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Dan M. Cooper, Szu-Yun Leu, Candice Taylor-Lucas, Kim Lu, Pietro Galassetti and Shlomit Radom-Aizik

Consensus has yet to be achieved on whether obesity is inexorably tied to poor fitness. We tested the hypothesis that appropriate reference of cardiopulmonary exercise testing (CPET) variables to lean body mass (LBM) would eliminate differences in fitness between high-BMI (≥ 95th percentile, n = 72, 50% female) and normal-BMI (< 85th percentile, n = 142, 49% female), otherwise-healthy children and adolescents typically seen when referencing body weight. We measured body composition with dual x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and CPET variables from cycle ergometry using both peak values and submaximal exercise slopes (peak VO2, ΔVO2/ΔHR, ΔWR/ΔHR, ΔVO2/ΔWR, and ΔVE/ΔVCO2). In contrast to our hypothesis, referencing to LBM tended to lessen, but did not eliminate, the differences (peak VO2 [p < .004] and ΔVO2/ΔHR [p < .02]) in males and females; ΔWR/ΔHR differed between the two groups in females (p = .041) but not males (p = .1). The mean percent predicted values for all CPET variables were below 100% in the high-BMI group. The pattern of CPET abnormalities suggested a pervasive impairment of O2 delivery in the high-BMI group (ΔVO2/ΔWR was in fact highest in normal-BMI males). Tailoring lifestyle interventions to the specific fitness capabilities of each child (personalized exercise medicine) may be one of the ways to stem what has been an intractable epidemic.

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Scott C. Forbes, Nathan Sletten, Cody Durrer, Étienne Myette-Côté, D. Candow and Jonathan P. Little

High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has been shown to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, performance, body composition, and insulin sensitivity. Creatine (Cr) supplementation may augment responses to HIIT, leading to even greater physiological adaptations. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of 4 weeks of HIIT (three sessions/week) combined with Cr supplementation in recreationally active females. Seventeen females (age = 23 ± 4 yrs; BMI = 23.4 ± 2.4) were randomly assigned to either Cr (Cr; 0.3 g・kg-1・d-1 for 5 d followed by 0.1 g・kg-1・d-1 for 23 days; n = 9) or placebo (PLA; n = 8). Before and after the intervention, VO2peak, ventilatory threshold (VT), time-trial performance, lean body mass and fat mass, and insulin sensitivity were assessed. HIIT improved VO2peak (Cr = +10.2%; PLA = +8.8%), VT (Cr = +12.7%; PLA = +9.9%), and time-trial performance (Cr = -11.5%; PLA = -11.6%) with no differences between groups (time main effects, all p < .001). There were no changes over time for fat mass (Cr = -0.3%; PLA = +4.3%), whole-body lean mass (Cr = +0.5%; PLA = -0.9%), or insulin resistance (Cr = +3.9%; PLA = +18.7%). In conclusion, HIIT is an effective way to improve cardiorespiratory fitness, VT, and time-trial performance. The addition of Cr to HIIT did not augment improvements in cardiorespiratory fitness, performance or body composition in recreationally active females.

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Kyle M. Tarpenning, Steven A. Hawkins, Taylor J. Marcell and Robert A. Wiswell

Quadriceps strength and mass peak in the third decade of life, plateau, and then decline from the fifth decade on. To examine the influence of chronic endurance training and age on lean mass and leg strength, women runners (n = 62, age 43–69 years) and sedentary participants (n = 33, age 43–66 years) were divided into 40-, 50-, and 60-year age groups. Absolute isokinetic concentric torque did not differ between runners and sedentary women (97.9 ± 19.5 and 104.6 ± 22.7 N · m, respectively, p = .18) but was different between age groups independent of exercise status (107.6 ± 18.4, 97.1 ± 19.9, and 90.1 ± 21.4 N · m, for 40s, 50s, and 60s, respectively, p < .05). Lean body mass also differed by age group (p < .05) but did not change differently among runners and sedentary women. These findings suggest that chronic endurance training might not influence the loss of muscle mass and muscle strength that occur with aging.

