American football is the most popular sport in the United States. Its popularity is likely related to the intense, fast-paced, physical style of play. The importance of strength and conditioning to success in football has been long understood. In fact, the strength and conditioning profession in North America can take its roots from American football. However, only recently has scientific study confirmed the positive relationships between strength, speed, and power to success in this sport. Although strength and conditioning are integral to every American football program, the collaboration with sport scientists has not been as fruitful. Only limited studies are available examining the physiological effects of actual competition and physiological adaptations or maladaptations during a season of competition. Most studies on American football have primarily focused on physical performance characteristics of these athletes and how various training paradigms can be used to improve performance.
Jay R. Hoffman
William J. Kraemer, Andrew C. Fry, Peter N. Frykman, Brian Conroy and Jay Hoffman
The use of resistance training for children has increased in popularity and interest. It appears that children are capable of voluntary strength gains. Exercise prescription in younger populations is critical and requires certain program variables to be altered from adult perspectives. Individualization is vital, as the rate of physiological maturation has an impact on the adaptations that occur. The major difference in programs for children is the use of lighter loads (i.e., > 6 RM loads). It appears that longer duration programs (i.e., 10-20 wks) are better for observing training adaptations. This may be due to the fact that it takes more exercise to stimulate adaptational mechanisms related to strength performance beyond that of normal growth rates. The risk of injury appears low during participation in a resistance training program, and this risk is minimized with proper supervision and instruction. Furthermore, with the incidence of injury in youth sports, participation in a resistance training program may provide a protective advantage in one’s preparation for sports participation.
Nicholas A. Ratamess, Jay R. Hoffman, Ryan Ross, Miles Shanklin, Avery D. Faigenbaum and Jie Kang
The authors aimed to examine the acute hormonal and performance responses to resistance exercise with and without prior consumption of an amino acid/creatine/energy supplement. Eight men performed a resistance-exercise protocol at baseline (BL), 20 min after consuming a supplement (S) consisting of essential amino acids, creatine, taurine, caffeine, and glucuronolactone or a maltodextrin placebo (P). Venous blood samples were obtained before and immediately after (IP), 15 min (15P), and 30 min (30P) after each protocol. Area under the curve of resistance-exercise volume revealed that BL was significantly less than S (10%) and P (8.6%). For fatigue rate, only S (18.4% ± 12.0%) was significantly lower than BL (32.9% ± 8.4%). Total testosterone (TT) and growth hormone (GH) were significantly elevated at IP and 15P in all conditions. The GH response was significantly lower, however, in S and P than in BL. The TT and GH responses did not differ between S and P. These results indicated that a supplement consisting of amino acids, creatine, taurine, caffeine, and glucuronolactone can modestly improve high-intensity endurance; however, the anabolic-hormonal response was not augmented.
Gerald T. Mangine, Jay R. Hoffman, Jose Vazquez, Napoleon Pichardo, Maren S. Fragala and Jeffrey R. Stout
The ultimate zone-rating extrapolation (UZR/150) rates fielding performance by runs saved or cost within a zone of responsibility in comparison with the league average (150 games) for a position. Spring-training anthropometric and performance measures have been previously related to hitting performance; however, their relationships with fielding performance measures are unknown.
To examine the relationship between anthropometric and performance measurements on fielding performance in professional baseball players.
Body mass, lean body mass (LBM), grip strength, 10-yd sprint, proagility, and vertical-jump mean (VJMP) and peak power (VJPP) were collected during spring training over the course of 5 seasons (2007–2011) for professional corner infielders (CI; n = 17, fielding opportunities = 420.7 ± 307.1), middle infielders (MI; n = 14, fielding opportunities = 497.3 ± 259.1), and outfielders (OF; n = 16, fielding opportunities = 227.9 ± 70.9). The relationships between these data and regular-season (100-opportunity minimum) fielding statistics were examined using Pearson correlation coefficients, while stepwise regression identified the single best predictor of UZR/150.
