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James Faulkner, Alexis R. Mauger, Brandon Woolley and Danielle Lambrick

Purpose:

To assess the utility of a self-paced maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) test (SPV) in eliciting an accurate measure of VO2max in comparison with a traditional graded exercise test (GXT) during motorized treadmill exercise.

Design:

This was a cross-sectional experimental study whereby recreationally trained men (n = 13, 25.5 ± 4.6 y) completed 2 maximal exercise tests (SPV, GXT) separated by a 72-h recovery period.

Methods:

The GXT was continuous and incremental, with prescribed 1-km/h increases every 2 min until the attainment of VO2max. The SPV consisted of 5 × 2-min stages of incremental exercise, which were self-selected and adjusted according to 5 prescribed RPE levels (RPE 11, 13, 15, 17, and 20).

Results:

Although no significant differences in VO2max were observed between the SPV and GXT (63.9 ± 3.3 cf 60.9 ± 4.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1, respectively, P > .05), the apparent 4.7% mean difference may be practically important. The 95% limits-of-agreement analysis was 3.03 ± 11.49 mL · kg−1 · min−1. Therefore, in the worst-case scenario, the GXT may underestimate measured VO2max as ascertained by the SPV by up to 19%. Conversely, the SPV could underestimate the GXT by 14%.

Conclusions:

The current study has shown that the SPV is an accurate measure of VO2max during exercise on a motorized treadmill and may provide a slightly higher VO2max value than that obtained from a traditional GXT. The higher VO2max during the SPV may be important when prescribing training or monitoring athlete progression.

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Craig A. Williams, Jon L. Oliver and James Faulkner

Purpose:

The aim of the study was to longitudinally assess speed and jump performance characteristics of youth football players over a 3 y period.

Methods:

Two hundred players across five age squads (U12–U16) from an English Football League academy participated. Sprint performance (10 and 30 m) and countermove-ment jump height were assessed at 6 mo intervals. Pairwise analyses determined the level of change in performance between consecutive intervals.

Results:

Sprint performance changes tended to be greatest during the early teenage years, with observed changes exceeding the smallest worthwhile effect (1.0% for 10 and 30 m sprints). Changes in jump performance were above the smallest worthwhile effect of 1.8% for all but one interval. Large individual variability in the magnitude of change in sprint and jump performance, perhaps due to the confounding effect of growth and maturation, revealed few significant differences across the 6 mo intervals. Cumulative changes in performance demonstrated strong linear relationships, with a yearly rate of change of 6.9% for jump height, and 3.1 and 2.7% for 10 m and 30 m sprint time respectively. The magnitude of change in performance tended not to differ from one interval to another.

Conclusions:

The results of this study may primarily be used to monitor and predict the rate of progression of youth football players. In addition, these results may be used as a benchmark to evaluate the effectiveness of a current training program.

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James Faulkner, Danielle Lambrick, Sebastian Kaufmann and Lee Stoner

Background:

The purpose of this study was to assess the acute effects of posture (upright vs recumbent) during moderate-intensity cycle exercise on executive function and prefrontal cortex oxygenation in young healthy adults.

Methods:

Seventeen physically active men (24.6 ± 4.3 years) completed 2 30-minute submaximal exercise tests (conditions: upright and recumbent cycle ergometry). Executive function was assessed using the “color” and “word” Stroop task, preexercise (resting) and postexercise. Regional oxygen saturation (rSO2) to the prefrontal cortex was continuously monitored using near-infrared spectroscopy.

Results:

Significant improvements in executive function (Stroop color and word tasks) were observed after 30 minutes of exercise for both upright and recumbent cycling (P < .05). However, there were no differences in executive function between cycling conditions (P > .05). A significant increase in rSO2 was recorded immediately postexercise compared with preexercise for both conditions (P < .05), with a trend (P = .06) for higher peak rSO2 following recumbent cycling compared with upright cycling (81.9% ± 6.5% cf 79.7% ± 9.3%, respectively).

Conclusions:

Although submaximal cycling exercise acutely improves cognitive performance and prefrontal oxygenation, changes in cognition are not perceived to be dependent on body posture in young, healthy men.