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Phillip D. Tomporowski and Larry D. Jameson

Institutionalized severely and profoundly mentally retarded adults participated in two exercise programs. One group of 19 subjects performed a circuit-training regimen consisting of treadmill walking, stationary bicycle riding, rowing, and calisthenics. Exercise sessions lasted 60 minutes and were performed every third day during an 18-week training period. A second group of 19 subjects participated in an 18-week jogging regimen which consisted of running distances of 1/2, 1, or 1 1/2 miles each session. The exercise requirements in both programs were increased progressively during the course of training. Subjects adapted quickly to both exercise regimens and almost all improved their physical endurance and ability to exercise. It is suggested that the highly motivating characteristics of exercise may provide educators with a training medium through which new skills can be taught to severely and profoundly mentally retarded adults.

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Amy L. Morgan, Jody D. Ellison, Margaret P. Chandler and Wojtek J. Ckodzko-Zajko

This study examined the supplemental benefits of strength training in aerobically active postmenopausal women. Eighteen women (61-71 yrs) who had been participating in regular aerobic exercise for the preceding 8 months were randomly assigned to control (n = 9) and experimental (n = 9) groups. Both groups continued aerobic exercise 3 times a week for the 8-week training period. In addition, the experimental group performed 3 sets (8–12 repetitions) of standard knee extension and flexion exercises at 80% of their 1-repetition maximum (1-RM). In the experimental group, highly significant increases in knee flexion and extension strength were observed. No changes in strength were noted in the control subjects. There were no significant changes in body composition for either group. The data suggest that aerobically active older individuals can greatly increase strength with resistance training, which is consistent with recent recommendations that resistance training should be used to supplement aerobic exercise.

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Anne-Claire Macquet

This article reports on time management in an elite sports context. It aims at characterizing how coaches experience dealing with athletes’ time management in a sport and academic institute and their constraints. Ten male coaches participated in this study. Each coach was asked to describe his time management activity during the season. Inductive and deductive analysis revealed two main results. The first showed the coaches dealt with a stringent set of constraints concerned with: (a) season organization, (b) training period and task sequencing, (c) the institute’s set times, and (d) the uncertainty linked to the evolution of training. The second emphasized that the coaches used three complex operating modes: (a) the use of organizational routines based on reference to past experience, (b) season shared time management, and (c) time management based on flexible plans. The results are discussed in relation to research that has considered planning and time management.

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Monika Thomas and Michael Kalicinski

The present study investigated whether slackline training enhances postural control in older adults. Twenty-four participants were randomized into an intervention and a control group. The intervention group received 6 weeks of slackline training, two times per week. Pre–post measurement included the time of different standing positions on a balance platform with and without an external disturbance and the acceleration of the balance platform. Results showed significantly improved standing times during one-leg stance without external disturbance and a significantly reduced acceleration of the balance platform for the intervention group after the training period during tandem stance with and without an external disturbance. We conclude that slackline training in older adults has a positive impact on postural control and thus on the reduction of fall risk.

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Damien M. Hess, Christopher J. Joyce, Brent L. Arnold and Bruce M. Gansneder

Context:

Agility training has been proposed as an important tool in rehabilitation. However, it is unclear which types of agility training are most useful.

Objective:

To assess the effects of agility training on balance in individuals with functionally unstable ankles.

Design:

A 2-group experimental design with repeated measures.

Setting:

Laboratory.

Patients:

Twenty college-aged volunteers, each with 1 functionally unstable ankle, were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 groups.

Interventions:

Subjects in the experimental group performed agility training 3 times per week for 4 weeks.

Main Outcome Measures:

Subjects were tested for static single-leg balance before and after the training period. Anterior/posterior sway amplitude, medial/lateral sway amplitude, and sway index were assessed using the Chattex Balance System.

Results:

No significant differences in balance were found after the agility training.

Conclusions:

Agility training did not improve static single-leg balance in subjects with functionally unstable ankles.

