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  • Author: Nicholas P. West x
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Alisa Nana, Gary J. Slater, Will G. Hopkins, Shona L. Halson, David T. Martin, Nicholas P. West and Louise M. Burke

Purpose:

The implications of undertaking DXA scans using best practice protocols (subjects fasted and rested) or a less precise but more practical protocol in assessing chronic changes in body composition following training and a specialized recovery technique were investigated.

Methods:

Twenty-one male cyclists completed an overload training program, in which they were randomized to four sessions per week of either cold water immersion therapy or control groups. Whole-body DXA scans were undertaken with best practice protocol (Best) or random activity protocol (Random) at baseline, after 3 weeks of overload training, and after a 2-week taper. Magnitudes of changes in total, lean and fat mass from baseline-overload, overload-taper and baseline-taper were assessed by standardization (Δmean/SD).

Results:

The standard deviations of change scores for total and fat-free soft tissue mass (FFST) from Random scans (2–3%) were approximately double those observed in the Best (1–2%), owing to extra random errors associated with Random scans at baseline. There was little difference in change scores for fat mass. The effect of cold water immersion therapy on baseline-taper changes in FFST was possibly harmful (-0.7%; 90% confidence limits ±1.2%) with Best scans but unclear with Random scans (0.9%; ±2.0%). Both protocols gave similar possibly harmful effects of cold water immersion therapy on changes in fat mass (6.9%; ±13.5% and 5.5%; ±14.3%, respectively).

Conclusions:

An interesting effect of cold water immersion therapy on training-induced changes in body composition might have been missed with a less precise scanning protocol. DXA scans should be undertaken with Best.

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Matthew W. Driller, Christos K. Argus, Jason C. Bartram, Jacinta Bonaventura, David T. Martin, Nicholas P. West and Shona L. Halson

Purpose:

To determine the intraday and interday reliability of a 2 × 4-min performance test on a cycle ergometer (Wattbike) separated by 30 min of passive recovery (2 × 4MMP).

Methods:

Twelve highly trained cyclists (mean ± SD; age = 20 ± 2 y, predicted VO2max = 59.0 ± 3.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1) completed six 2 × 4MMP cycling tests on a Wattbike ergometer separated by 7 d. Mean power was measured to determine intraday (test 1 [T1] to test 2 [T2]) and interday reliability (weeks 1–6) over the repeated trials.

Results:

The mean intraday reliabilities of the 2 × 4MMP test, as expressed by the typical error of measurement (TEM, W) and coefficient of variation (CV, %) over the 6 wk, were 10.0 W (95% confidence limits [CL] 8.2–11.8), and 2.6% (95%CL 2.1–3.1), respectively. The mean interday reliability TEM and CV for T1 over the 6 wk were 10.4 W (95%CL 8.7–13.3) and 2.7% (95%CL 2.3–3.5), respectively, and 11.7 W (95%CL 9.8–15.1) and 3.0% (95%CL 2.5–3.9) for T2.

Conclusion:

The testing protocol performed on a Wattbike cycle ergometer in the current study is reproducible in highly trained cyclists. The high intraday and interday reliability make it a reliable method for monitoring cycling performance and for investigating factors that affect performance in cycling events.