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Amanda J. Griffin, Viswanath B. Unnithan and Peter Ridges

The purpose of this study was to assess the effects of a weekend of swimming competition on various physiological parameters in a group of elite female swimmers. Eight female swimmers (age, 16.6 ± 0.5 years) participated in this study. Resting blood lactate (Bla) and heart rate (HR) were taken at the beginning of each testing session. Testing involved a discontinuous incremental peak VO2 treadmill test during which on-line, measures of VO2 were obtained. HR and Bla measurements were taken at the end of each exercise increment. A 30-s leg Wingate test (WAnT) was used to measure anaerobic power. Paired t-tests were carried out on all data. Resting HR was significantly higher and submaximal and maximal HR were significantly lower comparing pre- and postcompetition (p < .005). Resting Bla and submaximal VO2 were significantly higher postcompetition (p < .005). The results suggest that swimming competition causes a number of the recognized symptoms related to excitatory (acute) overtraining

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Lothar Rokitzki, Enno Logemann, Georg Huber, Elfriede Keck and Josef Keul

This study was undertaken to evaluate the effects of 5 months of α-tocopherol supplementation on physical performance during aerobic exercise training in 30 top-class cyclists. Antioxidative effects of supplementation were also studied. Plasma α-tocopherol concentration increased significantly in the vitamin E-supplemented group, whereas the placebo group showed a trend toward decrease. Physical performance did not improve in the α-tocopherol-supplemented group compared to the placebo group. Heart rates were also not significantly different. Lactate concentrations at the aerobic threshold and the anaerobic threshold were identical. Thus, there was no performance improvement in the α-tocopherol-supplemented group. However there was a significant reduction in CK in serum of the E-supplemented group. A trend toward decrease in GOT, GPT, and LDH was observed with α-tocopherol supplementation. Moreover, significantly reduced malondialdehyde serum levels were measured in the E-supplemented group. The findings indicate a protective effect of α-tocopherol supplementation against oxidative stress induced by strenuous exercise.

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Terry J. Housh, Glen O. Johnson and Dona J. Housh

The purpose of this investigation was to examine age related changes in muscular power of high school wrestlers. A total of 155 high school wrestlers (M age±SD = 16.5±2.4 yrs) volunteered as subjects for this investigation. The sample included only wrestlers who were ≤ 16.00 years (younger group, n=75) or >17.00 years (older group, n=80). All subjects completed a Wingate anaerobic test to determine mean (MP) and peak (PP) power as well as underwater weighing for body composition assessment. The results indicated significant (p<0.05) group differences for absolute MP and PP but no differences when adjusted for BW and FFW. Thus the enhanced muscular power in the older group of high school wrestlers was associated with increases in BW and FFW.

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Michael R. Bracko and Gilbert W. Fellingham

Fifty-four female and 77 male hockey players ranging in age from 10–15 years volunteered for this study. Demographic data included: age (AGE) and years of playing experience (YPE). Off-ice tests included: height (HGT), body mass (BM), lean body mass (LBM), predicted body fat % (FAT%), 40-yard dash (40YD), vertical jump (VJ), push-ups/min (PUPS), sit-ups/min (SUPS), and sit-and-reach flexibility (S&R). On-ice performance skating tests included: acceleration (ACC), agility (AGL), and speed (SPD). On-ice anaerobic power (AnPow) was calculated using the formula of Watson and Sargeant (IS). Generally speaking, the females and males in this study had similar results in office fitness. The males consistently out-performed the females in the on-ice tests. It would be difficult for females to compete with or against same-aged males based on the fact that males are superior skaters.

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Thomas W. Rowland and Tasha A. Rimany

This study compared aerobic, cardiac, and ventilatory changes in 11 premenarcheal girls ages 9–13 years with those of 13 women ages 20–31 during 40 min of steady-load cycling at an intensity of 63% VO2max. Forty-five percent of the girls were cycling above their ventilatory anaerobic threshold, compared to 77% of the women. Between 10 and 40 min of exercise, mean VO2 increased 8.6% (SD = 3.8) and 8.3% (SD = 6.3) in the girls and women, respectively (p > .05), with no significant differences in rise in body temperature. Pattern and magnitude of ventilatory drift (increased VE and respiratory rate with fall in tidal volume) were similar in the two groups. Likewise, the rise in cardiac output and heart rate (with no change in stroke volume) was not significantly different in the two groups. These findings indicate that physiological responses to prolonged aerobic exercise are both quantitatively and qualitatively similar in girls and young women.

