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Bent R. Rønnestad, Gunnar Slettaløkken Falch and Stian Ellefsen

Postactivation-potentiation exercise with added whole-body vibration (WBV) has been suggested as a potential way to acutely improve sprint performance. In cycling, there are many competitions and situations where sprinting abilities are important.

Purpose:

To investigate the effect of adding WBV to warm-up procedures on subsequent cycle sprint performance.

Methods:

Eleven well-trained cyclists participated in the study. All cyclists performed a familiarization session before 2 separate test sessions in randomized order. Each session included a standardized warm-up followed by 1 of the following preconditioning exercises: 30 s of half-squats without WBV or 30 s of half-squats with WBV at 40 Hz. A 15-s Wingate sprint was performed 1 min after the preconditioning exercise.

Results:

Performing preconditioning exercise with WBV at 40 Hz resulted in superior peak power output compared with preconditioning exercise without WBV (1413 ± 257 W vs 1353 ± 213 W, P = .04) and a tendency toward superior mean power output during a 15-second all-out sprint (850 ± 119 W vs 828 ± 101 W, P = .08). Effect sizes showed a moderate practical effect of WBV vs no WBV on both peak and mean power output.

Conclusions:

Preconditioning exercise performed with WBV at 40 Hz seems to have a positive effect on cycling sprint performance in young well-trained cyclists. This suggests that athletes can incorporate body-loaded squats with WBV in preparations to specific sprint training to improve the quality of the sprint training and also to improve sprint performance in relevant competitions.

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Iker Leoz-Abaurrea, Mikel Izquierdo, Miriam Gonzalez-Izal and Roberto Aguado-Jiménez

The efficacy of the use of an upper body compression garment (UBCG) as an ergogenic aid to reduce thermoregulatory strain in older adults remains unknown. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of UBCG on thermoregulatory, cardiorespiratory, and perceptual responses during cycling in a temperate environment (~25 °C, 66% rh) in trained older adults. Twelve cyclists aged 66 ± 2 years performed an intermittent 1-hr cycling trial at 50% of the peak power output followed by 10 min of passive recovery. Participants were provided with either commercially available UBCG or a control garment in a randomized order. UBCG increased thermoregulatory strain during exercise, as indicated by a significantly higher core temperature (38.1 ± 0.3 °C vs. 37.9 ± 0.3 °C; p = .04), body temperature (36.9 ± 0.2 °C vs. 36.7 ± 0.2 °C; p = .01), and thermal sensation (8.0 ± 0.4 vs. 7.5 ± 1.0; p = .02). These results suggest that the use of UBCG in trained older adults does not reduce the thermoregulatory strain during moderate exercise.

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Darren G. Burke, Shawn Silver, Laurence E. Holt, Truis Smith-Palmer, Christopher J. Culligan and Philip D. Chilibeck

Dietary supplementation (SUP) has become a significant part of athletic training. Studies indicate that creatine (Cr) can enhance short-duration, high-intensity activities. This study examined the effect of 21 days of low dose Cr SUP (~7.7 g/day) and resistance training on force output, power output, duration of mean peak power output, and total work performed until fatigue. A double-blind protocol was used, where an individual, who was not part of any other aspect of the study, randomly assigned subjects to creatine and placebo groups. Forty-one male university athletes were randomly assigned to either Cr (n= 20) or placebo (n = 21) SUP. On the first and last day of the study, subjects were required to perform concentric bench press movements until exhaustion on an isokinetic dynamometer. The dynamometer was hard-wired to a personal computer, which provided force, velocity, and duration measures. Force and power output until fatigue, were used to determine total work, force-time, and power-time relationships. ANOVA results revealed that the Cr subjects performed more total work until fatigue, experienced significantly greater improvements in peak force and peak power, and maintained elevated mean peak power for a longer period of time. These results indicate that Cr SUP can significantly improve factors associated with short-duration, high-intensity activity.

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Lieselot Decroix, Kevin De Pauw, Carl Foster and Romain Meeusen

Aim:

To review current cycling-related sport-science literature to formulate guidelines to classify female subject groups and to compare this classification system for female subject groups with the classification system for male subject groups.

Methods:

A database of 82 papers that described female subject groups containing information on preexperimental maximal cycle-protocol designs, terminology, biometrical and physiological parameters, and cycling experience was analyzed. Subject groups were divided into performance levels (PLs), according to the nomenclature. Body mass, body-mass index, maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), peak power output (PPO), and training status were compared between PLs and between female and male PLs.

