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Thiago Oliveira Borges, Ben Dascombe, Nicola Bullock and Aaron J. Coutts

This study aimed to profile the physiological characteristics of junior sprint kayak athletes (n = 21, VO2max 4.1 ± 0.7 L/min, training experience 2.7 ± 1.2 y) and to establish the relationship between physiological variables (VO2max, VO2 kinetics, muscle-oxygen kinetics, paddling efficiency) and sprint kayak performance. VO2max, power at VO2max, power:weight ratio, paddling efficiency, VO2 at lactate threshold, and whole-body and muscle oxygen kinetics were determined on a kayak ergometer in the laboratory. Separately, on-water time trials (TT) were completed over 200 m and 1000 m. Large to nearly perfect (−.5 to −.9) inverse relationships were found between the physiological variables and on-water TT performance across both distances. Paddling efficiency and lactate threshold shared moderate to very large correlations (−.4 to −.7) with 200- and 1000-m performance. In addition, trivial to large correlations (−.11 to −.5) were observed between muscle-oxygenation parameters, muscle and whole-body oxygen kinetics, and performance. Multiple regression showed that 88% of the unadjusted variance for the 200-m TT performance was explained by VO2max, peripheral muscle deoxygenation, and maximal aerobic power (P < .001), whereas 85% of the unadjusted variance in 1000-m TT performance was explained by VO2max and deoxyhemoglobin (P < .001). The current findings show that well-trained junior sprint kayak athletes possess a high level of relative aerobic fitness and highlight the importance of the peripheral muscle metabolism for sprint kayak performance, particularly in 200-m races, where finalists and nonfinalists are separated by very small margins. Such data highlight the relative aerobic-fitness variables that can be used as benchmarks for talent-identification programs or monitoring longitudinal athlete development. However, such approaches need further investigation.

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Michal Botek, Jakub Krejčí, Andrew J. McKune and Barbora Sládečková

in a heterogenous group of athletes. Methods Participants A total of 16 male athletes (mean [SD]; age 31.6 [8.6] y, body mass 71.5 [8.8] kg, body height 177.0 [7.2] kg, body fat 13.4% [4.4%], VO 2 max 57.2 [8.9] mL·kg −1 ·min −1 ) volunteered for this study. They followed instructions to avoid using

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Christopher D. Black and Patrick J. O’Connor

Ginger has known hypoalgesic and anti-inflammatory properties. The effects of an oral dose of ginger on quadriceps muscle pain, rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and recovery of oxygen consumption were examined during and after moderateintensity cycling exercise. Twenty-five college-age participants ingested a 2-g dose of ginger or placebo in a double-blind, crossover design and 30 min later completed 30 min of cycling at 60% of VO2peak. Quadriceps muscle pain, RPE, work rate, heart rate (HR), and oxygen uptake (VO2) were recorded every 5 min during exercise, and HR and VO2 were recorded for 20 min after exercise. Compared with placebo, ginger had no clinically meaningful or statistically significant effect on perceptions of muscle pain, RPE, work rate, HR, or VO2 during exercise. Recovery of VO2 and HR after the 30-min exercise bout followed a similar time course in the ginger and placebo conditions. The results were consistent with related findings showing that ingesting a large dose of aspirin does not acutely alter quadriceps muscle pain during cycling, and this suggests that prostaglandins do not play a large role in this type of exercise-induced skeletal-muscle pain. Ginger consumption has also been shown to improve VO2 recovery in an equine exercise model, but these results show that this is not the case in humans.

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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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Katrina Taylor, Jeffrey Seegmiller and Chantal A. Vella

Purpose:

To determine whether a decremental protocol could elicit a higher maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) than an incremental protocol in trained participants. A secondary aim was to examine whether cardiac-output (Q) and stroke-volume (SV) responses differed between decremental and incremental protocols in this sample.

Methods:

Nineteen runners/triathletes were randomized to either the decremental or incremental group. All participants completed an initial incremental VO2max test on a treadmill, followed by a verification phase. The incremental group completed 2 further incremental tests. The decremental group completed a second VO2max test using the decremental protocol, based on their verification phase. The decremental group then completed a final incremental test. During each test, VO2, ventilation, and heart rate were measured, and cardiac variables were estimated with thoracic bioimpedance. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was conducted with an alpha level set at .05.

