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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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Agustín Manresa-Rocamora, José Manuel Sarabia, Julio Sánchez-Meca, José Oliveira, Francisco Jose Vera-Garcia, and Manuel Moya-Ramón

Previous meta-analyses have shown that high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is more suitable than moderate continuous training (MCT) for improving peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) in patients with coronary artery disease. However, none of these meta-analyses have tried to explain the heterogeneity of the empirical studies in optimizing cardiac rehabilitation programs. Therefore, our aims were (a) to estimate the effect of MCT and HIIT on VO2peak, and (b) to find the potential moderator variables. A search was conducted in PubMed, Scopus, and ScienceDirect. Out of the 3,110 references retrieved, 29 studies fulfilled the selection criteria to be included in our meta-analysis. The mean difference was used as the effect size index. Our results showed significant enhancements in VO2peak after cardiac rehabilitation based on MCT and HIIT (mean difference = 3.23; 95% confidence interval [2.81, 3.65] ml·kg−1·min−1 and mean difference = 4.61; 95% confidence interval [4.02, 5.19] ml·kg−1·min−1, respectively), with greater increases after HIIT (p < .001). Heterogeneity analyses reached statistical significance with moderate heterogeneity for MCT (p < .001; I 2 = 67.0%), whereas no heterogeneity was found for the effect of HIIT (p = .220; I 2 = 22.0%). Subgroup analyses showed significant between-group heterogeneity of the MCT-induced effect based on the training mode (p < .001; I 2 = 90.4%), the risk of a new event (p = .010; I 2 = 77.4%), the type of cardiovascular event (p = .009; I 2 = 84.8%), the wait time to start cardiac rehabilitation (p = .010; I 2 = 76.6%), and participant allocation (p = .002; I 2 = 89.9%). Meta-regressions revealed that the percentages of patients undergoing a revascularization procedure (B = −0.022; p = .041) and cardiorespiratory fitness at baseline (B = −0.103; p = .025) were inversely related to the MCT-induced effect on the VO2peak.

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Iván Peña-González, José M. Sarabia, Alba Roldan, Agustín Manresa-Rocamora, and Manuel Moya-Ramón

In regular football, the players’ selection process involves an objective assessment based on their anthropometric and physical performance. However, available literature focused on players’ selection process in cerebral palsy (CP) football is scarce. Purpose: To describe the anthropometrical and physical performance profiles of the International Spanish CP footballers and to compare them with the remaining CP football players from the national competition. Method: A total of 75 CP football players from the Spanish CP Football National Competition (classified into the 3 existing classes: football class [FT] 1 = 38; FT2 = 29; FT3 = 8) participated in the study. Participants were divided into 2 groups: selected players (n = 15) and nonselected players (n = 60) for the national team. Anthropometrical data and physical performance (countermovement jump, 20-m sprint, modified agility T-test [MAT], and dribbling test) were collected. Results: There were significant differences in the 20-m sprint, MAT, and dribbling for the total sample and in MAT and dribbling for FT2 and FT3 classes between selected players and nonselected players (P < .05), but there were no differences for FT1. The MAT and dribbling showed a positive correlation and a high percentage of player selection prediction. Conclusion: Change-of-direction ability (ie, MAT) and dribbling skills are important when performing the selection process, as they allow the evaluation of important aspects of the game, but they may also provide the technical staff with an idea of the functionality and the physical performance of the players in each sport class.

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Jaime Fernandez-Fernandez, Eduardo Sáez De Villarreal, David Sanz-Rivas, and Manuel Moya

Objectives:

The aim of this study was to analyze the effects of an 8-week (conducted biweekly for a total of 16 sessions) plyometric training program (PT) (e.g., upper- and lower-body exercises) combined with regular tennis training on physical qualities in young tennis players.

Design:

Sixty tennis players between the ages of 12 and 13 years (age 12.5 ± 0.3 years, weight 44.2 ± 7.0 kg, height 156.6 ± 7.1 cm) were allocated to either the control group (standard in-season regimen) (CG; n = 30) or the experimental group, which received an additional PT (TG; n = 30) for 30–60 min as a substitute for some tennis training within the usual 90-min practice.

Methods:

Pre- and posttests included: anthropometric measures; vertical countermovement jump (CMJ); standing long jump (SLJ); 20 m sprint time (with 5 and 10 m splits); a modified 505 agility test; overhead medicine ball throw; and serve velocity test.

Results:

After the training intervention, the TG showed significant (p < .01) improvements in all the parameters analyzed, with percentages of change and effect sizes ranging from 3.1% to 10.1% and 0.4 (small) to 1.3 (moderate), respectively. No significant changes were observed in the CG after the training intervention.

Conclusions:

PT was shown as an important stimulus for enhancing explosive actions in young tennis players.