Results:

Five female PLs were defined, representing untrained, active, trained, well-trained, and professional female subjects. VO2max and PPO significantly increased with PL, except for PL3 and PL4 (P < .01). For each PL, significant differences were observed in absolute and relative VO2max and PPO between male and female subject groups. Relative VO2max is the most cited parameter for female subject groups and is proposed as the principal parameter to classify the groups.

Conclusion:

This systematic review shows the large variety in the description of female subject groups in the existing literature. The authors propose a standardized preexperimental testing protocol and guidelines to classify female subject groups into 5 PLs based on relative VO2max, relative PPO, training status, absolute VO2max, and absolute PPO.

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Kevin De Pauw, Bart Roelands, Stephen S. Cheung, Bas de Geus, Gerard Rietjens and Romain Meeusen

Purpose:

The aim of this systematic literature review was to outline the various preexperimental maximal cycle-test protocols, terminology, and performance indicators currently used to classify subject groups in sportscience research and to construct a classification system for cycling-related research.

Methods:

A database of 130 subject-group descriptions contains information on preexperimental maximal cycle-protocol designs, terminology of the subject groups, biometrical and physiological data, cycling experience, and parameters. Kolmogorov-Smirnov test, 1-way ANOVA, post hoc Bonferroni (P < .05), and trend lines were calculated on height, body mass, relative and absolute maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), and peak power output (PPO).

Results:

During preexperimental testing, an initial workload of 100 W and a workload increase of 25 W are most frequently used. Three-minute stages provide the most reliable and valid measures of endurance performance. After obtaining data on a subject group, researchers apply various terms to define the group. To solve this complexity, the authors introduced the neutral term performance levels 1 to 5, representing untrained, recreationally trained, trained, well-trained, and professional subject groups, respectively. The most cited parameter in literature to define subject groups is relative VO2max, and therefore no overlap between different performance levels may occur for this principal parameter. Another significant cycling parameter is the absolute PPO. The description of additional physiological information and current and past cycling data is advised.

Conclusion:

This review clearly shows the need to standardize the procedure for classifying subject groups. Recommendations are formulated concerning preexperimental testing, terminology, and performance indicators.

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Andrea Nicolò, Ilenia Bazzucchi and Massimo Sacchetti

Purpose:

To verify the accuracy of predicting performance in the severe-intensity domain by means of end-test power output (EP) and the work performed above EP (WEP) obtained from a 3-min all-out test in competitive cyclists.

Methods:

Ten welltrained cyclists performed a ramp incremental test and a 3-min all-out familiarization test. Subsequently, they performed a 3-min all-out experimental test to obtain EP and WEP and a 10-min time trial (TT). The actual 10-min-TT mean power output was then compared with the power output predicted as P = WEP/T lim + EP, where T lim corresponds to 600 s. The ramp-test peak power output (PPO) was compared with PPO predicted as PPO=EP+2WEP S, where S represents the ramp slope (0.5 W/s).

Results:

The actual (347 ± 30 W) and predicted (376 ± 48 W) 10-min TT mean power output were correlated (r = .87, P = .001) but significantly different (P < .01). The coefficient of variation (CV) between the predicted and actual performance was 5.6% ± 4.4%. The error of prediction was positively correlated to EP (r = .80, P = .005) and negatively correlated to WEP (r = –.71, P = .021). No significant difference was found between the 10-min-TT mean power output and EP (351 ± 53 W). The actual (438 ± 30 W) and predicted (472 ± 41 W) ramp PPO were correlated (r = .88, P < .001) but significantly different (P < .001). The CV between the predicted and actual PPO was 5.2% ± 3%. The error of prediction was positively correlated to EP (r = .63, P = .051).

Conclusions:

EP and WEP obtained from a 3-min all-out test overestimate severe-intensity performance in competitive cyclists.

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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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Dajo Sanders, Mathieu Heijboer, Ibrahim Akubat, Kenneth Meijer and Matthijs K. Hesselink

Purpose:

To assess if short-duration (5 to ~300 s) high-power performance can accurately be predicted using the anaerobic power reserve (APR) model in professional cyclists.

Methods:

Data from 4 professional cyclists from a World Tour cycling team were used. Using the maximal aerobic power, sprint peak power output, and an exponential constant describing the decrement in power over time, a power-duration relationship was established for each participant. To test the predictive accuracy of the model, several all-out field trials of different durations were performed by each cyclist. The power output achieved during the all-out trials was compared with the predicted power output by the APR model.

