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Christos K. Argus, Nicholas D. Gill, Justin W.L. Keogh, Michael R. McGuigan and Will G. Hopkins

Purpose:

There is little literature comparing contrast training programs typically performed by team-sport athletes within a competitive phase. We compared the effects of two contrast training programs on a range of measures in high-level rugby union players during the competition season.

Methods:

The programs consisted of a higher volume-load (strength-power) or lower volume-load (speed-power) resistance training; each included a tapering of loading (higher force early in the week, higher velocity later in the week) and was performed twice a week for 4 wk. Eighteen players were assessed for peak power during a bodyweight countermovement jump (BWCMJ), bodyweight squat jump (BWSJ), 50 kg countermovement jump (50CMJ), 50 kg squat jump (50SJ), broad jump (BJ), and reactive strength index (RSI; jump height divided by contact time during a depth jump). Players were then randomized to either training group and were reassessed following the intervention. Inferences were based on uncertainty in outcomes relative to thresholds for standardized changes.

Results:

There were small between-group differences in favor of strength-power training for mean changes in the 50CMJ (8%; 90% confidence limits, ±8%), 50SJ (8%; ±10%), and BJ (2%; ±3%). Differences between groups for BWCMJ, BWSJ, and reactive strength index were unclear. For most measures there were smaller individual differences in changes with strength-power training.

Conclusion:

Our findings suggest that high-level rugby union athletes should be exposed to higher volume-load contrast training which includes one heavy lifting session each week for larger and more uniform adaptation to occur in explosive power throughout a competitive phase of the season.

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Jeffrey M. McBride, Tyler J. Kirby, Tracie L. Haines and Jared Skinner

Purpose:

The purpose of the current investigation was to determine the relationship between relative net vertical impulse (net vertical impulse (VI)) and jump height in the jump squat (JS) going to different squat depths and utilizing various loads.

Methods:

Ten males with two years of jumping experience participated in this investigation (Age: 21.8 ± 1.9 y; Height: 176.9 ± 5.2 cm; Body Mass: 79.0 ± 7.1 kg, 1RM: 131.8 ± 29.5 kg, 1RM/BM: 1.66 ± 0.27). Subjects performed a series of static jumps (SJS) and countermovement jumps (CMJJS) with various loads (Body Mass, 20% of 1RM, 40% of 1RM) in a randomized fashion to a depth of 0.15, 0.30, 0.45, 0.60, and 0.75 m and a self-selected depth. During the concentric phase of each JS, peak force (PF), peak power (PP), jump height (JH) and relative VI were recorded and analyzed.

Results:

Increasing squat depth corresponded to a decrease in PF and an increase in JH, relative VI for both SJS and CMJJS during all loads. Across all squat depths and loading conditions relative VI was statistically significantly correlated to JH in the SJS (r = .8956, P < .0001, power = 1.000) and CMJJS (r = .6007, P < .0001, power = 1.000). Across all squat depths and loading conditions PF was statistically nonsignificantly correlated to JH in the SJS (r = –0.1010, P = .2095, power = 0.2401) and CMJJS (r = –0.0594, P = .4527, power = 0.1131). Across all squat depths and loading conditions peak power (PP) was significantly correlated with JH during both the SJS (r = .6605, P < .0001, power = 1.000) and the CMJJS (r = .6631, P < .0001, power = 1.000). PP was statistically significantly higher at BM in comparison with 20% of 1RM and 40% of 1RM in the SJS and CMJJS across all squat depths.

Conclusions:

Results indicate that relative VI and PP can be used to predict JS performance, regardless of squat depth and loading condition. However, relative VI may be the best predictor of JS performance with PF being the worst predictor of JS performance.

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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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Tyler J. Kirby, Jeffrey M. McBride, Tracie L. Haines and Andrea M. Dayne

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the relationship between relative net vertical impulse and jump height in a countermovement jump and static jump performed to varying squat depths. Ten college-aged males with 2 years of jumping experience participated in this investigation (age: 23.3 ± 1.5 years; height: 176.7 ± 4.5 cm; body mass: 84.4 ± 10.1 kg). Subjects performed a series of static jumps and countermovement jumps in a randomized fashion to a depth of 0.15, 0.30, 0.45, 0.60, and 0.75 m and a self-selected depth (static jump depth = 0.38 ± 0.08 m, countermovement jump depth = 0.49 ± 0.06 m). During the concentric phase of each jump, peak force, peak velocity, peak power, jump height, and net vertical impulse were recorded and analyzed. Net vertical impulse was divided by body mass to produce relative net vertical impulse. Increasing squat depth corresponded to a decrease in peak force and an increase in jump height and relative net vertical impulse for both static jump and countermovement jump. Across all depths, relative net vertical impulse was statistically significantly correlated to jump height in the static jump (r = .9337, p < .0001, power = 1.000) and countermovement jump (r = .925, p < .0001, power = 1.000). Across all depths, peak force was negatively correlated to jump height in the static jump (r = –0.3947, p = .0018, power = 0.8831) and countermovement jump (r = –0.4080, p = .0012, power = 0.9050). These results indicate that relative net vertical impulse can be used to assess vertical jump performance, regardless of initial squat depth, and that peak force may not be the best measure to assess vertical jump performance.

