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Emmanuel Van Praagh, Nicole Fellmann, Mario Bedu, Guy Falgairette and Jean Coudert

This study was done to determine the extent to which body composition accounts for differences in anaerobic characteristics between 12-year-old girls and boys. Peak leg power (PP), mean leg power (MP), percent body fat, fat free mass (FFM), and lean thigh volume (LTV) were determined by various tests. Pubertal stages and salivary testosterone concentration (in boys) were used to assess sexual maturation. Laboratory anaerobic indices were compared with performances in two running tests. Blood samples were taken for lactate determination. Absolute PP and MP outputs were similar in both sexes and were better correlated with LTV in girls, whereas in boys both PP and MP were highly correlated with FFM. Although nonsignificant gender difference in lean tissue was observed, PP and MP when corrected for LTV were significantly greater in boys than in girls. Factors other than the amount of lean muscle mass should be considered in explaining the gender differences in PP and MP in early pubertal children.

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Kensaku Suei, Leslie McGillis, Randy Calvert and Oded Bar-Or

We assess relationships among muscle endurance, strength, and explosiveness in forty-eight 9.6- to 17.0-year-old males divided into 3 maturational groups (Tanner Stages I, II-IV, and V). Peak torque during isometric knee extension and flexion was averaged to reflect strength. Mechanical power in the Sargent vertical jump was taken as explosiveness, and total work in the Wingate test reflected muscle endurance. Correlations (3 groups combined) among the variables, expressed in absolute terms, were r = .82 to .92, but only -.11 to .70 when expressed per body mass or lean thigh size. These correlations were distinctly lower in the Tanner V boys than in the 2 less-mature groups, which may suggest that specialization into discrete muscle performance characteristics does not occur before late puberty.

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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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Matthew R. Nelson, Robert K. Conlee and Allen C. Parcell

In Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS), muscles become sore 24 to 48 hours after eccentric and unaccustomed activity. Fiber stiffness, due to decreased muscle glycogen, may predispose muscle to greater damage during eccentric exercise. This study sought to determine if inadequate carbohydrate intake following a protocol to decrease muscle glycogen would increase DOMS after 15 min of downhill running. Thirty-three male subjects (age, 18–35 years) were randomized into 3 groups for testing over a 7-day period. The depletion (DEP) group (n = 12) underwent a glycogen depletion protocol prior to a 15-min downhill run designed to induce DOMS. The repletion (FED) group (n = 10) underwent a glycogen depletion protocol followed by a carbohydrate repletion protocol (>80% CHO) prior to downhill running. The third (ECC) group (n = 11) performed only the downhill running protocol. Subjective muscle soreness, isometric force production, relaxed knee angle, and thigh circumference were measured pretreatment and on days 1, 2, 3, 4, and 6 post treatment. Subjective muscle soreness for all groups increased from 0 cm pretreatment to 3.05 ± 0.72 cm (on a 10-cm scale) on day 1 post treatment (p < .05). All groups were significantly different from baseline measurements until day 4 post treatment. Each group experienced a decline in isometric force from 281 ± 45 N pre-to 253 ± 13 N on day 1 post treatment (p < .05). The decrease in isometric force persisted in all groups for 4 days post treatment. Increases in thigh circumference and relaxed knee angle elevations in all 3 groups were statistically different (p < .05) from pretreatment until day 4. No differences were noted between groups for any of the parameters examined. In the current study, 15 min of downhill running is sufficient to cause DOMS with the associated functional and morphological changes; however, inadequate carbohydrate intake after a glycogen depleting exercise does not appear to exacerbate DOMS and the associated symptoms.

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Nathan G. Versey, Shona L. Halson and Brian T. Dawson

Purpose:

To investigate whether contrast water therapy (CWT) assists acute recovery from high-intensity running and whether a dose-response relationship exists.

Methods:

Ten trained male runners completed 4 trials, each commencing with a 3000-m time trial, followed by 8 × 400-m intervals with 1 min of recovery. Ten minutes postexercise, participants performed 1 of 4 recovery protocols: CWT, by alternating 1 min hot (38°C) and 1 min cold (15°C) for 6 (CWT6), 12 (CWT12), or 18 min (CWT18), or a seated rest control trial. The 3000-m time trial was repeated 2 h later.

