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Diogo V. Leal, Lee Taylor, and John Hough

Purpose: Progressively overloading the body to improve physical performance may lead to detrimental states of overreaching/overtraining syndrome. Blunted cycling-induced cortisol and testosterone concentrations have been suggested to indicate overreaching after intensified training periods. However, a running-based protocol is yet to be developed or demonstrated as reproducible. This study developed two 30-min running protocols, (1) 50/70 (based on individualized physical capacity) and (2) RPETP (self-paced), and measured the reproducibility of plasma cortisol and testosterone responses. Methods: Thirteen recreationally active, healthy men completed each protocol (50/70 and RPETP) on 3 occasions. Venous blood was drawn preexercise, postexercise, and 30 min postexercise. Results: Cortisol was unaffected (both P > .05; 50/70, ηp2 = .090; RPETP, ηp2 = .252), while testosterone was elevated (both P < .05; 50/70, 35%, ηp2 = .714; RPETP, 42%, ηp2 = .892) with low intraindividual coefficients of variation (CVi) as mean (SD) (50/70, 7% [5%]; RPETP, 12% [9%]). Heart rate (50/70, effect size [ES] = 0.39; RPETP, ES = −0.03), speed (RPETP, ES = −0.09), and rating of perceived exertion (50/70 ES = −0.06) were unchanged across trials (all CVi < 5%, P < .05). RPETP showed greater physiological strain (P < .01). Conclusions: Both tests elicited reproducible physiological and testosterone responses, but RPETP induced greater testosterone changes (likely due to increased physiological strain) and could therefore be considered a more sensitive tool to potentially detect overtraining syndrome. Advantageously for the practitioner, RPETP does not require a priori exercise-intensity determination, unlike the 50/70, enhancing its integration into practice.

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Diogo V. Leal, Lee Taylor, and John Hough

Purpose: Physical overexertion can lead to detrimental overreaching states without sufficient recovery, which may be identifiable by blunted exercise-induced cortisol and testosterone responses. A running test (RPETP) elicits reproducible plasma cortisol and testosterone elevations (in a healthy state) and may detect blunted hormonal responses in overreached athletes. This current study determined the salivary cortisol and testosterone responses reproducibility to the RPETP, to provide greater practical validity using saliva compared with the previously utilized blood sampling. Second, the relationship between the salivary and plasma responses was assessed. Methods: A total of 23 active, healthy males completed the RPETP on 3 occasions. Saliva (N = 23) and plasma (N = 13) were collected preexercise, postexercise, and 30 minutes postexercise. Results: Salivary cortisol did not elevate in any RPETP trial, and reduced concentrations occurred 30 minutes postexercise (P = .029, η 2 = .287); trial differences were observed (P < .001, η 2 = .463). The RPETP elevated (P < .001, η 2 = .593) salivary testosterone with no effect of trial (P = .789, η 2 = .022). Intraindividual variability was 25% in cortisol and 17% in testosterone. “Fair” intraclass coefficients of .46 (cortisol) and .40 (testosterone) were found. Salivary and plasma cortisol positively correlated (R = .581, P = .037) yet did not for testosterone (R = .345, P = .248). Conclusions: The reproducibility of salivary testosterone response to the RPETP is evident and supports its use as a potential tool, subject to further confirmatory work, to detect hormonal dysfunction during overreaching. Salivary cortisol responds inconsistently in a somewhat individualized manner to the RPETP.

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Sukhvinder S. Obhi, Patrick Haggard, John Taylor, and Alvaro Pascual-Leone

