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Stamatis Agiovlasitis, Jeffrey A. McCubbin, Joonkoo Yun, Michael J. Pavol and Jeffrey J. Widrick

This study examined whether the net rate of oxygen uptake (VO2net) and the net oxygen uptake per kilometer (VO2net/km) are affected during walking in adults with Down syndrome (DS) and whether their preferred walking speed (PWS) minimizes the VO2net/km. Respiratory gases were collected as 14 adults with DS and 15 adults without DS completed a series of treadmill walking trials. PWS was measured over 15 meters in a hallway. The VO2net and the VO2net/km were higher in adults with DS than adults without DS. The overground PWS normalized for leg length was the same for both groups and did not appear to minimize the VO2net/km. Thus, adults with DS are less economical during walking than adults without DS. The overground PWS does not minimize the metabolic cost during treadmill walking.

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Santiago Lopez, Jan G. Bourgois, Enrico Tam, Paolo Bruseghini and Carlo Capelli

Purpose:

To explore the cardiovascular and metabolic responses of 9 Optimist sailors (12.7 ± 0.8 y, 153 ± 9 cm, 41 ± 6 kg, sailing career 6.2 ± 1 y, peak oxygen uptake [V̇O2peak] 50.5 ± 4.5 mL · min−1 · kg−1) during on-water upwind sailing with various wind intensities (W).

Methods:

In a laboratory session, peak V̇O2, beat-by-beat cardiac output (Q̇), mean arterial blood pressure (MAP), and heart rate (f H) were measured using a progressive cycle ramp protocol. Steady-state V̇O2, Q̇, MAP, and f H at 4 submaximal workloads were also determined. During 2 on-water upwind sailing tests (constant course and with tacks), W, Q̇, MAP, and f H were measured for 15 min. On-water V̇O2 was estimated on the basis of steady-state f H measured on water and of the individual ΔV̇O2f H relationship obtained in the laboratory.

Results:

V̇O2, f H, and Q̇ expressed as percentage of the corresponding peak values were linearly related with W; exercise intensity during on-water sailing corresponded to 46–48% of V̇O2peak. MAP and total vascular peripheral resistance (TPR = MAP/Q̇) were larger (P < .005) during on-water tests (+39% and +50%, respectively) than during cycling, and they were correlated with W. These responses were responsible for larger values of the double (DP) and triple (TP) products of the heart during sailing than during cycling (P < .005) (+37% and +32%, respectively).

Conclusions:

These data indicate that the cardiovascular system was particularly stressed during upwind sailing even though the exercise intensity of this activity was not particularly high.

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Dietmar Wallner, Helmut Simi, Gerhard Tschakert and Peter Hofmann

Purpose:

To analyze the acute physiological response to aerobic short-interval training (AESIT) at various high-intensity running speeds. A minor anaerobic glycolytic energy supply was aimed to mimic the characteristics of slow continuous runs.

Methods:

Eight trained male runners (maximal oxygen uptake [VO2max] 55.5 ± 3.3 mL · kg−1 · min−1) performed an incremental treadmill exercise test (increments: 0.75 km · h−1 · min−1). Two lactate turn points (LTP1, LTP2) were determined. Subsequently, 3 randomly assigned AESIT sessions with high-intensity running-speed intervals were performed at speeds close to the speed (v) at VO2max (vVO2max) to create mean intensities of 50%, 55%, and 60% of vLTP1. AESIT sessions lasted 30 min and consisted of 10-s work phases, alternated by 20-s passive recovery phases.

Results:

To produce mean velocities of 50%, 55%, and 60% of vLTP1, running speeds were calculated as 18.6 ± 0.7 km/h (93.4% vVO2max), 20.2 ± 0.6 km/h (101.9% vVO2max), and 22.3 ± 0.7 km/h (111.0% vVO2max), which gave a mean blood lactate concentration (La) of 1.09 ± 0.31 mmol/L, 1.57 ± 0.52 mmol/L, and 2.09 ± 0.99 mmol/L, respectively. La at 50% of vLTP1 was not significantly different from La at vLTP1 (P = .8894). Mean VO2 was found at 54.0%, 58.5%, and 64.0% of VO2max, while at the end of the sessions VO2 rose to 71.1%, 80.4%, and 85.6% of VO2max, respectively.