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Chris Harwood and Austin Swain

This study acts as a follow-up to a previous investigation into the development and activation of achievement goals within young tennis players (Harwood & Swain, 2001). The project investigated the effects of a season-long player, parent, and coach intervention program on goal involvement responses, self-regulation, competition cognitions, and goal orientations of three junior tennis players. First, each player reported goal involvement, self-regulation, self-efficacy, and perceptions of threat and challenge prior to three ego-involving match situations. Aligned with a matched control participant, each treatment player, with their parents and coach, engaged in educational sessions and cognitive-motivational tasks over a three-month competition and training period. Postintervention, positive directional changes were reported in all players except the control participant. This study reinforces to applied researchers and practitioners the importance and practicability of social-cognitive and task-based interventions designed to facilitate optimal, motivational, and psychological states in high pressure competitive situations.

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Christopher Dalton and Julie Nantel

The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of an 8-week Nordic walking (NW) intervention on older adult gait patterns and postural alignment. Twelve healthy older adults aged 60–80 years (8 female, 4 male) participated, all performing two 6-min walk tests (one with poles [WP], one without poles [NP]) and six 5-m walk trials (3 WP, 3 NP) at pre- and posttesting. Gait and postural variables were compared between poling conditions (i.e., WP to NP) as well as before and following the intervention. Following training, pole use resulted in various gait changes including: longer stride, faster gait, and increased power generation at the hip (H3) and power absorption at the knee (K1 and K4). We conclude that an initial 8-week training period is necessary for novice NW to perfect technique and to restore gait to a more natural, normal pattern following training.

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Deborah F. Verfaillie, Jeanne F. Nichols, Ellen Turkel and Melbourne F. Hovell

The purpose of this study was to compare the effects of resistance training alone or in combination with balance and gait training on balance and gait measures in seniors. Subjects, ranging in age from 65 to 83 years, were randomly assigned to a strength and balance/gait group (SB, n = 21 ) or a control group (S, n = 18) receiving strength and relaxation training. Both groups significantly increased their strength and gait speed over the 12-week training period, but step length remained unchanged. The results suggest that elders can make significant gains in muscular strength and walking speed through resistance training, and that adding balance and gait training to resistance training can significantly improve some balance and gait measures beyond improvements achieved from strength training alone. If replicated, these results set the stage for investigations of injury control benefits possible from balance training.

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Ronnie Lidor, Gershon Tenenbaum, Gal Ziv and Vladimir Issurin

Deliberate practice (DP), an activity aimed at enhancing an individual’s performance, has been reported to be crucial for achieving a state of expertise in various domains, such as education, music, and sport. In this article, the relationships between DP and the process of athletic performance adaptation are explored by elaborating on the main principle of the theory of training—periodization. We argue that periodization should be considered as a mechanism for ensuring DP, and that the implementation of periodization principles (cycles and phases) in DP activities can facilitate adaptation processes leading to expert performance. We describe the characteristics and features of DP, review a series of studies on DP and athletic performance (N = 21), discuss the importance of periodization in sport training, and outline a number of benefits of periodization. A model that emphasizes the link between periodization and DP activities in each phase of sport development is proposed, and a number of research approaches to address periodization are discussed.

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V.O. Onywera, F.K. Kiplamai, P.J. Tuitoek, M.K. Boit and Y.P. Pitsiladis

The food and macronutrient intake of elite Kenyan runners was compared to recommendations for endurance athletes. Estimated energy intake (EI: 2987 ± 293 kcal; mean ± standard deviation) was lower than energy expenditure (EE: 3605 ± 119 kcal; P < 0.001) and body mass (BM: 58.9 ± 2.7 kg vs. 58.3 ± 2.6 kg; P < 0.001) was reduced over the 7-d intense training period. Diet was high in carbohydrate (76.5%, 10.4 g/kg BM per day) and low in fat (13.4%). Protein intake (10.1%; 1.3 g/kg BM per day) matched recommendations for protein intake. Fluid intake was modest and mainly in the form of water (1113 ± 269 mL; 0.34 ± 0.16 mL/kcal) and tea (1243 ± 348 mL). Although the diet met most recommendations for endurance athletes for macronutrient intake, it remains to be determined if modifying energy balance and fluid intake will enhance the performance of elite Kenyan runners.