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L. Christopher Eschbach, Michael J. Webster, Joseph C. Boyd, Patrick D. McArthur and Tammy K. Evetovich

It has been suggested that Eleutherococcus senticosus (ES). also known as Siberian ginseng or ciwuija. increases fat utilization in humans. The purpose of this study was to examine the physiological responses to supplementation with ES in endurance cyclists. Using arandomized. double-blind crossover design. 9 highly-trained men (28 ± 2 years. V̇O2max 57.3±2.0 ml · kg−1 · min−1) cycled for 120 min at 60% V̇O2max followed by a simulated 10-km lime trial. Diet was controlled, and ES (1,200 mg · day−1) or a placebo (P) were administered for 7 days prior to each of the two trials. Oxygen consumption, respiratory exchange ratio, and heart rate were recorded every 30 min, and rating of perceived exertion. plasma [lactate], and plasma [glucose j were recorded every 20 min during the 120 min of steady state cycling. There were no significant differences (p > .05) between the ES and P groups at any steady-state time interval or during the cycling time trial (ES = 18.10 ± 0.42, P = 17.83 ± 0.47 min). In contrast with previous reports, the results of this study suggest that ES supplementation does not alter steady-state substrate utilization or 10-km cycling performance time.

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Mindy L. Millard-Stafford, Phillip B. Sparling, Linda B. Rosskopf and Teresa K. Snow

Our purpose was to determine if sports drinks with 6 and 8% CHO differentially affect physiological responses or run performance in the heat. Ten men ran 32 km while ingesting: placebo (P), 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte (CE6), and 8% carbohydrate-electrolyte (CE8). At 15 km, a 250 mL drink labeled with deuterium oxide (D2O) was ingested. Blood glucose and respiratory exchange ratio were significantly higher (P < 0.05) for CE6 and CE8 compared to P. Rectal temperature (Tre) at 32 km was higher for CE8 (40.1 ± 0.2 °C) compared to P (39.5 ± 0.2 °C) but similar to CE6 (39.8 ± 0.2 °C). D2O accumulation was not different among drink trials. Run performance was 8% faster for CE8 (1062 ± 31 s) compared to P (1154 ± 56 s) and similar to CE6 (1078 ± 33 s). Confirming the ACSM Position Stand, 8% CE are acceptable during exercise in the heat and attenuate the decline in performance.

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Claire Rechichi, Brian Dawson and Carmel Goodman

Some reports suggest variation in physiological responses and athletic performance, for female athletes at specific phases of the menstrual cycle. However, inconsistent findings are common due to the inappropriate verification of menstrual cycle phase, small subject numbers, high intra- and interindividual variability in estrogen and progesterone concentration, and the pulsatile secretion of these hormones. Therefore, the oral contraceptive (OC) cycle may provide a more stable environment in which to evaluate the acute effect of reproductive hormones on physiological variables and exercise performance. To date, most of the OC research has compared differences between OC use and nonuse, and few researchers have examined within-cycle effects of the OC. It is also apparent that OC use is becoming far more prevalent in athletes; hence the effect of the different exogenous and endogenous hormonal profiles on athletic performance should be investigated. Research to date identifies potential for variation in aerobic performance, anaerobic capacity, anaerobic power and reactive strength throughout an OC cycle. The purpose of this review is to present and evaluate the current literature on the physiology of exercise and athletic performance during the OC cycle.

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Jennifer K. Ormerod, Tabatha A. Elliott, Timothy P. Scheett, Jaci L. VanHeest, Lawrence E. Armstrong and Carl M. Maresh

The purposes of this study were to characterize measures of fluid intake and perception of thirst in women over a 6-week period of exercise-heat acclimation and outdoor training and examine if this lengthy acclimation period would result in changes in fluid intake that differ from those previously reported in men utilizing a shorter acclimation protocol of 8–10 days. Voluntary water intake (11–17 °C) and perception of thirst were measured in a group of 5 women (21–26 yr) undergoing exercise-heat acclimation for 90 min/day, 3 days/wk (36 °C, rh 50–70%) and outdoor training 3 days/wk for 6 weeks. Decreased drinking during acclimation was characterized by a decrease in the number of drinks (35 ± 10 to 17 ± 5; p < .05), greater time to first drink (9.9 ± 2.0 to 23.1 ± 4.7 min; p < .05), and a decrease in total volume ingested per week (3310 ± 810 to 1849 ± 446 ml; p < .05) through the 6-week study. Mean perceived thirst measurements remained low and showed only slight variance (3 ± 0.4 to 5 ± 0.4). These observations support a psycho-physiological response pattern different than that previously observed during 8–10 day acclimation protocols in men.