Conclusion:

The results showed that AESIT with 10-s work phases alternating with 20 s of passive rest and a running speed close to vVO2max gave a systemic aerobic metabolic profile similar to slow continuous runs.

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Laurent Mourot, Nicolas Fabre, Erik Andersson, Sarah Willis, Martin Buchheit and Hans-Christer Holmberg

Postexercise heart-rate (HR) recovery (HRR) indices have been associated with running and cycling endurance-exercise performance. The current study was designed (1) to test whether such a relationship also exists in the case of cross-country skiing (XCS) and (2) to determine whether the magnitude of any such relationship is related to the intensity of exercise before obtaining HRR indices. Ten elite male cross-country skiers (mean ± SD; 28.2 ± 5.4 y, 181 ± 8 cm, 77.9 ± 9.4 kg, 69.5 ± 4.3 mL · min−1 · kg−1 maximal oxygen uptake [VO2max]) performed 2 sessions of roller-skiing on a treadmill: a 2 × 3-km time trial and the same 6-km at an imposed submaximal speed followed by a final 800-m time trial. VO2 and HR were monitored continuously, while HRR and blood lactate (BLa) were assessed during 2 min immediately after each 6-km and the 800-m time trial. The 6-km time-trial time was largely negatively correlated with VO2max and BLa. On the contrary, there was no clear correlation between the 800-m time-trial time and VO2, HR, or BLa. In addition, in no case was any clear correlation between any of the HRR indices and performance time or VO2max observed. These findings confirm that XCS performance is largely correlated with VO2max and the ability to tolerate high levels of BLa; however, postexercise HRR showed no clear association with performance. The homogeneity of the group of athletes involved and the contribution of the arms and upper body to the exercise preceding determination of HRR may explain this absence of a relationship.

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Oliver Faude, Tim Meyer and Wilfried Kindermann

Purpose:

The work rate (WR) corresponding to ventilatory threshold (VT) is an appropriate intensity for regenerative and low-intensity training sessions. During incremental ramp exercise, VO2 increase lags behind WR increase. Traditionally, a VO2 time delay (t d) of 45 seconds is used to calculate the WR at VT from such tests. Considerable inaccuracies were observed when using this constant t d. Therefore, this study aimed at reinvestigating the temporal relationship between VO2 and WR at VT.

Methods:

20 subjects (VO2peak 49.9 to 72.6 mL · min–1 · kg–1) performed a ramp test in order to determine VT and a subsequent steady-state test during which WR was adjusted to elicit the VO2 corresponding to VT. The difference in WR and heart rate at VT was calculated between the ramp and the steady-state test (WRdiff, HRdiff) as well as the time delay corresponding to WRdiff during ramp exercise.

Results:

Mean values were t d = 85 ± 26 seconds (range 38 to 144), WRdiff = 45 ± 12 W (range 23 to 67), HRdiff = 1 ± 9 beats/min (range –21 to +15). The limits of agreement for the difference between WR at VT during ramp and steady-state exercise were ± 24 W. No signifi cant influence on t d, WRdiff, or HRdiff from differences in endurance capacity (VO2peak and VT; P > .10 for all correlations) or ramp increment (P = .26, .49, and .85, respectively) were observed.

Conclusion:

The wide ranges of t d, WRdiff, and HRdiff prevent the derivation of exact training guidelines from single-ramp tests. It is advisable to perform a steady-state test to exactly determine the WR corresponding to VT.

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Montassar Tabben, Jeremy Coquart, Helmi Chaabène, Emerson Franchini, Karim Chamari and Claire Tourny

Purpose:

This study determined the validity and reliability of a new specific field test that was based on the scientific data from the latest research.

