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Maxime Trempe, Jean-Luc Gohier, Mathieu Charbonneau and Jonathan Tremblay

In recent years, it has been shown that spacing training sessions by several hours allows the consolidation of motor skills in the brain, a process leading to the stabilization of the skills and, sometimes, further improvement without additional practice. At the moment, it is unknown whether consolidation can lead to an improvement in performance when the learner performs complex full-body movements. To explore this question, we recruited 10 divers and had them practice a challenging diving maneuver. Divers first performed an initial training session, consisting of 12 dives during which visual feedback was provided immediately after each dive through video replay. Two retention tests without feedback were performed 30 min and 24 hr after the initial training session. All dives were recorded using a video camera and the participants’ performance was assessed by measuring the verticality of the body segments at water entry. Significant performance gains were observed in the 24-hr retention test (p < .05). These results suggest that the learning of complex full-body movements can benefit from consolidation and that splitting practice sessions can be used as a training tool to facilitate skill acquisition.

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Philippe Richard, Lymperis P. Koziris, Mathieu Charbonneau, Catherine Naulleau, Jonathan Tremblay and François Billaut

Purpose: Nitrate supplementation can increase tolerance to high-intensity work rates; however, limited data exist on the recovery of performance. The authors tested whether 5 d of nitrate supplementation could improve repeated time-trial performance in speed skating. Methods: Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 9 international-level short-track speed skaters ingested 1 high (juice blend, ∼6.5 mmol nitrate; HI) or low dose (juice blend, ∼1 mmol nitrate; LO) per day on days 1–4. After a double dose of either HI or LO on day 5, athletes performed 2 on-ice 1000-m time trials, separated by 35 min, to simulate competition races. Differences between HI and LO were compared with the smallest practically important difference. Results: Salivary [nitrate] and [nitrite] were higher in HI than LO before the first (nitrate: 81%, effect size [ES]: 1.76; nitrite: 72%, ES: 1.73) and second pursuits (nitrate: 81%, ES: 1.92; nitrite: 71%, ES: 1.78). However, there was no difference in performance in the first (LO: 90.92 [4.08] s; HI: 90.95 [4.06] s, ES: 0.01) or the second time trial (LO: 91.16 [4.06] s; HI: 91.55 [4.40] s, ES: 0.09). Plasma [lactate] measured after the trials (LO: 14.8 [1.1] mM; HI: 14.8 [1.2] mM, ES: 0.01) and at the end of the recovery period (LO: 9.8 [2.1] mM; HI: 10.2 [1.9] mM, ES: 0.05) was not different between treatments. Conclusion: Five days of high-dose nitrate supplementation did not change physiological responses and failed to improve single and repeated time-trial performances in world-class short-track speed skaters. These data suggest that nitrate ingestion up to 6.5 mmol does not enhance recovery from supramaximal exercise in world-class athletes.