Bimanual coordination tasks form an essential part of our behaviour. One brain region thought to be involved in bimanual coordination is the supplementary motor area (SMA). We used repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) at 1 Hz for 5 min to create a temporary virtual lesion of the rostral portion of the human SMA immediately prior to performance of a goal-directed bimanual coordination task. In two control conditions, participants underwent sham stimulation or stimulation over the primary motor cortex (MI). The experimental task was to open a drawer with the left hand, catch a ball with the right hand, and reinsert the ball into the drawer through an aperture just big enough for the ball to pass through, again with the right hand. Hence, the actions of one hand depend upon the actions of the other. We calculated time intervals between the successive component actions of one hand (unimanual intervals) and actions of both hands (bimanual intervals) and analyzed these intervals separately. Interestingly, none of the unimanual intervals were affected by the rTMS, but the variability of a critical bimanual interval—the time between the left hand opening the drawer and the right hand starting to move to catch the ball—was increased by rTMS over the rostral parts of the SMA. No such effect was seen following rTMS over MI or after sham rTMS. Our results suggest that the rostral parts of the SMA play an important role in aspects of functional bimanual tasks, which involve tight temporal coordination between different motor actions of the two hands.

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Karen E. French, Peter H. Werner, Kevin Taylor, Kevin Hussey, and John Jones

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Kristie-Lee Taylor, John Cronin, Nicholas D. Gill, Dale W. Chapman, and Jeremy Sheppard


This investigation aimed to quantify the typical variation for kinetic and kinematic variables measured during loaded jump squats.


Thirteen professional athletes performed six maximal effort countermovement jumps on four occasions. Testing occurred over 2 d, twice per day (8 AM and 2 PM) separated by 7 d, with the same procedures replicated on each occasion. Jump height, peak power (PP), relative peak power (RPP), mean power (MP), peak velocity (PV), peak force (PF), mean force (MF), and peak rate of force development (RFD) measurements were obtained from a linear optical encoder attached to a 40 kg barbell.


A diurnal variation in performance was observed with afternoon values displaying an average increase of 1.5–5.6% for PP, RPP, MP, PV, PF, and MF when compared with morning values (effect sizes ranging from 0.2–0.5). Day to day reliability was estimated by comparing the morning trials (AM reliability) and the afternoon trials (PM reliability). In both AM and PM conditions, all variables except RFD demonstrated coefficients of variations ranging between 0.8–6.2%. However, for a number of variables (RPP, MP, PV and height), AM reliability was substantially better than PM. PF and MF were the only variables to exhibit a coefficient of variation less than the smallest worthwhile change in both conditions.


Results suggest that power output and associated variables exhibit a diurnal rhythm, with improved performance in the afternoon. Morning testing may be preferable when practitioners are seeking to conduct regular monitoring of an athlete’s performance due to smaller variability.

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John Maltby, Alex M. Wood, Ivo Vlaev, Michael J. Taylor, and Gordon D.A. Brown

Many accounts of social influences on exercise participation describe how people compare their behaviors to those of others. We develop and test a novel hypothesis, the exercise rank hypothesis, of how this comparison can occur. The exercise rank hypothesis, derived from evolutionary theory and the decision by sampling model of judgment, suggests that individuals’ perceptions of the health benefits of exercise are influenced by how individuals believe the amount of exercise ranks in comparison with other people’s amounts of exercise. Study 1 demonstrated that individuals’ perceptions of the health benefits of their own current exercise amounts were as predicted by the exercise rank hypothesis. Study 2 demonstrated that the perceptions of the health benefits of an amount of exercise can be manipulated by experimentally changing the ranked position of the amount within a comparison context. The discussion focuses on how social norm-based interventions could benefit from using rank information.

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John H. Hollman, Nicholas J. Beise, Michelle L. Fischer, and Taylor L. Stecklein

