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Avery D. Faigenbaum, Leonard D. Zaichkowsky, Wayne L. Westcott, Lyle J. Micheli and Allan F. Fehlandt

The effectiveness of a twice-a-week strength training program on children was evaluated in 14 boys and girls (mean age 10.8 yrs) who participated in a biweekly training program for 8 weeks. Each subject performed three sets of 10 to 15 repetitions on five exercises with intensities ranging between 50 and 100% of a given 10-repetition maximum (RM). All subjects were pre- and posttested on the following measures: 10-RM strength, sit and reach flexibility, vertical jump, seated ball put, resting blood pressure, and body composition parameters. The subjects were compared to a similar group of boys and girls (n = 9; mean age 9.9 yrs) who were randomly selected to serve as controls. Following the training period, the experimental group made greater gains in strength (74.3%) as compared to the control group (13.0%) (p < 0.001), and differences in the sum of seven skinfolds were noted (−2.3% vs. +1.7%, respectively, p < 0.05). Training did not significantly affect other variables. These results suggest that participation in a short-term, twice-a-week strength training program can increase the strength and improve the body composition of young boys and girls.

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Christina Carr, John J. McMahon and Paul Comfort

Purpose:

Previous research has investigated changes in athletes’ strength, power, and speed performances across the competitive season of many sports, although this has not been explored in cricketers. The aim of this study was to investigate changes in lower-body strength and jump and sprint performances across an English county cricket season.

Methods:

Male cricketers (N = 12; age 24.4 ± 2.3 y, body mass 84.3 ± 9.9 kg, height 184.1 ± 8.1 cm) performed countermovement jumps (CMJs) and 20-m sprints on 4 separate occasions and back-squat strength testing on 3 separate occasions across a competitive season.

Results:

Both absolute (12.9%, P = .005, effect size [ES] = 0.53) and relative lower-body strength (15.8%, P = .004, ES = 0.69) and CMJ height (5.3%, P = .037, ES = 0.42) improved significantly over the preseason training period, although no significant change (1.7%, P > .05) in sprint performance was observed. In contrast, absolute (14.3%, P = .001, ES = 0.72) and relative strength (15.0%, P = .001, ES = 0.77), CMJ height (4.2%, P = .023, ES = 0.40), and sprint performance (3.8%, P = .012, ES = 0.94) declined significantly across the season.

Conclusions:

The results of this study show that neither the demands of the competitive cricket season nor current in-season training practices provide a sufficient stimulus to maintain strength, jump, and sprint performances in these cricketers. Therefore, coaches should implement a more-frequent, higher-load strength-training program across the competitive cricket season.

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Kevin D. Tipton and Robert R. Wolfe

Exercise has a profound effect on muscle growth, which can occur only if muscle protein synthesis exceeds muscle protein breakdown; there must be a positive muscle protein balance. Resistance exercise improves muscle protein balance, but, in the absence of food intake, the balance remains negative (i.e., catabolic). The response of muscle protein metabolism to a resistance exercise bout lasts for 24-48 hours; thus, the interaction between protein metabolism and any meals consumed in this period will determine the impact of the diet on muscle hypertrophy. Amino acid availability is an important regulator of muscle protein metabolism. The interaction of postexercise metabolic processes and increased amino acid availability maximizes the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis and results in even greater muscle anabolism than when dietary amino acids are not present. Hormones, especially insulin and testosterone, have important roles as regulators of muscle protein synthesis and muscle hypertrophy. Following exercise, insulin has only a permissive role on muscle protein synthesis, but it appears to inhibit the increase in muscle protein breakdown. Ingestion of only small amounts of amino acids, combined with carbohydrates, can transiently increase muscle protein anabolism, but it has yet to be determined if these transient responses translate into an appreciable increase in muscle mass over a prolonged training period.

