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Vincenzo Manzi, Antonio Bovenzi, Carlo Castagna, Paola Sinibaldi Salimei, Maurizio Volterrani and Ferdinando Iellamo

Purpose:

To assess the distribution of exercise intensity in long-distance recreational athletes (LDRs) preparing for a marathon and to test the hypothesis that individual perception of effort could provide training responses similar to those provided by standardized training methodologies.

Methods:

Seven LDRs (age 36.5 ± 3.8 y) were followed during a 5-mo training period culminating with a city marathon. Heart rate at 2.0 and 4.0 mmol/L and maximal heart rate were used to establish 3 intensity training zones. Internal training load (TL) was assessed by training zones and TRIMPi methods. These were compared with the session-rating-of-perceived-exertion (RPE) method.

Results:

Total time spent in zone 1 was higher than in zones 2 and 3 (76.3% ± 6.4%, 17.3% ± 5.8%, and 6.3% ± 0.9%, respectively; P = .000 for both, ES = 0.98, ES = 0.99). TL quantified by session-RPE provided the same result. The comparison between session-RPE and training-zones-based methods showed no significant difference at the lowest intensity (P = .07, ES = 0.25). A significant correlation was observed between TL RPE and TL TRIMPi at both individual and group levels (r = .79, P < .001). There was a significant correlation between total time spent in zone 1 and the improvement at the running speed of 2 mmol/L (r = .88, P < .001). A negative correlation was found between running speed at 2 mmol/L and the time needed to complete the marathon (r = –.83, P < .001).

Conclusions:

These findings suggest that in recreational LDRs most of the training time is spent at low intensity and that this is associated with improved performances. Session-RPE is an easy-to-use training method that provides responses similar to those obtained with standardized training methodologies.

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Dajo Sanders, Tony Myers and Ibrahim Akubat

Purpose:

To evaluate training-intensity distribution using different intensity measures based on rating of perceived exertion (RPE), heart rate (HR), and power output (PO) in well-trained cyclists.

Methods:

Fifteen road cyclists participated in the study. Training data were collected during a 10-wk training period. Training-intensity distribution was quantified using RPE, HR, and PO categorized in a 3-zone training-intensity model. Three zones for HR and PO were based around a 1st and 2nd lactate threshold. The 3 RPE zones were defined using a 10-point scale: zone 1, RPE scores 1–4; zone 2, RPE scores 5–6; zone 3, RPE scores 7–10.

Results:

Training-intensity distributions as percentages of time spent in zones 1, 2, and 3 were moderate to very largely different for RPE (44.9%, 29.9%, 25.2%) compared with HR (86.8%, 8.8%, 4.4%) and PO (79.5%, 9.0%, 11.5%). Time in zone 1 quantified using RPE was largely to very largely lower for RPE than PO (P < .001) and HR (P < .001). Time in zones 2 and 3 was moderately to very largely higher when quantified using RPE compared with intensity quantified using HR (P < .001) and PO (P < .001).

Conclusions:

Training-intensity distribution quantified using RPE demonstrates moderate to very large differences compared with intensity distributions quantified based on HR and PO. The choice of intensity measure affects intensity distribution and has implications for training-load quantification, training prescription, and the evaluation of training characteristics.

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Lars Donath, Lukas Zahner, Mareike Cordes, Henner Hanssen, Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss and Oliver Faude

The study investigated physiological responses during 2-km walking at a certain intensity of a previously performed maximal exercise test where moderate perceived exertion was reported. Twenty seniors were examined by an incremental walking treadmill test to obtain maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max). A submaximal 2-km walking test was applied 1 wk later. The corresponding moderate perceived exertion (4 on the CR-10 scale) during the VO2max test was applied to the 2-km treadmill test. Moderate exertion (mean rating of perceived exertion [RPE]: 4 ± 1) led to 76% ± 8% of VO2max and 79% ± 6% of maximal heart rate. RPE values drifted with a significant time effect (p = .001, ηp = .58) during the 2-km test from 3 ± 0.7 to 4.6 ± 0.8. Total energy expenditure (EE) was 3.3 ± 0.5 kcal/kg. No gender differences in ventilatory, heart-rate, or EE data occurred. Brisk walking at moderate RPE of 3–5 would lead to a beneficial physiological response during endurance training and a weekly EE of nearly 1,200 kcal when exercising 5 times/wk for 30 min.

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Timothy Baghurst and Inza Fort

The purpose of this study was to investigate the home advantage in female collegiate Division I gymnastics by apparatus and determine the performance effect of the Judges’ Assignor System (JAS) introduced in 2005 on each apparatus. Participant teams (N = 15) were selected based on their ranking in the top 25 nationally at the end of each regular season from 2003 to 2007. A repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) revealed home scores for each apparatus were significantly higher than their respective away scores, with the largest differences occurring in the uneven bars and floor exercise. Additionally, a repeated measures ANOVA to assess the JAS impact on scores revealed that home performances yielded higher scores than away for all apparatus, and scores for all apparatus were lower both at home and away since the introduction of JAS. Results are assessed based on current research, and application for judges and coaches is discussed.