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Naiandra Dittrich, Ricardo Dantas de Lucas, Ralph Beneke and Luiz Guilherme Antonacci Guglielmo

The purpose of this study was to determine and compare the time to exhaustion (TE) and the physiological responses at continuous and intermittent (ratio 5:1) maximal lactate steady state (MLSS) in well-trained runners. Ten athletes (32.7 ± 6.9 y, VO2max 61.7 ± 3.9 mL · kg−1 · min−1) performed an incremental treadmill test, three to five 30-min constant-speed tests to determine the MLSS continuous and intermittent (5 min of running, interspaced by 1 min of passive rest), and 2 randomized TE tests at such intensities. Two-way ANOVA with repeated measures was used to compare the changes in physiological variables during the TE tests and between continuous and intermittent exercise. The intermittent MLSS velocity (MLSSint = 15.26 ± 0.97 km/h) was higher than in the continuous model (MLSScon = 14.53 ± 0.93 km/h), while the TE at MLSScon was longer than MLSSint (68 ± 11 min and 58 ± 15 min, P < .05). Regarding the cardiorespiratory responses, VO2 and respiratory-exchange ratio remained stable during both TE tests while heart rate, ventilation, and rating of perceived exertion presented a significant increase in the last portion of the tests. The results showed a higher tolerance to exercising during MLSScon than during MLSSint in trained runners. Thus, the training volume of an extensive interval session (ratio 5:1) designed at MLSS intensity should take into consideration this higher speed at MLSS and also the lower TE than with continuous exercise.

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Jon L. Oliver, Neil Armstrong and Craig A. Williams

Purpose:

The purpose of the study was to assess the reliability and validity of a newly developed laboratory protocol to measure prolonged repeated-sprint ability (RSA) during soccer-specific exercise.

Methods:

To assess reliability, 12 youth soccer players age 15.2 ± 0.3 y performed 2 trials of a soccer-specific intermittent-exercise test (SSIET) separated by 3 months. The test was performed on a nonmotorized treadmill. A separate sample of 12 youth soccer players (15.2 ± 0.3 y) completed the SSIET while simultaneously HR, VO2, and blood lactate (BLa) were monitored. The SSIET was designed to replicate the demands of competing in one half of a soccer match while sprint performance was monitored. The test included a 5-s sprint every 2 min.

Results:

The mean coefficient of variation was 2.5% for the total distance covered during the SSIET and 3.8% for the total distance sprinted; measures of power output were less reliable (>5.9%). Participants covered 4851 ± 251 m during the SSIET, working at an average intensity of 87.5% ± 3.2% HRpeak and 70.2% ± 3.1% VO2peak, with ~7mmol/L BLa accumulation. A significant reduction (P < .05) in sprint performance was ob served over the course of the SSIET.

Conclusion:

The SSIET provided a reliable method of assessing prolonged RSA in the laboratory. The distance covered and the physiological responses during the SSIET successfully recreated the demands of competing in a soccer match.

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Olivier Rey, Jean-Marc Vallier, Caroline Nicol, Charles-Symphorien Mercier and Christophe Maïano

Purpose:

This study examined the effects of a five-week intervention combining vigorous interval training (VIT) with diet among twenty-four obese adolescents. Fourteen girls and ten boys (aged 14–15) schooled in a pediatric rehabilitation center participated.

Methods:

The VIT intensity was targeted and remained above 80% of maximal heart rate (HR) and over six kilocalories per minute. Pre- and postintervention measures were body composition (BMI, weight, body fat percentage), physical self-perceptions (PSP), physical fitness (6-min walking distance and work) and its associated physiological responses (HRpeak and blood lactate concentration). A series of two-way analyses of variance or covariance controlling for weight loss were used to examine the changes.

Results:

Significant improvements were found in body composition, physical fitness and PSP (endurance, activity level, sport competence, global physical self-concept and appearance). In addition, boys presented higher levels of perceived strength and global physical self-concept than girls. Finally, there was a significant increase in perceived endurance, sport competence, and global physical self-concept in girls only.

Conclusion:

This five-week VIT program combined with diet represents an effective means for improving body composition, physical fitness, and PSP in obese adolescents, the effects on PSP being larger among girls.

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Thomas I. Gee, Duncan N. French, Karl C. Gibbon and Kevin G. Thompson

Purpose:

This study investigated the pacing strategy adopted and the consistency of performance and related physiological parameters across three 2000-m rowing-ergometer tests.

