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Craig A. Horswill

Amateur wrestlers practice weight loss for ergogenic reasons. The effects of rapid weight loss on aerobic performance are adverse and profound, but the effects on anaerobic performance are equivocal Anaerobic performance—strength and power—may be the most relevant type of performance to the wrestler. Maintenance of or even small decrements in anaerobic performance may translate into improvements in performance relative to the weight class, the factor by which wrestlers are matched for competition. During the recovery period between the official weigh-in and competition, wrestlers achieve at least partial nutritional recovery, which appears to benefit performance. Successive bouts of (a) weight loss to make weight and (b) recovery for performance lead to weight cycling. There is speculation that weight cycling may contribute to chronic glycogen depletion, reductions in fat-free weight, a decrease in resting metabolic rate, and an increase in body fat. The latter two would augment the difficulty of losing weight for subsequent weigh-ins. Most research indicates that the suppressed resting metabolic rate with weight loss in wrestlers appears to be transient, but subsequent research is needed for confirmation.

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Pavle Mikulic

Purpose:

To examine variations in physical, physiological, and performance parameters over an annual training cycle in a world champion rowing crew.

Methods:

Four world-class rowers, all of them members of the men’s heavyweight quadruple sculls squad who are current world rowing champions, were assessed 3 times at regular 4-mo intervals during the 2011 season (November 2010, March 2011, and July 2011). Physical assessments included stature, body mass, body composition, whereas physiological and performance assessments obtained during an incremental rowing ergometer test to exhaustion included maximum oxygen uptake and anaerobic gas-exchange threshold with corresponding power output values.

Results:

Body mass (∼95 kg) and body composition (∼12% body fat) remained stable over the annual training cycle. Power output at anaerobic gas-exchange threshold increased +16% from November to July, whereas the corresponding oxygen uptake, expressed as a percentage of maximum oxygen uptake, increased from 83% to 90%. Maximum oxygen uptake decreased from 6.68 L/min in November to 6.10 L/min in March before rising to 6.51 L/min in July. The corresponding power output increased steadily from 450 W to 481 W.

Conclusion:

Seasonal variation in body mass and body composition of 4 examined world-class rowers was minimal. Oxygen uptake and power output corresponding to anaerobic threshold continuously increased from off-season to peak competition season. Seasonal variation in maximum oxygen uptake reached ∼10%; however, it remained above 6 L/min, that is, the value consistently observed in top caliber heavyweight rowers regardless of the time of the assessment.

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Kenneth Coutts, Donald McKenzie, Christine Loock, Richard Beauchamp and Robert Armstrong

The purpose of this study was to describe the upper body exercise capabilities of youth with spina bifida, which would permit comparison of their abilities to norms. Forty-two children with spina bifida age 7 to 18 years were tested for maximal handgrip strength, anaerobic arm-crank power output, and peak arm-crank oxygen uptake. Analysis of variance was used to compare age, gender, and level of disability differences within the total sample. This analysis indicated no significant effect of level of disability on any of the upper body exercise capacity measures. Significant gender and age effects were noted for grip strength and anaerobic and aerobic capabilities. The sample exhibited handgrip strength comparable to that of nondisabled youth but low anaerobic power and peak oxygen uptake values. Some individual subjects, however, had “normal” values for all tests suggesting that a lower level of participation in regular physical activity rather than spina bifida per se may be responsible for the generally lower physical capacity found in the total sample.

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Dale I. Lovell, Dale Mason, Elias Delphinus and Chris McLellan

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to compare asynchronous (AS Y) arm cranking (cranks at 180° relative to each other) with synchronous (SYN) arm cranking (parallel crank setting) during the 30 s Wingate anaerobic test.

Methods:

Thirty-two physically active men (aged 22.1 ± 2.4 y) completed two Wingate tests (one ASY and one SYN) separated by 4 d in a randomized counterbalanced order. The Wingate tests were completed on a modified electromagnetically braked cycle ergometer. Performance measures assessed during the two tests include peak power, mean power, minimum power, time to peak power, rate to fatigue and maximum cadence (RPMmax). Blood lactate concentration was also measured before and 5 min after the tests.

