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Thomas Losnegard, Martin Andersen, Matt Spencer and Jostein Hallén

Purpose:

To investigate the effects of an active and a passive recovery protocol on physiological responses and performance between 2 heats in sprint cross-country skiing.

Methods:

Ten elite male skiers (22 ± 3 y, 184 ± 4 cm, 79 ± 7 kg) undertook 2 experimental test sessions that both consisted of 2 heats with 25 min between start of the first and second heats. The heats were conducted as an 800-m time trial (6°, >3.5 m/s, ~205 s) and included measurements of oxygen uptake (VO2) and accumulated oxygen deficit. The active recovery trial involved 2 min standing/walking, 16 min jogging (58% ± 5% of VO2peak), and 3 min standing/walking. The passive recovery trial involved 15 min sitting, 3 min walk/jog (~ 30% of VO2peak), and 3 min standing/walking. Blood lactate concentration and heart rate were monitored throughout the recovery periods.

Results:

The increased 800-m time between heat 1 and heat 2 was trivial after active recovery (effect size [ES] = 0.1, P = .64) and small after passive recovery (ES = 0.4, P = .14). The 1.2% ± 2.1% (mean ± 90% CL) difference between protocols was not significant (ES = 0.3, P = .3). In heat 2, peak and average VO2 was increased after the active recovery protocol.

Conclusions:

Neither passive recovery nor running at ~58% of VO2peak between 2 heats changed performance significantly.

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Oliver Faude, Anke Steffen, Michael Kellmann and Tim Meyer

Purpose:

To analyze performance and fatigue effects of small-sided games (SSG) vs high-intensity interval training (HIIT) performed during a 4-wk in-season period in high-level youth football.

Methods:

Nineteen players from 4 youth teams (16.5 [SD 0.8] y, 1.79 [0.06] m, 70.7 [5.6] kg) of the 2 highest German divisions completed the study. Teams were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 training sequences (2 endurance sessions per wk): One training group started with SSG, whereas the other group conducted HIIT during the first half of the competitive season. After the winter break, training programs were changed between groups. Before and after the training periods the following tests were completed: the Recovery-Stress Questionnaire for Athletes, creatine kinase and urea concentrations, vertical-jump height (countermovement jump [CMJ], drop jump), straight sprint, agility, and an incremental field test to determine individual anaerobic threshold (IAT).

Results:

Significant time effects were observed for IAT (+1.3%, ηp 2 = .31), peak heart rate (–1.8%, ηp 2 = .45), and CMJ (–2.3%, ηp 2 = .27), with no significant interaction between groups (P > .30). Players with low baseline IAT values (+4.3%) showed greater improvements than those with high initial values (±0.0%). A significant decrease was found for total recovery (–5.0%, ηp 2 = .29), and an increase was found for urea concentration (+9.2%, ηp 2 = .44).

Conclusion:

Four weeks of in-season endurance training can lead to relevant improvements in endurance capacity. The decreases in CMJ height and total-recovery score together with the increase in urea concentration might be interpreted as early signs of fatigue. Thus, the danger of overtaxing players should be considered.

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Rachel Borne, Christophe Hausswirth and François Bieuzen

Purpose:

To investigate the effect of different limb blood-flow levels on cycling-performance recovery, blood lactate concentration, and heart rate.

Methods:

Thirty-three high-intensity intermittent-trained athletes completed two 30-s Wingate anaerobic test sessions, 3 × 30-s (WAnT 1–3) and 1 × 30-s (WAnT 4), on a cycling ergometer. WAnT 1–3 and WAnT 4 were separated by a randomly assigned 24-min recovery intervention selected from among blood-flow restriction, passive rest, placebo stimulation, or neuromuscular electrical-stimulation-induced blood flow. Calf arterial inflow was measured by venous occlusion plethysmography at regular intervals throughout the recovery period. Performance was measured in terms of peak and mean power output during WAnT 1 and WAnT 4.

Results:

After the recovery interventions, a large (r = .68 [90% CL .42; .83]) and very large (r = .72 (90% CL .49; .86]) positive correlation were observed between the change in calf arterial inflow and the change in mean and peak power output, respectively. Calf arterial inflow was significantly higher during the neuromuscular-electrical-stimulation recovery intervention than with the blood-flow-restriction, passive-rest, and placebo-stimulation interventions (P < .001). This corresponds to the only intervention that allowed performance recovery (P > .05). No recovery effect was linked to heart rate or blood lactate concentration levels.

