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Espen Tønnessen, Ida S. Svendsen, Bent R. Rønnestad, Jonny Hisdal, Thomas A. Haugen and Stephen Seiler

One year of training data from 8 elite orienteers were divided into a transition phase (TP), general preparatory phase (GPP), specific preparatory phase (SPP), and competition phase (CP). Average weekly training volume and frequency, hours at different intensities (zones 1–3), cross-training, running, orienteering, interval training, continuous training, and competition were calculated. Training volume was higher in GPP than TP, SPP, and CP (14.9 vs 9.7, 11.5, and 10.6 h/wk, P < .05). Training frequency was higher in GPP than TP (10 vs 7.5 sessions/wk, P < .05). Zone 1 training was higher in GPP than TP, SPP, and CP (11.3 vs 7.1, 8.3, and 7.7 h/wk, P < .05). Zone 3 training was higher in SPP and CP than in TP and GPP (0.9 and 1.1 vs 1.6 and 1.5 h/wk, P < .05). Cross-training was higher in GPP than SPP and CP (4.3 vs 0.8 h/wk, P < .05). Interval training was higher in GPP than TP, SPP, and CP (0.7 vs 0.3 h/wk, P < .05). High-intensity continuous training was higher in GPP than CP (0.9 vs 0.4 h/wk, P < .05), while competition was higher in SPP and CP than in TP and GPP (1.3 and 1.5 vs 0.6 and 0.3 h/wk, P < .01). In conclusion, these champion endurance athletes achieved a progressive reduction in total training volume from GPP to CP via a shortening of each individual session while the number of training sessions remained unchanged. This decrease in training volume was primarily due to a reduction in the number of hours of low-intensity, non-sport-specific cross-training.

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Keith Tolfrey, Julia K. Zakrzewski-Fruer and James Smallcombe

Three publications were selected based on the strength of the research questions, but also because they represent different research designs that are used with varying degrees of frequency in the pediatric literature. The first, a prospective, longitudinal cohort observation study from 7 to 16 years with girls and boys reports an intrinsic reduction in absolute resting energy expenditure after adjustment for lean mass, fat mass, and biological maturity. The authors suggest this could be related to evolutionary energy conservation, but may be problematic now that food energy availability is so abundant. The second focuses on the effect of acute exercise on neutrophil reactive oxygen species production and inflammatory markers in independent groups of healthy boys and men. The authors suggested the boys experienced a “sensitized” neutrophil response stimulated by the exercise bout compared with the men; moreover, the findings provided information necessary to design future trials in this important field. In the final study, a dose-response design was used to examine titrated doses of high intensity interval training on cardiometabolic outcomes in adolescent boys. While the authors were unable to identify a recognizable dose-response relationship, there are several design strengths in this study, which was probably underpowered.

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Bradley N. Hedrick, Martin I. Morse and Stephen F. Figoni

This project assessed training behaviors and attributes of elite wheelchair racers. Training information was received from 36 participants in the 1985 National 10K Wheelchair Roadracing Championship. Data were obtained about age, weight, nature and level of disability, racing experience, sources of training information, level of cigarette and alcohol use, and dietary habits. Weekly training behaviors across yearly quarters were assessed with regard to the number of weekly pushing workouts, length of pushing workouts, number of miles pushed per week, percentage of training time allocated to interval training and/or speedwork, number of weekly weight-training sessions, and number of other augmentative physical activities pursued twice or more per week. Perceived exertion during interval and noninterval, steady-state training tasks was also measured. Results revealed that training behaviors of elite wheelchair racers are very heterogeneous. Participation in and age of introduction to elite wheelchair racing were found to be predominantly adult phenomena. The health practices of the athletes regarding cigarette smoking, alcohol consumption, diet, and weight control were generally found to be good. However, inadequate caloric control measures by the quadriplegics and the ingestion of protein supplements by male racers indicate that some dietary counseling may be needed. The results provide a starting point for a data base pertaining to training behaviors in wheelchair racing.

