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Amelia Ferro, Jorge Villacieros and Javier Pérez-Tejero

The purpose of this study was to develop a methodology to accurately analyze sprint performance of elite wheelchair basketball (WB) players in their own training context using a laser system and to analyze the velocity curve performed by the players regarding their functional classification and their playing position. Twelve WB players, from the Spanish men’s national team, took part in an oncourt 20-m-sprint test. BioLaserSport® was used to obtain time, mean velocities (Vm), maximum velocities (Vmax), and distances at 90%, 95%, and 98% of their Vmax. Vm and Vmax reached high values in Classes II and III and in the guard playing position. The protocol developed with the laser system makes it possible to obtain a precise velocity curve in short sprints and allows easy analysis of decisive kinematic performance variables in WB players, showing immediate feedback to coaches and players. The normalized data allow an interpretation of how much, where, and when Vmax occurs along the test.

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Amelia Ferro, Guadalupe Garrido, Jorge Villacieros, Javier Pérez and Lena Grams

Physical condition and an optimized diet are relevant to enhance performance and recovery. The diet composition and meal frequency of eleven elite wheelchair basketball players were estimated using a 3-day food-weighing diary in two months during the precompetitive-period. Performance was determined through a 20 m sprint test. The players consumed 4.2 ± 0.8 meals/day in May and 4.5 ± 0.9 meals/day in June, resulting in total energy intakes of 2492 ± 362 kcal/d and 2470 ± 497 kcal/d, respectively. The macronutrient distribution was 3.8 ± 1.3 g/kg carbohydrates, 1.7 ± 0.6 g/kg protein, and 36 ± 5% of energy derived from fat in May, and 4.2 ± 1.9 g/kg carbohydrates, 1.5 ± 0.5 g/kg protein and 32 ± 5% of energy derived from fat in June. The maximum velocity of the sprint test improved from 4.77 ± 0.31 m/s in May to 5.19 ± 0.23 m/s in June. Our results revealed carbohydrate intake below and fat intake above recommendations, but improvements of dietary patterns. Further nutritional advice is necessary to ensure health and performance improvements.

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Pablo M. García-Rovés, Serafina Fernández, Manuel Rodríguez, Javier Pérez-Landaluce and Angeles M. Patterson

The aim of this study is to accurately describe the eating pattern and nutritional status of international elite flatwater paddlers during 1 week of a high volume training camp. Ten male and 5 female international elite flatwater paddlers were recruited to take part in this study. These athletes were all members of the Spanish National Team. To assess the intake of energy, macronutrients, and micronutrients, we used the weighed food intake method carried out by an observer. Biochemical and hematological profiles were also obtained. Average daily energy intake in male and female flatwater paddlers was 21.5 ± 2.3 and 16.5 ± 1.7 MJ, respectively. Furthermore, the male athletes showed average carbohydrate and protein intakes of 7.5 ±0.8 and 2.2 ±0.3 g ·kg·1 body weight - day ’, respectively. Similar intakes were found in female paddlers. carbohydrate 7.3 ± 1.1 and protein 2.0±0.3g·kg·1 body weight·day·1. Daily relative contribution to energy from fat was higher than recommended for sports practitioners or sedentary people (< 30 % of daily energy) in both genders (39.1 ± 2.1 and 40.2± 2.9% for men and women, respectively). Nevertheless, this diet with a high fat content (rich in monounsaturated fatty acids) did not seem to influence the paddlers’ blood lipid profile that presented low values for total cholesterol and tryglicerides and high values for high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol). Flatwater paddlers’ micronutrient intake was higher than Recommended Dietary Allowances/Dietary Reference Intake (RDA/DRIs), except for folate that is close to DRI values. Further studies are required in order to understand whether this level of fat intake could impair highly trained athletes’ performance and health.

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Amador García-Ramos, Francisco Luis Pestaña-Melero, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Francisco Javier Rojas and Guy Gregory Haff

Purpose: To compare the load–velocity relationship between 4 variants of the bench-press (BP) exercise. Methods: The full load–velocity relationship of 30 men was evaluated by means of an incremental loading test starting at 17 kg and progressing to the individual 1-repetition maximum (1RM) in 4 BP variants: concentric-only BP, concentric-only BP throw (BPT), eccentric-concentric BP, and eccentric-concentric BPT. Results: A strong and fairly linear relationship between mean velocity (MV) and %1RM was observed for the 4 BP variants (r 2 > .96 for pooled data and r 2 > .98 for individual data). The MV associated with each %1RM was significantly higher in the eccentric-concentric technique than in the concentric-only technique. The only significant difference between the BP and BPT variants was the higher MV with the light to moderate loads (20–70%1RM) in the BPT using the concentric-only technique. MV was significantly and positively correlated between the 4 BP variants (r = .44–.76), which suggests that the subjects with higher velocities for each %1RM in 1 BP variant also tend to have higher velocities for each %1RM in the 3 other BP variants. Conclusions: These results highlight the need for obtaining specific equations for each BP variant and the existence of individual load–velocity profiles.

