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Andrew C. Morris, Ira Jacobs, Tom M. McLellan, Abbey Klugerman, Lawrence C.H. Wang and Jiri Zamecnik

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of ginseng extract ingestion on physiological responses to intense exercise. Subjects performed a control ride (CN) on a cycle ergometer, followed by placebo (PL) and ginseng (GS) treatments. Ginseng was ingested as 8 or 16 mg/kg body weight daily for 7 days prior to trial GS. Venous blood was sampled for FFA, lactate, and glucose analyses. Due to similar findings for both dose groups, the subjects were considered as one group. Lactate, FFA, VO2, VE, and RPE increased significantly from 10 through 40 min. RER increased during the first 10 min of exercise and then remained stable, with no intertrial differences. Glucose did not vary significantly from 0 to 40 min or among treatments. RPE was significantly greater and time to exhaustion was significantly less during trial CN than PL or GS, while PL and GS trials were similar. The data indicated that with 1 week of pretreatment there is no ergogenic effect of ingesting the ginseng saponin extract.

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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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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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W. Jack Rejeski, Edward Gregg, Amy Thompson and Michael Berry

In this investigation, we examined the role of acute aerobic exercise (AE) in buffering physiological responses to mental stress. Twelve trained cyclists participated in three counterbalanced treatment conditions on separate days: attention control, light exercise (50% of VO2max for 30 min), and heavy exercise (80% of VO2max for 60 min). After a 30-min rest period following each condition, subjects completed a modified Stroop task. Blood pressure (BP) and heart rate (HR) were monitored for (a) baseline responses, (b) task reactivity, and (c), 5 min of recovery following the stressor. Mean arterial pressure (MAP) revealed that reactivity was attenuated by both heavy- and light-exercise conditions as compared to responses in the control condition. Moreover, heavy exercise was more effective in reducing MAP reactivity than light exercise. Systolic BP during the task was significantly higher in the control and light-exercise conditions than following heavy exercise; diastolic BP was significantly higher in the control condition than in either exercise condition. There were no significant effects for HR. These results suggest that there is a dose-response relationship between acute AE and the attenuation of psychophysiological reactivity during stress.

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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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Mark Waldron and Aron Murphy

This study aimed to identify characteristics of match performance and physical ability that discriminate between elite and subelite under-14 soccer players. Players were assessed for closed performance and movement, physiological responses, and technical actions during matches. Elite players covered more total m·min−1 (115.7 ± 6.6 cf. 105.4 ± 7.7 m·min−1) and high-intensity m·min−1 (elite = 14.5 ± 2.3 cf. 11.5 ± 3.7 m·min−1) compared with subelite players. Elite players also attempted more successful (0.41 ± 0.11 cf. 0.18 ± 0.02) and unsuccessful ball retentions·min−1 (0.14 ± 0.04 cf. 0.06 ± 0.02) compared with subelite players. Elite players were faster over 10 m (1.9 ± 0.1 cf. 2.3 ± 0.2 s) and faster dribblers (16.4 ± 1.4 cf. 18.2 ± 1.1 s) compared with subelite players. Speed (10 m) and successful ball retention·min−1 contributed to a predictive model, explaining 96.8% of the between-group variance. The analysis of match performance provides a more thorough understanding of the factors underlying talent among youth soccer players.

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Amber Dallman, Eydie Abercrombie, Rebecca Drewette-Card, Maya Mohan, Michael Ray and Brian Ritacco

Background:

Physical activity has emerged as a vital area of public health. This emerging area of public health practice has created a need to develop practitioners who can address physical activity promotion using population-based approaches. Variations in physical activity practitioners' educations and backgrounds warranted the creation of minimal standards to establish the competencies needed to address physical activity as a public health priority.

Methods:

The content knowledge of physical activity practitioners tends to fall into 2 separate areas—population-based community health education and individually focused exercise physiology. Competencies reflect the importance of a comprehensive approach to physical activity promotion, including areas of community health while also understanding the physiologic responses occurring at the individual level.

Results:

Competencies are organized under the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's 5 benchmarks for physical activity and public health practice.

Conclusions:

The greatest impact on physical activity levels may be realized from a well-trained workforce of practitioners. Utilization of the competencies will enable the physical activity practitioner to provide technical assistance and leadership to promote, implement, and oversee evaluation of physical activity interventions.

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William McGarvey, Richard Jones and Stewart Petersen

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effect of interval (INT) and continuous (CON) cycle exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Twelve males first completed a graded exercise test for VO2max and then the two exercise challenges in random order on separate days approximately 1 wk apart. The INT challenge consisted of seven 2 min work intervals at 90% VO2max, each followed by 3 min of relief at 30% VO2max. The CON exercise consisted of 30 to 32 min of continuous cycling at 65% VO2max. Gas exchange and heart rate (HR) were measured for 30 min before, during, and for 2 h post-exercise. Three methods were used to analyze post-exercise oxygen consumption and all produced similar results. There were no significant differences in either the magnitude or duration of EPOC between the CON and INT protocols. HR, however, was higher (P < 0.05) while respiratory exchange ratio (RER) was lower (P < 0.05) following INT. These results indicate that when total work was similar, the magnitude and duration of EPOC were similar following CON or INT exercise. The differences in HR and RER during recovery suggest differential physiological responses to the exercise challenges.

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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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Florian Engel, Sascha Härtel, Jana Strahler, Matthias Oliver Wagner, Klaus Bös and Billy Sperlich

This study aimed to determine the effects of a single high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session on salivary cortisol (SC) levels, physiological responses, and performance in trained boys and men. Twenty-three boys (11.5 ± 0.8 years) and 25 men (29.7 ± 4.6 years) performed HIIT (4 consecutive Wingate Anaerobic Tests). SC in boys and men increased after HIIT from 5.55 ± 3.3 nmol/l to 15.13 ± 9.7 nmol/l (+173%) and from 7.07 ± 4.7 nmol/l to 19.19 ± 12.7 nmol/l (+171%), respectively (p < .01). Pretest SC as well as posttest changes were comparable in both groups (both p < .01). Peak blood lactate concentration was significantly lower in boys (12.6 ± 3.5 mmol/l) than in men (16.3 ± 3.1 mmol/l; p < .01). Throughout the HIIT, mean heart rates in boys were higher (p < .001) but relative peak oxygen uptake (ml·min−1·kg−1; p < .05) and performance were lower (p < .001) in boys than in men. HIIT in young athletes is associated with a higher activation of the hormonal stress axis than other types of exercise regimes as described in the literature. This study is the first to show a pronounced SC increase to HIIT in trained boys accompanied by elevated levels of blood lactate concentrations and heart rate suggesting a high cardio-respiratory, metabolic, and hormonal response to HIIT in 11-year-old boys.