Results:

3000-m performance slowed from 632 ± 4 to 647 ± 4 s in control, 631 ± 4 to 642 ± 4 s in CWT6, 633 ± 4 to 648 ± 4 s in CWT12, and 631 ± 4 to 647 ± 4 s in CWT18. Following CWT6, performance (smallest worthwhile change of 0.3%) was substantially faster than control (87% probability, 0.8 ± 0.8% mean ± 90% confidence limit), however, there was no effect for CWT12 (34%, 0.0 ± 1.0%) or CWT18 (34%, –0.1 ± 0.8%). There were no substantial differences between conditions in exercise heart rates, or postexercise calf and thigh girths. Algometer thigh pain threshold during CWT12 was higher at all time points compared with control. Subjective measures of thermal sensation and muscle soreness were lower in all CWT conditions at some post-water-immersion time points compared with control; however, there were no consistent differences in whole body fatigue following CWT.

Conclusions:

Contrast water therapy for 6 min assisted acute recovery from high-intensity running; however, CWT duration did not have a dose-response effect on recovery of running performance.

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Bradley C. Nindl, William J. Kraemer, Lincoln A. Gotshalk, James O. Marx, Jeff S. Volek, Jill A. Bush, Keijo Häkkinen, Robert U. Newton and Steve J. Fleck

Regional fat distribution (RFD) has been associated with metabolic derangements in populations with obesity. For example, upper body fat patterning is associated with higher levels of free testosterone (FT) and lower levels of sex-hormone binding globulin (SHBG). We sought to determine the extent to which this relationship was true in a healthy (i.e., non-obese) female population and whether RFD influenced androgen responses to resistance exercise. This study examined the effects of RFD on total testosterone (TT), FT, and SHBG responses to an acute resistance exercise test (ARET) among 47 women (22 ± 3 years; 165 ± 6 cm; 62 ± 8 kg; 25 ± 5 %BF; 23 ± 3 BMI). RFD was characterized by 3 separate indices: waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), ratio of upper arm fat to mid-thigh fat assessed with magnetic resonance imaging (MRI ratio), and ratio of subscapular to triceps ratio (SB/TRi ratio). Skinfolds were measured for the triceps, chest, subscapular, mid-axillary, suprailaic, abdomen, and thigh regions. The ARET consisted of 6 sets of 10 RM squats separated by 2-min rest periods. Blood was obtained pre- and post- ARET. TT, FT, and SHBG concentrations were determined by radioimmunoassay. Subjects were divided into tertiles from the indices of RFD, and statistical analyses were performed by an ANOVA with repeated measures (RFD and exercise as main effects). Significant (p < .05) increases following the AHRET were observed for TT (~25%), FT (~25%), and SHBG (4%). With multiple regression analysis, anthropometric measures significantly predicted pre- concentrations of FT, post-concentrations of TT, and pre-concentrations of SHBG. The SB/TRi and MRI ratios but not the WHR, were discriminant for hormonal concentrations among the tertiles. In young, healthy women, resistance exercise can induce transient increases in testosterone, and anthropometric markers of adiposity correlate with testosterone concentrations.

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Karl F. Orishimo and Ian J. Kremenic

The objective of this study was to measure adaptations in landing strategy during single-leg hops following thigh muscle fatigue. Kinetic, kinematic, and electromyographic data were recorded as thirteen healthy male subjects performed a single-leg hop in both the unfatigued and fatigued states. To sufficiently fatigue the thigh muscles, subjects performed at least two sets of 50 step-ups. Fatigue was assessed by measuring horizontal hopping ability following the protocol. Joint motion and loading, as well as muscle activation patterns, were compared between fatigued and unfatigued conditions. Fatigue significantly increased knee motion (p = 0.012) and shifted the ankle into a more dorsiflexed position (p = 0.029). Hip flexion was also reduced following fatigue (p = 0.042). Peak extension moment tended to decrease at the knee and increase at the ankle and hip (p = 0.014). Ankle plantar flexion moment at the time of peak total support moment increased from 0.8 (N⋅m)/kg (SD, 0.6 [N⋅m]/kg) to 1.5 (N⋅m)/kg (SD, 0.8 [N⋅m]/kg) (p = 0.006). Decreased knee moment and increased knee flexion during landings following fatigue indicated that the control of knee motion was compromised despite increased activation of the vastus medialis, vastus lateralis, and rectus femoris (p = 0.014, p = 0.014, and p = 0.017, respectively). Performance at the ankle increased to compensate for weakness in the knee musculature and to maintain lower extremity stability during landing. Investigating the biomechanical adaptations that occur in healthy subjects as a result of muscle fatigue may give insight into the compensatory mechanisms and loading patterns occurring in patients with knee pathology. Changes in single-leg hop landing performance could be used to demonstrate functional improvement in patients due to training or physical therapy.