Methods:

Fourteen male well-trained rowers took part in the study. Each participant performed three 2000-m rowing-ergometer tests interspersed by 3–7 d. Throughout the trials, respiratory exchange and heart rate were recorded and power output and stroke rate were analyzed over each 500 m of the test. At the completion of the trial, assessments of blood lactate and rating of perceived exertion were measured.

Results:

Ergometer performance was unchanged across the 3 trials; however, pacing strategy changed from trial 1, which featured a higher starting power output and more progressive decrease in power, to trials 2 and 3, which were characterized by a more conservative start and an end spurt with increased power output during the final 500 m. Mean typical error (TE; %) across the three 2000-m trials was 2.4%, and variability was low to moderate for all assessed physiological variables (TE range = 1.4−5.1%) with the exception of peak lactate (TE = 11.5%).

Conclusions:

Performance and physiological responses during 2000-m rowing ergometry were found to be consistent over 3 trials. The variations observed in pacing strategy between trial 1 and trials 2 and 3 suggest that a habituation trial is required before an intervention study and that participants move from a positive to a reverse-J-shaped strategy, which may partly explain conflicting reports in the pacing strategy exhibited during 2000-m rowing-ergometer trials.

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Kerry McGawley and Hans-Christer Holmberg

Purpose:

Cross-country-ski races place complex demands on athletes, with events lasting between approximately 3 min and 2 h. The aim of the current study was to compare the aerobic and anaerobic measures derived from a short time trial (TT) between male and female skiers using diagonal cross-country skiing.

Methods:

Twenty-four highly trained cross-country skiers (12 male and 12 female, age 17.4 ± 1.4 y, body mass 68.2 ± 8.9 kg, height 174 ± 8 cm) participated. The submaximal VO2–speed relationship and VO2max were derived from an incremental ramp test to exhaustion (RAMP), while the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD), peak VO2, and performance time were measured during a 600-m TT.

Results:

The female skiers took longer to complete the TT than the males (209 ± 9 s vs 166 ± 7 s, P < .001) and exhibited a lower relative anaerobic contribution (20% ± 4% vs 24% ± 3%, P = .015) and a higher fractional utilization of VO2max (84% ± 4% vs 79% ± 5%, P = .007) than males. Although there was no significant difference in AOD between the sexes (40.9 ± 9.5 and 47.3 ± 7.4 mL/kg for females and males, respectively; P = .079), the mean difference ± 90% confidence intervals of 6.4 ± 6.0 mL/kg reflected a likely practical difference (ES = 0.72). The peak VO2 during the TT was significantly higher than VO2max during the RAMP for all participants combined (62.3 ± 6.8 vs 60.5 ± 7.2 mL · kg−1 · min−1, P = .011), and the mean difference ± 90% confidence intervals of 1.8 ± 1.1 mL · kg−1 · min−1 reflected a possible practical difference (ES = 0.25).

Conclusions:

These results show that performance and physiological responses to a self-paced TT lasting approximately 3 min differ between sexes. In addition, a TT may provide a valid measure of VO2max.

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Thomas W. Buford, Douglas B. Smith, Matthew S. O’Brien, Aric J. Warren and Stephen J. Rossi

Purpose:

The purpose of the present investigation was to examine the physiological response of collegiate wrestlers to their competitive season.

Methods:

Eleven Division I collegiate wrestlers (mean ± SD; 19.45 ± 1.13 y) volunteered and completed 4 testing sessions throughout the course of the collegiate wrestling season. Testing sessions were conducted pre-, mid-, and postseason, as well as before the national tournament. Testing consisted of weigh-in, skinfold body composition testing, and a 50-rep concentric, isokinetic leg extension muscle endurance test (180°/s). Muscular performance variables measured included peak torque, peak torque at fatigue, percent decline, and peak torque/body mass ratio.

Results:

A significant increase (P < .05) of 2.9% was observed for body mass between midseason and postseason (2.38 kg). From pre- to postseason, a mean increase of 3.8% (3.1 kg) was observed for body mass. An increase (P < .05) in BF% of 2.9% was observed between prenationals and postseason. No significant differences (P > .05) were observed between consecutive time points for quadriceps peak torque; however, there was a significant increase (P < .05) between preseason and prenationals (23.39 N·m). Peak torque at fatigue was greater (P < .05) at midseason than preseason, representing an increase of 9.82 N·m. Between midseason and prenationals testing, we observed an 11% increase (P < .05) in %DCLN. Finally, we noted an increase (P < .05) from 0.6 to 0.69 in peak torque/body mass ratio between preseason and prenationals.

Conclusions:

Our results indicate that while force values seem to suffer at midseason, the wrestlers compensated and were strongest just before their national competition.