Context: Examining the coordinated coupling of muscle recruitment patterns may provide insight into movement variability in sport-related tasks. Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between coupled gluteus maximus and medius recruitment patterns and hip-adduction variability during single-limb step-downs. Design: Cross-sectional. Setting: Biomechanics laboratory. Participants: Forty healthy adults, including 26 women and 14 men, mean age 23.8 (1.6) years, mean body mass index 24.2 (3.1) kg/m2, participated. Interventions: Lower-extremity kinematics were acquired during 20 single-limb step-downs from a 19-cm step height. Electromyography (EMG) signals were captured with surface electrodes. Isometric hip-extension strength was obtained. Main Outcome Measures: Hip-adduction variability, measured as the SD of peak hip adduction across 20 repetitions of the step-down task, was measured. The mean amplitudes of gluteus maximus and gluteus medius EMG recruitment were examined. Determinism and entropy of the coupled EMG signals were computed with cross-recurrence quantification analyses. Results: Hip-adduction variability correlated inversely with determinism (r = −.453, P = .018) and positively with entropy (r = .409, P = .034) in coupled gluteus maximus/medius recruitment patterns but not with hip-extensor strength nor with magnitudes of mean gluteus maximus or medius recruitment (r = −.003, .081, and .035; P = .990, .688, and .864, respectively). Conclusion: Hip-adduction variability during single-limb step-downs correlated more strongly with measures of coupled gluteus maximus and medius recruitment patterns than with hip-extensor strength or magnitudes of muscle recruitment. Examining coupled recruitment patterns may provide an alternative understanding of the extent to which hip neuromuscular control modulates lower-extremity kinematics beyond examining muscle strength or EMG recruitment magnitudes.

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Kristie-Lee Taylor, Will G. Hopkins, Dale W. Chapman, and John B. Cronin

The purpose of this study was to calculate the coefficients of variation in jump performance for individual participants in multiple trials over time to determine the extent to which there are real differences in the error of measurement between participants. The effect of training phase on measurement error was also investigated. Six subjects participated in a resistance-training intervention for 12 wk with mean power from a countermovement jump measured 6 d/wk. Using a mixed-model meta-analysis, differences between subjects, within-subject changes between training phases, and the mean error values during different phases of training were examined. Small, substantial factor differences of 1.11 were observed between subjects; however, the finding was unclear based on the width of the confidence limits. The mean error was clearly higher during overload training than baseline training, by a factor of ×/÷ 1.3 (confidence limits 1.0–1.6). The random factor representing the interaction between subjects and training phases revealed further substantial differences of ×/÷ 1.2 (1.1–1.3), indicating that on average, the error of measurement in some subjects changes more than in others when overload training is introduced. The results from this study provide the first indication that within-subject variability in performance is substantially different between training phases and, possibly, different between individuals. The implications of these findings for monitoring individuals and estimating sample size are discussed.

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Michael L. Mestek, John C. Garner, Eric P. Plaisance, James Kyle Taylor, Sofiya Alhassan, and Peter W. Grandjean

The purpose of this study was to compare blood lipid responses to continuous versus accumulated exercise. Nine participants completed the following conditions on separate occasions by treadmill walking/jogging at 70% of VO2max : 1) one 500-kcal session and 2) three 167 kcal sessions. Total cholesterol (TC), high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C), and triglycerides (TG) concentrations were measured from serum samples obtained 24 h prior to and 24 and 48 h after exercise. All blood lipid responses were analyzed in 2 (condition) × 3 (time) repeated measures ANOVAs. HDL-C increased by 7 mg/dL over baseline at 48 h post-exercise with three accumulated sessions versus 2 mg/dL with continuous exercise (P < 0.05). Triglyceride concentrations were unchanged in both conditions. These findings suggest that three smaller bouts accumulated on the same day may have a modestly greater effect for achieving transient increases in HDL-C compared to a continuous bout of similar caloric expenditure.

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Ashley A. Hansen, Joanne E. Perry, John W. Lace, Zachary C. Merz, Taylor L. Montgomery, and Michael J. Ross

Evidence for the mechanisms of change by which sport psychology interventions enhance performance is limited and treatment monitoring and outcomes measures would assist in establishing evidence-based practices. The present paper fills a gap in sport psychology literature by demonstrating the development and validation of a new measure (Sport Psychology Outcomes and Research Tool; SPORT). Study 1 described test construction and pilot item selection with 73 collegiate student-athletes. Twenty-three pilot items contributed unique variance while maintaining the original constructs and were selected from 80 initial items. In Study 2, exploratory and confirmatory factor analyses were conducted with collegiate student-athletes (n = 220), revealing a 17-item, four-factor model measuring Athlete Wellbeing, Self-Regulation, Performance Satisfaction, and Sport-Related Distress. Concurrent validity was supported through correlational analyses. Overall, results supported the SPORT as a new transtheoretical tool for monitoring effectiveness and outcomes of sport psychology interventions.