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Callum G. Brownstein, Derek Ball, Dominic Micklewright and Neil V. Gibson

Purpose: The purpose of this experiment was to assess performance during repeated sprints utilizing self-selected recovery intervals in youth football (soccer) players at different stages of maturation. Methods: Quota sampling method was used to recruit 14 prepeak height velocity (PHV) and 14 post-PHV participants for the study (N = 28; age = 13 [0.9] y, stature = 162.5 [10.8] cm, mass = 50.2 [12.7] kg). Players performed repeated sprints comprising 10 × 30 m efforts under 2 experimental conditions: using 30-second and self-selected recovery intervals. Magnitude of effects for within- and between-group differences were reported using effect size (ES) statistics ± 90% confidence intervals and percentage differences. Results: The decline in sprint performance was likely lower in the pre-PHV compared with the post-PHV group during the standardized recovery trial (between-group difference = 37%; ES = 0.41 ± 0.51), and likely lower in the post-PHV group during the self-selected recovery trial (between-group difference = 50%; ES = 0.45 ± 0.54). Mean recovery duration was likely shorter in the pre-PHV compared with the post-PHV group during the self-selected recovery trial (between-group difference = 26.1%; ES = 0.47 ± 0.45). Conclusion: This is the first study to show that during repeated sprints with self-selected recovery, pre-PHV children have an impaired ability to accurately interpret physical capabilities in the context of the task compared with post-PHV adolescents.

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Neil Gibson, Callum Brownstein, Derek Ball and Craig Twist

Purpose:

To examine the physiological and perceptual responses of youth footballers to a repeated sprint protocol employing standardized and self-selected recovery.

Methods:

Eleven male participants (13.7 ± 1.1 years) performed a repeated sprint assessment comprising 10 × 30 m efforts. Employing a randomized cross-over design, repeated sprints were performed using 30 s and self-selected recovery periods. Heart rate was monitored continuously with ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and lower body muscle power measured 2 min after the final sprint. The concentration of blood lactate was measured at 2, 5 and 7 min post sprinting. Magnitude of effects were reported using effect size (ES) statistics ± 90% confidence interval and percentage differences. Differences between trials were examined using paired student t tests (p < .05).

Results:

Self-selected recovery resulted in most likely shorter recovery times (57.7%; ES 1.55 ± 0.5; p < .01), a most likely increase in percentage decrement (65%; ES 0.36 ± 0.21; p = .12), very likely lower heart rate recovery (-58.9%; ES -1.10 ± 0.72; p = .05), and likely higher blood lactate concentration (p = .08–0.02). Differences in lower body power and RPE were unclear (p > .05).

Conclusion:

Self-selected recovery periods compromise repeated sprint performance.

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Neil Gibson, James White, Mhari Neish and Andrew Murray

Purpose:

The study aimed to assess whether exposure to ischemic preconditioning (IPC) in a trained population would affect land-based maximal sprinting performance over 30 m.

Methods:

Twenty-five well-trained participants regularly involved in invasion-type team-sport events were recruited to take part in a randomized crossover study design. Participants underwent both an IPC and a placebo treatment involving 3 periods of 5-min occlusion applied unilaterally (3 × 5-min occlusion to each leg) at either 220 mmHg or 50 mmHg, respectively. Each period of occlusion was followed by 5 min of reperfusion. After treatment, 3 maximal sprints over a distance of 30 m were undertaken from a standing start interspersed with 1-min recovery. Split times were recorded at 10, 20, and 30 m.

Results:

No significant effects of the IPC treatment were observed on sprint speed (P < .05) at any of the split timings; however, a small and negative effect was observed in female participants. Calculated effect sizes of the treatment were found to be trivial (<0.2).

Conclusions:

Results from the current study suggest there to be no benefit to team-sport players in using IPC as a means of enhancing sprint performance over a distance of 30 m. While IPC has been shown to be beneficial to sprint activities in other sports such as swimming, further research is required to elucidate whether this is the case over distances associated with land-based events in track and field or in events reliant on repeated-sprint ability.

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Louisa Beale, Neil S Maxwell, Oliver R Gibson, Rosemary Twomey, Becky Taylor and Andrew Church

Background:

The purpose of this study was to characterize the physiological demands of a riding session comprising different types of recreational horse riding in females.

Methods:

Sixteen female recreational riders (aged 17 to 54 years) completed an incremental cycle ergometer exercise test to determine peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and a 45-minute riding session based upon a British Horse Society Stage 2 riding lesson (including walking, trotting, cantering and work without stirrups). Oxygen consumption (VO2), from which metabolic equivalent (MET) and energy expenditure values were derived, was measured throughout.

Results:

The mean VO2 requirement for trotting/cantering (18.4 ± 5.1 ml·kg-1·min-1; 52 ± 12% VO2peak; 5.3 ± 1.1 METs) was similar to walking/trotting (17.4 ± 5.1 ml·kg-1·min-1; 48 ± 13% VO2peak; 5.0 ± 1.5 METs) and significantly higher than for work without stirrups (14.2 ± 2.9 ml·kg-1·min-1; 41 ± 12% VO2peak; 4.2 ± 0.8 METs) (P = .001).

Conclusion:

The oxygen cost of different activities typically performed in a recreational horse riding session meets the criteria for moderate intensity exercise (3-6 METs) in females, and trotting combined with cantering imposes the highest metabolic demand. Regular riding could contribute to the achievement of the public health recommendations for physical activity in this population.