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Emma Stevenson, Clyde Williams, Gareth McComb and Christopher Oram

This study examined the effects of the glycemic index (GI) of post-exercise carbohydrate (CHO) intake on endurance capacity the following day. Nine active males participated in 2 trials. On day 1, subjects ran for 90 min at 70% VO2max (R1). Thereafter, they were supplied with either a high GI (HGI) or low GI (LGI) CHO diet which provided 8 g CHO/kg body mass (BM). On day 2, after an overnight fast, subjects ran to exhaustion at 70% VO2max (R2). Time to exhaustion during R2 was longer in the LGI trial (108.9 ± 7.4 min) than in the HGI trial (96.9 ± 4.8 min) (P < 0.05). Fat oxidation rates and free fatty acid concentrations were higher in the LGI trial than the HGI trial (P < 0.05). The results suggest that the increased endurance capacity was largely a consequence of the increased fat oxidation following the LGI recovery diet.

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Michael Doherty

The purpose of this study was to evaluate the effect of acute caffeine ingestion on the maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAOD) and short-term running performance. Nine well-trained males performed a preliminary assessment and. at least 4 days later, a supramaximal run to exhaustion. Their VO2max values were determined, and the MAOD test at an exercise intensity equivalent to 125% VO2max was performed. Caffeine (5 mg ⋅ kg−1) or placebo was administered 1 hr prior to the MAOD in a double-blind, randomized cross-over study. In comparison to the placebo condition, subjects in the caffeine condition developed a significantly greater MAOD and increased their run lime to exhaustion. However, posl-MAOD blood lactate concentration ([HLa]) was not different between trials for caffeine and placebo. Caffeine ingestion can be an effective ergogenic aid for short-term, supramaximal running performance and can increase MAOD. However, these results do not appear to be related to an increased [HLa).

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Ian P. Snider, Terry L. Bazzarre, Scott D. Murdoch and Allan Goldfarb

This study examined the effects of the Coenzyme Athletic Performance System (CAPS) on endurance performance to exhaustion. CAPS contains 100 mg coenzyme Q10,500 mg cytochrome C, 100 mg inosine, and 200 IU vitamin E. Eleven highly trained male triathletes were given three daily doses of either CAPS or placebo (dicalcium phosphate) for two 4-week periods using a double-blind crossover design. A 4-week washout period separated the two treatment periods. An exhaustive performance test, consisting of 90 minutes of running on a treadmill (70% VO2max) followed by cycling (70% VO2max) until exhaustion, was conducted after each treatment period. The mean (±SEM) time to exhaustion for the subjects using CAPS (223 ±17 min) was not significantly different (p=0.57) from the placebo trial (215 ±9 min). Blood glucose, lactate, and free fatty acid concentrations at exhaustion did not differ between treatments (p < 0.05). CAPS had no apparent benefit on exercise to exhaustion.

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Christopher Barnett, David L. Costill, Mathew D. Vukovich, Kevin J. Cole, Bret H. Goodpaster, Scott W. Trappe and William J. Fink

This study examined the effects of 14 days of L-camitine supplementation on muscle and blood camitine fractions, and muscle and blood lactate concentrations, during high-intensity sprint cycling exercise. Eight subjects performed three experimental trials: control 1 (CON I, Day 0), control I! (CON II, Day 14), and L-camitine (L-CN, Day 28). Each trial consisted of a 4-rain ride at 90% VO2max, followed by a rest period of 20 min, and thee five repeated 1-min rides at 115% VO2max (2 min rest between each). Following CON n, all subjects began dietary supplementation of L-camitine for a period of 14 days (4 g/day). Plasma total acid soluble and free camitine concentrations were significantly higher (p < .05) at all time points following supplementation. L-camitine supplementation had no significant effect on muscle camitine content and thus could not alter lactate accumulation during exercise.

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Nathan D. Dicks, Nicholas A. Jamnick, Steven R. Murray and Robert W. Pettitt

Purpose:

To investigate a new power-to-body-mass (BM) ratio 3-min all-out cycling test (3MT%BM) for determining critical power (CP) and finite work capacity above CP (W ′).

Methods:

The gas-exchange threshold (GET), maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), and power output evoking VO2max (W peak) and GET (W GET) for cycle ergometry were determined in 12 participants. CP and W′ were determined using the original “linear factor” 3MT (3MTrpm^2) and compared with CP and W′ derived from a procedure, the 3MT%BM, using the subject’s body mass and self-reported physical activity rating (PA-R), with values derived from linear regression of the work–time model and power–inverse-time model (1/time) data from 3 separate exhaustive squarewave bouts.

