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Llion A. Roberts, Kris Beattie, Graeme L. Close and James P. Morton

Purpose:

To test the hypothesis that antioxidants can attenuate high-intensity interval training–induced improvements in exercise performance.

Methods:

Two groups of recreationally active males performed a high-intensity interval running protocol, four times per week for 4 wk. Group 1 (n = 8) consumed 1 g of vitamin C daily throughout the training period, whereas Group 2 (n = 7) consumed a visually identical placebo. Pre- and posttraining, subjects were assessed for VO2max, 10 km time trial, running economy at 12 km/h and distance run on the YoYo intermittent recovery tests level 1 and 2 (YoYoIRT1/2). Subjects also performed a 60 min run before and after training at a running velocity of 65% of pretraining VO2max so as to assess training-induced changes in substrate oxidation rates.

Results:

Training improved (P < .0005) VO2max, 10 km time trial, running economy, YoYoIRT1 and YoYoIRT2 in both groups, although there was no difference (P = .31, 0.29, 0.24, 0.76 and 0.59) between groups in the magnitude of training-induced improvements in any of the aforementioned parameters. Similarly, training also decreased (P < .0005) mean carbohydrate and increased mean fat oxidation rates during submaximal exercise in both groups, although no differences (P = .98 and 0.94) existed between training conditions.

Conclusions:

Daily oral consumption of 1 g of vitamin C during a 4 wk high-intensity interval training period does not impair training-induced improvements in the exercise performance of recreationally active males.

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Charles L. Dumke, Christopher M. Pfaffenroth, Jeffrey M. McBride and Grant O. McCauley

Purpose:

In this study, a comparison was made between muscle strength, power and muscle and tendon (km and kt respectively) stiffness of the triceps surae muscle group and running economy (RE) in trained male runners.

Methods:

Twelve well-trained male runners (age = 21 + 2.7 y, height = 178.1 ± 7.1 cm, body mass = 66.7 + 3.2 kg, VO2 max = 68.3 + 4.3 mLkg–1min–1, 5000-m time = 15:04 min:s) underwent passive stiffness testing using a free oscillation method. Muscle strength was determined via a maximal isometric squat test and power determined via a maximal countermovement jump (CMJ). On a separate day, subjects performed an incremental treadmill test and their RE, lactate threshold, and VO2 max were determined. Fingertip blood lactate was determined at the end of each 3-min stage. Lactate threshold was defined as a nonlinear increase in lactate accumulation.

Results:

A statistically significant correlation was found between k m and VO at stage 6 (r = -0.69, P = .01). In addition, statistically significant correlations were observed between CMJ peak force production and VO2 at stage 2 (r = .66, P = .02), stage 3 (r = .70, P = .01), and stage 4 (r = .58, P = .04). No other statistically significant correlations were observed.

Conclusion:

These data suggest that greater muscle stiffness and less power are associated with greater RE. Future study in this area should focus on determining the mechanisms behind this relationship and how to best apply them to a running population through training techniques.

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Julien Robineau, Mathieu Lacome, Julien Piscione, Xavier Bigard and Nicolas Babault

Purpose:

To assess the impact of 2 high-intensity interval-training (HIT) programs (short interval vs sprint interval training) on muscle strength and aerobic performances in a concurrent training program in amateur rugby sevens players.

Methods:

Thirty-six amateur rugby sevens players were randomly assigned to strength and short interval training (INT), strength and sprint interval training (SIT), or a strength-only training group (CON) during an 8-wk period. Maximal strength and power tests, aerobic measurements (peak oxygen uptake [VO2peak] and maximal aerobic velocity), and a specific repeated-sprint ability (RSA) test were conducted before and immediately after the overall training period.

Results:

From magnitude-based inference and effect size (ES ± 90% confidence limit) analyses, the current study revealed substantial gains in maximal strength and jump-height performance in all groups. The difference in change of slow concentric torque production was greater in CON than in SIT (0.65 ± 0.72, moderate). VO2peak and, consequently, mean performance in the RSA test were improved in the SIT group only (0.64 ± 0.29, moderate; –0.54 ± 0.35, moderate).

Conclusions:

The study did not emphasize interference on strength development after INT but showed a slight impairment of slow concentric torque production gains after SIT. Compared with INT, SIT would appear to be more effective to develop VO2peak and RSA but could induce lower muscle-strength gains, especially at low velocity.

