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Cameron P. Brewer, Brian Dawson, Karen E. Wallman and Kym J. Guelfi

Research into supplementation with sodium phosphate has not investigated the effects of a repeated supplementation phase. Therefore, this study examined the potential additive effects of repeated sodium phosphate (SP) supplementation on cycling time-trial performance and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak). Trained male cyclists (N = 9, M ± SD VO2peak = 65.2 ± 4.8 ml · kg−1 · min−1) completed baseline 1,000-kJ time-trial and VO2peak tests separated by 48 hr, then ingested either 50 mg · kg fat-free mass−1 · d−1 of tribasic SP or a combined glucose and NaCl placebo for 6 d before performing these tests again. A 14-d washout period separated the end of one loading phase and the start of the next, with 2 SP and 1 placebo phase completed in a counterbalanced order. Although time-trial performance (55.3–56.5 min) was shorter in SP1 and SP2 (~60–70 s), effect sizes and smallest-worthwhile-change values did not differ in comparison with baseline and placebo. However, mean power output was greater than placebo during time-trial performance at the 250-kJ and 500-kJ time points (p < .05) after the second SP phase. Furthermore, mean VO2peak values (p < .01) were greater after the SP1 (3.5–4.3%), with further improvements (p < .01) found in SP2 (7.1–7.7%), compared with baseline and placebo. In summary, repeated SP supplementation, ingested either 15 or 35 d after initial loading, can have an additive effect on VO2peak and possibly time-trial performance.

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Shinya Ogaya, Hisashi Naito, Akira Iwata, Yumi Higuchi, Satoshi Fuchioka and Masao Tanaka

Toe-out angle alternation is a potential tactic for decreasing the knee adduction moment during walking. Published reports have not examined the medial knee contact force during the toe-out gait, although it is a factor affecting knee articular cartilage damage. This study investigated the effects of increased toe-out angle on the medial knee contact force, using musculoskeletal simulation analysis. For normal and toe-out gaits in 18 healthy subjects, the muscle tension forces were simulated based on the joint moments and ground reaction forces with optimization process. The medial knee contact force during stance phase was determined using the sum of the muscle force and joint reaction force components. The first and second peaks of the medial knee contact force were compared between the gaits. The toe-out gait showed a significant decrease in the medial knee contact force at the second peak, compared with the normal gait. In contrast, the medial knee contact forces at the first peak were not significantly different between the gaits. These results suggest that the toe-out gait is beneficial for decreasing the second peak of the medial knee contact force.

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Matt S. Stock and Micheal J. Luera

The ability to examine force curves from multiple-joint assessments combines many of the benefits of dynamic constant external resistance exercise and isokinetic dynamometry. The purpose of this investigation was to examine test-retest reliability statistics for peak and mean force using the Exerbotics eSQ during maximal concentric and eccentric squats. Seventeen resistance-trained men (mean ± SD age = 21 ± 2 years) visited the laboratory on two occasions. For each trial, the subjects performed two maximal concentric and eccentric squats, and the muscle actions with the highest force values were analyzed. There were no mean differences between the trials (P > .05), and the effect sizes were < 0.12. When the entire force curve was examined, the intraclass correlation coefficients (model 2,1) and standard errors of measurement, respectively, were concentric peak force = 0.743 (8.8%); concentric mean force = 0.804 (6.0%); eccentric peak force = 0.696 (10.6%); eccentric mean force = 0.736 (9.6%). These findings indicated moderate-to-high reliability for the peak and mean force values obtained from the Exerbotics eSQ during maximal squat testing. The analysis of force curves from multiple-joint testing provides researchers and practitioners with a reliable means of assessing performance, especially during concentric muscle actions.

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Ewald M. Hennig, Thomas L. Milani and Mario A. Lafortune

Ground reaction force data and tibial accelerations from a skin-mounted transducer were collected during rearfoot running at 3.3 m/s across a force platform. Five repetitive trials from 27 subjects in each of 19 different footwear conditions were evaluated. Ground reaction force as well as tibial acceleration parameters were found to be useful for the evaluation of the cushioning properties of different athletic footwear. The good prediction of tibial accelerations by the maximum vertical force rate toward the initial force peak (r 2 = .95) suggests that the use of a force platform is sufficient for the estimation of shock-absorbing properties of sport shoes. If an even higher prediction accuracy is required a regression equation with two variables (maximum force rate, median power frequency) may be used (r 2 = .97). To evaluate the influence of footwear on the shock traveling through the body, a good prediction of peak tibial accelerations can be achieved from force platform measurements.

