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Grant David Brinkworth, Jonathan David Buckley, Pitre Collier Bourdon, Jason Paul Gulbin and Adrian Zachei David

A randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled design was used in which 13 elite female rowers, all of whom had competed at World Championships, were supplemented with 60 g · day−1 of either bovine colostrum (BC; n = 6) or concentrated whey protein powder (WP; n = 7) during 9 weeks of pre-competition training. All subjects undertook the study as a group and completed the same training program. Prior to, and after 9 weeks of supplementation and training, subjects completed an incremental rowing test (ROW1) on a rowing ergometer consisting of 3 3 4-min submaximal workloads and a 4-min maximal effort (4max), each separated by a 1-min recovery period. The rowing test was repeated after a 15-min period of passive recovery (ROW2). The 4max for ROW1 provided a measure of performance, and the difference between the 4max efforts of ROW1 and ROW2 provided an index of recovery. Blood lactate concentrations and pH measured prior to exercise and at the end of each workload were used to estimate blood buffer capacity (b). Food intake was recorded daily for dietary analysis. There were no differences in macronutrient intakes (p > .56) or training volumes (p > .99) between BC and WP during the study period. Rowing performance (distance rowed and work done) during 4max of ROW2 was less than ROW1 at baseline (p < .05) but not different between groups (p > .05). Performance increased in both rows by Week 9 (p < .001), with no difference between groups (p > .75). However, the increase was greatest in ROW2 (p < .05), such that by Week 9 there was no longer a difference in performance between the two rows in either group (p > .05). b was not different between groups for ROW1 at baseline (BC 38.3 ± 5.0, WP 38.2 ± 7.2 slykes; p > .05) but was higher in BC by Week 9 (BC 40.8 ± 5.9, WP 33.4 ± 5.3 slykes; p < .05). b for ROW2 followed the same pattern of change as for ROW1. We conclude that supplementation with BC improves b, but not performance, in elite female rowers. It was not possible to determine whether b had any effect on recovery.

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Gary J. Slater, Anthony J. Rice, David Jenkins, Jason Gulbin and Allan G. Hahn

To strengthen the depth of lightweight rowing talent, we sought to identify experienced heavyweight rowers who possessed physique traits that predisposed them to excellence as a lightweight. Identified athletes (n = 3) were monitored over 16 wk. Variables measured included performance, anthropometric indices, and selected biochemical and metabolic parameters. All athletes decreased their body mass (range 2.0 to 8.0 kg), with muscle mass accounting for a large proportion of this (31.7 to 84.6%). Two athletes were able to maintain their performance despite reductions in body mass. However, performance was compromised for the athlete who experienced the greatest weight loss. In summary, smaller heavyweight rowers can successfully make the transition into the lightweight category, being nationally competitive in their first season as a lightweight.

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Shona Halson, David T. Martin, Andrew S. Gardner, Kieran Fallon and Jason Gulbin