Results:

Peak and mean power (both absolute and relative to body weight) during SYN arm cranking were significantly (p < 0.001) less than during ASY arm cranking. Rate to fatigue and RPMmax were also significantly (p = 0.012) lower during SYN arm cranking compared with ASY arm cranking. No significant difference was found between test conditions for minimum power, time to peak power or blood lactate concentration.

Conclusions:

These findings demonstrate that ASY arm cranking results in higher peak and mean anaerobic power compared with SYN arm cranking during the Wingate test. Therefore, an ASY arm crank configuration should be used to assess anaerobic power in most individuals although specific population groups may require further testing to determine which crank configuration is most suitable for the Wingate test.

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Jelle de Jong, Linda van der Meijden, Simone Hamby, Samantha Suckow, Christopher Dodge, Jos J. de Koning and Carl Foster

Purpose:

To reach top performance in cycling, optimizing distribution of energy resources is crucial. The purpose of this study was to investigate power output during 250-m, 500-m, and 1000-m cycling time trials and the characteristics of the adopted pacing strategy.

Methods:

Nine trained cyclists completed an incremental test and 3 time trials that they were instructed to finish as quickly as possible. Preceding the trials, peak power during short sprints (PPsprint) and gross efficiency (GE) were measured. During the trials, power output and oxygen consumption were measured to calculate the contribution of the aerobic and anaerobic energy sources. After the trial GE was measured again.

Results:

Peak power during all trials (PPTT) was lower than PPsprint. In the 250-m trial the PPTT was higher in the 1000-m trial (P = .008). The subjects performed a significantly longer time at high intensity in the 250-m than in the 1000-m (P = .029). GE declined significantly during all trials (P < .01). Total anaerobically attributable work was less in the 250-m than in the 500-m (P = .015) and 1000-m (P < .01) trials.

Conclusion:

The overall pacing pattern in the 250-m trial appears to follow an all-out strategy, although peak power is still lower than the potential maximal power output. This suggests that a true all-out pattern of power output may not be used in fixed-distance events. The 500-m and 1000-m had a more conservative pacing pattern and anaerobic power output reached a constant magnitude.

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Katherine A. Beals and Melinda M. Manore

This study examined the prevalence of and relationship between the disorders of the female athlete triad in collegiate athletes participating in aesthetic, endurance, or team/anaerobic sports. Participants were 425 female collegiate athletes from 7 universities across the United States. Disordered eating, menstrual dysfunction, and musculoskeletal injuries were assessed by a health/medical, dieting and menstrual history questionnaire, the Eating Attitudes Test (EAT-26), and the Eating Disorder Inventory Body Dissatisfaction Subscale (EDI-BD). The percentage of athletes reporting a clinical diagnosis of anorexia and bulimia nervosa was 3.3% and 2.3%, respectively; mean (±SD) EAT and EDI-BD scores were 10.6 ± 9.6 and 9.8 ± 7.6, respectively. The percentage of athletes with scores indicating “at-risk” behavior for an eating disorder were 15.2% using the EAT-26 and 32.4% using the EDI-BD. A similar percentage of athletes in aesthetic, endurance, and team/anaerobic sports reported a clinical diagnosis of anorexia or bulimia. However, athletes in aesthetic sports scored higher on the EAT-26 (13.5 ± 10.9) than athletes in endurance (10.0 ± 9.3) or team/anaerobic sports (9.9 ± 9.0, p < .02); and more athletes in aesthetic versus endurance or team/anaerobic sports scored above the EAT-26 cut-off score of 20 (p < .01). Menstrual irregularity was reported by 31% of the athletes not using oral contraceptives, and there were no group differences in the prevalence of self-reported menstrual irregularity. Muscle and bone injuries sustained during the collegiate career were reported by 65.9% and 34.3% of athletes, respectively, and more athletes in aesthetic versus endurance and team/anaerobic sports reported muscle (p = .005) and/or bone injuries (p < .001). Athletes “at risk” for eating disorders more frequently reported menstrual irregularity (p = .004) and sustained more bone injuries (p = .003) during their collegiate career. These data indicate that while the prevalence of clinical eating disorders is low in female collegiate athletes, many are “at risk” for an eating disorder, which places them at increased risk for menstrual irregularity and bone injuries.

