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Stephen F. Figoni, Richard A. Boileau, Benjamin H. Massey and Joseph R. Larsen

The purpose of this study was to compare quadriplegic and able-bodied men on selected cardiovascular and metabolic responses to arm-crank ergometry at the same rate of oxygen consumption (V̇O2). Subjects included 11 untrained, spinal cord-injured, C5–C7 complete quadriplegic men and 11 untrained, able-bodied men of similar age (27 years), height (177 cm), and mass (65 kg). Measurement techniques included open-circuit spirometry, impedance cardiography, and electrocardiography. Compared with the able-bodied group, at the V̇O2 of 0.5 L/min, the quadriplegics displayed a significantly higher mean heart rate and arteriovenous O2 difference, lower stroke volume and cardiac output, and similar myocardial contractility. These results suggest that quadriplegic men achieve an exercise-induced V̇O2 of 0.5 L/min through different central cardiovascular adjustments than do able-bodied men. Quadriplegics deliver less O2 from the heart toward the tissues but extract more O2 from the blood. Tachycardia may contribute to low cardiac preload and low stroke volume, while paradoxically tending to compensate for low stroke volume by minimizing reduction of cardiac output.

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David V.B. James, Leigh E. Sandals, Stephen B. Draper, Sara Maldonado-Martín and Dan M. Wood

Purpose:

Previously it has been observed that, in well-trained 800-m athletes, VO2max is not attained during middle-distance running events on a treadmill, even when a race-type pacing strategy is adopted. Therefore, the authors investigated whether specialization in a particular running distance (400-m or 800-m) influences the VO2 attained during running on a treadmill.

Methods:

Six 400-m and six 800-m running specialists participated in the study. A 400-m trial and a progressive test to determine VO2max were completed in a counterbalanced order. Oxygen uptakes attained during the 400-m trial were compared to examine the influence of specialist event.

Results:

A VO2 plateau was observed in all participants for the progressive test, demonstrating the attainment of VO2max. The VO2max values were 56.2 ± 4.7 and 69.3 ± 4.5 mL · kg−1 · min−1 for the 400-m- and 800-m-event specialists, respectively (P = .0003). Durations for the 400-m trial were 55.1 ± 4.2 s and 55.8 ± 2.3 s for the 400-m- and 800-m-event specialists, respectively. The VO2 responses achieved were 93.1% ± 2.0% and 85.7% ± 3.0% VO2max for the 400-m- and 800-m-event specialists, respectively (P = .001).

Conclusions:

These results demonstrate that specialist running events do appear to influence the percentage of VO2max achieved in the 400-m trial, with the 800-m specialists attaining a lower percentage of VO2max than the 400-m specialists. The 400-m specialists appear to compensate for a lower VO2max by attaining a higher percentage VO2max during a 400-m trial.

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Stephen B. Draper, Dan M. Wood, Jo Corbett, David V.B. James and Christopher R. Potter

We tested the hypothesis that prior heavy-intensity exercise reduces the difference between asymptotic oxygen uptake (VO2) and maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max) during exhaustive severe-intensity running lasting ≍2 minutes. Ten trained runners each performed 2 ramp tests to determine peak VO2 (VO2peak) and speed at venti-latory threshold. They performed exhaustive square-wave runs lasting ≍2 minutes, preceded by either 6 minutes of moderate-intensity running and 6 minutes rest (SEVMOD) or 6 minutes of heavy-intensity running and 6 minutes rest (SEVHEAVY). Two transitions were completed in each condition. VO2 was determined breath by breath and averaged across the 2 repeats of each test; for the square-wave test, the averaged VO2 response was then modeled using a monoexponential function. The amplitude of the VO2 response to severe-intensity running was not different in the 2 conditions (SEVMOD vs SEVHEAVY; 3925 ± 442 vs 3997 ± 430 mL/min, P = .237), nor was the speed of the response (τ; 9.2 ± 2.1 vs 10.0 ± 2.1 seconds, P = .177). VO2peak from the square-wave tests was below that achieved in the ramp tests (91.0% ± 3.2% and 92.0% ± 3.9% VO2peak, P < .001). There was no difference in time to exhaustion between conditions (110.2 ± 9.7 vs 111.0 ± 15.2 seconds, P = .813). The results show that the primary VO2 response is unaffected by prior heavy exercise in running performed at intensities at which exhaustion will occur before a slow component emerges.

