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Michail Lubomirov Michailov, Audry Morrison, Mano Mitkov Ketenliev and Boyanka Petkova Pentcheva

Traditional treadmill or bicycle ergometry neglects the upper-body musculature that predominantly limits or terminates rock-climbing performance (ie, the inability to continually pull up one’s body mass or “hang on”).

Purpose:

To develop an incremental maximal upper-body ergometer test (UBT) to evaluate climbers’ aerobic fitness and sport-specific work capacity and to compare these results with a traditional treadmill protocol.

Methods:

Eleven elite sport climbers (best redpoint grade Fr.8b) performed a UBT on a vertically mounted rowing ergometer and, on a separate occasion, performed a maximal incremental treadmill test (TMT). Cardiorespiratory parameters were measured continuously. Lactate (La) samples were collected.

Results:

Peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak) and heart rate in UBT and TMT were 34.1 ± 4.1 vs 58.3 ± 2.6 mL · min−1 · kg−1 and 185 ± 8 vs 197 ± 8 beats/min, respectively, and both variables were of significantly lower magnitude during UBT (P < .001). End-of-test La levels for UBT (11.9 ± 1.7 mmol/L) and TMT (12.3 ± 2.5 mmol/L) were similar (P = .554). Treadmill VO2peak was not correlated with either upper-body (UB) VO2peak (P = .854) or redpoint and on-sight climbing grade ability (P > .05). UB VO2peak and peak power output per kg body mass were both strongly correlated (P < .05) with climbing grade ability. The highest correlation coefficient was calculated between current on-sight grade and UB VO2peak (r = .85, P = .001).

Conclusion:

UBT aerobic- and work-capacity results were strongly correlated to climbing-performance variables and reflected sport-specific fatigue, and TMT results were not. UBT is preferred to TMT to test and monitor dedicated and elite rock climbers’ training status.

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Joshua Christen, Carl Foster, John P. Porcari and Richard P. Mikat

Purpose:

The session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) has gained popularity as a “user friendly” method for evaluating internal training load. sRPE has historically been obtained 30 min after exercise. This study evaluated the effect of postexercise measurement time on sRPE after steady-state and interval cycle exercise.

Methods:

Well-trained subjects (N = 15) (maximal oxygen consumption = 51 ± 4 and 36 ± 4 mL/kg [cycle ergometer] for men and women, respectively) completed counterbalanced 30-minute steady-state and interval training bouts. The steady-state ride was at 90% of ventilatory threshold. The work-to-rest ratio of the interval rides was 1:1, and the interval segment durations were 1, 2, and 3 min. The high-intensity component of each interval bout was 75% peak power output, which was accepted as a surrogate of the respiratory compensation threshold, critical power, or maximal lactate steady state. Heart rate, blood lactate, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured. The sRPE (category ratio scale) was measured at 5, 10, 15, 20, 25, 30, and 60 min and 24 h after each ride using a visual analog scale (VAS) to prevent bias associated with specific RPE verbal anchors.

Results:

sRPE at 30 min postexercise followed a similar trend: steady state = 3.7, 1 min = 3.9, 2 min = 4.7, 3 min = 6.2. No significant differences (P > .05) in sRPE were found based on postexercise sampling times, from 5 min to 24 h postexercise.

Conclusions:

Postexercise time does not appear to have a significant effect on sRPE after either steady-state or interval exercise. Thus, sRPE appears to be temporally robust and is not necessarily limited to the 30-min-postexercise window historically used with this technique, although the presence or absence of a cooldown period after the exercise bout may be important.

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Stuart D.R. Galloway, Matthew J.E. Lott and Lindsay C. Toulouse

The present study aimed to investigate the influence of timing of preexercise carbohydrate feeding (Part A) and carbohydrate concentration (Part B) on short-duration high-intensity exercise capacity. In Part A, 17 males, and in Part B 10 males, performed a peak power output (PPO) test, two familiarization trials at 90% of PPO, and 4 (for Part A) or 3 (for Part B) experimental trials involving exercise capacity tests at 90% PPO. In Part A, the 4 trials were conducted following ingestion of a 6.4% carbohydrate/electrolyte sports drink ingested 30 (C30) or 120 (C120) minutes before exercise, or a flavor-matched placebo administered either 30 (P30) or 120 (P120) minutes before exercise. In Part B, the 3 trials were performed 30 min after ingestion of 0%, 2% or 12% carbohydrate solutions. All trials were performed in a double-blind cross-over design following and overnight fast. Dietary intake and activity in the 2 days before trials was recorded and replicated on each visit. Glucose, lactate, heart rate, and mood/arousal were recorded at intervals during the trials. In Part A, C30 produced the greatest exercise capacity (mean ± SD; 9.0 ± 1.9 min, p < .01) compared with all other trials (7.7 ± 1.5 min P30, 8.0 ± 1.7 min P120, 7.9 ± 1.9 min C120). In Part B, exercise capacity (min) following ingestion of the 2% solution (9.2 ± 2.1) compared with 0% (8.2 ± 0.7) and 12% (8.0 ± 1.3) solutions approached significance (p = .09). This study provides new evidence to suggest that timing of carbohydrate intake is important in short duration high-intensity exercise tasks, but a concentration effect requires further exploration.