Methods:

Seventeen international-level karatekas participated in the study: 14 men (age 24.1 ± 4.6 y, body mass 65.7 ± 10.8 kg) and 3 women (age 19 ± 3.6 y, body mass 54.1 ± 0.9 kg). All performed the new karate-specific test (KST) 2 times (test and retest sessions were carried out on separated occasions 1 wk apart). Thirteen men also performed a laboratory test to assess maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max).

Results:

Test–retest results showed the KST to be reliable. Peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), peak heart rate (HRpeak), blood lactate concentration, rating of perceived exertion, and time to exhaustion (TE) did not display a difference between the test and the retest. The SEM and ICC for relative and absolute VO2peak and TE were <5% and >.90, respectively. Significant correlations were found between VO2peak (mL · kg−1 · min−1) and TE measured from the KST (r = .71, 95%CI 0.35–0.88, P < .0001). There was also no significant difference between VO2peak measured from the KST and VO2max recorded from the cycle-ergometer laboratory test (55.1 ± 4.8 vs 53.2 ± 6.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1, respectively; t = –1.85, df = 12, P = .08, dz = 0.51 [small]). The Bland and Altman analyses reported a mean difference (bias) ± the 95% limits of agreement of 1.9 ± 7.35 mL · kg−1 · min−1.

Conclusions:

This study showed that the new KST test, with effort patterns replicating real karate combat sessions, can be considered a valid and reliable karate-specific field test for assessing karatekas’ endurance fitness.

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Denis M. Pelletier, Guillaume Lacerte and Eric D.B. Goulet

Lately, the effect of quercetin supplementation (QS) on endurance performance (EP) and maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) has been receiving much scientific and media attention. Therefore, a meta-analysis was performed to determine QS’s ergogenic value on these variables. Studies were located with database searches (PubMed and SPORTDiscus) and cross-referencing. Outcomes represent mean percentage changes in EP (measured via power output) and VO2max between QS and placebo. Random-effects model meta-regression, mixed-effects model analog to the ANOVA, random-effects weighted mean effect summary, and magnitudebased inferences analyses were used to delineate the effects of QS. Seven research articles (representing 288 subjects) were included, producing 4 VO2max and 10 EP effect estimates. Mean QS daily intake and duration were, respectively, 960 ± 127 mg and 26 ± 24 d for the EP outcome and 1,000 ± 0 mg and 8 ± 23 d for the VO2max outcome. EP was assessed during exercise with a mean duration of 79 ± 82 min. Overall, QS improved EP by 0.74% (95% CI: 0.10–1.39, p = .02) compared with placebo. However, only in untrained individuals (0.83% ± 0.78%, p = .02) did QS significantly improve EP (trained individuals: 0.09% ± 2.15%, p = .92). There was no relationship between QS duration and EP (p = .69). Overall, QS increased VO2max by 1.94% (95% CI: 0.30–3.59, p = .02). Magnitude-based inferences suggest that the effect of QS on EP and VO2max is likely to be trivial for both trained and untrained individuals. In conclusion, this meta-analysis indicates that QS is unlikely to prove ergogenic for aerobic-oriented exercises in trained and untrained individuals.

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Dennis-Peter Born, Thomas Stöggl, Mikael Swarén and Glenn Björklund

Purpose:

To investigate the cardiorespiratory and metabolic response of trail running and evaluate whether heart rate (HR) adequately reflects the exercise intensity or if the tissue-saturation index (TSI) could provide a more accurate measure during running in hilly terrain.

Methods:

Seventeen competitive runners (4 women, V̇O2max, 55 ± 6 mL · kg–1 · min–1; 13 men, V̇O2max, 68 ± 6 mL · kg–1 · min–1) performed a time trial on an off-road trail course. The course was made up of 2 laps covering a total distance of 7 km and included 6 steep uphill and downhill sections with an elevation gain of 486 m. All runners were equipped with a portable breath-by-breath gas analyzer, HR belt, global positioning system receiver, and near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) device to measure the TSI.