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Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Kenneth H. Pitetti, Myriam Guerra and Bo Fernhall

This study examined whether 20-m shuttle-run performance, sex, body mass index (BMI), age, height, and weight are associated with peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) in youth with Down syndrome (DS; n = 53; 25 women, age 8–20 years) and whether these variables can be used to develop an equation to predict VO2peak. BMI, 20-m shuttle-run performance, and sex were significantly associated with VO2peak in youth with DS, whereas age, height, and weight were not. A regression model included only shuttle-run performance as a significant predictor of VO2peak; however, the developed prediction equation had low individual predictability. Therefore, 20-m shuttle-run performance alone does not provide valid prediction of VO2peak in youth with DS. Sex, BMI, age, height, and weight do not improve the prediction of VO2peak.

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Jean M. Nyakayiru, Kristin L. Jonvik, Philippe J.M. Pinckaers, Joan Senden, Luc J.C. van Loon and Lex B. Verdijk

While the majority of studies reporting ergogenic effects of dietary nitrate have used a multiday supplementation protocol, some studies suggest that a single dose of dietary nitrate before exercise can also improve subsequent performance. We aimed to compare the impact of acute and 6-day sodium nitrate supplementation on oxygen uptake (V̇O2) and time-trial performance in trained cyclists. Using a randomized, double-blind, cross-over design, 17 male cyclists (25 ± 4 y, V̇O2peak 65 ± 4 ml·kg-1·min-1, Wmax 411 ± 35 W) were subjected to 3 different trials; 5 days placebo and 1 day sodium nitrate supplementation (1-DAY); 6 days sodium nitrate supplementation (6-DAY); 6 days placebo supplementation (PLA). Nitrate was administered as 1097 mg sodium nitrate providing 800 mg (~12.9 mmol) nitrate per day. Three hours after ingestion of the last supplemental bolus, indirect calorimetry was performed while subjects performed 30 min of exercise at 45% Wmax and 30 min at 65% Wmax on a cycle ergometer, followed by a 10 km time-trial. Immediately before exercise, plasma [nitrate] and [nitrite] increased to a similar extent during the 6-DAY and 1-DAY trial, but not with PLA (plasma nitrite: 501 ± 205, 553 ± 278, and 239 ± 74 nM, respectively; p < .001). No differences were observed between interventions in V̇O2 during submaximal exercise, or in time to complete the time-trial (6-DAY: 1004 ± 61, 1-DAY: 1022 ± 72, PLA: 1017 ± 71 s; p = .28). We conclude that both acute and 6-days of sodium nitrate supplementation do not alter V̇O2 during submaximal exercise or improve time-trial performance in highly trained cyclists, despite increasing plasma [nitrate] and [nitrite].

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Andrew Thomas, Brian Dawson and Carmel Goodman

Purpose:

The purpose of the study was to determine the reliability of yo-yo intermittent recovery test (yo-yo) scores and their degree of association with a 20-m shuttle run (20MSR) and VO2max values.

Methods:

Subjects were elite (Australian Football League [AFL], n = 23), state-level (hockey, n = 15, and cricket, n = 27), and recreational team-sport players (n = 33). All performed a 20MSR and the yo-yo at either level 1 (recreational and state level) or level 2 (AFL). A recreational subgroup (n = 19) also performed a treadmill VO2max test.

Results:

Test–retest results found the yo-yo (levels 1 and 2) to be reliable (ICC = .86 to .95). The 20MSR and yo-yo level 1 scores correlated (P < .01) in the recreational (r = .81 to .83) and state-level groups (r = .84 to .86), and 20MSR and yo-yo level 2 scores, in the elite (r = .86) and recreational groups (r = .55 to .57). The VO2max and yo-yo level 1 scores in the recreational group correlated (P < .01, r = .87), but no association was found with yo-yo level 2 (r = .40 to .43, non significant).

Conclusions:

We conclude that level 1 (recreational and state level) and level 2 (elite) yo-yo scores were both strongly associated with 20MSR scores and VO2max (level 1: recreational subjects only). The yo-yo appears to measure aerobic fitness similarly to the 20MSR but may also be used as a field test of the ability to repeat high-intensity efforts.