Results:

The VO2max, VO2GET, W peak, and W GET values estimated from PA-R and a non-exercise-regression equation did not differ (P > .05) from actual measurements. Estimates of CP derived from the 3MT%BM (235 ± 56 W), 3MTrpm^2 (234 ± 62 W), work–time (231 ± 57 W), and 1/time models (230 ± 57 W) did not differ (F = 0.46, P = .72). Similarly, estimates of W′ between all methods did not differ (F = 3.58, P = .07). There were strong comparisons of the 3MT%BM to 1/time and work–time models with the average correlation, standard error of the measurement, and CV% for critical power being .96, 8.74 W, and 4.64%, respectively.

Conclusion:

The 3MT%BM is a valid, single-visit protocol for determining CP and W′.

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Moritz Schumann, Javier Botella, Laura Karavirta and Keijo Häkkinen

Purpose:

To compare the effects of a standardized endurance-training program with individualized endurance training modified based on the cumulative training load provided by the Polar training-load feature.

Methods:

After 12 wk of similar training, 24 recreationally endurance-trained men were matched to a training-load-guided (TL, n = 10) or standardized (ST, n = 14) group and continued training for 12 wk. In TL, training sessions were individually chosen daily based on an estimated cumulative training load, whereas in ST the training was standardized with 4–6 sessions/wk. Endurance performance (shortest 1000-m running time during an incremental field test of 6 × 1000 m) and heart-rate variability (HRV) were measured every 4 wk, and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) was measured during an incremental treadmill test every 12 wk.

Results:

During weeks 1–12, similar changes in VO2max and 1000-m time were observed in TL (+7% ± 4%, P = .004 and –6% ± 4%, P = .069) and ST (+5% ± 7%, P = .019 and –8% ± 5%, P < .001). During wk 13–24, VO2max statistically increased in ST only (3% ± 4%, P = .034). The 1000-m time decreased in TL during wk 13–24 (–9% ± 5%, P = .011), but in ST only during wk 13–20 (–3% ± 2%, P = .003). The overall changes in VO2max and 1000-m time during wk 0–24 were similar in TL (+7% ± 4%, P = .001 and –9% ± 5%, P = .011) and ST (+10% ± 7%, P < .001 and –13% ± 5%, P < .001). No between-groups differences in total training volume and frequency were observed. HRV remained statistically unaltered in both groups.

Conclusions:

The main finding was that training performed according to the cumulative training load led to improvements in endurance performance similar to those with standardized endurance training in recreational endurance runners.

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Judith Allgrove, Emily Farrell, Michael Gleeson, Gary Williamson and Karen Cooper

This study investigated the effects of regular consumption of dark chocolate (DC), rich in cocoa polyphenols, on plasma metabolites, hormones, and markers of oxidative stress after prolonged exhaustive exercise. Twenty active men cycled at 60% maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) for 1.5 hr, with the intensity increased to 90% VO2max for a 30-s period every 10 min, followed by a ride to exhaustion at 90% VO2max. In the 2 wk before exercise participants consumed 40 g of DC or an isocarbohydrate-fat control cocoa liquor–free chocolate (CON) twice daily and once 2 hr before exercise in a randomized, counterbalanced, crossover design. Venous blood samples were taken immediately before exercise, postexercise (fixed duration), postexhaustion, and after 1 hr of recovery. F2-isoprostanes were significantly lower (post hoc tests: p < .001) at exhaustion and after 1 hr of recovery with DC. Oxidized low-density lipoproteins were significantly lower with DC (p < .001) both before and after exercise and at exhaustion. DC was also associated with ~21% greater rises in free fatty acids during exercise (main effect: p < .05). Changes in circulating glucose, insulin, glucagon, cortisol, and interleukin (IL)-6, IL-10, and IL-1ra were unaffected by treatment. Time to exhaustion at 90% VO2max was not significantly different between trials (398 ± 204 and 374 ± 194 s for DC and CON, respectively). These results suggest that regular DC intake is associated with reduced oxidative-stress markers and increased mobilization of free fatty acids after exercise but has no observed effect on exercise performance.

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Maria Konstantaki, Edward Winter and Ian Swaine

Context:

Forward propulsion in freestyle swimming is predominantly achieved through arm action. Few studies have assessed the effects of arm training on arm power and swimming performance, yet there have not been any investigations on the effects of arms-only swimming training on swimming performance and physiological responses to arm exercise.

