RM and bar-power outputs with vertical jumps and sprint times in both exercises. Results: Overall, both measurements were moderately to near perfectly related to speed performance (r values varying from −.35 to −.69 for correlations between 1RM and sprint times, and from −.36 to −.91 for correlations between bar-power outputs and sprint times; P < .05). However, on average, the magnitude of these correlations was stronger for power-related variables, and only the bar-power outputs were significantly related to vertical jump height. Conclusions: The bar-power outputs were more strongly associated with sprint-speed and power performance than the 1RM measures. Therefore, coaches and researchers can use the bar-power approach for athlete testing and monitoring. Due to the strong correlations presented, it is possible to infer that meaningful variations in bar-power production may also represent substantial changes in actual sport performance.

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Fabio Y. Nakamura, Lucas A. Pereira, César C. Cal Abad, Emerson Franchini and Irineu Loturco

Purpose:

To quantify the training loads reported by karate athletes of the Brazilian national team in the week immediately before their participation in the 2015 Pan American Games.

Methods:

Eleven elite karate athletes (7 men and 4 women, 24.42 ± 3.75 y, 1.70 ± 0.09 m, 69.6 ± 13.2 kg) from the Brazilian national team took part in this study. Session rating of perceived exertion (s-RPE) was quantified in all training sessions. Moreover, resting heart-rate variability (HRV), as analyzed through the natural log of the root-mean-square difference of successive normal RR intervals (lnRMSSD), and countermovement-jump (CMJ) performance before and after 8 training sessions were assessed throughout the week. The differences based on magnitudes were calculated comparing pre- and posttraining session, as well as measures performed every morning during the week.

Results:

The weekly s-RPE was 2608.5 ± 431.2 a.u. The lnRMSSD was very likely higher on Monday than on the following days of the week, remaining stable during this period. CMJ height did not change during the week. Almost certain differences were observed in lnRMSSD pre- and posttraining session, while CMJ height did not change.

Conclusions:

The national karate-team athletes did not present signs of fatigue accumulation, as indicated by relatively steady HRV and unchanged CMJ during the week, as planned by the coaches for precompetition technical and tactical refinement.

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Lucas A. Pereira, Andrew A. Flatt, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Irineu Loturco and Fabio Y. Nakamura

Purpose:

To compare the LnRMSSD and the LnRMSSD:RR values obtained during a 5-min stabilization period with the subsequent 5-min criterion period and to determine the time course for LnRMSSD and LnRMSSD:RR stabilization at 1-min analysis in elite team-sport athletes.

Participants:

35 elite futsal players (23.9 ± 4.5 y, 174.2 ± 4.0 cm, 74.0 ± 7.5 kg, 1576.2 ± 396.3 m in the Yo-Yo test level 1).

Methods:

The RR-interval recordings were obtained using a portable heart-rate monitor continuously for 10 min in the seated position. The 2 dependent variables analyzed were LnRMSSD and LnRMSSD:RR. To calculate the magnitude of the differences between time periods, effect-size (ES) analysis was conducted. To assess the levels of agreement, intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC) and Bland-Altman plots were used.

Results:

The LnRMSSD and LnRMSSD:RR values obtained during the stabilization period (0–5 min) presented very large to nearly perfect ICCs with the values obtained during the criterion period (5–10 min), with trivial ESs. In the ultra-short-term analysis (ie, 1-min segments) the data showed slightly less accurate results, but only trivial to small differences with very large to nearly perfect ICCs were found.

Conclusion:

LnRMSSD and LnRMSSD:RR can be recorded in 5 min without traditional stabilization periods under resting conditions in team-sport athletes. The ultra-short-term analysis (1 min) also revealed acceptable levels of agreement with the criterion.

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Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Cristian Alvarez, Felipe García-Pinillos, Paulo Gentil, Jason Moran, Lucas A. Pereira and Irineu Loturco

Purpose: To compare the effects of plyometric drop jump (DJ) training against those induced by regular soccer training and assess the transference effect coefficient (TEC) of DJs (“trained exercises”) performed from 20- (DJ20) and 40-cm (DJ40) height boxes with respect to different physical qualities (jumping, linear and change of direction speed, kicking, endurance, and maximal strength) in youth male soccer players. Methods: Participants were randomly divided into a control group (n = 20; age: 13.5 [1.9] y) and a DJ training group (n = 19; age: 13.2 [1.8] y), and trained for 7 weeks. A 2-way analysis of variance for repeated measures with the within-subject factor time (preintervention and postintervention) and between-subject factor group (intervention vs control) was performed. To calculate the TECs between the trained exercises (DJ20 and DJ40) and the physical tests, the ratio between the “result gains” (effect size [ES]) in the analyzed physical qualities and the result gains in the trained exercises were calculated. The TECs were only calculated for variables presenting an ES ≥ 0.2. Results: Significant improvements (ES = 0.21–0.46; P < .05) were observed in the DJ training group, except in linear sprint performance. The control group improved only the maximal strength (ES = 0.28; P < .05). Significant differences were observed in all variables (ES = 0.20–0.55; P < .05) in favor of the DJ training group, except for maximal strength (group × time interaction). Conclusions: A plyometric training scheme based on DJs was able to significantly improve the physical performance of youth male soccer players. Overall, greater TECs were observed for DJ40 (0.58–1.28) than DJ20 (0.55–1.21).