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Keith Tolfrey, Julia Kirstey Zakrzewski-Fruer and Alice Emily Thackray

Two publications were selected because they are excellent representations of studies examining different ends of the exercise-sedentary behavior continuum in young people. The first study is an acute response study with 13 mixed-sex, mid to late adolescents presenting complete data from 4 different randomized experimental crossover conditions for analyses. Continuous glucose monitoring showed that interrupting prolonged continuous sitting with body-weight resistance exercises reduced the postprandial glucose concentration compared with a time-matched uninterrupted period of sitting. Furthermore, the effects of the breaks in sitting time were independent of the energy content of the standardized meals, but variations in the area under the glucose time curves expression were important. The second study adopted a chronic 12-week exercise training intervention design with a large sample of obese children and adolescents who were allocated randomly to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), moderate-intensity continuous training, or nutritional advice groups. HIIT was the most efficacious for improving cardiorespiratory fitness compared with the other interventions; however, cardiometabolic biomarkers and visceral/subcutaneous adipose tissue did not change meaningfully in any group over the 12 weeks. Attrition rates from both HIIT and moderate-intensity continuous training groups reduce the validity of the exercise training comparison, yet this still provides a solid platform for future research comparisons using HIIT in young people.

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Tammie R. Ebert, David T. Martin, Brian Stephens and Robert T. Withers

Purpose:

To quantify the power-output demands of men’s road-cycling stage racing using a direct measure of power output.

Methods:

Power-output data were collected from 207 races over 6 competition years on 31 Australian national male road cyclists. Subjects performed a maximal graded exercise test in the laboratory to determine maximum aerobic-power output, and bicycles were fitted with SRM power meters. Races were described as fl at, hilly, or criterium, and linear mixed modeling was used to compare the races.

Results:

Criterium was the shortest race and displayed the highest mean power output (criterium 262 ± 30 v hilly 203 ± 32 v fl at 188 ± 30 W), percentage total race time above 7.5 W/kg (crite-rium 15.5% ± 4.1% v hilly 3.8% ± 1.7% v fl at 3.5% ± 1.4%) and SD in power output (criterium 250 v hilly 165 v fl at 169 W). Approximately 67%, 80%, and 85% of total race time was spent below 5 W/kg for criterium, hilly and fl at races, respectively. About 70, 40, and 20 sprints above maximum aerobic-power output occurred during criterium, hilly, and fl at races, respectively, with most sprints being 6 to 10 s.

Conclusions:

These data extend previous research documenting the demands of men’s road cycling. Despite the relatively low mean power output, races were characterized by multiple high-intensity surges above maximum aerobic-power output. These data can be used to develop sport-specific interval-training programs that replicate the demands of competition.

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Benoit Capostagno, Michael I. Lambert and Robert P. Lamberts

Purpose:

To determine whether a submaximal cycling test could be used to monitor and prescribe high-intensity interval training (HIT).

Methods:

Two groups of male cyclists completed 4 HIT sessions over a 2-wk period. The structured-training group (SG; n = 8, VO2max = 58.4 ± 4.2 mL · min−1 · kg−1) followed a predetermined training program while the flexible-training group (FG; n = 7, VO2max = 53.9 ± 5.0 mL · min−1 · kg−1) had the timing of their HIT sessions prescribed based on the data of the Lamberts and Lambert Submaximal Cycle Test (LSCT).

Results:

Effect-size calculations showed large differences in the improvements in 40-km time-trial performance after the HIT training between SG (8 ± 45 s) and FG (48 ± 42 s). Heart-rate recovery, monitored during the study, tended to increase in FG and remain unchanged in SG.

Conclusions:

The results of the current study suggest that the LSCT may be a useful tool for coaches to monitor and prescribe HIT.