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Jesse Fleming, Matthew J. Sharman, Neva G. Avery, Dawn M. Love, Ana L. Gómez, Timothy P. Scheett, William J. Kraemer and Jeff S. Volek

The effects of adaptation to a high-fat diet on endurance performance are equivocal, and there is little data regarding the effects on high-intensity exercise performance. This study examined the effects of a high-fat/moderate protein diet on submaximal, maximal, and supramaximal performance. Twenty non-highly trained men were assigned to either a high-fat/moderate-protein (HFMP; 61% fat) diet (n = 12) or a control (C; 25% fat) group (n = 8). A maximal oxygen consumption test, two 30-s Wingate anaerobic tests, and a 45-min timed ride were performed before and after 6 weeks of diet and training. Body mass decreased significantly (–2.2 kg; p ≤ .05) in HFMP subjects. Maximal oxygen consumption significantly decreased in the HFMP group (3.5 ± 0.14 to 3.27 ± 0.09 L · min−1) but was unaffected when corrected for body mass. Perceived exertion was significantly higher during this test in the HFMP group. Main time effects indicated that peak and mean power decreased significantly during bout 1 of the Wingate sprints in the HFMP (–10 and –20%, respectively) group but not the C (–8 and –16%, respectively) group. Only peak power was lower during bout 1 in the HFMP group when corrected for body mass. Despite significantly reduced RER values in the HFMP group during the 45-min cycling bout, work output was significantly decreased (–18%). Adaptation to a 6-week HFMP diet in non-highly trained men resulted in increased fat oxidation during exercise and small decrements in peak power output and endurance performance. These deleterious effects on exercise performance may be accounted for in part by a reduction in body mass and/or increased ratings of perceived exertion.

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Matthew W. Driller, John R. Gregory, Andrew D. Williams and James W. Fell

Recent research has reported performance improvements after chronic NaHCO3 ingestion in conjunction with high-intensity interval training (HIT) in moderately trained athletes. The purpose of the current study was to determine the effects of altering plasma H+ concentration during HIT through NaHCO3 ingestion over 4 wk (2 HIT sessions/wk) in 12 Australian representative rowers (M ± SD; age 22 ± 3 yr, mass 76.4 ± 4.2 kg, VO2peak 65.50 ± 2.74 ml · kg−1 · min−1). Baseline testing included a 2,000-m time trial and an incremental exercise test. After baseline testing, rowers were allocated to either a chronic NaHCO3 (ALK) or placebo (PLA) group. Starting 90 min before each HIT session, subjects ingested a 0.3-g/kg body mass dose of NaHCO3 or a placebo substance. Fingertip blood samples were taken throughout the study to analyze bicarbonate and pH levels. The ALK group did not produce any additional improvements in 2,000-m rowing performance time compared with PLA (p > .05). Magnitude-based inferential analysis indicated an unclear or trivial effect on 2,000-m power, 2,000-m time, peak power output, and power at 4 mmol/L lactate threshold in the ALK group compared with the PLA group. Although there was no difference between groups, during the study there was a significant mean (± SD) 2,000-m power improvement in both the ALK and PLA groups of 17.8 ± 14.5 and 15.2 ± 18.3 W, respectively. In conclusion, despite overall improvements in rowing performance after 4 wk of HIT, the addition of chronic NaHCO3 supplementation during the training period did not significantly enhance performance further.

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Jonathan. P. Little, Scott C. Forbes, Darren G. Candow, Stephen M. Cornish and Philip D. Chilibeck

Creatine (Cr) supplementation increases muscle mass, strength, and power. Arginine α-ketoglutarate (A-AKG) is a precursor for nitric oxide production and has the potential to improve blood flow and nutrient delivery (i.e., Cr) to muscles. This study compared a commercial dietary supplement of Cr, A-AKG, glutamine, taurine, branchedchain amino acids, and medium-chain triglycerides with Cr alone or placebo on exercise performance and body composition. Thirty-five men (~23 yr) were randomized to Cr + A-AKG (0.1 g · kg−1 · d−1 Cr + 0.075 g · kg−1 · d−1 A-AKG, n = 12), Cr (0.1 g · kg−1 · d−1, n = 11), or placebo (1 g · kg−1 · d−1 sucrose, n = 12) for 10 d. Body composition, muscle endurance (bench press), and peak and average power (Wingate tests) were measured before and after supplementation. Bench-press repetitions over 3 sets increased with Cr + A-AKG (30.9 ==6.6 → 34.9 ± 8.7 reps; p < .01) and Cr (27.6 ± 5.9 → 31.0 ± 7.6 reps; p < .01), with no change for placebo (26.8 ± 5.0 → 27.1 ± 6.3 reps). Peak power significantly increased in Cr + A-AKG (741 ± 112 → 794 ± 92 W; p < .01), with no changes in Cr (722 ± 138 → 730 ± 144 W) and placebo (696 ± 63 → 705 ± 77 W). There were no differences in average power between groups over time. Only the Cr-only group increased total body mass (79.9 ± 13.0→81.1 ± 13.8 kg; p < .01), with no significant changes in lean-tissue or fat mass. These results suggest that Cr alone and in combination with A-AKG improves upper body muscle endurance, and Cr + A-AKG supplementation improves peak power output on repeated Wingate tests.

