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  • Author: Steven J. Fleck x
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Michael R. McGuigan, Glenn A. Wright and Steven J. Fleck

The use of strength training designed to increase underlying strength and power qualities in elite athletes in an attempt to improve athletic performance is commonplace. Although the extent to which strength and power are important to sports performance may vary depending on the activity, the associations between these qualities and performance have been well documented in the literature. The purpose of this review is to provide a brief overview of strength training research to determine if it really helps improve athletic performance. While there is a need for more research with elite athletes to investigate the relationship between strength training and athletic performance, there is sufficient evidence for strength training programs to continue to be an integral part of athletic preparation in team sports.

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Robert E. Keith, Michael H. Stone, Ralph E. Carson, Robert G. Lefavi and Steven J. Fleck

Fourteen trained male anabolic steroid-using bodybuilders (SBBs) (19-41 years) were recruited for the study. Three-day diet records were obtained from SBBs and analyzed. A resting venous blood sample was drawn, and serum/ plasma was subsequently analyzed for various nutritionally related factors. Results showed that mean dietary energy (4,469 ± 1,406 kcal), protein (252 ± 109 g), and vitamin and mineral intakes of SBBs greatly exceeded U.S. Recommended Dietary Allowances. Dietary cholesterol intake was 2.8 times the recommended levels. Mean serum/plasma nutrient concentrations of SBBs were within normal range. However, individual SBBs had a number of serum/ plasma values outside of the normal or recommended range, the most notable of which was hypercalcemia, which was present in 42% of SBBs. Serum/plasma lipids were such as to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease in these subjects.

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Andrew C. Fry, William J. Kraemer, Michael H. Stone, Beverly J. Warren, Jay T. Kearney, Carl M. Maresh, Cheryl A. Weseman and Steven J. Fleck

To examine the effects of 1 week of high volume weightlifting and amino acid supplementation, 28 elite junior male weightlifting received either amino acid (protein) or lactose (placebo) capsules using double-blind procedures. weightlifting test sessions were performed before and after 7 days of high volume training sessions. Serum concentrations of testosterone (Tes), cortisol (Cort), and growth hormone (GH) as well as whole blood iactate (HLa) were determined from blood draws. Lifting performance was not altered for either group after training, although vertical jump performance decreased for both groups. Both tests elicited significantly elevated exercise-induced hormonal and HLa concentrations. Significant decreases in postexercise hormonal and HLa concentrations from Test 1 to Test 2 were observed for both groups. Tes concentrations at 7 a.m. and preexercise decreased for both groups from Test 1 to Test 2, while the placebo group exhibited a decreased 7 a.m. Tes/ Cort. These data suggest that amino acid supplementation does not influence resting or exercise-induced hormonal responses to 1 week of high volume weight training, but endocrine responses did suggest an impending overtraining syndrome.

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Alex S. Ribeiro, Matheus A. Nascimento, Brad J. Schoenfeld, João Pedro Nunes, Andreo F. Aguiar, Edilaine F. Cavalcante, Analiza M. Silva, Luís B. Sardinha, Steven J. Fleck and Edilson S. Cyrino

The main purpose of this study was to compare the effects of resistance training (RT) performed two versus three times per week on phase angle (a cellular health indicator) in older women. A total of 39 women (69.1 ± 5.5 years) were randomly assigned to perform a RT program two (G2X) or three (G3X) days per week for 12 weeks. The RT was a whole-body program (eight exercises, one set, 10–15 repetitions). Phase angle, resistance, reactance, and total body water were assessed by bioimpedance spectroscopy. Intracellular water, reactance, and phase angle increased significantly in G2X (2.1%, 3.0%, and 5.6%, respectively) and G3X (5.0%, 6.9%, and 10.3%, respectively) from pretraining to posttraining, with no significant difference between groups. Bioimpedance resistance decreased similarly in both groups (G2X = −1.7% vs. G3X = −3.2%). We conclude that a single set RT program with a frequency of 2 days per week may be sufficient to promote an improvement in cellular health in older women.