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Jerry L. Mayhew, Michael G. Bemben and Donna M. Rohrs

The purpose of this study was to determine the relationships among the seated shot put (SSP), bench press power (BPP), and body composition in adolescent wrestlers. Seventy-five wrestlers from three high schools were tested during their preseason training. Upper body power was tested with a plate-loaded bench press machine equipped with infrared sensors attached to a digital timer. Each subject was given three trials with a constant 24.5-kg load (CLP) and with a variable load equal to 60% of body mass (VLP). Skinfolds were used to estimate body composition. The SSP was significantly related to both CLP and VLP as well as to body mass, lean body mass (LBM), and % fat. Removing the effect of body mass reduced the relationship between SSP and both CLP and VLP. Removing the effect of LBM had a slightly greater effect on the relationships between SSP and both CLP and VLP, although the correlations remained significant. Therefore it appears that the SSP is only moderately related to upper body power in adolescent wrestlers and may be greatly influenced by size and muscularity.

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Eduardo Federighi Baisi Chagas, Mariana Rotta Bonfim, Bruna Camilo Turi, Nair Cristina Margarida Brondino and Henrique Luiz Monteiro

Background:

Declines in ovarian function in postmenopausal women may contribute to increase inflammatory cytokines, which can lead to chronic diseases. However, studies have shown that exercise interventions are important to manage inflammatory conditions. Thus, the objective of this study was to analyze the effect of exercise intervention on inflammatory markers among obese and postmenopausal women.

Methods:

70 women composed the sample (Exercise group [EG; n = 35] and nonexercise group [nEG; n = 35]). IL-6, TNF-α, and IL-10 were the inflammatory markers analyzed. Exercise program was 20 weeks long and consisted of aerobic and neuromuscular training. Data about chronic diseases, medication use, dietary intake, body composition and biochemical variables were collected.

Results:

EG showed significant reductions in body mass index, waist circumference and body fat percentage, as well as increased lean body mass. EG showed significant reductions in TNF-α and significant interaction between group and intervention time. Reductions in IL-10 were identified only in nEG. Substantial effect of exercise intervention was observed with increased ratio of IL-10/IL-6 and IL-10/TNF-α.

Conclusions:

Combination of aerobic exercise and resistance training was effective in reducing inflammation. Thus, implementation and maintenance of similar exercise programs can contribute to reduce chronic inflammation among obese postmenopausal women.

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Radamés M.V. Medeiros, Eduardo S. Alves, Valdir A. Lemos, Paulo A. Schwingel, Andressa da Silva, Roberto Vital, Alexandre S. Vieira, Murilo M. Barreto, Edilson A. Rocha, Sergio Tufik and Marco T. de Mello

Context:

Body-composition assessments of high-performance athletes are very important for identifying physical performance potential. Although the relationship between the kinanthropometric characteristics and performance abilities of Olympic swimmers is extremely important, this subject is not completely understood for Paralympic swimmers.

Objective:

To investigate the relationship between body composition and sport performance in Brazilian Paralympic swimmers 6 mo after training.

Design:

Experimental pre/posttest design.

Setting:

Research laboratory and field evaluations of swimming were conducted to verify the 50-m freestyle time of each athlete.

Participants:

17 Brazilian Paralympic swim team athletes (12 men, 5 women).

Main Outcome Measures:

Body-composition assessments were performed using a BOD POD, and swimming performance was assessed using the 50-m freestyle, which was performed twice: before and after 6 mo of training.

Results:

Increased lean mass and significantly reduced relative fat mass and swimming time (P < .05) were observed 6 mo after training. Furthermore, a positive correlation between body-fat percentage and performance (r = .66, P < .05) was observed, but there was no significant correlation between body density and performance (r = –.14, P > .05).

Conclusions:

After a 6-mo training period, Paralympic swimmers presented reduced fat mass and increased lean body mass associated with performance, as measured by 50-m freestyle time. These data suggest that reduced fat-mass percentage was significantly correlated with improved swimming performance in Paralympic athletes.

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Michael H. Stone, Kimberly Sanborn, Lucille L. Smith, Harold S. O'Bryant, Tommy Hoke, Alan C. Utter, Robert L. Johnson, Rhonda Boros, Joseph Hruby, Kyle C. Pierce, Margaret E. Stone and Brindley Garner

The purpose of this investigation was to study the efficacy of two dietary supplements on measures of body mass, body composition, and performance in 42 American football players. Group CM (n = 9) received creatine monohy-drate, Group P (n = 11) received calcium pyruvate. Group COM (n = 11) received a combination of calcium pyruvate (60%) and creatine (40%), and Group PL received a placebo. Tests were performed before (Tl) and after (T2) the 5-week supplementation period, during which the subjects continued their normal training schedules. Compared to P and PL. CM and COM showed significantly greater increases for body mass, lean body mass, 1 repetition maximum (RM) bench press, combined 1 RM squat and bench press, and static vertical jump (SVJ) power output. Peak rate of force development for SVJ was significantly greater for CM compared to P and PL. Creatine and the combination supplement enhanced training adaptations associated with body mass/composition, maximum strength, and SVJ; however, pyruvate supplementation alone was ineffective.