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Joni S. Yates, Stephanie Studenski, Steven Gollub, Robert Whitman, Subashan Perera, Sue Min Lai and Pamela W. Duncan

This study evaluated the feasibility, safety, and findings from a protocol for exercise-bicycle ergometry in subacute-stroke survivors. Of 117 eligible candidates, 14 could not perform the test and 3 discontinued because of cardiac safety criteria. In the 100 completed tests, peak heart rate was 116 ± 19.1 beats/min; peak VO2 was 11.4 ± 3.7 ml · kg · min−1, peak METs were 3.3 ± 0.91, exercise duration was 5.1 ± 2.84 min., and Borg score was 14 ± 2.6. Among 71 tests, anaerobic threshold was achieved in 3.0 ± 1.7 min with a VO2 of 8.6 ± 1.7 ml · kg · min−1. After screening, this protocol is feasible and safe in subacute-stroke survivors with mild to moderate deficits. These stroke survivors have severely limited functional exercise capacity. Research and clinical practice in stroke rehabilitation should incorporate more comprehensive evaluation and treatment of endurance limitations.

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Kari L. Keskinen and Paavo V. Komi

The purpose of this study was to examine the differences in the relationships among the stroking characteristics between different phases of swimming exercises, and to determine whether these relationships would change in relation to enhanced swimming intensity. The experimental design consisted of the measurement of mean velocity (V), stroke rate (SR), stroke length (SL), and duration of different phases of a stroke cycle for each pool length in five to six 400-m swims and two 100-m swims. The results showed that the basic relationships among the stroke parameters during the test exercises were almost similar to those observed in competition. However, the relationships changed with enhanced swimming intensity. It is suggested that the degree of anaerobic lactacid metabolism may determine the characteristics of stroking while swimming. The reduction of SL above the lactate threshold would be connected to the accumulation of blood lactate, whereas SR would primarily be determined by the ability to maintain adequate neural activation.

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Victoria L. Goosey-Tolfrey

The purpose of this study was to examine the physiological changes in elite wheelchair basketball players leading up to the 2000 Paralympics. Twelve male players attended regular physiological assessments on six occasions; averaged data of two sessions for each year were used. Physiological measures included body mass, skinfold measurements, peak oxygen uptake and peak power obtained during maximal sprinting. VO2peak significantly increased from 2.65 to 2.83 L·min-1 prior to the Paralympics. Training had little influence on the anthropometric measurements or maximal sprinting data. In conclusion, the GB wheelchair basketball players appeared to have high levels of aerobic and anaerobic fitness. The longitudinal physiological profiles leading to the 2000 Paralympics suggest that players improved their aerobic base while maintaining other fitness prerequisites.

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James J. Hoffmann Jr, Jacob P. Reed, Keith Leiting, Chieh-Ying Chiang and Michael H. Stone

Due to the broad spectrum of physical characteristics necessary for success in field sports, numerous training modalities have been used develop physical preparedness. Sports like rugby, basketball, lacrosse, and others require athletes to be not only strong and powerful but also aerobically fit and able to recover from high-intensity intermittent exercise. This provides coaches and sport scientists with a complex range of variables to consider when developing training programs. This can often lead to confusion and the misuse of training modalities, particularly in the development of aerobic and anaerobic conditioning. This review outlines the benefits and general adaptations to 3 commonly used and effective conditioning methods: high-intensity interval training, repeated-sprint training, and small-sided games. The goals and outcomes of these training methods are discussed, and practical implementations strategies for coaches and sport scientists are provided.

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Sebastian Ludyga, Thomas Gronwald and Kuno Hottenrott

Although men and women are suggested to vary in resistance to fatigue, possible sex difference in its central component have rarely been investigated via electroencephalography (EEG). Therefore, we examined differences in cortical activity between male and female cyclists (n = 26) during cycling exercise. Participants performed an incremental test to derive the anaerobic threshold from the lactate power curve. In addition, cyclists’ cortical activity was recorded with EEG before and during cycling exercise. Whereas women showed higher frontal alpha and beta activity at rest, no sex-specific differences of relative EEG spectral power occurred during cycling at higher intensity. Women and men’s brains respond similarly during submaximal cycling, as both sexes show an inverted U-shaped curve of alpha power. Therefore, sex differences observable at rest vanish after the onset of exercise.