Conclusions:

For the first time, these data support the existence of a positive correlation between an increase in blood flow and performance recovery between bouts of high-intensity exercise. As a practical consideration, this effect can be obtained by using neuromuscular electrical stimulation-induced blood flow since this passive, simple strategy could be easily applied during short-term recovery.

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Sarah Shaw, Tina Smith, Jenny Alexanders, Thomas Shaw, Lois Smith, Alan Nevill and Anna Anderson

Objective:

To investigate half-marathon runners’ frequency of use of recovery strategies, perceptions regarding the most beneficial recovery strategy, and reasons for using recovery strategies.

Design:

Cross-sectional survey.

Participants:

186 participants of the 13.1 mile BUPA Great North Run 2013.

Methods:

A questionnaire was developed which required participants to indicate how frequently they used 12 different recovery strategies, identify which recovery strategy they believed to be most beneficial, and rank 6 reasons for using recovery strategies in order of importance. Data were analyzed using a Friedman nonparametric ANOVA and additional nonparametric tests.

Results:

All participants used recovery strategies. Stretching was the most commonly used recovery strategy (P < .001), whereas the use of nutritional supplements was the most commonly selected most beneficial recovery strategy. More than 50% of respondents indicated that they never used strategies such as kinesio tape (80%), hydrotherapy (78%), or ice baths (71%). A significant difference was observed between reasons for using recovery strategy (χ2 (5) = 292.29, P < .001). Reducing muscle tightness (rank 4.87) and reducing injury (rank 4.35) were the most frequently chosen most important reasons for using recovery strategies. Minor sex and age differences in the responses were identified.

Conclusion:

Recovery strategy usage appears to be widespread among half-marathon runners; however, disparities exist between the frequency of use and perceived effectiveness of different recovery strategies. Further research in this area is needed to facilitate the development of recovery strategy guidelines which are both evidence-based and practically relevant.

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Michael Kellmann, Dieter Altenburg, Werner Lormes and Jürgen M. Steinacker

Training stress and adequate recovery have been identified as important factors to enhance performance in sports and to avoid overtraining. Research dealing with training monitoring and overtraining is mostly based on the Profile of Mood Stales (POMS). Recently, Kellmann and Kallus (2000, 2001) published the Recovery-Stress-Questionnaire for Athletes (RESTQ-Sport), which assesses training effects from the perspective of stress and recovery. During a six-week training camp before and at the World Championships, 24 female and 30 male rowers of the German Junior National Rowing Team completed the RESTQ-Sport and the POMS six times. Results of selected MANOVA’s revealed significant increases of stress and decreases of recovery when training load expands, and vice versa. Changes in mood, creatine kinase, and ergometer performance reflect the alteration and success of training. These results suggest that the RESTQ-Sport is a potential alternative to the POMS in evaluating the impact of various training schedules.

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Brendon P. McDermott, Douglas J. Casa, Susan W. Yeargin, Matthew S. Ganio, Lawrence E. Armstrong and Carl M. Maresh

Objective:

To describe the current scientific evidence of recovery and return to activity following exertional heat stroke (EHS).

Data Sources:

Information was collected using MEDLINE and SPORTDiscus databases in English using combinations of key words, exertional heat stroke, recovery, rehabilitation, residual symptoms, heat tolerance, return to activity, and heat illness.

Study Selection:

Relevant peer-reviewed, military, and published text materials were reviewed.

Data Extraction:

Inclusion criteria were based on the article’s coverage of return to activity, residual symptoms, or testing for long-term treatment. Fifty-two out of the original 554 sources met these criteria and were included in data synthesis.

Data Synthesis:

The recovery time following EHS is dependent on numerous factors, and recovery length is individually based and largely dependent on the initial care provided.

Conclusion:

Future research should focus on developing a structured return-to-activity strategy following EHS.