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Lucas Pereira, Ciro Winckler, Cesar C. Cal Abad, Ronaldo Kobal, Katia Kitamura, Amaury Veríssimo, Fabio Y. Nakamura and Irineu Loturco

This study compared the physical performance of Paralympic sprinters with visual impairments (PSVI) and their guides in jump and sprint tests. Ten PSVI and guides executed squat jumps (SJ), countermovement jumps (CMJ), horizontal quintuple right/left-leg jumps (QR/QL), decuple jumps (DEC), and 50-m-sprint tests. The guides were superior to the PSVI in SJ (35.9 ± 6.3 vs 45.6 ± 3.2 cm), CMJ (38.5 ± 6.2 vs 46.7 ± 4.0 cm), QR (9.2 ± 1.9 vs 12.7 ± 1.0 m), QL (9.4 ± 1.9 vs 13.1 ± 0.8 m), DEC (21.0 ± 3.3 vs. 27.2 ± 1.7 m), and 50-m sprints (8.4 ± 0.4 vs 7.6 ± 0.5 m/s). The average differences between the PSVI and guides in the sprint tests was 10%, range 1–24%. Therefore, substantial differences in sprinting speed (in favor of the guides) between the peers were observed. Coaches should develop strategies to train the guides to improve their muscle-power performance.

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Irineu Loturco, Lucas A. Pereira, Cesar C. Cal Abad, Saulo Gil, Katia Kitamura, Ronaldo Kobal and Fábio Y. Nakamura

Purpose:

To determine whether athletes from different sport disciplines present similar mean propulsive velocity (MPV) in the half-squat (HS) during submaximal and maximal tests, enabling prediction of 1-repetition maximum (1-RM) from MPV at any given submaximal load.

Methods:

Sixty-four male athletes, comprising American football, rugby, and soccer players; sprinters and jumpers; and combat-sport strikers attended 2 testing sessions separated by 2–4 wk. On the first visit, a standardized 1-RM test was performed. On the second, athletes performed HSs on Smith-machine equipment, using relative percentages of 1-RM to determine the respective MPV of submaximal and maximal loads. Linear regression established the relationship between MPV and percentage of 1-RM.

Results:

A very strong linear relationship (R 2 ≈ .96) was observed between the MPV and the percentages of HS 1-RM, resulting in the following equation: %HS 1-RM = −105.05 × MPV + 131.75. The MPV at HS 1-RM was ~0.3 m/s.

Conclusion:

This equation can be used to predict HS 1-RM on a Smith machine with a high degree of accuracy.

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Lucas A. Pereira, Rodrigo Ramirez-Campillo, Saul Martín-Rodríguez, Ronaldo Kobal, César C. C. Abad, Ademir F. S. Arruda, Aristide Guerriero and Irineu Loturco

Purpose:

This study aimed to examine the variations in the velocity of contraction (Vc) assessed via tensiomyography (TMG), vertical jumping ability, and sprinting speed induced by four different exercise protocols (i.e., strength, sprint, plyometric, and technical training sessions) in fourteen male National Team rugby players (age: 21.8 ± 2.6 years; weight: 83.6 ± 8.5 kg; height: 177.4 ± 6.7 cm).

Methods:

Physical tests were conducted immediately pre- and post-four distinct workouts, in the following order: (1) TMG in the rectus femoris (RF) and biceps femoris (BF) muscles; (2) squat and countermovement jumps (SJ and CMJ); and (3) 30-m sprint velocity. To analyze the differences in the assessed variables before and after each training session, the differences based on magnitudes were calculated.

Results:

After strength and plyometric workouts, the players presented possible to almost certain impairments in sprint and jump performance and in the Vc RF (effect sizes varying from 0.26 to 0.64). After the sprint training session, possible to very likely decreases were observed in the SJ, 30-m sprint, and Vc BF (effect sizes varying between 0.21 and 0.44). In contrast, after the technical training, athletes demonstrated a possible increase in the SJ and Vc in both muscles examined (effect sizes varying from 0.13 to 0.20).

Conclusions:

The main finding of this research is that, for the vast majority of results, the direction of changes observed in the Vc were the same as those observed in performance assessments. This suggests that the Vc might be used as a sensitive marker of acute variations in speed and power performance of elite team-sport athletes.

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Rodrigo Ramírez-Campillo, Cristian Martínez, Carlos I. de La Fuente, Eduardo L. Cadore, Mário C. Marques, Fabio Y. Nakamura, Irineu Loturco, Alexis Caniuqueo, Rodrigo Cañas and Mikel Izquierdo

Older women participated in a 12-week high-speed resistance training program under two supervisor-to-subject ratio methods (i.e., high versus low supervision) to assess its effects on muscle strength, power, functional performance, and quality of life assessed before (T1) and after (T2) intervention. Women were divided into either the control group (CG, n = 15), high supervision group (HSG, n = 30), or low supervision group (LSG, n = 28). The training program included exercises requiring high-speed concentric muscle actions. No differences were observed among groups at T1. Between T1 and T2, the HSG showed a higher (p < .05) improvement in muscle strength (ES = 0.36–1.26), power (ES = 0.5–0.88), functional performance (ES = 0.52–0.78), and quality of life (ES = 0.44–0.82) compared with LSG and CG. High-speed resistance training under closer supervision is more effective for improving muscle strength, power, functional performance, and quality of life in older women.