Results:

The power output predicted by the model showed very large to nearly perfect correlations to the actual power output obtained during the all-out trials for each cyclist (r = .88 ± .21, .92 ± .17, .95 ± .13, and .97 ± .09). Power output during the all-out trials remained within an average of 6.6% (53 W) of the predicted power output by the model.

Conclusions:

This preliminary pilot study presents 4 case studies on the applicability of the APR model in professional cyclists using a field-based approach. The decrement in all-out performance during high-intensity exercise seems to conform to a general relationship with a single exponential-decay model describing the decrement in power vs increasing duration. These results are in line with previous studies using the APR model to predict performance during brief all-out trials. Future research should evaluate the APR model with a larger sample size of elite cyclists.

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Katja Tomazin, Jean-Benoit Morin and Guillaume Y. Millet

Purpose:

To compare neuromuscular fatigue induced by repeated-sprint running vs cycling.

Methods:

Eleven active male participants performed 2 repeated-maximal-sprint protocols (5×6 s, 24-s rest periods, 4 sets, 3 min between sets), 1 in running (treadmill) and 1 in cycling (cycle ergometer). Neuromuscular function, evaluated before (PRE); 30 s after the first (S1), the second (S2), and the last set (LAST); and 5 min after the last set (POST5) determined the knee-extensor maximal voluntary torque (MVC); voluntary activation (VA); single-twitch (Tw), high- (Db100), and low- (Db10) frequency torque; and maximal muscle compound action potential (M-wave) amplitude and duration of vastus lateralis.

Results:

Peak power output decreased from 14.6 ± 2.2 to 12.4 ± 2.5 W/kg in cycling (P < .01) and from 21.4 ± 2.6 to 15.2 ± 2.6 W/kg in running (P < .001). MVC declined significantly from S1 in running but only from LAST in cycling. VA decreased after S2 (~–7%, P < .05) and LAST (~–9%, P < .01) set in repeated-sprint running and did not change in cycling. Tw, Db100, and Db10/Db100 decreased to a similar extent in both protocols (all P < .001 post-LAST). Both protocols induced a similar level of peripheral fatigue (ie, low-frequency peripheral fatigue, no changes in M-wave characteristics), while underlying mechanisms probably differed. Central fatigue was found only after running.

Conclusion:

Findings about neuromuscular fatigue resulting from RS cycling cannot be transferred to RS running.

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Geoff Minett, Rob Duffield and Stephen P. Bird

Purpose:

To investigate the effects of an acute multinutrient supplement on game-based running performance, peak power output, anaerobic by-products, hormonal profiles, markers of muscle damage, and perceived muscular soreness before, immediately after, and 24 h following competitive rugby union games.

Methods:

Twelve male rugby union players ingested either a comprehensive multinutrient supplement (SUPP), [RE-ACTIVATE:01], or a placebo (PL) for 5 d. Participants then performed a competitive rugby union game (with global positioning system tracking), with associated blood draws and vertical jump assessments pre, immediately post and 24 h following competition.

Results:

SUPP ingestion resulted in moderate to large effects for augmented 1st half very high intensity running (VHIR) mean speed (5.9 ± 0.4 vs 4.8 ± 2.3 m·min−1; d = 0.93). Further, moderate increases in 2nd half VHIR distance (137 ± 119 vs 83 ± 89 m; d = 0.73) and VHIR mean speed (5.9 ± 0.6 v 5.3 ± 1.7 m·min−1; d = 0.56) in SUPP condition were also apparent. Postgame aspartate aminotransferase (AST; 44.1 ± 11.8 vs 37.0 ± 3.2 UL; d = 1.16) and creatine kinase (CK; 882 ± 472 vs. 645 ± 123 UL; d = 0.97) measures demonstrated increased values in the SUPP condition, while AST and CK values correlated with 2nd half VHIR distance (r = −0.71 and r = −0.76 respectively). Elevated C-reactive protein (CRP) was observed postgame in both conditions; however, it was significantly blunted with SUPP (P = .05).

Conclusions:

These findings suggest SUPP may assist in the maintenance of VHIR during rugby union games, possibly via the buffering qualities of SUPP ingredients. However, correlations between increased work completed at very high intensities and muscular degradation in SUPP conditions, may mask any anticatabolic properties of the supplement.