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Michael L. Newell, Angus M. Hunter, Claire Lawrence, Kevin D. Tipton and Stuart D. R. Galloway

In an investigator-blind, randomized cross-over design, male cyclists (mean± SD) age 34.0 (± 10.2) years, body mass 74.6 (±7.9) kg, stature 178.3 (±8.0) cm, peak power output (PPO) 393 (±36) W, and VO2max 62 (±9) ml·kg−1min−1 training for more than 6 hr/wk for more than 3y (n = 20) completed four experimental trials. Each trial consisted of a 2-hr constant load ride at 95% of lactate threshold (185 ± 25W) then a work-matched time trial task (~30min at 70% of PPO). Three commercially available carbohydrate (CHO) beverages, plus a control (water), were administered during the 2-hr ride providing 0, 20, 39, or 64g·hr−1 of CHO at a fluid intake rate of 1L·hr−1. Performance was assessed by time to complete the time trial task, mean power output sustained, and pacing strategy used. Mean task completion time (min:sec ± SD) for 39g·hr−1 (34:19.5 ± 03:07.1, p = .006) and 64g·hr−1 (34:11.3 ± 03:08.5 p = .004) of CHO were significantly faster than control (37:01.9 ± 05:35.0). The mean percentage improvement from control was −6.1% (95% CI: −11.3 to −1.0) and −6.5% (95% CI: −11.7 to −1.4) in the 39 and 64g·hr−1 trials respectively. The 20g·hr−1 (35:17.6 ± 04:16.3) treatment did not reach statistical significance compared with control (p = .126) despite a mean improvement of −3.7% (95% CI −8.8−1.5%). No further differences between CHO trials were reported. No interaction between CHO dose and pacing strategy occurred. 39 and 64g·hr−1 of CHO were similarly effective at improving endurance cycling performance compared with a 0g·hr−1 control in our trained cyclists.

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Peter M. Christensen and Jens Bangsbo

Purpose:

To evaluate the influence of warm-up exercise intensity and subsequent recovery on intense endurance performance, selected blood variables, and the oxygen-uptake (VO2) response.

Methods:

Twelve highly trained male cyclists (VO2max 72.4 ± 8.0 mL · min−1 · kg−1, incremental-test peak power output (iPPO) 432 ± 31 W; mean ± SD) performed 3 warm-up strategies lasting 20 min before a 4-min maximal-performance test (PT). Strategies consisted of moderate-intensity exercise (50%iPPO) followed by 6 min of recovery (MOD6) or progressive high-intensity exercise (10–100%iPPO and 2 × 20-s sprints) followed by recovery for 6 min (HI6) or 20 min (HI20).

Results:

Before PT venous pH was lower (P < .001) in HI6 (7.27 ± 0.05) than in HI20 (7.34 ± 0.04) and MOD6 (7.35 ± 0.03). At the same time, differences (P < .001) existed for venous lactate in HI6 (8.2 ± 2.0 mmol/L), HI20 (5.1 ± 1.7 mmol/L), and MOD6 (1.4 ± 0.4 mmol/L), as well as for venous bicarbonate in HI6 (19.3 ± 2.6 mmol/L), HI20 (22.6 ± 2.3 mmol/L), and MOD6 (26.0 ± 1.4 mmol/L). Mean power in PT in HI6 (402 ± 38 W) tended to be lower (P = .11) than in HI20 (409 ± 34 W) and was lower (P = .007) than in MOD6 (416 ± 32 W). Total VO2 (15–120 s in PT) was higher in HI6 (8.18 ± 0.86 L) than in HI20 (7.85 ± 0.82 L, P = .008) and MOD6 (7.90 ± 0.74 L, P = .012).

Conclusions:

Warm-up exercise including race-pace and sprint intervals combined with short recovery can reduce subsequent performance in a 4-min maximal test in highly trained cyclists. Thus, a reduced time at high exercise intensity, a reduced intensity in the warm-up, or an extension of the recovery period after an intense warm-up is advocated.

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Twan ten Haaf, Selma van Staveren, Danilo Iannetta, Bart Roelands, Romain Meeusen, Maria F. Piacentini, Carl Foster, Leo Koenderman, Hein A.M. Daanen and Jos J. de Koning

increased 40 W for men and 30 W for women every 3 minutes. Subjects cycled at a freely chosen cadence. The test was stopped when subjects were unable to maintain the cadence above 60 rpm, despite strong verbal encouragement. Peak power output was defined as the average power output over the last 3 minutes

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Seiichiro Takei, Kuniaki Hirayama and Junichi Okada

maximized at 1RM. However, previous studies have reported that submaximal loads are optimal for peak power output during HPC. 6 – 10 There are 2 possible explanations for these results. First, the movement might not be executed correctly at heavy loads. Because it is not easy to perform ballistic exercises