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Bettina Karsten, Jonathan Baker, Fernando Naclerio, Andreas Klose, Antonino Bianco and Alfred Nimmerichter

Critical power (CP) is defined as the highest sustainable rate of aerobic metabolism without a continuous loss of homeostasis. 1 It separates power-output (PO) intensities, for which exercise tolerance is predictable (PO > CP), from those of longer sustainable durations (PO < CP). The second

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Ryland Morgans, Rocco Di Michele and Barry Drust

indicative of the supercompensation that follows an exercise stimulus. 6 The quantification of jump performance at relevant times after matches may therefore provide a way to evidence the potential for match play to act as a training stimulus for muscle power in soccer players. Methods Fifteen male

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Gabriel Rodríguez-Romo, Thomas Yvert, Alfonso de Diego, Catalina Santiago, Alfonso L. Díaz de Durana, Vicente Carratalá, Nuria Garatachea and Alejandro Lucia

The authors compared ACTN3 R577X genotype and allele frequencies in the majority of all-time-best Spanish judo male athletes (n = 108) and 343 ethnically matched nonathletic men. No between-groups differences were found in allele (P = .077) or genotype distributions (P = .178). Thus, the R577X polymorphism was not significantly associated with the status of being an elite judo athlete, at least in the Spanish population. The contribution of genetics to sports-related phenotype traits is undeniable with some genotypes, of which ACTN3 R577X is currently the leading candidate, partly distinguishing individuals predisposed to either endurance or power sports. However, few athletic events can be categorized as purely power or endurance based. Although genetic testing (ie, for ACTN3 R577X) is already being marketed to predict sports talent and potential of young children, its usefulness is still questionable, at least in competitive judo.

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Wioletta Brzenczek-Owczarzak, Mariusz Naczk, Jaroslaw Arlet, Justyna Forjasz, Tomasz Jedrzejczak and Zdzislaw Adach

This study aimed to estimate the efficacy of inertial training in older women using the Inertial Training and Measurement System (ITMS), an original device. Forty-five active women age 53–74 yr performed inertial training with 2 different loads (0 or 5 kg) 3 times weekly for 4 wk. Training sessions consisted of exercises involving the shoulder muscles of the dominant and nondominant arms. The maximal torque and power developed by the dominant and nondominant arms in the 0-kg and 5-kg groups were significantly greater after 4 wk of inertial training (with the exception of torque for the nondominant arm in the 5-kg group; p > .05). Thus, short-term training using the ITMS is efficacious and can be used in older women to improve strength and power. However, ITMS training-induced changes in older women are greater after application of smaller external loads.

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Dominic Malcolm, Claudia Pinheiro and Nuno Pimenta

This paper provides sociological reflections on the professionalization of sport coaching and the attempts of sport coaches to attain such a status. It explicates existing sociological analyses of the professions, highlighting and critiquing the so-called “trait” approach which currently dominates discussions of the professionalization of sport coaching. It subsequently suggests that the “power approach” to professions, as epitomized by the work of Johnson, Larson and Abbott, provides a more realistic depiction of professionalization, alerting us to the conflictual and exclusionary aspects endemic in such a process. Finally the paper explores some twenty-first century trends towards the declining influence and social power of professional groups, and the specific characteristics and social standing of sport coaching which will serve to constrain sport coaches from achieving the goal of professional status. This analysis leads us to question whether professionalization should be viewed as an inherently “positive” development, and whether professionalization is a realistic goal for an occupational group such as sport coaching.

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Nicholas Caplan and Trevor N. Gardner

The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of varying the height of the foot stretcher on the mechanical effectiveness of rowing. Ten male university level rowers rowed maximally for 3 minutes 30 seconds on a modified Concept 2 rowing ergometer. Each participant completed one trial at three foot stretcher heights. Position 1 was the original Concept 2 stretcher position, with Position 2 being located 5 cm and Position 3 being 10 cm above the original position and in the same orientation. Pull force and velocity were measured, and mean power generated by the rowers was calculated for each stroke. It was shown that in all three stretcher positions, mean power per stroke decreased as a function of time during the trial, confirming the fatiguing effects of the task. Although mean power per stroke did not differ significantly between stretcher positions at the start of the trial, p = 0.082, a significant difference was observed between the original stretcher position and Positions 2 and 3 at the end of the trial, p < 0.05. The lowest decline in mean power occurred in the highest stretcher position. It is suggested that this improvement in effectiveness is due to a reduction in the active downward vertical forces applied to the foot stretchers which does not contribute to forward propulsion, and thus a reduction in energy waste during each stroke. It was hypothesized that further raising the stretchers will continue to lead to an improvement in effectiveness until the optimum stretcher height is reached, above which effectiveness will be reduced.