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Herman-J. Engels and Emily M. Haymes

This study examined the effects of a single dose of caffeine (5 mg:kg−1) on energy metabolism during 60-min treadmill walking at light (30% VO2max) and moderate (50% VO2max) aerobic intensities in eight sedentary (VO2max 39.6 ±t3.1 ml.kg−1.min−1) males. Caffeine intake 60 min prior to walking exercise increased pre- and postexercise FFA, glycerol, and lactate concentrations (p < 0.05). Blood glucose levels following walking trials were lower than preexercise values (p < 0.05). Gas exchange indicated that caffeine did not change exercise oxygen uptake, RER values, and carbon dioxide production (p0.05). In contrast, a small but statistically significant effect of caffeine on exercise minute ventilation was noted (p~0.01). It is concluded that ingestion of 5 mg.kg−1 caffeine increases the mobilization of energy substrate from fat sources; however, the present data do not provide evidence of a caffeineinduced shift in energy substrate usage. Caffeine is not an effective means for enhancing the energy cost of prolonged walking.

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Antonio Paoli, Giuseppe Marcolin, Fabio Zonin, Marco Neri, Andrea Sivieri and Quirico F. Pacelli

Exercise and nutrition are often used in combination to lose body fat and reduce weight. In this respect, exercise programs are as important as correct nutrition. Several issues are still controversial in this field, and among them there are contrasting reports on whether training in a fasting condition can enhance weight loss by stimulating lipolytic activity. The authors’ purpose was to verify differences in fat metabolism during training in fasting or feeding conditions. They compared the effect on oxygen consumption (VO2) and substrate utilization, estimated by the respiratory-exchange ratio (RER), in 8 healthy young men who performed the same moderate-intensity training session (36 min of cardiovascular training on treadmill at 65% maximum heart rate) in the morning in 2 tests in random sequence: FST test (fasting condition) without any food intake or FED test (feeding condition) after breakfast. In both cases, the same total amount and quality of food was assumed in the 24 hr after the training session. The breakfast, per se, increased both VO2 and RER significantly (4.21 vs. 3.74 and 0.96 vs. 0.84, respectively). Twelve hours after the training session, VO2 was still higher in the FED test, whereas RER was significantly lower in the FED test, indicating greater lipid utilization. The difference was still significant 24 hr after exercise. The authors conclude that when moderate endurance exercise is done to lose body fat, fasting before exercise does not enhance lipid utilization; rather, physical activity after a light meal is advisable.

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Patrick J. O’Connor, Amanda L. Caravalho, Eric C. Freese and Kirk J. Cureton

Compounds found in the skins of grapes, including catechins, quercetin, and resveratrol, have been added to the diet of rodents and improved run time to exhaustion, fitness, and skeletal-muscle mitochondrial function. It is unknown if such effects occur in humans. The purpose of this experiment was to investigate whether 6 wk of daily grape consumption influenced maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), work capacity, mood, perceived health status, inflammation, pain, and arm-function responses to a mild eccentric-exercise-induced arm-muscle injury. Forty recreationally active young adults were randomly assigned to consume a grape or placebo drink for 45 consecutive days. Before and after 42 d of supplementation, assessments were made of treadmill-running VO2max, work capacity (treadmill performance time), mood (Profile of Mood States), and perceived health status (SF-36 Health Survey). The day after posttreatment treadmill tests were completed, 18 high-intensity eccentric actions of the nondominant elbow flexors were performed. Arm-muscle inflammation, pain, and function (isometric strength and range of motion) were measured before and on 2 consecutive days after the eccentric exercise. Mixed-model ANOVA showed no significant effect of grape consumption on any of the outcomes. Six weeks of supplemental grape consumption by recreationally active young adults has no effect on VO2max, work capacity, mood, perceived health status, inflammation, pain, or physical-function responses to a mild injury induced by eccentric exercise.

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Vinícius F. Milanez, Rafael E. Pedro, Alexandre Moreira, Daniel A. Boullosa, Fuad Salle-Neto and Fábio Y. Nakamura

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to verify the influence of aerobic fitness (VO2max) on internal training loads, as measured by the session rating of perceived exertion (session-RPE) method.

Methods:

Nine male professional outfeld futsal players were monitored for 4 wk of the in-season period with regards to the weekly accumulated session-RPE, while participating in the same training sessions. Single-session-RPE was obtained from the product of a 10-point RPE scale and the duration of exercise. Maximal oxygen consumption was determined during an incremental treadmill test.

Results:

The average training load throughout the 4 wk period varied between 2,876 and 5,035 arbitrary units. Technical-tactical sessions were the predominant source of loading. There was a significant correlation between VO2max (59.6 ± 2.5 mL·kg–1 ·min–1) and overall training load accumulated over the total period (r = –0.75).

Conclusions:

The VO2max plays a key role in determining the magnitude of an individual’s perceived exertion during futsal training sessions.

