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David B. Pyne, Joshua H. Guy and Andrew M. Edwards

Heat and immune stress can affect athletes in a wide range of sports and environmental conditions. The classical thermoregulatory model of heat stress has been well characterized, as has a wide range of practical strategies largely centered on cooling and heat-acclimation training. In the last decade evidence has emerged of an inflammatory pathway that can also contribute to heat stress. Studies are now addressing the complex and dynamic interplay between hyperthermia, the coagulation cascade, and a systemic inflammatory response occurring after transient damage to the gastrointestinal tract. Damage to the intestinal mucosal membrane increases permeability, resulting in leakage of endotoxins into the circulation. Practical strategies that target both thermoregulatory and inflammatory causes of heat stress include precooling; short-term heat-acclimation training; nutritional countermeasures including hydration, energy replacement, and probiotic supplementation; pacing strategies during events; and postevent cooling measures. Cooperation between international, national, and local sporting organizations is required to ensure that heat-management policies and strategies are implemented effectively to promote athletes’ well-being and performance.

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Maria C. Madueno, Vincent J. Dalbo, Joshua H. Guy, Kate E. Giamarelos, Tania Spiteri and Aaron T. Scanlan

Purpose: To investigate the physiological and performance effects of active and passive recovery between repeated-change-of-direction sprints. Methods: Eight semiprofessional basketball players (age: 19.9 [1.5] y; stature: 183.0 [9.6] cm; body mass: 77.7 [16.9] kg; body fat: 11.8% [6.3%]; and peak oxygen consumption: 46.1 [7.6] mL·kg−1·min−1) completed 12 × 20-m repeated-change-of-direction sprints (Agility 5-0-5 tests) interspersed with 20 seconds of active (50% maximal aerobic speed) or passive recovery in a randomized crossover design. Physiological and perceptual measures included heart rate, oxygen consumption, blood lactate concentration, and rating of perceived exertion. Change-of-direction speed was measured during each sprint using the change-of-direction deficit (CODD), with summed CODD time and CODD decrement calculated as performance measures. Results: Average heart rate (7.3 [6.4] beats·min−1; P = .010; effect size (ES) = 1.09; very likely) and oxygen consumption (4.4 [5.0] mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .12; ES = 0.77; unclear) were moderately greater with active recovery compared with passive recovery across sprints. Summed CODD time (0.87 [1.01] s; P = .07; ES = 0.76, moderate; likely) and CODD decrement (8.1% [3.7%]; P < .01; ES = 1.94, large; almost certainly) were higher with active compared with passive recovery. Trivial–small differences were evident for rating of perceived exertion (P = .516; ES = 0.19; unclear) and posttest blood lactate concentration (P = .29; ES = 0.40; unclear) between recovery modes. Conclusions: Passive recovery between repeated-change-of-direction sprints may reduce the physiological stress and fatigue encountered compared with active recovery in basketball players.

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Aaron T. Scanlan, Neal Wen, Joshua H. Guy, Nathan Elsworthy, Michele Lastella, David B. Pyne, Daniele Conte and Vincent J. Dalbo

Purpose: To examine correlations between peak force and impulse measures attained during the isometric midthigh pull (IMTP) and basketball-specific sprint and jump tests. Methods: Male, adolescent basketball players (N = 24) completed a battery of basketball-specific performance tests. Testing consisted of the IMTP (absolute and normalized peak force and impulse at 100 and 250 ms); 20-m sprint (time across 5, 10, and 20 m); countermovement jump (CMJ; absolute and normalized peak force and jump height); standing long jump (distance); and repeated lateral bound (distance). Correlation and regression analyses were conducted between IMTP measures and other attributes. Results: An almost perfect correlation was evident between absolute peak force attained during the IMTP and CMJ (r = .94, R 2 = 56%, P < .05). Moderate to very large correlations (P < .05) were observed between IMTP normalized peak force and 5-m sprint time (r = −.44, R 2 = 19%), 10-m sprint time (r = −.45, R 2 = 20%), absolute (r = .57, R 2 = 33%), normalized (r = .86, R 2 = 73%) CMJ peak force, and standing long-jump distance (r = .51, R 2 = 26%). Moderate to very large correlations were evident between impulse measures during the IMTP and 5-m sprint time (100 ms, r = −.40, R 2 = 16%, P > .05) and CMJ absolute peak force (100 ms, r = .73, R 2 = 54%; 250 ms, r = .68, R 2 = 47%; P < .05). Conclusions: The IMTP may be used to assess maximal and rapid force expression important across a range of basketball-specific movements.