Results:

There were no significant main effects for group (P = .37) or interaction (P = .10) over time (P = .45). VO2max was similar between the incremental (57.29 ± 8.94 mL · kg–1 · min–1) and decremental (60.82 ± 8.49 mL · kg–1 · min–1) groups over time. Furthermore, Q and SV were similar between the incremental (Q 22.72 ± 5.85 L/min, SV 119.64 ± 33.02 mL/beat) and decremental groups (Q 20.36 ± 4.59 L/min, SV 109.03 ± 24.27 mL/beat) across all 3 trials.

Conclusions:

The findings suggest that the decremental protocol does not elicit higher VO2max than an incremental protocol but may be used as an alternative protocol to measure VO2max in runners and triathletes.

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Philo U. Saunders, Amanda J. Cox, Will G. Hopkins and David B. Pyne

It is unclear whether physiological measures monitored in an incremental treadmill test during a training season provide useful diagnostic information about changes in distance running performance.

Purpose:

To quantify the relationship between changes in physiological measures and performance (peak running speed) over a training season.

Methods:

Well-trained distance runners (34 males; VO2max 64 ± 6 mL⋅kg-1⋅min-1, mean ± SD) completed four incremental treadmill tests over 17 wk. The tests provided values of peak running speed, VO2max, running economy, and lactate threshold (as speed and %VO2max). The physiological measures were included in simple and multiple linear regression models to quantify the relationship between changes in these measures and changes in peak speed.

Results:

The typical within-subject variation in peak speed from test to test was 2.5%, whereas those for physiological measures were VO2max (mL⋅min-1⋅kg-1) 3.0%, economy (m⋅kg⋅mL–1) 3.6%, lactate threshold (%VO2max) 8.7%, and body mass 1.8%. In simple models these typical changes predicted the following changes in performance: VO2max 1.4%, economy 0.8%, lactate threshold –0.3%, and body mass –0.2% (90% confidence limits ~±0.7%); the corresponding correlations with performance were 0.57, 0.33, –0.05, and –0.13 respectively (~±0.20). In a multiple linear regression model, the contribution of each physiological variable to performance changed little after adjustment for the other variables.

Conclusion:

Change in VO2max in an incremental test during a running season is a good predictor of change in peak running speed, change in running economy is a moderate predictor, and lactate threshold and body mass provide little additional information.

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Nicolas Fabre, Laurent Mourot, Livio Zerbini, Barbara Pellegrini, Lorenzo Bortolan and Federico Schena

This study tested the hypothesis that the DMAX (for maximal distance) method could be applied to ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), to propose a novel method for individual detection of the lactate threshold (LT) using RPE alone during an incremental test to exhaustion. Twenty-one participants performed an incremental test on a cycle ergometer. At the end of each stage, lactate concentration was measured and the participants estimated RPE using the Borg CR100 scale. The intensity corresponding to the fixed lactate values of 2 or 4 mmol · L−1(2mM and 4mM), the ventilatory threshold (VT), the respiratory-compensation point (RCP), and the instant of equality of pulmonary gas exchange (RER=1.00) were determined. Lactate (DMAX La) and RPE (DMAX RPE) thresholds were determined using the DMAX method. Oxygen uptake (VO2), heart rate, and power output measured at DMAX RPE and at DMAX La were not statistically different. Bland-Altman plots showed small bias and good agreements when DMAX RPE was compared with the DMAX La and RER=1.00 methods (bias = −0.05% and −2% of VO2max, respectively). Conversely, VO2 from the DMAX RPE method was lower than VO2 at 4 mM and at RCP and was higher than VO2 at 2 mM and at VT. VO2 at DMAX RPE was strongly correlated with VO2 at DMAX La (r = .97), at RER=1.00 (r = .97), at 2 mM (r = .85), at 4 mM (r = .93), at VT (r = .95), and at RCP (r = .95). The combination of the DMAX method with the RPE responses permitted precise and individualized estimates of LT using the DMAX method.

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Vanessa Martínez-Lagunas and Ulrich Hartmann

Purpose:

To evaluate the validity of the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (YYIR1) for the direct assessment and the indirect estimation of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) in female soccer players compared with a maximal laboratory treadmill test (LTT).

Methods:

Eighteen female soccer players (21.5 ± 3.4 y, 165.6 ± 7.5 cm, 63.3 ± 7.4 kg; mean ± SD) completed an LTT and a YYIR1 in random order (1 wk apart). Their VO2max was directly measured via portable spirometry during both tests and indirectly estimated from a published non-gender-specific formula (YYIR1-F1).