Significant correlations (P < .05) were observed between UZR/150 and body mass (r = .364), LBM (r = .396), VJPP (r = .397), and VJMP (r = .405). Of these variables, stepwise regression indicated VJMP (R = .405, SEE = 14.441, P = .005) as the single best predictor for all players, although the addition of proagility performance strengthened (R = .496, SEE = 13.865, P = .002) predictive ability by 8.3%. The best predictor for UZR/150 was body mass for CI (R = .519, SEE = 15.364, P = .033) and MI (R = .672, SEE = 12.331, P = .009), while proagility time was the best predictor for OF (R = .514, SEE = 8.850, P = .042).
Spring-training measurements of VJMP and proagility time may predict the defensive run value of a player over the course of a professional baseball season.
Jay Hoffman, Nicholas Ratamess, Jie Kang, Gerald Mangine, Avery Faigenbaum and Jeffrey Stout
The effects of creatine and creatine plus β-alanine on strength, power, body composition, and endocrine changes were examined during a 10-wk resistance training program in collegiate football players. Thirty-three male subjects were randomly assigned to either a placebo (P), creatine (C), or creatine plus β-alanine (CA) group. During each testing session subjects were assessed for strength (maximum bench press and squat), power (Wingate anaerobic power test, 20-jump test), and body composition. Resting blood samples were analyzed for total testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone, IGF-1, and sex hormone binding globulin. Changes in lean body mass and percent body fat were greater (P < 0.05) in CA compared to C or P. Significantly greater strength improvements were seen in CA and C compared to P. Resting testosterone concentrations were elevated in C, however, no other significant endocrine changes were noted. Results of this study demonstrate the efficacy of creatine and creatine plus β-alanine on strength performance. Creatine plus β-alanine supplementation appeared to have the greatest effect on lean tissue accruement and body fat composition.
Avery D. Faigenbaum, James E. McFarland, Neil A. Kelly, Nicholas A. Ratamess, Jie Kang and Jay R. Hoffman
The purpose of this study was to examine the influence of recovery time following a dynamic warm-up (DY) and a static stretch warm-up (SS) on power performance in adolescent athletes. Following baseline measures, 19 males (16.5 ± 1.1 yrs) performed the vertical jump (VJ) and seated medicine ball toss (MB) at the following time points after DY and SS: 2, 6, 10, 14, 18, 22 min. Analysis of variance revealed that VJ was significantly greater following DY than SS at 2, 6, 10, 14 and 18 min. Main effects indicated a significant increase in VJ from baseline at 2 and 6 min following DY (2.6–3.9%) and a significant decrease in VJ from baseline at 2, 6, 10, 14 and 18 min following SS (–3.2% to –7.0%). No significant interaction effects between DY and SS were observed for MB. These findings indicate that lower body power performance in male adolescent athletes can be enhanced following DY as compared with SS during the first 18 min of the post warm-up period.
Adam R. Jajtner, Jay R. Hoffman, Adam M. Gonzalez, Phillip R. Worts, Maren S. Fragala and Jeffrey R. Stout
Resistance training is a common form of exercise for competitive and recreational athletes. Enhancing recovery from resistance training may improve the muscle-remodeling processes, stimulating a faster return to peak performance.
To examine the effects of 2 different recovery modalities, neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) and cold-water immersion (CWI), on performance and biochemical and ultrasonographic measures.
Thirty resistance-trained men (23.1 ± 2.9 y, 175.2 ± 7.1 cm, 82.1 ± 8.4 kg) were randomly assigned to NMES, CWI, or control (CON).
Design and Setting:
All participants completed a high-volume lower-body resistance-training workout on d 1 and returned to the human performance laboratory 24 (24H) and 48 h (48H) postexercise for follow-up testing.
Blood samples were obtained preexercise (PRE) and immediately (IP), 30 min (30P), 24 h (24H), and 48 h (48H) post. Subjects were examined for performance changes in the squat exercise (total repetitions and average power per repetition), biomarkers of inflammation, and changes in cross-sectional area and echo intensity (EI) of the rectus femoris (RF) and vastus lateralis muscles.
No differences between groups were observed in the number of repetitions (P = .250; power: P = .663). Inferential-based analysis indicated that increases in C-reactive protein concentrations were likely increased by a greater magnitude after CWI compared with CON, while NMES possibly decreased more than CON from IP to 24H. Increases in interleukin-10 concentrations between IP and 30P were likely greater in CWI than NMES but not different from CON. Inferential-based analysis of RF EI indicated a likely decrease for CWI between IP and 48H. No other differences between groups were noted in any other muscle-architecture measures.