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Darlene A. Sedlock, Man-Gyoon Lee, Michael G. Flynn, Kyung-Shin Park and Gary H. Kamimori

Literature examining the effects of aerobic exercise training on excess postexercise oxygen consumption (EPOC) is sparse. In this study, 9 male participants (19–32 yr) trained (EX) for 12 wk, and 10 in a control group (CON) maintained normal activity. VO2max, rectal temperature (Tre), epinephrine, norepinephrine, free fatty acids (FFA), insulin, glucose, blood lactate (BLA), and EPOC were measured before (PRE) and after (POST) the intervention. EPOC at PRE was measured for 120 min after 30 min of treadmill running at 70% VO2max. EX completed 2 EPOC trials at POST, i.e., at the same absolute (ABS) and relative (REL) intensity; 1 EPOC test for CON served as both the ABS and REL trial because no significant change in VO2max was noted. During the ABS trial, total EPOC decreased significantly (p < .01) from PRE (39.4 ± 3.6 kcal) to POST (31.7 ± 2.2 kcal). Tre, epinephrine, insulin, glucose, and BLA at end-exercise or during recovery were significantly lower and FFA significantly higher after training. Training did not significantly affect EPOC during the REL trial; however, epinephrine was significantly lower, and norepinephrine and FFA, significantly higher, at endexercise after training. Results indicate that EPOC varies as a function of relative rather than absolute metabolic stress and that training improves the efficiency of metabolic regulation during recovery from exercise. Mechanisms for the decreased magnitude of EPOC in the ABS trial include decreases in BLA, Tre, and perhaps epinephrine-mediated hepatic glucose production and insulin-mediated glucose uptake.

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Colin R. Carriker, Christine M. Mermier, Trisha A. VanDusseldorp, Kelly E. Johnson, Nicholas M. Beltz, Roger A. Vaughan, James J. McCormick, Nathan H. Cole, Christopher C. Witt and Ann L. Gibson

Reduced partial pressure of oxygen impairs exercise performance at altitude. Acute nitrate supplementation, at sea level, may reduce oxygen cost during submaximal exercise in hypobaric hypoxia. Therefore, we investigated the metabolic response during exercise at altitude following acute nitrate consumption. Ten well-trained (61.0 ± 7.4 ml/kg/min) males (age 28 ± 7 yr) completed 3 experimental trials (T1, T2, T3). T1 included baseline demographics, a maximal aerobic capacity test (VO2max) and five submaximal intensity cycling determination bouts at an elevation of 1600 m. A 4-day dietary washout, minimizing consumption of nitrate-rich foods, preceded T2 and T3. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover fashion, subjects consumed either a nitrate-depleted beetroot juice (PL) or ~12.8 mmol nitrate rich (NR) beverage 2.5 hr before T2 and T3. Exercise at 3500 m (T2 and T3) via hypobaric hypoxia consisted of a 5-min warm-up (25% of normobaric (VO2max) and four 5-min cycling bouts (40, 50, 60, 70% of normobaric VO2max) each separated by a 4-min rest period. Cycling RPM and watts for each submaximal bout during T2 and T3 were determined during T1. Preexercise plasma nitrite was elevated following NR consumption compared with PL (1.4 ± 1.2 and 0.7 ± 0.3 uM respectively; p < .05). There was no difference in oxygen consumption (−0.5 ± 1.8, 0.1 ± 1.7, 0.7 ± 2.1, and 1.0 ± 3.0 ml/kg/min) at any intensity (40, 50, 60, 70% of VO2max), respectively) between NR and PL. Further, respiratory exchange ratio, oxygen saturation, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion were not different at any submaximal intensity between NR and PL either. Blood lactate, however, was reduced following NR consumption compared with PL at 40 and 60% of VO2max (p < .0.05). Our findings suggest that acute nitrate supplementation before exercise at 3500 m does not reduce oxygen cost but may reduce blood lactate accumulation at lower intensity workloads.

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Yagesh N. Bhambhani, Robert S. Burnham, Gary D. Wheeler, Peter Eriksson, Leona J. Holland and Robert D. Steadward

In this study we compared the ventilatory threshold (VT) between 8 untrained and 8 endurance-trained males with quadriplegia during simulated wheelchair exercise. Each subject completed an incremental velocity test in his personal wheelchair mounted on a customized roller system designed to provide velocity and distance feedback. VT was identified by two trained evaluators using established respiratory gas exchange criteria. A significant interevaluator reliability coefficient of .90 (p < .01) was observed for the detection of VT. Relative oxygen uptake (V̇O2, ml · kg-1 · min-1) at VT and peak V̇O2 were significantly (p < .05) higher in the endurance-trained compared to untrained subjects. However, no significant difference (p > .05) was observed between the two groups when VT was expressed as a percentage of peak V̇O2. Significant correlations of .86 and .81 (p < .01) were observed between VT and peak V̇O2 in the untrained and trained groups, respectively. It was concluded that endurance training improves both VT and peak V̇O2 during wheelchair exercise in male subjects with quadriplegia but does not improve VT when it is expressed relative to peak V̇O2.