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Darcy Cree Plymire

In this article I argue that digital technologies are remediating sport in ways that invite users to adopt posthuman subject positions. The focus of my analysis is EA Sports’ “Madden NFL.” First, I explain how video games reflect qualities of immediacy and hypermediation to create immersive gaming experiences. Then I go on to show how immersion in sport video games creates a relationship to the body and the self that are categorically different from those created by televised sport. I conclude that sport media studies will benefit from further consideration of the posthuman condition.

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Carley O’Neill and Shilpa Dogra

Background:

Exercise triggers asthma symptoms among adults with exercise induced bronchoconstriction (EIBC). This may lead to lower physical activity levels among this population. The purpose of this study was to assess perceived exertion (RPE), perceived breathlessness (RPD), affect (FS), and physical activity enjoyment during and following an acute bout of high intensity interval exercise (HIIE), moderate intensity interval (MIIE) and moderate intensity continuous exercise (MICE) in adults with EIBC.

Methods:

RPD, RPE, and FS were assessed each minute during the sessions and enjoyment was assessed following each session (n = 11).

Results:

RPE was lower during MIIE compared with MICE (P = .006). RPD was lowest during MIIE but was not different between HIIE and MICE. Affect was lower in MICE than HIIE in the last minute of exercise (P = .003) and overall was greatest during the MIIE (P = .022; P = .018). Enjoyment scores were similar between protocols.

Conclusions:

Interval exercise is associated with lower ratings of perceived exertion and dyspnea, an increase in in-task affect, and similar physical activity enjoyment when compared with continuous exercise.

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Holly Thorpe

Taking inspiration from Nikolas Rose (2007a, 2007b) and feminist new materialists, this paper creates space for athletic women’s voices of their biological and social bodies, and particularly their interactions with the medical professions and biomedical technologies. Drawing upon interviews with 10 female athletes and recreational exercisers who have experienced amenorrhea as a result of their exercise and dieting practices, it reveals how these women, as ‘somatic subjects’, are “reformulating their own answers to Kant’s three famous questions—what can I know? What must I do? What may I hope?—in the age of the molecular biopolitics of life itself” (Rose 2007a, p. 257). In so doing, we see that not all women are docile bodies within such operations of medical power and knowledge, and the “somatic ethics” being practiced by athletic women diagnosed with amenorrhea vary considerably, ranging from rejection and resistance to acceptance of medical advice. Ultimately, this paper challenges scholars of the moving body to consider what the ‘biological turn in social theory’ might mean for our field, and our understandings of moving bodies beyond the biology/culture dualism.

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Renee E. Magnan, Bethany M. Kwan, Joseph T. Ciccolo, Burke Gurney, Christine M. Mermier and Angela D. Bryan

Background:

Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), an assessment of cardiorespiratory fitness, is regularly used as the primary outcome in exercise interventions. Many criteria have been suggested for validating such tests—most commonly, a plateau in oxygen consumption. The current study investigated the proportion of inactive individuals who reached a plateau in oxygen uptake and who achieved a valid test as assessed by secondary criteria (RERmax ≥ 1.1; RPEmax ≥ 18; age predicted HRmax ±10bpm), and the correlates of a successful plateau or achievement of secondary criteria during a VO2max session.

Methods:

Participants (n = 240) were inactive individuals who completed VO2max assessments using an incremental treadmill test. We explored physical, behavioral, and motivational factors as predictors of meeting criteria for meeting a valid test.

Results:

Approximately 59% of the sample achieved plateau using absolute (increase of VO2 of 150ml O2 or less) and 37% achieved plateau using relative (increase of VO2 of 1.5ml/kg O2 or less) criteria. Being male, having a higher BMI, a greater waist-to-hip ratio, and increased self-efficacy were associated with lower odds of achieving an absolute plateau, whereas none of these factors predicted odds of achieving relative plateau.

Conclusion:

Findings raise questions about the validity of commonly used criteria with less active populations.

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Rebecca K. Dickinson and Stephanie J. Hanrahan

This study investigated the properties of the Athens Insomnia Scale (Soldatos et al., 2000), the Fatigue Severity Scale (Krupp et al., 1989), and subscales of the SLEEP-50 Questionnaire (Spoormaker et al., 2005) in elite Australian athletes, to determine their appropriateness for this population. Fifty-nine athletes (29 male, 30 female, M = 21.86 yrs, SD = 7.44) from elite basketball, rowing, netball, beach volleyball, and sailing squads completed measures. A subset (n= 20) completed measures again at a 1-month interval, and a further subset (n= 5) were interviewed about their thoughts regarding the measures and their understanding of sleep. All scales and subscales displayed high internal consistency, apart from that which contained items not theoretically related, and all displayed good 1-month test-retest reliability. All measures were significantly correlated, demonstrating convergent validity. Athletes reported few sleep problems, but moderate fatigue. Athletes stated the measures produced accurate reflections of their sleep and fatigue, but also suggested improvements. Research limitations and implications are discussed.