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Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez, David Sanz, Jose Manuel Sarabia and Manuel Moya

Purpose:

To compare the effects of combining high-intensity training (HIT) and sport-specific drill training (MT) versus sportspecific drill training alone (DT) on fitness performance characteristics in young tennis players.

Methods:

Twenty young tennis players (14.8 ± 0.1 y) were assigned to either DT (n = 10) or MT (n = 10) for 8 wk. Tennis drills consisted of two 16- to 22-min on-court exercise sessions separated by 3 min of passive rest, while MT consisted of 1 sport-specific DT session and 1 HIT session, using 16–22 min of runs at intensities (90–95%) related to the velocity obtained in the 30–15 Intermittent Fitness Test (VIFT) separated by 3 min of passive rest. Pre- and posttests included peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), VIFT, speed (20 m, with 5- and 10-m splits), 505 Agility Test, and countermovement jump (CMJ).

Results:

There were significant improvements after the training period in VO2peak (DT 2.4%, ES = moderate; MT 4.2%, ES = large) and VIFT (DT 2.2%, ES = small; MT 6.3%, ES = large) for both DT and MT, with no differences between training protocols. Results also showed a large increase in the 505 Agility Test after MT, while no changes were reported in the other tests (sprint and CMJ), either for MT or DT.

Conclusions:

Even though both training programs resulted in significant improvements in aerobic performance, a mixed program combining tennis drills and runs based on the VIFT led to greater gains and should be considered the preferred training method for improving aerobic power in young athletes.

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Alejandro Javaloyes, Jose Manuel Sarabia, Robert Patrick Lamberts and Manuel Moya-Ramon

Purpose: Road cycling is a sport with extreme physiological demands. Therefore, there is a need to find new strategies to improve performance. Heart-rate variability (HRV) has been suggested as an effective alternative for prescribing training load against predefined training programs. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of training prescription based on HRV in road cycling performance. Methods: Seventeen well-trained cyclists participated in this study. After an initial evaluation week, cyclists performed 4 baseline weeks of standardized training to establish their resting HRV. Then, cyclists were divided into 2 groups, an HRV-guided group and a traditional periodization group, and they carried out 8 training weeks. Cyclists performed 2 evaluation weeks, after and before a training week. During the evaluation weeks, cyclists performed a graded exercise test to assess maximal oxygen uptake, peak power output, and ventilatory thresholds with their corresponding power output (VT1, VT2, WVT1, and WVT2, respectively) and a 40-min simulated time trial. Results: The HRV-guided group improved peak power output (5.1% [4.5%]; P = .024), WVT2 (13.9% [8.8%]; P = .004), and 40-min all-out time trial (7.3% [4.5%]; P = .005). Maximal oxygen uptake and WVT1 remained similar. The traditional periodization group did not improve significantly after the training week. There were no differences between groups. However, magnitude-based inference analysis showed likely beneficial and possibly beneficial effects for the HRV-guided group instead of the traditional periodization group in 40-min all-out time trial and peak power output, respectively. Conclusion: Daily training prescription based on HRV could result in a better performance enhancement than a traditional periodization in well-trained cyclists.

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Aitor Iturricastillo, Cristina Granados, Raúl Reina, José Manuel Sarabia, Ander Romarate and Javier Yanci

Purpose: To analyze the relationship between mean propulsive velocity (MPV) of the bar and relative load (percentage of the 1-repetition maximum [%1RM]) in the bench-press (BP) exercise and to determine the relationship of power variables (ie, mean concentric power [MP], mean propulsive power [MPP], and peak power [PP]) in change-of-direction ability, linear sprint, and repeated-sprint ability. Methods: A total of 9 Spanish First Division wheelchair basketball players participated in the study. All participants performed an isoinertial BP test in free execution mode, a 505 change-of-direction ability test, linear sprint test (20 m), and repeated-sprint ability test. Results: A nearly perfect and inverse relationship was observed for the BP exercise between the %1RM and MPV (r = −.97, R 2 = .945, P < .001). The maximum loads for MP, MPP, and PP were obtained between 48.1% and 59.4% of the 1RM. However, no significant correlations were observed between strength and wheelchair performance. Conclusions: Wheelchair basketball players with different functional impairments showed a nearly perfect and inverse relationship for the BP exercise between the %1RM and MPV; thus the MPV could be used to estimate the %1RM. This finding has important practical applications for velocity-based resistance training in that coaches would be able to prescribe and monitor training load. Conversely, the absence of association between BP performance and field tests might be due to other factors such as the wheelchair–user interface, trunk-muscle activity, or propulsion technique, apart from strength variables.