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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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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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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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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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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.

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Jason D. Vescovi, Teena M. Murray and Jaci L. VanHeest

Purpose:

The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether positional profiling is possible for elite ice hockey players by examining anthropometric characteristics and physiological performance. In addition, performance ranges and percentiles were determined for each position (forwards, defensemen, and goalkeepers) on all dependent variables.

Methods:

A retrospective, cross-sectional study design was used with performance data from ice hockey players (mean age = 18.0 ± 0.6 years) attending the 2001 (n = 74), 2002 (n = 84), and 2003 (n = 92) Combines. Four anthropometric characteristics and 12 performance tests were the dependent variables. A 3 × 3 (position × year) 2-way ANOVA was used to determine whether any significant interactions were present. No significant interactions were observed, so the data were collapsed over the 3-year period and positional characteristics were analyzed using a 1-way ANOVA.

Results:

Defenders were heavier and/or taller compared with the other 2 positions (P ≤ .01), whereas goalkeepers showed greater body-fat percentage compared with that of forwards (P = .001). It was found that goalkeepers had significantly lower strength measures for the upper body (P ≤ .043) and lower anaerobic capacity (P ≤ .039) values compared with at least one other position, but they had greater flexibility (P ≤ .013). No positional differences were observed for the broad jump, vertical jump, aerobic power, or curl-ups.

Conclusion:

The current findings provide evidence supporting the use of anthropometric measurements, upper body strength, and anaerobic capacity to effectively distinguish among positions for elite-level ice hockey players.

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Michelle S.M. Silva, Wladimir Bolani, Cleber R. Alves, Diogo G. Biagi, José R. Lemos Jr, Jeferson L. da Silva, Patrícia A. de Oliveira, Guilherme B. Alves, Edilamar M. de Oliveira, Carlos E. Negrão, José E. Krieger, Rodrigo G. Dias and Alexandre C. Pereira

Aim:

To study the relationship between the ACTN3 R577X polymorphism and oxygen uptake (VO2) before and after exercise training.

Methods:

Police recruits (N = 206, 25 ± 4 y) with RR (n = 75), RX (n = 97), and XX (n = 33) genotypes were selected. After baseline measures, they underwent 18 wk of running endurance training. Peak VO2 was obtained by cardiopulmonary exercise testing.

Results:

Baseline body weight was not different among genotypes. At baseline, XX individuals displayed higher VO2 at anaerobic threshold, respiratory compensation point, and exercise peak than did RR individuals (P < .003). Endurance training significantly increased VO2 at anaerobic threshold, respiratory compensation point, and exercise peak (P < 2 × 10−6), but the differences between XX and RR were no longer observed. Only relative peak VO2 exercise remained higher in XX than in RR genotype (P = .04). In contrast, the increase in relative peak VO2 was greater in RR than in XX individuals (12% vs 6%; P = .02).

Conclusion:

ACTN3 R577X polymorphism is associated with VO2. XX individuals have greater aerobic capacity. Endurance training eliminates differences in peak VO2 between XX and RR individuals. These findings suggest a ceiling-effect phenomenon, and, perhaps, trained individuals may not constitute an adequate population to explain associations between phenotypic variability and gene variations.

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Edward J. Smith, Ryan Storey and Mayur K. Ranchordas

Bouldering competitions are held up to International level and governed by the International Federation of Sport Climbing. Bouldering has been selected to feature at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, however, physiological qualities and nutritional requirements to optimize performance remain inadequately defined due to large gaps in the literature. The primary goals of training include optimizing the capacity of the anaerobic energy systems and developing sport-specific strength, with emphasis on the isometric function of the forearm flexors responsible for grip. Bouldering athletes typically possess a lean physique, similar to the characteristics of sport climbers with reported body fat values of 6–12%. Athletes strive for a low body weight to improve power to weight ratio and limit the load on the extremities. Specialized nutritional support is uncommon and poor nutritional practices such as chronic carbohydrate restriction are prevalent, compromising the health of the athletes. The high intensity nature of bouldering demands a focus on adequate carbohydrate availability. Protein intake and timing should be structured to maximize muscle protein synthesis and recovery, with the literature suggesting 0.25–0.3 g/kg in 3–4 hr intervals. Supplementing with creatine and b-alanine may provide some benefit by augmenting the capacity of the anaerobic systems. Boulderers are encouraged to seek advice from nutrition experts to enhance performance, particularly important when weight loss is the desired outcome. Further research is warranted across all nutritional aspects of bouldering which is summarized in this review.