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Eduard Kurz, Christoph Anders, Mario Walther, Philipp Schenk and Hans-Christoph Scholle

To judge a person’s maximum trunk extension performance as either age-appropriate or deconditioned is challenging. The current study aimed at determining age and anthropometrically adjusted maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) of back extensors considering the number and recovery time between trials. Thirty-one younger (20–30 years) and 33 older (50–60 years) healthy males performed five repetitions of maximal isometric trunk extensions in an upright standing position with randomized recovery times ranging between one to five minutes at one minute intervals. Torque values were normalized according to the individual’s upper body mass resulting in upper body torque ratios (UBTR). To evaluate the impact of age, recovery time, and fatigue on UBTR we applied a linear mixed-effects model. Based on surface EMG data muscular fatigue could be excluded for both groups. For all MVC trials, UBTR levels differed significantly between age groups (range of mean values: younger: 2.26–2.28, older: 1.78–1.87, effect size: 1.00) but were independent from recovery time. However, the older males tended to exert higher UBTR values after shorter recovery periods. The study provides normative values of anthropometrically and age-group adjusted maximum back extensor forces. For the investigated groups, only two MVC trials with a recovery time of about one minute seem appropriate.

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Anis Chaouachi, Monoem Haddad, Carlo Castagna, Del P. Wong, Fathi Kaouech, Karim Chamari and David G. Behm

The objective of this study was to examine the response and recovery to a single set of maximal, low and high angular velocity isokinetic leg extension-flexion contractions with boys. Sixteen boys (11–14 yrs) performed 10 isokinetic contractions at 60°.s−1 (Isok60) and 300°.s−1 (Isok300). Three contractions at both velocities, blood lactate and ratings of perceived exertion were monitored pretest and at 2, 3, 4, and 5 min of recovery (RI). Participants were tested in a random counterbalanced order for each velocity and recovery period. Only a single contraction velocity (300°.s−1 or 60°.s−1) was tested during recovery at each session to remove confounding influences between the recovery intervals. Recovery results showed no change in quadriceps’ power at 300°.s−1, quadriceps’ power, work and torque at 60°.s−1 and hamstrings’ power and work with 60°.s−1. There was an increase during the 2 min RI in hamstrings’ power, work and torque and quadriceps’

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Sebastian Altfeld, Clifford J. Mallett and Michael Kellmann

The development of burnout in the vocation of sports coaching is a process that can take months or even years. Unfortunately, there is a paucity of longitudinal examination of coaches’ burnout, stress, and recovery. The present study investigated burnout, stress, and recovery of full and part-time coaches to examine possible changes during the course of the season. Twenty-five full-time and 45 part-time active German coaches of different sports and competition levels completed the German coaches’ version of the MBI and the RESTQ for Coaches at three time points. Inferential statistical analysis revealed significant changes of full-time coaches’ stress and recovery scores over the course of the season. Moreover, the work hours per week were significantly higher at the end of the season. Post hoc analysis revealed that full-time coaches whose values of perceived success decreased over the season showed increased emotional stress and decreased recovery values. Part-time coaches reported consistent stress experiences. Consequently, findings suggest that full-time coaches experienced increased emotional stress, invested more time, and had insufficient recovery during the season. Thus, the results highlighted the significant role of recovery for full-time coaches and were particularly important to enhance the understanding of coaches’ work.

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Christos K. Argus, James R. Broatch, Aaron C. Petersen, Remco Polman, David J. Bishop and Shona Halson

Context:

An athlete’s ability to recover quickly is important when there is limited time between training and competition. As such, recovery strategies are commonly used to expedite the recovery process.

Purpose:

To determine the effectiveness of both cold-water immersion (CWI) and contrast water therapy (CWT) compared with control on short-term recovery (<4 h) after a single full-body resistance-training session.

Methods:

Thirteen men (age 26 ± 5 y, weight 79 ± 7 kg, height 177 ± 5 cm) were assessed for perceptual (fatigue and soreness) and performance measures (maximal voluntary isometric contraction [MVC] of the knee extensors, weighted and unweighted countermovement jumps) before and immediately after the training session. Subjects then completed 1 of three 14-min recovery strategies (CWI, CWT, or passive sitting [CON]), with the perceptual and performance measures reassessed immediately, 2 h, and 4 h postrecovery.

Results:

Peak torque during MVC and jump performance were significantly decreased (P < .05) after the resistance-training session and remained depressed for at least 4 h postrecovery in all conditions. Neither CWI nor CWT had any effect on perceptual or performance measures over the 4-h recovery period.

Conclusions:

CWI and CWT did not improve short-term (<4-h) recovery after a conventional resistance-training session.