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Jay Hoffman, Nicholas Ratamess, Jie Kang, Gerald Mangine, Avery Faigenbaum and Jeffrey Stout

The effects of creatine and creatine plus β-alanine on strength, power, body composition, and endocrine changes were examined during a 10-wk resistance training program in collegiate football players. Thirty-three male subjects were randomly assigned to either a placebo (P), creatine (C), or creatine plus β-alanine (CA) group. During each testing session subjects were assessed for strength (maximum bench press and squat), power (Wingate anaerobic power test, 20-jump test), and body composition. Resting blood samples were analyzed for total testosterone, cortisol, growth hormone, IGF-1, and sex hormone binding globulin. Changes in lean body mass and percent body fat were greater (P < 0.05) in CA compared to C or P. Significantly greater strength improvements were seen in CA and C compared to P. Resting testosterone concentrations were elevated in C, however, no other significant endocrine changes were noted. Results of this study demonstrate the efficacy of creatine and creatine plus β-alanine on strength performance. Creatine plus β-alanine supplementation appeared to have the greatest effect on lean tissue accruement and body fat composition.

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Colin Wilborn, Lem Taylor, Chris Poole, Cliffa Foster, Darryn Willoughby and Richard Kreider

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an alleged aromatase and 5-α reductase inhibitor (AI) on strength, body composition, and hormonal profiles in resistance-trained men. Thirty resistance-trained men were randomly assigned in a double-blind manner to ingest 500 mg of either a placebo (PL) or AI once per day for 8 wk. Participants participated in a 4-d/wk resistance-training program for 8 wk. At Weeks 0, 4, and 8, body composition, 1-repetition-maximum (1RM) bench press and leg press, muscle endurance, anaerobic power, and hormonal profiles were assessed. Statistical analyses used a 2-way ANOVA with repeated measures for all criterion variables (p ≤ .05). Significant Group × Time interaction effects occurred over the 8-wk period for percent body fat (AI: –1.77% ± 1.52%, PL: –0.55% ± 1.72%; p = .048), total testosterone (AI: 0.97 ± 2.67 ng/ml, PL: –2.10 ± 3.75 ng/ml; p = .018), and bioavailable testosterone (AI: 1.32 ± 3.45 ng/ml, PL: –1.69 ± 3.94 ng/ml; p = .049). Significant main effects for time (p ≤ .05) were noted for bench- and leg-press 1RM, lean body mass, and estradiol. No significant changes were detected among groups for Wingate peak or mean power, total body weight, dihydrotestosterone, hemodynamic variables, or clinical safety data (p > .05). The authors concluded that 500 mg of daily AI supplementation significantly affected percent body fat, total testosterone, and bioavailable testosterone compared with a placebo in a double-blind fashion.

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John Petrizzo, Frederick J. DiMenna, Kimberly Martins, John Wygand and Robert M. Otto

To achieve the criterion appearance before competing in a physique competition, athletes undergo preparatory regimens involving high-volume intense resistance and aerobic exercise with hypocaloric energy intake. As the popularity of “drug-free” competition increases, more athletes are facing this challenge without the recuperative advantage provided by performance-enhancing drugs. Consequently, the likelihood of loss of lean body and/or bone mass is increased. The purpose of this investigation was to monitor changes in body composition for a 29-year-old self-proclaimed drug-free female figure competitor during a 32-week preparatory regimen comprising high-volume resistance and aerobic exercise with hypocaloric energy intake. We used dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) to evaluate regional fat and bone mineral density. During the initial 22 weeks, the subject reduced energy intake and engaged in resistance (4–5 sessions/week) and aerobic (3 sessions/week) training. During the final 10 weeks, the subject increased exercise frequency to 6 (resistance) and 4 (aerobic) sessions/week while ingesting 1130–1380 kcal/day. During this 10-week period, she consumed a high quantity of protein (~55% of energy intake) and nutritional supplements. During the 32 weeks, body mass and fat mass decreased by 12% and 55%, respectively. Conversely, lean body mass increased by 1.5%, an amount that exceeded the coefficient of variation associated with DXA-derived measurement. Total bone mineral density was unchanged throughout. In summary, in preparation for a figure competition, a self-proclaimed drug-free female achieved the low body-fat percentage required for success in competition without losing lean mass or bone density by following a 32-week preparatory exercise and nutritional regimen.