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Heidi L. Petersen, C. Ted Peterson, Manju B. Reddy, Kathy B. Hanson, James H. Swain, Rick L. Sharp and D. Lee Alekel

This study determined the effect of training on body composition, dietary intake, and iron status of eumenorrheic female collegiate swimmers (n = 18) and divers (n = 6) preseason and after 16 wk of training. Athletes trained on dryland (resistance, strength, fexibility) 3 d/wk, 1.5 h/d and in-water 6 d/wk, nine, 2-h sessions per week (6400 to 10,000 kJ/d). Body-mass index (kg/m2; P = 0.05), waist and hip circumferences (P ≤ 0.0001), whole body fat mass (P = 0.0002), and percentage body fat (P ≤ 0.0001) decreased, whereas lean mass increased (P = 0.028). Using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, we found no change in regional lean mass, but fat decreased at the waist (P = 0.0002), hip (P = 0.0002), and thigh (P = 0.002). Energy intake (10,061 ± 3617 kJ/d) did not change, but dietary quality improved with training, as refected by increased intakes of fber (P = 0.036), iron (P = 0.015), vitamin C (P = 0.029), vitamin B-6 (P = 0.032), and fruit (P = 0.003). Iron status improved as refected by slight increases in hemoglobin (P = 0.046) and hematocrit (P = 0.014) and decreases in serum transferrin receptor (P ≤ 0.0001). Studies are needed to further evaluate body composition and iron status in relation to dietary intake in female swimmers.

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Thomas W. Balon, Jeffrey F. Horowitz and Karen M. Fitzsimmons

Bodybuilders have used different carbohydrate loading regimens in conjunction with resistance exercise prior to competition in the belief that this would result in increased muscle size. To investigate this possibility, muscle girth measurements were obtained from nine weight-trained males before and after a control (standard isocaloric diet) and an experimental trial (carbohydrate loading). The latter regimen consisted of 3 days of intense weight-lifting while the subjects ingested a diet of 10% carbohydrate (CHO), 57% fat (F), and 33% protein (P), followed by 3 days of light weight-lifting and a day of rest while ingesting a diet of 80% CHO, 5% F, and 15% P. The control trial consisted of an identical weight-lifting regimen while subjects ingested an isocaloric (45 kcal/kg BWIday) diet. Body weight and girths (forearm, upper arm, chest, thigh, waist, and calf) were obtained before and after each trial in a relaxed and flexed state. The results indicated that an exercise/carbohydrate loading regimen had no significant effect on muscle girth as compared to the control trial. It is concluded that CHO loading has no additional advantage to enhancing muscle girth in bodybuilders over weight-lifting alone.

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Gertjan J.C. Ettema, Steinar Bråten and Maarten F. Bobbert

A ski jumper tries to maintain an aerodynamic position in the in-run during changing environmental forces. The purpose of this study was to analyze the mechanical demands on a ski jumper taking the in-run in a static position. We simulated the in-run in ski jumping with a 4-segment forward dynamic model (foot, leg, thigh, and upper body). The curved path of the in-run was used as kinematic constraint, and drag, lift, and snow friction were incorporated. Drag and snow friction created a forward rotating moment that had to be counteracted by a plantar flexion moment and caused the line of action of the normal force to pass anteriorly to the center of mass continuously. The normal force increased from 0.88G on the first straight to 1.65G in the curve. The required knee joint moment increased more because of an altered center of pressure. During the transition from the straight to the curve there was a rapid forward shift of the center of pressure under the foot, reflecting a short but high angular acceleration. Because unrealistically high rates of change of moment are required, an athlete cannot do this without changing body configuration which reduces the required rate of moment changes.