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Emerson Franchini, Stanislaw Sterkowicz, Urszula Szmatlan-Gabrys, Tomasz Gabrys and Michal Garnys

Purpose:

This study investigated the energy system contributions of judo athletes to the Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT).

Methods:

Fourteen male judo athletes performed the SJFT, which comprised three periods of judo activity (A = 15 s, B and C = 30 s) interspersed with 10 s rest intervals. During this test, one athlete threw two others positioned 6 m from each other using the ippon-seoi-nage technique. The fractions of the aerobic, anaerobic alactic and anaerobic lactic systems were calculated based on oxygen uptake, the fast component of excess postexercise oxygen uptake, and changes in net blood lactate, respectively. The contribution of the three energy systems was compared using a repeated measures analysis of variance and Bonferroni’s multiple comparisons test. Compound symmetry, or sphericity, was determined by Mauchly’s test. A level of significance of 5% (P < .05) was adopted in all analyses.

Results:

The alactic energy system presented a higher (F = 20.9; P < .001; power observed = 1.0) contribution (86.8 ± 23.6 kJ; 42.3 ± 5.9%) during the test when compared with both aerobic (57.1 ± 11.3 kJ; 28.2 ± 2.9%) and lactic (58.9 ± 12.1 kJ; 29.5 ± 6.2%) energy systems (P < .001 for both comparisons).

Conclusions:

The higher alactic contribution seems to be a consequence of the high-intensity efforts performed during the test, and its intermittent nature. Thus, when using the SJFT, coaches are evaluating mainly their athletes’ anaerobic alactic system, which can be considered to be the most predominant system contributing to the actions (techniques) performed in the match.

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Fabrício de Mello Vitor and Maria Tereza Silveira Böhme

Youth swimming performance may be influenced by anthropometric, physiology and technical factors. The present paper examined the role of these factors in performance of 100m freestyle in swimmers 12–14 years of age (n = 24). Multiple regression analysis (forward method) was used to examine the variance of the 100 meters front crawl. Anaerobic power, swimming index and critical speed explained 88% (p < .05) of the variance in the average speed of 100 meters front crawl among young male pubertal swimmers. To conclude, performance of young swimmers in the 100 meters front crawl is determined predominantly by physiological factors and swimming technique.

Open access

In the article Sandford GN, Rogers SA, Sharma AP, Kilding AE, Ross A, Laursen PB. Implementing anaerobic speed reserve testing in the field: validation of vVO 2 max prediction from 1500-m race performance in elite middle-distance runners. Int J Sports Physiol Perform . 2019;14(8):1147–1150, https

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Nicola C. Sutton, David J. Childs, Oded Bar-Or and Neil Armstrong

The purpose of this study was to develop a nonmotorized treadmill sprint test (ExNMT) to assess children’s short-term power output, to establish the test’s repeatability, and to compare the results to corresponding Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) measurements. Nineteen children (aged 10.9±0.3 years) completed 2 ExNMTs and 2 WAnTs. Statistical analysis revealed coefficients of repeatability for the ExNMT that compared very favorably with the WAnT for both peak power (26.6 vs. 44.5 W) and mean power (15.3 vs. 42.1 W). The validity of the ExNMT as a test of anaerobic performance is reflected by significant correlations (p ≤.05) with the WAnT (peak power, r = 0.82; mean power, r = 0.88) and reinforced by the relatively high post-exercise blood lactate concentrations (7.1 ± 1.3 vs. 5.6 ± 1.5 mmol · L−1 for the ExNMT and WAnT, respectively). This study has developed a promising laboratory running test with which to examine young people’s short-term power output.