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Christian Cook, Danny Holdcroft, Scott Drawer and Liam P. Kilduff

Purpose:

To investigate how different warm-ups influenced subsequent sled-pull sprint performance in Olympic-level bob-skeleton athletes as part of their preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics.

Methods:

Three female and 3 male athletes performed 5 different randomized warm-ups of differing intensities, durations, and timing relative to subsequent testing, each 2 days apart, all repeated twice. After warm-ups, testing on a sledpull sprint over 20 m, 3 repeats 3 min apart, took place.

Results:

Performance testing showed improvement (P < .001, ES > 1.2) with both increasing intensity of warm-up and closeness of completion to testing, with 20-m sled sprinting being 0.1–0.25 s faster in higher-intensity protocols performed near testing In addition, supplementing the warm-ups by wearing of a light survival coat resulted in further performance improvement (P = .000, ES 1.8).

Conclusions:

Changing timing and intensity of warm-up and using an ancillary passive heat-retention device improved sprint performance in Olympic-level bob-skeleton athletes. Subsequent adoption of these on the competitive circuit was associated with a seasonal improvement in push times and was ultimately implemented in the 2010 Winter Olympics.

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Dennis Wayne Klima, Catherine Anderson, Dina Samrah, Dipal Patel, Kevin Chui and Roberta Newton

While considerable research has targeted physical performance in older adults, less is known about the ability to rise from the floor among community-dwelling elders. The purposes of the study were to (1) examine physical performance correlates of timed supine to stand performance and (2) identify the predominant motor pattern used to complete floor rise. Fifty-three community-dwelling adults over the age of 60 (x = 78.5 ± 8.5; 36 [68%] females) performed a timed supine to stand test and physical performance assessments. Forty-eight subjects (90.6%) demonstrated an initial roll with asymmetrical squat sequence when rising to stand. Supine to stand performance time was significantly correlated with all physical performance tests, including gait speed (r = −.61; p < .001), grip strength (r = −.30; p < .05), and Timed Up and Go (TUG) performance (r = .71; p < .001). Forty-eight percent of the variance in rise time (p < .001) was attributed to TUG velocity. Findings serve to enhance both functional performance assessment and floor rise interventions.

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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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Jose Morales, Emerson Franchini, Xavier Garcia-Massó, Mónica Solana-Tramunt, Bernat Buscà and Luis-Millán González

Purpose:

To adapt the work endurance recovery (WER) method based on randori maximal time to exhaustion (RMTE) for combat situations in judo.

Methods:

Eleven international-standard judo athletes (7 men and 4 women; mean age 20.73 ± 2.49 y, height 1.72 ± 0.11 m, body mass 67.36 ± 10.67 kg) were recruited to take part in the study. All participants performed a maximal incremental test (MIT), a Wingate test (WIN), a Special Judo Fitness Test (SJFT), and 2 RMTE tests. They then took part in a session at an international training camp in Barcelona, Spain, in which 4 methods of load quantification were implemented: the WER method, the Stagno method, the Lucia method, and the session rating of perceived exertion (RPEsession).

Results:

RMTE demonstrated a very high test–retest reliability (intraclass correlation coefficient = .91), and correlations of the performance tests ranged from moderate to high: RMTE and MIT (r = .66), RMTE and WIN variables (r = .38–.53), RMTE and SJFT variables (r = .74–.77). The correlation between the WER method, which considers time to exhaustion, and the other systems for quantifying training load was high: WER and RPEsession (r = .87), WER and Stagno (r = .77), WER and Lucia (r = .73). A comparative repeated-measures analysis of variance of the normalized values of the quantification did not yield statistically significant differences.

Conclusions:

The WER method using RMTE is highly adaptable to quantify randori judo sessions and enables one to plan a priori individualized training loads.

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Jason D. Vescovi, Teena M. Murray and Jaci L. VanHeest

Purpose:

The primary purpose of this study was to determine whether positional profiling is possible for elite ice hockey players by examining anthropometric characteristics and physiological performance. In addition, performance ranges and percentiles were determined for each position (forwards, defensemen, and goalkeepers) on all dependent variables.

Methods:

A retrospective, cross-sectional study design was used with performance data from ice hockey players (mean age = 18.0 ± 0.6 years) attending the 2001 (n = 74), 2002 (n = 84), and 2003 (n = 92) Combines. Four anthropometric characteristics and 12 performance tests were the dependent variables. A 3 × 3 (position × year) 2-way ANOVA was used to determine whether any significant interactions were present. No significant interactions were observed, so the data were collapsed over the 3-year period and positional characteristics were analyzed using a 1-way ANOVA.

Results:

Defenders were heavier and/or taller compared with the other 2 positions (P ≤ .01), whereas goalkeepers showed greater body-fat percentage compared with that of forwards (P = .001). It was found that goalkeepers had significantly lower strength measures for the upper body (P ≤ .043) and lower anaerobic capacity (P ≤ .039) values compared with at least one other position, but they had greater flexibility (P ≤ .013). No positional differences were observed for the broad jump, vertical jump, aerobic power, or curl-ups.

Conclusion:

The current findings provide evidence supporting the use of anthropometric measurements, upper body strength, and anaerobic capacity to effectively distinguish among positions for elite-level ice hockey players.

