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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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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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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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Allen C. Parcell, Jason M. Smith, Shane S. Schulthies, J. William Myrer and Gilbert Fellingham

It is purported that supplementation with Cordyceps Sinensis (CordyMax Cs-4) will improve oxidative capacity and endurance performance. The intent of this investigation was to examine the effects of CordyMax Cs-4 supplementation on VO2peak, ventilatory threshold, and endurance performance in endurance-trained cyclists. Twenty-two male cyclists participated in 5 weeks of supplementation with CordyMax Cs-4 tablets (3 g/d). Training intensity was maintained by weekly documentation and reporting throughout the 5-week period. Subjects completed a VO2peak test and work-based time trial prior to and following the supplementation period. VO2peak was similar within and between placebo (PLA) and treatment (CS) groups prior to (59.9 ± 5.9 vs. 59.1 ± 5.4 ml/kg/min, respectively) and following (60.1 ± 5.5 vs. 57.1 ± 5.8 ml/kg/min, respectively) the supplementation period. Ventilatory threshold (VT) was measured at 72 ± 10% of VO2peak in P and T prior to supplementation and did not change in either group following the supplementation. PLA completed the time trial in 61.4 ± 2.4 min compared to 62.1 ± 4.0 min in T. Time trial measurements did not differ between groups, nor did they change in response to supplementation. It is concluded that 5 weeks of CordyMax Cs-4 supplementation has no effect on aerobic capacity or endurance exercise performance in endurance-trained male cyclists.

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William McGarvey, Richard Jones and Stewart Petersen

The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effect of interval (INT) and continuous (CON) cycle exercise on excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). Twelve males first completed a graded exercise test for VO2max and then the two exercise challenges in random order on separate days approximately 1 wk apart. The INT challenge consisted of seven 2 min work intervals at 90% VO2max, each followed by 3 min of relief at 30% VO2max. The CON exercise consisted of 30 to 32 min of continuous cycling at 65% VO2max. Gas exchange and heart rate (HR) were measured for 30 min before, during, and for 2 h post-exercise. Three methods were used to analyze post-exercise oxygen consumption and all produced similar results. There were no significant differences in either the magnitude or duration of EPOC between the CON and INT protocols. HR, however, was higher (P < 0.05) while respiratory exchange ratio (RER) was lower (P < 0.05) following INT. These results indicate that when total work was similar, the magnitude and duration of EPOC were similar following CON or INT exercise. The differences in HR and RER during recovery suggest differential physiological responses to the exercise challenges.

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Ville Vesterinen, Ari Nummela, Sami Äyrämö, Tanja Laine, Esa Hynynen, Jussi Mikkola and Keijo Häkkinen

Regular monitoring of adaptation to training is important for optimizing training load and recovery, which is the main factor in successful training.

Purpose:

To investigate the usefulness of a novel submaximal running test (SRT) in field conditions in predicting and tracking changes of endurance performance.

Methods:

Thirty-five endurance-trained men and women (age 20–55 y) completed the 18-wk endurance-training program. A maximal incremental running test was performed at weeks 0, 9, and 18 for determination of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) and running speed (RS) at exhaustion (RSpeak) and lactate thresholds (LTs). In addition, the subjects performed weekly a 3-stage SRT including a postexercise heart-rate-recovery (HRR) measurement. The subjects were retrospectively grouped into 4 clusters according to changes in SRT results.

Results:

Large correlations (r = .60–.89) were observed between RS during all stages of SRT and all endurance-performance variables (VO2max, RSpeak, RS at LT2, and RS at LT1). HRR correlated only with VO2max (r = .46). Large relationships were also found between changes in RS during 80% and 90% HRmax stages of SRT and a change of RSpeak (r = .57, r = .79). In addition, the cluster analysis revealed the different trends in RS during 80% and 90% stages during the training between the clusters, which showed different improvements in VO2max and RSpeak.

Conclusions:

The current SRT showed great potential as a practical tool for regular monitoring of individual adaptation to endurance training without time-consuming and expensive laboratory tests.