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Francisco Luis Pestaña-Melero, G. Gregory Haff, Francisco Javier Rojas, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla and Amador García-Ramos

This study aimed to compare the between-session reliability of the load–velocity relationship between (1) linear versus polynomial regression models, (2) concentric-only versus eccentric–concentric bench press variants, as well as (3) the within-participants versus the between-participants variability of the velocity attained at each percentage of the 1-repetition maximum. The load–velocity relationship of 30 men (age: 21.2 [3.8] y; height: 1.78 [0.07] m, body mass: 72.3 [7.3] kg; bench press 1-repetition maximum: 78.8 [13.2] kg) were evaluated by means of linear and polynomial regression models in the concentric-only and eccentric–concentric bench press variants in a Smith machine. Two sessions were performed with each bench press variant. The main findings were: (1) first-order polynomials (coefficient of variation: 4.39%–4.70%) provided the load–velocity relationship with higher reliability than the second-order polynomials (coefficient of variation: 4.68%–5.04%); (2) the reliability of the load–velocity relationship did not differ between the concentric-only and eccentric–concentric bench press variants; and (3) the within-participants variability of the velocity attained at each percentage of the 1-repetition maximum was markedly lower than the between-participants variability. Taken together, these results highlight that, regardless of the bench press variant considered, the individual determination of the load–velocity relationship by a linear regression model could be recommended to monitor and prescribe the relative load in the Smith machine bench press exercise.

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Juan Del Coso, Alberto Pérez-López, Javier Abian-Vicen, Juan Jose Salinero, Beatriz Lara and David Valadés

There are no scientific data about the effects of caffeine intake on volleyball performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of a caffeine-containing energy drink to enhance physical performance in male volleyball players. A double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized experimental design was used. In 2 different sessions separated by 1 wk, 15 college volleyball players ingested 3 mg of caffeine per kg of body mass in the form of an energy drink or the same drink without caffeine (placebo). After 60 min, participants performed volleyball-specific tests: standing spike test, maximal squat jump (SJ), maximal countermovement jump (CMJ), 15-s rebound jump test (15RJ), and agility T-test. Later, a simulated volleyball match was played and recorded. In comparison with the placebo drink, the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink increased ball velocity in the spike test (73 ± 9 vs 75 ± 10 km/h, P < .05) and the mean jump height in SJ (31.1 ± 4.3 vs 32.7 ± 4.2 cm, P < .05), CMJ (35.9 ± 4.6 vs 37.7 ± 4.4 cm, P < .05), and 15RJ (29.0 ± 4.0 vs 30.5 ± 4.6 cm, P < .05). The time to complete the agility test was significantly reduced with the caffeinated energy drink (10.8 ± 0.7 vs 10.3 ± 0.4 s, P < .05). In addition, players performed successful volleyball actions more frequently (24.6% ± 14.3% vs 34.3% ± 16.5%, P < .05) with the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink than with the placebo drink during the simulated game. A caffeine-containing energy drink, with a dose equivalent to 3 mg of caffeine per kg body mass, might be an effective ergogenic aid to improve physical performance and accuracy in male volleyball players.

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Amador García-Ramos, Guy Gregory Haff, Francisco Luis Pestaña-Melero, Alejandro Pérez-Castilla, Francisco Javier Rojas, Carlos Balsalobre-Fernández and Slobodan Jaric

Purpose: This study compared the concurrent validity and reliability of previously proposed generalized group equations for estimating the bench press (BP) 1-repetition maximum (1RM) with the individualized load–velocity relationship modeled with a 2-point method. Methods: Thirty men (BP 1RM relative to body mass: 1.08 [0.18] kg·kg−1) performed 2 incremental loading tests in the concentric-only BP exercise and another 2 in the eccentric–concentric BP exercise to assess their actual 1RM and load–velocity relationships. A high velocity (≈1 m·s−1) and a low velocity (≈0.5 m·s−1) were selected from their load–velocity relationships to estimate the 1RM from generalized group equations and through an individual linear model obtained from the 2 velocities. Results: The directly measured 1RM was highly correlated with all predicted 1RMs (r = .847–.977). The generalized group equations systematically underestimated the actual 1RM when predicted from the concentric-only BP (P < .001; effect size = 0.15–0.94) but overestimated it when predicted from the eccentric–concentric BP (P < .001; effect size = 0.36–0.98). Conversely, a low systematic bias (range: −2.3 to 0.5 kg) and random errors (range: 3.0–3.8 kg), no heteroscedasticity of errors (r 2 = .053–.082), and trivial effect size (range: −0.17 to 0.04) were observed when the prediction was based on the 2-point method. Although all examined methods reported the 1RM with high reliability (coefficient of variation ≤ 5.1%; intraclass correlation coefficient  ≥ .89), the direct method was the most reliable (coefficient of variation < 2.0%; intraclass correlation coefficient ≥ .98). Conclusions: The quick, fatigue-free, and practical 2-point method was able to predict the BP 1RM with high reliability and practically perfect validity, and therefore, the authors recommend its use over generalized group equations.