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Craig A. Horswill, Dave G. Curby, William P. Bartoli, John R. Stofan and Robert Murray

We examined whether the type of fluid ingested during wrestling training would affect arm ergometry in adolescent athletes. Wrestlers (n = 11) trained for 2-hr sessions and consumed fluid containing 6% carbohydrate or a placebo of equal volume administered double blind and in randomized fashion. To account for training demands across beverage comparisons, energy expenditure (EE) was estimated by using the rate of appearance of CO2 (RaCO2) after 13C-bicarbonate ingestion. The performance test was completed after training and consisted of 6 min of intermittent, high-intensity arm cranking. The results showed the difference in total arm work (kg • m−2 • min) between carbohydrate (2,130 ± 263) and placebo (1,961 ± 401) conditions approached statistical significance (p = .07). Fluid intake matched 50% of sweat loss, resulting in modest dehydration for both treatments. Carbohydrate ingestion during training may enhance high-intensity intermittent arm work in adolescent wrestlers; however, the additive effects of carbohydrate dose and fluid volume for hydration need to be teased apart in subsequent research on adolescents performing such exercise.

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Olivier Hue, Sophie Antoine-Jonville, Olivier Galy and Stephen Blonc

The authors investigated the anthropometric and physiological characteristics of young Guadeloupian competitive swimmers in relation to swimming performance and compared the abilities of these children with those of the young white swimmers reported in the literature. All 2004 competitive swimmers between 10 and 14 y old (126 children, 61 boys and 65 girls, 12.0 ± 1.3 y) from Guadeloupe underwent anthropometric measurements and physiological and performance testing. Six boys on the French national swimming team are referred to hereafter as the 2011 elite subgroup. Anthropometric parameters, a jump-and-reach test, glide, and estimated aerobic power (eVO2max) were assessed in terms of swimming-performance analysis through a 400-m test. This study demonstrated that the Guadeloupian swimmers had more body fat than most age-matched white swimmers but had very poor hydrostatic lift; they had higher peak jump height and they swam as well as their white counterparts. The variability in 400-m performance between subjects was best described by glide, age, and eVO2max. Compared with the group of boys with the same age, the 2011 elite subgroup was significantly better for arm span, peak jump height, glide, and 400-m and 15-m performances. Further research is needed to investigate motor organization and energy cost of swimming in Afro-Caribbean swimmers.

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Mark Booth, Stephen Cobley and Rhonda Orr

Purpose: To conduct a systematic review into the effect of training load (TL) on both performance measures and injury characteristics in rugby league players. Methods: Based on PRISMA guidelines, a systematic search of electronic databases was performed from the earliest record to December 2016. Five electronic databases (MEDLINE, SPORTDiscus, CINAHL, Web of Science, and AusSportMed) were searched using keywords within the subcategories of population (rugby league players), intervention (training quantification), and outcomes (performance or injury). Original peer-reviewed published manuscripts were considered if they had a clear quantification of TL (eg, session rating of perceived exertion), clear measures of performance (tests of physiological parameters relative to rugby league players [eg, agility]), and/or injury characteristics (eg, injury incidence). Results: Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. The highest TL was observed in preseason training phases. Higher TL elicited greater improvements in maximal aerobic power, vertical jump (in cm), and agility scores (in s). Higher TL was associated with higher incidence of muscular strains and joint sprains, lower-limb injuries, and overexertion and overuse injuries. Conclusions: Findings suggest a dose–response relationship between TL, physical performance, and injury characteristics. However, due to study and methodological limitations, the precise nature of this relationship is, as yet, inconclusive. Therefore, the development of uniform TL definition and quantification and further research is warranted.

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Catriona A. Burdon, Helen T. O’Connor, Janelle A. Gifford and Susan M. Shirreffs

Purpose:

Increased core temperature (Tc), impaired cardiovascular function, and dehydration contribute to fatigue during prolonged exercise in the heat. Although many studies have examined mechanisms addressing these factors, few have investigated the effect of cold beverage temperature on thermoregulation and exercise performance in the heat.

Methods:

Citations from MEDLINE (Ovid), Sport Discus (EBSCOhost), AUSPORT and AusportMed (Informit), Web of Science, and SCOPUS were identified from the earliest record until September 2008 using the search terms drink temperature, beverage temperature, fluid temperature, water temperature, and cold fluid combined with body temperature and thermoregulation. To be included, studies needed to assess core or rectal temperature during exercise in moderate or hot environmental conditions. After quality rating was completed by two reviewers, the difference in mean Tc and exercise performance was calculated.

Results:

Ten studies meeting search inclusion criteria were available for analysis. Three were excluded because sufficient detail or statistical data were not reported. A meta-analysis was not performed because the studies were deemed too different to group. Three of the remaining 7 studies found modulated Tc with cold beverage consumption, and from the 4 that conducted exercise performance tests, performance improved by 10% with cold fluids.

Conclusion:

Cold fluid may attenuate Tc rise and improve exercise performance in the heat; however, study findings are mixed. Research using well-trained athletes and fluid-ingestion protocols replicating competition scenarios is required. Potential sensory effects of cold fluid in maintaining motivation also need to be assessed as a mechanism underpinning improved performance.

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Mary A. Murphy, Sharon L. Olson, Elizabeth J. Protas and Averell R. Overby

Fifty community-dwelling elders were screened and followed for 14 months. Sixteen experienced falls and 34 did not. The screening variables consisted of age, the Clinical Test of Sensory Interaction in Balance, the Performance-Oriented Mobility Assessment for Balance, functional reach, the Physical Performance Test, and the following timed tests: floor transfer; 5-step test; 5 chair stands; tandem, semitandem, and side-by-side stance; penny pick-up; 360° turn; 50-ft walk; and 5-min walk. Data analysis and chi-squared or t tests were performed for each variable to determine significant differences between groups. Correlations, sensitivity, and specificity were calculated, and a stepwise discriminant analysis was conducted to determine which significant variables best predicted falls. Discriminant analysis determined that the floor transfer and then the 50-ft walk predicted falls in community-dwelling elders, correctly classifying 95.5% of participants. Prediction for falls was 81.8%, and for no falls, 100%. The timed floor transfer and 50-ft walk were the most discriminating measures to identify potential fallers.