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Michael W. Beets, Kenneth H. Pitetti and Bo Fernhall

The purpose of this study was to twofold: to determine reliability of peak performance as measured by peak heart rate (HRpeak) during the Progressive Cardiovascular Endurance Run (PACER) and a treadmill stress test (TM); and to compare the PACER and the TM. The sample consisted of 42 participants 8 to 21 years old with mild mental retardation. Participants completed two PACERs followed by two TMs separated by a minimum of 48 hr. Data collected were HR for the PACER and TM; PACER laps completed; and TM endurance time (min). Intraclass correlations were computed separately for males and females in order to assess the reliability of PACER laps, HRpeak, and TM time. Results indicated high reliability for both males and females on PACER laps and TM HRpeak, and for males on PACER HR and TM time; moderate reliability was observed for females on PACER HRpeak and TM time. No significant differences were detected within or among trials. These findings indicate that youth with mild mental retardation exhibit consistent peak performance on the PACER and TM tests; therefore, PACER can be used for surveillance of aerobic fitness in this population.

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Laura A. Frey-Law, Andrea Laake, Keith G. Avin, Jesse Heitsman, Tim Marler and Karim Abdel-Malek

Recognizing the importance of both the torque-angle and torque-velocity relations, three-dimensional (3D) human strength capabilities (i.e., peak torque as a function of both joint angle and movement velocity) have been increasingly reported. It is not clear, however, the degree to which these surfaces vary between joints, particularly between joints with similar biomechanical configurations. Thus, our goal was to compare 3D strength surfaces between the muscles about the elbow and knee hinge joints in men and women. Peak isometric and isokinetic strength was assessed in 54 participants (30 men) using the Biodex System 3 isokinetic dynamometer. Normalized peak torque surfaces varied significantly between flexion and extension (within each joint) and between joints; however, the normalized 3D torque surfaces did not differ between men and women. These findings suggest the underlying joint biomechanics are the primary influences on these strength surface profiles. Therefore, in applications such as digital human modeling, torque-velocity-angle relationships for each joint and torque direction must be uniquely represented to most accurately estimate human strength capability.

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Terry J. Housh, Jeffrey R. Stout, Dona J. Housh and Glen O. Johnson

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the covariate influence of estimated muscle mass on age-related increases in isokinetic peak torque for flexion and extension of the forearm and leg in high school wrestlers. One hundred thirteen high school wrestlers volunteered to be measured for strength at 30, 180, and 300°·s−1. Underwater weighing was performed to determine body composition characteristics, and the anthropometric equation of Martin et al. (10) was used to estimate total skeletal muscle mass (MM). There were significant (p < .05) relationships (r = .19 to .37) for age versus peak torque covaried independently for fat-free weight (FFW) and MM for forearm flexion at 30, 180, and 300°·s−1; forearm extension at 180 and 300°·s−1; and leg extension at 30, 180 and 300°·s−1. The results of this study indicated that there was no increase across age in MM per unit of FFW, and the age-related increases in peak torque in high school wrestlers could not be fully accounted for by changes in MM.

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Neil Armstrong, John Balding, Peter Gentle, Joanne Williams and Brian Kirby

The present study examined the relationship between peak V̇O2 and habitual physical activity in 11- to 16-year-old students. The peak V̇O2 of 111 girls and 85 boys was determined using treadmill or cycle ergometry. Habitual physical activity was estimated from minute-by-minute heart rate monitoring over three 12-hr periods during normal school days. Over half of the girls and one third of the boys failed to sustain a single 10-min period with their heart rate at or above 140 bpm. Only one boy sustained a daily 20-minute period with a heart rate at or above 160 bpm. During Saturday monitoring over 90% of the girls and 75% of the boys failed to sustain a single 10-min period with their heart rate at or above 140 bpm, and only one girl and four boys sustained a 20-min period with their heart rate at or above 160 bpm. No significant relationship was detected between peak V̇O2 and heart rate indicators of habitual physical activity. This study suggests that few children have periods of physical activity of sufficient intensity and duration to stress the cardiopulmonary system.

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Athanasios Zakas, George Doganis, Christos Galazoulas and Efstratios Vamvakoudis

Although athletes routinely perform warm-up and stretching exercises, it has been suggested that prolonged stretching immediately before an activity might negatively affect the force production. Sixteen male pubescent soccer players participated in the study to examine whether a routine duration of acute static stretching is responsible for losses in isokinetic peak torque production. All participants performed two static stretching protocols in nonconsecutive training sessions. The first stretching protocol was performed three times for 15 s (volume 45) and the second 20 times for 15 s (volume 300). Range of motion (ROM) was determined during knee flexion with the use of a goniometer. The peak torque of the dominant leg extensors was measured on a Cybex NORM dynamometer at various angular velocities. The statistical analysis showed that peak torque did not change following the static stretching for 45 s in all angular velocities, while it decreased (p < .001) in all angular velocities following the static stretching for 5 min. The findings suggest that strength decreases after static stretching exercises may be the result of the performed stretching duration.

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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.