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Florian Engel, Sascha Härtel, Jana Strahler, Matthias Oliver Wagner, Klaus Bös and Billy Sperlich

This study aimed to determine the effects of a single high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session on salivary cortisol (SC) levels, physiological responses, and performance in trained boys and men. Twenty-three boys (11.5 ± 0.8 years) and 25 men (29.7 ± 4.6 years) performed HIIT (4 consecutive Wingate Anaerobic Tests). SC in boys and men increased after HIIT from 5.55 ± 3.3 nmol/l to 15.13 ± 9.7 nmol/l (+173%) and from 7.07 ± 4.7 nmol/l to 19.19 ± 12.7 nmol/l (+171%), respectively (p < .01). Pretest SC as well as posttest changes were comparable in both groups (both p < .01). Peak blood lactate concentration was significantly lower in boys (12.6 ± 3.5 mmol/l) than in men (16.3 ± 3.1 mmol/l; p < .01). Throughout the HIIT, mean heart rates in boys were higher (p < .001) but relative peak oxygen uptake (ml·min−1·kg−1; p < .05) and performance were lower (p < .001) in boys than in men. HIIT in young athletes is associated with a higher activation of the hormonal stress axis than other types of exercise regimes as described in the literature. This study is the first to show a pronounced SC increase to HIIT in trained boys accompanied by elevated levels of blood lactate concentrations and heart rate suggesting a high cardio-respiratory, metabolic, and hormonal response to HIIT in 11-year-old boys.

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Bonnie G. Berger, Robert W. Motl, Brian D. Butki, David T. Martin, John G. Wilkinson and David R. Owen

This study examined changes in mood and performance in response to high-intensity, short-duration overtraining and a subsequent taper. Pursuit cyclists (N = 8) at the United States Olympic Training Center completed the POMS and simulated 4-km pursuit performance tests throughout a six-week period. The six-week period included a baseline week, three weeks of overtraining that consisted primarily of high-intensity interval training, and a two-week taper. Total Mood Disturbance (TMD) scores displayed a quadratic polynomial effect across the three weeks of overtraining (p < .01), with the highest TMD scores occurring in the second week. Average TMD scores were lower during the taper than at baseline (p < .02) and lower at taper than overtraining (p < .0005). Cycling performance (pursuit time and average power output) improved during the three weeks of overtraining; additional improvements were observed during the taper. There were no significant correlations between TMD and performance. However, pursuit time, average power output, and mood disturbance scores were at optimal levels throughout the taper period. These findings suggest that high-intensity, short-duration overtraining may not result in an overtraining syndrome in 4-km pursuit cyclists.

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David T. Martin, Mark B. Andersen and Ward Gates

This study examined whether the Profile of Mood States questionnaire (POMS) is a useful tool for monitoring training stress in cycling athletes. Participants (n = 11) completed the POMS weekly during six weeks of high-intensity interval cycling and a one-week taper. Cycling performance improved over the first three weeks of training, plateaued during Weeks 4 and 5, decreased slightly following Week 6, and then significantly increased during the one-week taper. Neither the high-intensity interval training nor the one-week taper significantly affected total mood or specific mood states. POMS data from two cyclists who did not show improved performance capabilities during the taper (overtraining) were not distinctly unique when compared to cyclists who did improve. Also, one cyclist, who on some days had the highest total mood disturbance, responded well to the taper and produced his best personal effort during this time period. These findings raise questions about the usefulness of POMS to distinguish, at an individual level, between periods of productive and counterproductive high-intensity training.

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Neil Armstrong

For ‘The Year that Was—2015’, I have selected 2 papers which review aspects of aerobic training. Studies of pediatric aerobic training generally focus on the effects of constant intensity exercise training (CIET) programs on peak oxygen uptake (VO2). The first paper has been chosen because it provides, for the first time, both a systematic review and a meta-analysis of the efficacy of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) in improving health-related fitness in adolescents. The second paper has been selected because it not only reviews both generic and sport-specific aerobic training studies of young team sport athletes, but also applies the analysis to the design of an evidence-based model of young athlete development. However, the primary reasons for highlighting these reviews is that they expose gaps in our knowledge of youth aerobic trainability, particularly between ‘pure’ and ‘applied’ pediatric sport science. They also identify areas where further research and appropriate data interpretation in relation to chronological age and biological maturation are required.