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Amy Warren, Erin J. Howden, Andrew D. Williams, James W. Fell and Nathan A. Johnson

Postexercise fat oxidation may be important for exercise prescription aimed at optimizing fat loss. The authors examined the effects of exercise intensity, duration, and modality on postexercise oxygen consumption (VO2) and substrate selection/respiratory-exchange ratio (RER) in healthy individuals. Three experiments (n = 7 for each) compared (a) short- (SD) vs. long-duration (LD) ergometer cycling exercise (30 min vs. 90 min) matched for intensity, (b) low- (LI) vs. high-intensity (HI) cycling (50% vs. 85% of VO2max) matched for energy expenditure, and (c) continuous (CON) vs. interval (INT) cycling matched for energy expenditure and mean intensity. All experiments were administered by crossover design. Altering exercise duration did not affect postexercise VO2 or RER kinetics (p > .05). However, RER was lower and fat oxidation was higher during the postexercise period in LD vs. SD (p < .05). HI vs. LI resulted in a significant increase in total postexercise energy expenditure and fat oxidation (p < .01). Altering exercise modality (CON vs. INT) did not affect postexercise VO2, RER, or fat oxidation (p > .05). These results demonstrate that postexercise energy expenditure and fat oxidation can be augmented by increasing exercise intensity, but these benefits cannot be exploited by undertaking interval exercise (1:2-min work:recovery ratio) when total energy expenditure, duration, and mean intensity remain unchanged. In spite of the apparent benefit of these strategies, the amount of fat oxidized after exercise may be inconsequential compared with that oxidized during the exercise bout.

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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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Cory W. Baumann, Jeffrey C. Rupp, Christopher P. Ingalls and J. Andrew Doyle

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between anaerobic characteristics and 5-km-race performance in trained female cross-country runners (N = 13).

Methods:

The runners performed 50-m sprints and a 5-km time trial on an outdoor 400-m track and maximal anaerobic (MART) and aerobic running tests on a motorized treadmill. Anaerobic characteristics were determined by the mean velocity of the 50-m sprint (v 50m) and the peak velocity in the MART (v MART). The aerobic characteristics were obtained during the aerobic treadmill test and included maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), running economy, and ventilatory threshold (VT).

Results:

Both the v MART (r = .69, P < .01) and VO2max (r = .80, P < .01) correlated with the mean velocity of the 5-km (v 5km). A multiple-linear-regression analysis revealed that the combination of VO2max, v MART, and VT explained 81% (R 2 = .81, P < .001) of the variation seen in the v 5km. The v MART accounted for 31% of the total shared variance, while the combination of VO2max and VT explained the remaining 50%.

Conclusions:

These results suggest that among trained female runners who are relatively matched, anaerobic energy production can effectively discriminate the v 5km and explain a significant amount of the variation seen in 5-km-race performance.

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Billy Sperlich, Christoph Zinner, David Trenk and Hans-Christer Holmberg

Purpose:

To examine whether a 3-min all-out test can be used to obtain accurate values for the maximal lactate steady state (v MLSS) and/or peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak) of well-trained runners.

Methods:

The 15 male volunteers (25 ± 5 y, 181 ± 6 cm, 76 ± 7 kg, VO2peak 69.3 ± 9.5 mL · kg−1 · min−1) performed a ramp test, a 3-min all-out test, and several submaximal 30-min runs at constant paces of v END (mean velocity during the last 30 s of the 3-min all-out test) itself and v END +0.2, +0.1, –0.1, –0.2, –0.3, or –0.4 m/s.

Results:

v MLSS and v END were correlated (r = .69, P = .004), although v MLSS was lower (mean difference: 0.26 ± 0.32 m/s, 95% CI –.44 to –.08 m/s, P = .007, effect size = 0.65). The VO2peak values derived from the ramp and 3-min all-out tests were not correlated (r = .41, P = .12), with a mean difference of 523 ± 1002 mL (95% CI –31 to 1077 mL).

Conclusion:

A 3-min all-out test does not provide a suitable measure of v MLSS or VO2peak for well-trained runners.