Results:

During the trail run, the exercise intensity in the uphill and downhill sections was 94% ± 2% and 91% ± 3% of maximal heart rate, respectively, and 84% ± 8% and 68% ± 7% of V̇O2max, respectively. The oxygen uptake (V̇O2) increased in the uphill sections and decreased in the downhill sections (P < .01). Although HR was unaffected by the altering slope conditions, the TSI was inversely correlated to the changes in V̇O2 (r = –.70, P < .05).

Conclusions:

HR was unaffected by the continuously changing exercise intensity; however, TSI reflected the alternations in V̇O2. Recently used exclusively for scientific purposes, this NIRS-based variable may offer a more accurate alternative than HR to monitor running intensity in the future, especially for training and competition in hilly terrain.

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Jack M. Burns, Jeremiah J. Peiffer, Chris R. Abbiss, Greig Watson, Angus Burnett and Paul B. Laursen

Purpose:

Manufacturers of uncoupled cycling cranks claim that their use will increase economy of motion and gross efficiency. Purportedly, this occurs by altering the muscle-recruitment patterns contributing to the resistive forces occurring during the recovery phase of the pedal stroke. Uncoupled cranks use an independent-clutch design by which each leg cycles independently of the other (ie, the cranks are not fixed together). However, research examining the efficacy of training with uncoupled cranks is equivocal. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of short-term training with uncoupled cranks on the performance-related variables economy of motion, gross efficiency, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), and muscle-activation patterns.

Methods:

Sixteen trained cyclists were matched-paired into either an uncoupled-crank or a normal-crank training group. Both groups performed 5 wk of training on their assigned cranks. Before and after training, participants completed a graded exercise test using normal cranks. Expired gases were collected to determine economy of motion, gross efficiency, and VO2max, while integrated electromyography (iEMG) was used to examine muscle-activation patterns of the vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, and gastrocnemius.

Results:

No significant changes between groups were observed for economy of motion, gross efficiency, VO2max, or iEMG in the uncoupled- or normal-crank group.

Conclusions:

Five weeks of training with uncoupled cycling cranks had no effect on economy of motion, gross efficiency, muscle recruitment, or VO2max compared with training on normal cranks.

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Sara López-Martínez, Mairena Sánchez-López, Montserrat Solera-Martinez, Natalia Arias-Palencia, Rosa M. Fuentes-Chacón and Vicente Martínez-Vizcaíno

Purpose:

Our objective was to analyze the association between different intensities of physical activity (PA), physical fitness, and metabolic syndrome (MS) in young adults.

Methods:

Cross-sectional study including 275 university students, 18–30 years old, from Cuenca, Spain. We evaluated (a) physical activity using accelerometry, (b) aerobic capacity (VO2max), and (c) muscle strength, by a muscle strength index calculated as the sum of the standardized z score of handgrip dynamometry/weight and standing broad jump. An MS index was estimated by summing standardized z scores of waist circumference, ratio of triglycerides to high-density lipoprotein, mean arterial blood pressure, and HOMA-IR.

Results:

The mean scores of MS index and HOMAIR were significantly higher and the VO2max significantly lower for individuals who did not perform 20 min or more per week of vigorous physical activity. However, those who performed 250 min/week of moderate physical activity showed no significant differences in either VO2max or the MS index when compared with individuals who did not perform this level of activity. The MS index was lower in those with medium-high levels of aerobic capacity. In addition, individuals with medium-high levels of muscular fitness showed lower waist circumference and a lower MS index.

Conclusions:

VO2max and muscle strength are negatively associated with metabolic risk. 20-min/week of vigorous physical activity was associated with lower cardiometabolic risk in young adults; moderate physical activity did not show association with lower cardiometabolic risk.