Purpose:

To investigate the changes in arms-only and full-stroke swimming performance, movement economy and aerobic power after an arms-only swimming training program.

Methods:

Fifteen male county level swimmers were assigned either to an experimental (ES, n = 8) or control group (CS, n = 7). For six weeks ES performed arms-only freestyle swimming exercises for 20% of their weekly training distance three times per week, whereas CS performed their usual swimming training. Before and after the training program, both groups performed a) two time trials, 186 m using arms-only (186ARMS) and 372 m using full-stroke (372FULL) freestyle swimming, and b) an incremental arm-pulling exercise test. The time to complete the trials was recorded. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), peak exercise intensity (EIpeak) submaximal oxygen uptake at 60 W (VO2−60) and exercise intensity at ventilatory threshold (VTW) were determined from the exercise test.

Results:

After training, ES had improved in 186ARMS (−14.2 ± 3.6%, P = .03), VO2−60 (−22.5 ± 2.3%, P = .04), EIpeak (+17.8 ± 4.2%, P = .03), and VTW (+18.9 ± 2.3%, P = .02), but not in VO2peak (P = .09) or in 372FULL (P = .07). None of the measures changed in CS (P > .05).

Conclusion:

Arms-only swimming training at 20% of the weekly training distance is an effective method to improve arm conditioning during the preparatory phase of the annual training cycle.

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Michael Wilkinson, Damon Leedale-Brown and Edward M. Winter

Purpose:

We examined the reproducibility of performance and physiological responses on a squash-specific incremental test.

Methods:

Eight trained squash players habituated to procedures with two prior visits performed an incremental squash test to volitional exhaustion on two occasions 7 days apart. Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake ( Vo2) and heart rate were determined continuously using a portable telemetric system. Blood lactate concentration at the end of 4-min stages was assessed to determine lactate threshold. Once threshold was determined, test speed was increased every minute until volitional exhaustion for assessment of maximal oxygen uptake (Vo2max), maximum heart rate (HRmax), and performance time. Economy was taken as the 60-s mean of Vo2 in the final minute of the fourth stage (below lactate threshold for all participants). Typical error of measurement (TEM) with associated 90% confidence intervals, limits of agreement, paired sample t tests, and least products regression were used to assess the reproducibility of scores.

Results:

Performance time (TEM 27 s, 4%, 90% CI 19 to 49 s) Vo2max (TEM 2.4 mL·kg−1·min−1, 4.7%, 90% CI 1.7 to 4.3 mL·kg−1·min−1), maximum heart rate (TEM 2 beats·min−1, 1.3%, 90% CI 2 to 4 beats·min−1), and economy (TEM 1.6 mL·kg−1·min−1, 4.1%, 90% CI 1.1 to 2.8 mL·kg−1·min−1) were reproducible.

Conclusions:

The results suggest that endurance performance and physiological responses to a squash-specific fitness test are reproducible.

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Tom W. Macpherson and Matthew Weston

Purpose:

To examine the effect of low-volume sprint interval training (SIT) on the development (part 1) and subsequent maintenance (part 2) of aerobic fitness in soccer players.

Methods:

In part 1, 23 players from the same semiprofessional team participated in a 2-wk SIT intervention (SIT, n = 14, age 25 ± 4 y, weight 77 ± 8 kg; control, n = 9, age 27 ± 6 y, weight 72 ± 10 kg). The SIT group performed 6 training sessions of 4–6 maximal 30-s sprints, in replacement of regular aerobic training. The control group continued with their regular training. After this 2-wk intervention, the SIT group was allocated to either intervention (n = 7, 1 SIT session/wk as replacement of regular aerobic training) or control (n = 7, regular aerobic training with no SIT sessions) for a 5-wk period (part 2). Pre and post measures were the YoYo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (YYIRL1) and maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max).

Results:

In part 1, the 2-week SIT intervention had a small beneficial effect on YYIRL1 (17%; 90% confidence limits ±11%), and VO2max (3.1%; ±5.0%) compared with control. In part 2, 1 SIT session/wk for 5 wk had a small beneficial effect on VO2max (4.2%; ±3.0%), with an unclear effect on YYIRL1 (8%; ±16%).

Conclusion:

Two weeks of SIT elicits small improvements in soccer players’ high-intensity intermittent-running performance and VO2max, therefore representing a worthwhile replacement of regular aerobic training. The effectiveness of SIT for maintaining SIT-induced improvements in high-intensity intermittent running requires further research.