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Kenneth W. Kambis and Sarah K. Pizzedaz

Creatine monohydrate (CrH2O) supplementation has been demonstrated to increase skeletal muscle power output in men. However, its effect upon women is not as clearly defined. This study investigated the effect of oral creatine supplementation upon muscle function, thigh circumference, and body weight in women. Twenty-two consenting college-age women were assigned to 1 of 2 groups matched for dietary and exercise habits, phase of menstrual cycle, and fat-free mass (FFM). After familiarization with testing procedures, pretrial measures of muscle function (5 repetitions 60 deg · s−1 and 50 repetitions 180 deg · s−1) were conducted during maximal voluntary concentric contraction of the preferred quadriceps muscle using an isokinetic dynamometer. Subjects then ingested 0.5 g · kg−1 FFM of either CrH2O or placebo (one fourth dosage 4 times daily) in a double-blind design for 5 days. Resistance exercise was prohibited. After the ingestion phase was completed, all measures were repeated at the same time of day as during pretrials. Statistical analysis revealed time to peak torque in quadriceps extension decreased from pre-test values of 255 ± 11 ms (mean ± SEM) to post-test values of 223 ± 3 ms; average power in extension increased from 103 ± 7 W pre-test to 112 ± 7 W post-test; and, during flexion, average power increased from 59 ± 5 W pre-test to 65 ± 5 W post-test in the creatine group as compared to controls (p ≤ .05). FFM, percent body fat, mid-quadriceps circumference, skinfold thickness of the measured thigh, and total body weight did not change for both groups between trials. We conclude that CrH2O improves muscle performance in women without significant gains in muscle volume or body weight.

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Liam P. Kilduff, Huw Bevan, Nick Owen, Mike I.C. Kingsley, Paul Bunce, Mark Bennett and Dan Cunningham

Purpose:

The ability to develop high levels of muscle power is considered an essential component of success in many sporting activities; however, the optimal load for the development of peak power during training remains controversial. The aim of the present study was to determine the optimal load required to observe peak power output (PPO) during the hang power clean in professional rugby players.

Methods:

Twelve professional rugby players performed hang power cleans on a portable force platform at loads of 30%, 40%, 50%, 60%, 70%, 80%, and 90% of their predetermined 1-repetition maximum (1-RM) in a randomized and balanced order.

Results:

Relative load had a significant effect on power output, with peak values being obtained at 80% of the subjects’ 1-RM (4466 ± 477 W; P < .001). There was no significant difference, however, between the power outputs at 50%, 60%, 70%, or 90% 1-RM compared with 80% 1-RM. Peak force was produced at 90% 1-RM with relative load having a significant effect on this variable; however, relative load had no effect on peak rate of force development or velocity during the hang power clean.

Conclusions:

The authors conclude that relative load has a significant effect on PPO during the hang power clean: Although PPO was obtained at 80% 1-RM, there was no significant difference between the loads ranging from 40% to 90% 1-RM. Individual determination of the optimal load for PPO is necessary in order to enhance individual training effects.

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Dennis van Erck, Eric J. Wenker, Koen Levels, Carl Foster, Jos J. de Koning and Dionne A. Noordhof

the maximal oxygen uptake [ V ˙ O 2 max] and V ˙ O 2 at the lactate threshold), performance O 2 deficit, and gross mechanical efficiency (GE). GE, defined as the percentage of metabolic power input, that is, converted into mechanical power output (PO), is considered the most valid definition of

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Alex Ross, Nicholas D. Gill and John B. Cronin

Anthropometrical and physical characteristics have been used to distinguish players of different competition levels and position groups; however, there is no literature on rugby sevens.

Purpose:

To compare the anthropometrical and physical characteristics of international and provincial rugby sevens players and between forwards and backs.

Methods:

To assess whether differences exist, 65 rugby sevens players including 22 international players and 43 provincial-level players were assessed for height, mass, body composition, speed, repeated-sprint ability, lower-body power, upper-body strength, and maximal aerobic endurance during in-season preparation for tournaments.

Results:

Clear differences (2.8−32%; small to very large effect sizes) were observed in all anthropometrical and physical measures between international and provincial players, with the largest differences observed in repeated-sprint ability (5.7%; very large effect size), 40-m-sprint time (4.4%; large effect size), 50-kg squat-jump peak power (32%; large effect size), and multistage fitness-test performance (19%; large effect size). Fewer and smaller differences (0.7−14%; trivial to large effect sizes) were found when comparing forwards and backs, with body height being the most discriminant characteristic (3.5%; large effect size).

Conclusions:

Lower-level rugby sevens players should seek to improve their overall physical profile, particularly their repeated-sprint ability, to reach higher levels in rugby sevens. Furthermore, positional status may have little importance when preparing for rugby sevens.

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Steven J. Elmer and James C. Martin

Eccentric cycling serves a useful exercise modality in clinical, research, and sport training settings. However, several constraints can make it difficult to use commercially available eccentric cycle ergometers. In this technical note, we describe the process by which we built an isokinetic eccentric cycle ergometer using exercise equipment modified with commonly available industrial parts. Specifically, we started with a used recumbent cycle ergometer and removed all the original parts leaving only the frame and seat. A 2.2 kW electric motor was attached to a transmission system that was then joined with the ergometer. The motor was controlled using a variable frequency drive, which allowed for control of a wide range of pedaling rates. The ergometer was also equipped with a power measurement device that quantified work, power, and pedaling rate and provided feedback to the individual performing the exercise. With these parts along with some custom fabrication, we were able to construct an isokinetic eccentric cycle ergometer suitable for research and training. This paper offers a guide for those individuals who plan to use eccentric cycle ergometry as an exercise modality and wish to construct their own ergometer.

