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Patrick Kennedy, Peter Brown, Somadeepti N. Chengalur and Richard C. Nelson

The performance of male and female swimmers (N = 397) competing in the preliminary heats of the four 100-meter swimming events during the Seoul Olympic Games was videotaped and later analyzed to determine stroke rate (SR) and stroke length (SL). These data were combined with age, height, and final time (FT) values for statistical analyses which included the relationships among these variables, comparison of male and female performance, and assessment of differences in the four events. The results revealed the following ranges of correlations between SR and SL (rs from −0.65 to −0.90), SL and FT (rs from −0.32 to −0.80), height and SL (0.19 to 0.58), and age and FT (-0.16 to −.051). The factor of SL was identified as the dominant feature of successful swimming performance. The men were older and taller, had longer stroke lengths and higher stroke rates (two of four events), and swam faster than the women. The differences in final times across the four events (freestyle fastest, breaststroke slowest) were due to specific combinations of SR and SL, with neither parameter being consistently dominant.

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Raul Arellano, Peter Brown, Jane Cappaert and Richard C. Nelson

The performances of 335 male and female swimmers competing in 50-, 100-, and 200-m freestyle events at the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games were videotaped and analyzed to determine stroke length (SL), stroke rate (SR), starting time (ST), turning times (TI = turn in, TO = turn out), finishing (end) time (ET), and average velocity (AV); relationships were then determined among these variables in addition to height, weight, age, and final time (FT). Differences were subsequently assessed within and among the events, and comparisons were made between male and female performances. ST, TI, TO, ET, and SL were identified as principal components of successful swimming performance at each distance. Results revealed statistically significant correlations between factors for all events. The men were older and taller; possessed longer stroke lengths; and started, turned, and swam faster than the women. As the race distance increased from 50 to 200 m, ST, TI, TO, SL, and ET increased for both men and women, while age, SR, and AV decreased.

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Lachlan Hingley, Michael J. Macartney, Marc A. Brown, Peter L. McLennan and Gregory E. Peoples

Dietary fish oil, providing docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) modulates oxygen consumption and fatigue in animal models. However, in humans predominately supplemented with high eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), there is no evidence of endurance performance enhancement. Therefore, this study examined if DHA-rich fish oil could improve repeated bouts of physiologically stressful cycling and a subsequent time trial in a state of fatigue. Twenty-six trained males took part in a double-blind study and were supplemented with either 2 × 1g/day soy oil, Control) or DHA-rich tuna fish oil (Nu-Mega) (FO) (560mg DHA / 140mg eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), for 8 weeks. Maximal cycling power (3 × 6s), isometric quadriceps strength (MVC), Wingate cycling protocol (6 × 30s) and a 5min cycling time-trial were assessed at baseline and eight weeks. The Omega-3 Index was not different at baseline (Control: 4.2 ± 0.2; FO: 4.7 ± 0.2%) and increased in the FO group after eight weeks (Control: 3.9 ± 0.2; FO: 6.3 ± 0.3%, p < .01). There was no effect of DHA-rich fish oil on power output of maximal 6s cycle sprinting (Control: Pre 1100 ± 49 Post 1067 ± 51; FO: Pre 1070 ± 46 Post 1042 ± 46W), during 5min time trail (Control: Pre 267 ± 19 Post 278 ± 20; FO: Pre 253 ± 16 Post 265 ± 16 W) or maximal voluntary contraction force (Control: Pre 273 ± 19 Post 251 ± 19; FO: Pre 287 ± 17 Post 283 ± 16 Nm). Nevertheless, relative oxygen consumption was reduced the FO group during the cycling time trial (Control: -23 ± 26; FO: -154 ± 59ml O2/min/100W p < .05) suggesting improved economy of cycling. We conclude that DHA-rich fish oil, successful at elevating the Omega-3 Index, and reflective of skeletal muscle membrane incorporation, can modulate oxygen consumption during intense exercise.

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lean-Xavier Guinard, Kimberly Seador, John L. Beard and Peter L. Brown

This study was undertaken to determine whether high-level training alters food choice behavior with regard to meat and dairy products because of their high fat content. Twenty male collegiate swimmers were compared to 20 male sedentary students for dietary fat intake, nutrition knowledge, and liking of meat and dairy products. There was no significant difference between the two groups for restraint, energy intake, dietary fat intake, and energy derived from fat. Nutrition knowledge, energy derived from saturated fat, and cholesterol intake, however, were significantly higher in the athletes. The two groups did not differ in their hedonic ratings of flavor or in their overall degree of liking of the meat and dairy products, and the athletes actually liked the appearance and texture of the products significantly more than did the sedentary students. This study shows that the sensory appeal of fat-containing animal products is not affected in male swimmers by a high level of exercise.

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Scott R. Brown, Matt Brughelli, Peter C. Griffiths and John B. Cronin

Purpose:

While several studies have documented isokinetic knee strength in junior and senior rugby league players, investigations of isokinetic knee and hip strength in professional rugby union players are limited. The purpose of this study was to provide lower-extremity strength profiles and compare isokinetic knee and hip strength of professional rugby league and rugby union players.

Participants:

32 professional rugby league and 25 professional rugby union players.

Methods:

Cross-sectional analysis. Isokinetic dynamometry was used to evaluate peak torque and strength ratios of the dominant and nondominant legs during seated knee-extension/flexion and supine hip-extension/flexion actions at 60°/s.

Results:

Forwards from both codes were taller and heavier and had a higher body-mass index than the backs of each code. Rugby union forwards produced significantly (P < .05) greater peak torque during knee flexion in the dominant and nondominant legs (ES = 1.81 and 2.02) compared with rugby league forwards. Rugby league backs produced significantly greater hip-extension peak torque in the dominant and nondominant legs (ES = 0.83 and 0.77) compared with rugby union backs. There were no significant differences in hamstring-to-quadriceps ratios between code, position, or leg. Rugby union forwards and backs produced significantly greater knee-flexion-to-hip-extension ratios in the dominant and nondominant legs (ES = 1.49–2.26) than rugby union players.

Conclusions:

It seems that the joint torque profiles of players from rugby league and union codes differ, which may be attributed to the different demands of each code.