Results indicated that CWI induced greater increases in pro- and anti-inflammatory markers, while decreasing RF EI, suggesting that CWI may be effective in enhancing short-term muscle recovery after high-volume bouts of resistance exercise.
Avery D. Faigenbaum, Nicholas A. Ratamess, Jim McFarland, Jon Kaczmarek, Michael J. Coraggio, Jie Kang and Jay R. Hoffman
The purpose of this study was to assess the lifting performance of boys (N = 12; age 11.3 ± 0.8 yr), teens (N = 13; age 13.6 ± 0.6 yr), and men (N = 17; age 21.4 ± 2.1 yr) to various rest interval (RI) lengths on the bench press exercise. Each subject performed 3 sets with a 10 repetition maximum load and a 1, 2, and 3 min RI between sets. Significant differences in lifting performance between age groups were observed within each RI for selected sets with boys and teens performing significantly more total repetitions than adults following protocols with 1 min (27.9 ± 3.1, 26.9 ± 3.9, and 18.2 ± 4.1, respectively), 2 min (29.6 ± 1.0, 27.8 ± 3.5, and 21.4 ± 4.1, respectively) and 3 min (30.0 ± 0.0, 28.8 ± 2.4, and 23.9 ± 5.3, respectively) RIs. Significant differences in average velocity and average power between age groups were also observed. These findings indicate that boys and teens are better able to maintain muscle performance during intermittent moderate-intensity resistance exercise as compared with men.
Avery D. Faigenbaum, Jie Kang, James McFarland, Jason M. Bloom, James Magnatta, Nicholas A. Ratamess and Jay R. Hoffman
Although pre-event static stretching (SS) is an accepted practice in most youth programs, pre-event dynamic exercise (DY) is becoming popular. The purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of pre-event SS, DY, and combined SS and DY (SDY) on vertical jump (VJ), medicine-ball toss (MB), 10-yard sprint (SP), and pro-agility shuttle run (AG) in teenage athletes (15.5 ± 0.9 years). Thirty athletes participated in three testing sessions in random order on three nonconsecutive days. Before testing, participants performed 5 min of walking/jogging followed by one of the following 10 min warm-up protocols: a) five static stretches (2 × 30 s), b) nine moderate-to-high-intensity dynamic movements (2 × 10 yards), or c) five static stretches (1 × 30 s) followed by the same nine dynamic movements (1 × 10 yards). Statistical analysis of the data revealed that performance on the VJ, MB, and SP were significantly (p < .05) improved after DY and SDY as compared with SS. There were no significant differences in AG after the 3 warm-up treatments. The results of this study indicate that pre-event dynamic exercise or static stretching followed by dynamic exercise might be more beneficial than pre-event static stretching alone in teenage athletes who perform power activities.
Jay R. Hoffman, Nicholas A. Ratamess, Christopher P. Tranchina, Stefanie L. Rashti, Jie Kang and Avery D. Faigenbaum
The effect of 10 wk of protein-supplement timing on strength, power, and body composition was examined in 33 resistance-trained men. Participants were randomly assigned to a protein supplement either provided in the morning and evening (n = 13) or provided immediately before and immediately after workouts (n = 13). In addition, 7 participants agreed to serve as a control group and did not use any protein or other nutritional supplement. During each testing session participants were assessed for strength (one-repetition-maximum [1RM] bench press and squat), power (5 repetitions performed at 80% of 1RM in both the bench press and the squat), and body composition. A significant main effect for all 3 groups in strength improvement was seen in 1RM bench press (120.6 ± 20.5 kg vs. 125.4 ± 16.7 at Week 0 and Week 10 testing, respectively) and 1RM squat (154.5 ± 28.4 kg vs. 169.0 ± 25.5 at Week 0 and Week 10 testing, respectively). However, no significant between-groups interactions were seen in 1RM squat or 1RM bench press. Significant main effects were also seen in both upper and lower body peak and mean power, but no significant differences were seen between groups. No changes in body mass or percent body fat were seen in any of the groups. Results indicate that the time of protein-supplement ingestion in resistance-trained athletes during a 10-wk training program does not provide any added benefit to strength, power, or body-composition changes.