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Martin J. MacInnis, Aaron C.Q. Thomas and Stuart M. Phillips

than there is examining fixed-distance TTs. The mean power output (MPO) achieved during a 60-minute TT is a standard performance measure in cycling. In a study by Coyle et al, 3 60-minute MPO was the strongest predictor for the time required by well-trained cyclists to complete 40-km TTs in the field

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Sarah Wolter

espnW is ESPN, Inc.’s, first entity targeted at female fans and female athletes. espnW portrays female athletes as competent sportswomen and serious competitors as measured by quantitative analysis of photographs and articles on the site. A more critical look at the discourse, however, reveals 2 major themes. First, divergent dialogues are used in espnW articles to reify relations of power and privilege for male athletes. Divergent dialogues appear in articles on espnW in the forms of descriptive language used for female athletes, mention of nonsporting topics that have little or nothing to do with athleticism, and direct references to physical/personality attributes. Second, positioning espnW as “additive content” to ESPN for female fans relies on ideas of natural sexual difference and choice. If the institution of sport is defined by masculinity and partially upheld by traditional sports journalism, women are excluded.

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William J. Kraemer, Ana L. Gómez, Nicholas A. Ratamess, Jay R. Hoffman, Jeff S. Volek, Martyn R. Rubin, Timothy P. Scheett, Michael R. McGuigan, Duncan French, Jaci L. VanHeest, Robbin B. Wickham, Brandon Doan, Scott A. Mazzetti, Robert U. Newton and Carl M. Maresh

Objective:

To determine the effects of Vicoprofen®, ibuprofen, and placebo on anaerobic performance and pain relief after resistance-exercise-induced muscle damage.

De-sign:

Randomized, controlled clinical study.

Setting:

University human-performance/sports-medicine laboratory.

Participants:

36 healthy men.

Methods and Measures:

After baseline testing (72 h), participants performed an eccentric-exercise protocol. Each was evaluated for pain 24 h later and randomly assigned to a Vicoprofen (VIC), ibuprofen (IBU), or placebo (P) group. Postexercise testing was performed every 24 h for 4 d.

Results:

Significantly greater muscle force, power, and total work were observed in VIC than in P (P < .05) for most time points and for IBU at 48 h.

Conclusions:

Anaerobic performance is enhanced with VIC, especially within the first 24 h after significant muscle-tissue damage. The greater performances observed at 48 h might be a result of less damage at this time point with VIC treatment.

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Favil Singh, Carl Foster, David Tod and Michael R. McGuigan

Purpose:

To evaluate the effectiveness of session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) to measure effort during different types of resistance training.

Method:

Fifteen male subjects (age 26.7 ± 4.3 years) performed 3 protocols. All protocols consisted of same 5 exercises but with different intensities, rest periods, and numbers of repetitions. One-repetition maximum (1-RM) was defined as the maximal amount of weight that an individual could lift 1 time without support. The strength protocol included 3 sets of 5 repetitions at 90% of 1-RM with 3 minutes rest between. The hypertrophy session included 3 sets of 10 repetitions at 70% with 1 minute of rest, and the power session included 3 sets of 5 repetitions at 50% with 3 minutes of rest. Session RPE is a modification of the standard RPE scale. Session and standard RPE were measured after the completion of each set and 30 minutes postexercise, respectively.

Results:

Results showed a difference between both the 2 RPE values of the strength and hypertrophy protocols (P ≤ .05) but no difference between mean and session RPE values for the power protocol. During the familiarization session, session RPE was measured at 5-minute intervals for 30 minutes postexercise. There was a significant difference (P ≤ .05) between the mean RPE values at the fifth and tenth minutes postexercise when compared with 30 minutes postexercise. All other session RPE values showed no significant difference.

Conclusion:

The session RPE method appears to be effective in monitoring different types of resistance training, and session RPE after 30 minutes was a better indicator of the overall resistance sessions than average RPE.

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Samantha G. Fawkner and Neil Armstrong

The purpose of this study was to examine methods of assessing Critical Power (CP) with children. Eight boys and 9 girls (10.3 – 0.4 yrs) completed 3 cycle tests in one day, each at a different constant power output predicted to induce fatigue in 2 to 15 min. Time to exhaustion was recorded, and order of the tests was randomized, with 3 hours recovery between tests. The children repeated these tests and 2 additional tests with at least 24 hr recovery between each test. CP was determined using least squares linear regression analysis of the power — t−1 relationship, for the single day (CP1), the 5 tests from different days (CP2), and the repeated 3 tests from different days (CP3). The 95% limits of agreement (range of percentage differences) were −15.4 to 13.1% (CP1 v CP2), −16.8 to 13.5% (CP1 v CP3), and −8.4 to 6.7% (CP2 v CP3). CP is a robust measure even when only 3 tests are completed in a single day and may be used to provide a simple and useful parameter of exercise intensity for constant load exercise with children.