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Barry Braun, Priscilla M. Clarkson, Patty S. Freedson and Randall L. Kohl

The effects of dietary supplementation with Coenzyme Q10 (CoQlO), a reputed performance enhancer and antioxidant, on physiological and biochemical parameters were examined. Ten male bicycle racers performed graded cycle ergometry both before and after being given 100 mg per day CoQlO or placebo for 8 weeks. Analysis of variance showed a significant difference between groups for postsupplementation serum CoQ10. Although both groups demonstrated training related improvements in all physiological parameters over the course of the study, there were no significant differences between the two groups (p>.05). Both groups showed a 21 % increase in serum MDA (an index of lipid peroxidation) after the presupplementation exercise test. After 8 weeks this increase was only 5 % , and again was identical for both groups. Supplementation with CoQlO has no measurable effect on cycling performance, VO2max, submaximal physiological parameters, or lipid peroxidation. However, chronic intense training seems to result in marked attenuation of exercise-induced lipid peroxidation.

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Allan H. Goldfarb, Stephen W. Patrick, Scott Bryer and Tongjian You

Vitamin C supplementation (VC) (either 500 or 1000 mg/d for 2 wk) was compared to a placebo treatment (P) to ascertain if VC could influence oxidative stress. Twelve healthy males (25 ± 1.4 y) were randomly assigned in a counter-balanced design with a 2-wk period between treatments. Data were analyzed using repeated measures ANOVA. Exercise intensity measures (VO2, RER, RPE, HR, lactate) were similar across treatments. Resting blood oxidative-stress markers were unaffected by treatment. Exercise decreased total blood glutathione (TGSH) and reduced glutathione (GSH) and increased oxidized glutathione (GSSG) (P < 0.01) independent of treatment. Protein carbonyls (PC) increased 3.8 fold in the P (P < 0.01). VC attenuated the PC exercise response in a dose-dependent manner (P < 0.01). Thiobarbituric acid reactive substances (TBARS) was not influenced by exercise (P = 0.68) or VC. These data suggest that VC supplementation can attenuate exercise-induced protein oxidation in a dose-dependent manner with no effect on lipid peroxidation and glutathione status.

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Renato A.C. Caritá, Camila C. Greco and Benedito S. Denadai

Prior high-intensity exercise can improve exercise performance during severe-intensity exercise. These positive alterations have been attributed, at least in part, to enhancement of overall oxygen-uptake (VO2) kinetics.

Purpose:

To determine the effects of prior heavy-intensity exercise on VO2 kinetics and short-term high-intensity exercise performance in individuals with different aerobic-training statuses.

Methods:

Fifteen active subjects (UT; VO2max = 43.8 ± 6.3 mL · kg−1 · min−1) and 10 well-trained endurance cyclists (T; VO2max = 66.7 ± 6.7 mL · kg−1 · min−1) performed the following protocols: an incremental test to determine lactate threshold and VO2max, 4 maximal constant-load tests to estimate critical power, and two 3-min bouts of cycle exercise, involving 2 min of constant-work-rate exercise at severe intensity followed by a 1-min all-out sprint test. This trial was performed without prior intervention and 10 min after prior heavy-intensity exercise (ie, 6 min at 90% critical power).

Results:

The mean response time of VO2 was shortened after prior exercise for both UT (30.7 ± 9.2 vs 24.1 ± 7.2 s) and T (31.8 ± 5.2 vs 25.4 ± 4.3 s), but no group-by-condition interaction was detected. The end-sprint performance (ie, mean power output) was improved in both groups (UT ~4.7%, T ~2.0%; P < .05) by prior exercise.

Conclusion:

The effect of prior heavy-intensity exercise on overall VO2 kinetics and short-term high-intensity exercise performance is independent of aerobic-training status.

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Peter Peeling, Tanya Blee, Carmel Goodman, Brian Dawson, Gary Claydon, John Beilby and Alex Prins

This investigation examined the effect of intramuscular iron injections on aerobic-exercise performance in iron-deficient women. Sixteen athletes performed a 10-min steady-state sub maximal economy test, a VO2max test, and a timed test to exhaustion at VO2max workload. Subjects were randomly assigned to an iron-supplemented group (IG) receiving intramuscular iron injections or to a placebo group (PG). Twenty days after the first injection, exercise and blood testing were repeated. A final blood test occurred on Day 28. Post supplementation, no differences were found between the groups’ sub maximal or maximal VO2, heart rate, or blood lactate (P > 0.05). Time to exhaustion was increased in the IG (P < 0.05) but was not greater than that of the PG (P > 0.05). The IG’s serum ferritin (SF) was significantly increased on Days 20 and 28 (mean ± standard error: 19 ± 3 to 65 ± 11 to 57 ± 12 µg/L; P < 0.01), with a percentage change from baseline significantly greater than in the PG (P < 0.01). It was concluded that intramuscular iron injections can effectively increase SF without enhancing sub maximal or maximal aerobic-exercise performance in iron-depleted female athletes.