Results:

The measured VO2max values in LTT and YYIR1 were 55.0 ± 5.3 and 49.9 ± 4.9 mL · kg−1 · min−1, respectively, while the estimated VO2max values from YYIR1-F1 corresponded to 45.2 ± 3.4 mL · kg−1 · min−1. Large positive correlations between the VO2max values from YYIR1 and LTT (r = .83, P < .001, 90% confidence interval = .64–.92) and YYIR1-F1 and LTT (r = .67, P = .002, .37–.84) were found. However, the YYIR1 significantly underestimated players’ VO2max by 9.4% compared with LTT (P < .001) with Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement ranging from –20.0% to 1.4%. A significant underestimation from the YYIR1-F1 (P < .001) was also identified (17.8% with Bland-Altman 95% limits of agreement ranging from –31.8% to –3.8%).

Conclusions:

The YYIR1 and YYIR1-F1 are not accurate methods for the direct assessment or indirect estimation of VO2max in female soccer players. The YYIR1-F1 lacks gender specificity, which might have been the reason for its larger error.

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Raphael Faiss, Claudia von Orelli, Olivier Dériaz and Grégoire P. Millet

Purpose:

Hypoxia is known to reduce maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) more in trained than in untrained subjects in several lowland sports. Ski mountaineering is practiced mainly at altitude, so elite ski mountaineers spend significantly longer training duration at altitude than their lower-level counterparts. Since acclimatization in hypobaric hypoxia is effective, the authors hypothesized that elite ski mountaineers would exhibit a VO2max decrement in hypoxia similar to that of recreational ski mountaineers.

Methods:

Eleven elite (E, Swiss national team) and 12 recreational (R) ski mountaineers completed an incremental treadmill test to exhaustion in normobaric hypoxia (H, 3000 m, FIO2 14.6% ± 0.1%) and in normoxia (N, 485 m, FIO2 20.9% ± 0.0%). Pulse oxygen saturation in blood (SpO2), VO2max, minute ventilation, and heart rate were recorded.

Results:

At rest, hypoxic ventilatory response was higher (P < .05) in E than in R (1.4 ± 1.9 vs 0.3 ± 0.6 L · min−1 · kg−1). At maximal intensity, SpO2 was significantly lower (P < .01) in E than in R, both in N (91.1% ± 3.3% vs 94.3% ± 2.3%) and in H (76.4% ± 5.4% vs 82.3% ± 3.5%). In both groups, SpO2 was lower (P < .01) in H. Between N and H, VO2max decreased to a greater extent (P < .05) in E than in R (–18% and –12%, P < .01). In E only, the VO2max decrement was significantly correlated with the SpO2 decrement (r = .74, P < .01) but also with VO2max measured in N (r = .64, P < .05).

Conclusion:

Despite a probable better acclimatization to altitude, VO2max was more reduced in E than in R ski mountaineers, confirming previous results observed in lowlander E athletes.

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Michael Wilkinson, Damon Leedale-Brown and Edward M. Winter

Purpose:

This study examined the validity of a squash-specific test designed to assess endurance capability and aerobic power.

Methods:

Eight squash players and eight runners performed, in a counterbalanced order, incremental treadmill (TT) and squash-specific (ST) tests to volitional exhaustion. Breath-by-breath oxygen uptake was determined by a portable analyzer and heart rate was assessed telemetrically. Time to exhaustion was recorded.

Results:

Independent t tests revealed longer time to exhaustion for squash players on the ST than runners (775 ± 103 vs. 607 ± 81 s; P = .003) but no difference between squash players and runners in maximal oxygen uptake ( Vo2max) or maximum heart rate (HRmax). Runners exercised longer on the TT (521 ± 135 vs. 343 ± 115 s; P = .01) and achieved higher Vo2max than squash players (58.6 ± 7.5 vs. 49.6 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .03), with no group difference in HRmax. Paired t tests showed squash players achieved higher Vo2max on the ST than the TT (52.2 ± 7.1 vs. 49.6 ± 7.3 mL·kg−1·min−1; P = .02). The Vo2max and HRmax of runners did not differ between tests, nor did the HRmax of squash players. ST and TT Vo2max correlated highly in squash players and runners (r = .94, P < .001; r = .88, P = .003).

Conclusions:

The ST discriminated endurance performance between squash players and runners and elicited higher Vo2max in squash players than a nonspecifc test. The results suggest that the ST is a valid assessment of Vo2max and endurance capability in squash players.