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Claudia Ridel Juzwiak and Fabio Ancona-Lopez

The objectives of this study were to describe the dietary practices recommended by coaches working with adolescent athletes and to assess their nutritional knowledge. During a regional competition in the state of São Paulo, Brazil, 55 coaches were interviewed. These coaches represented 22 cities with athletes enrolled in Olympic gymnastics, tennis, swimming, and judo events. A 3- section questionnaire was used to obtain data on demographic characteristics, dietary recommendations, and nutrition knowledge. Results showed that all coaches recommended general dietary practices during training, with no specific strategies for pre-, during-, and post-training periods. The main objectives of the recommendations for the training period were weight control and muscle mass gain. Deleterious weight control practices were recommended by 27% of the coaches. Specific dietary practices pre and post competition were recommended by 93% and 46% of the coaches, respectively. Participants responded correctly to 70% (SD = 3.2) of the nutrition knowledge questions, with no significant differences (p = .61) between sports. The knowledge test identified a tendency to overvalue proteins, excessively low-fat diets, and food myths. These findings indicate the importance of developing strategies that will enhance the nutritional training of coaches.

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Eszter Csajági, Ipoly Szauder, Zsuzsanna Major and Gábor Pavlik

Training adaptation of the left ventricle (LV) and it’s reversibility following the cessation of training in adults is well known and also studied in children. In the current study we describe the changes in the LV morphology in association with the training season during a 1.5 year follow-up period. 15 elite adolescent swimmers, seven girls and 8 boys with 6 years of swimming history and 20 hr per week training were observed. Their data were compared with 15 age and gender matched nonathletes. LV adaptation was measured with 2D-echocardiography at the baseline preseason and every 3 months, according to the macro cyclic periods of training. Nonathletes were observed at the first and fifth stage of the study. Remarkable LV morphological adaptation has been detected in the swimmers. The greatest LV muscle mass (LVMM: 228 ± 46g) and smallest end-diastolic diameter (LVIDd:44.9 ± 3.4mm) were observed at the end of the second general endurance preparation period (GEP2), but the LVMM/BSA3/2 (Rel.LVMM: 85 ± 10g/m) failed to change during the follow-up in athletes. On the basis of our results, we suggest comparing absolute LV dimensions only in studies made at the same training period to avoid bias due to alterations with the training season.

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Ryan J. Hamilton, Carl D. Paton and William G. Hopkins

In a recent study competitive road cyclists experienced substantial gains in sprint and endurance performance when sessions of high-intensity interval training were added to their usual training in the competitive phase of a season. The current study reports the effect of this type of training on performance of 20 distance runners randomized to an experimental or control group for 5 to 7 weeks of training. The experimental group replaced part of their usual competitive-phase training with 10 × 30-minute sessions consisting of 3 sets of explosive single-leg jumps (20 for each leg) alternating with 3 sets of resisted treadmill sprints (5 × 30-second efforts alternating with 30-second recovery). Before and after the training period all runners completed an incremental treadmill test for assessment of lactate threshold and maximum running speed, 2 treadmill runs to exhaustion for prediction of 800- and 1500-m times, and a 5-km outdoor time trial. Relative to the control group, the mean changes (±90% confidence limits) in the experimental group were: maximum running speed, 1.8% (± 1.1%); lactate-threshold speed, 3.5% (±3.4%); predicted 800-m speed, 3.6% (± 1.8%); predicted 1500-m speed, 3.7% (± 3.0%); and 5-km time-trial speed, 1.2% (± 1.1%). We conclude that high-intensity resistance training in the competitive phase is likely to produce beneficial gains in performance for most distance runners.

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Dean Ritchie, Will G. Hopkins, Martin Buchheit, Justin Cordy and Jonathan D. Bartlett

Purpose:

Load monitoring in Australian football (AF) has been widely adopted, yet team-sport periodization strategies are relatively unknown. The authors aimed to quantify training and competition load across a season in an elite AF team, using rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and GPS tracking.

Methods:

Weekly totals for RPE and GPS loads (including accelerometer data; PlayerLoad) were obtained for 44 players across a full season for each training modality and for competition. General linear mixed models compared mean weekly load between 3 preseason and 4 in-season blocks. Effects were assessed with inferences about magnitudes standardized with between-players SD.

Results:

Total RPE load was most likely greater during preseason, where the majority of load was obtained via skills and conditioning. There was a large reduction in RPE load in the last preseason block. During in-season, half the total load came from games and the remaining half from training, predominantly skills and upper-body weights. Total distance, high-intensity running, and PlayerLoad showed large to very large reductions from preseason to in-season, whereas changes in mean speed were trivial across all blocks. All these effects were clear at the 99% level.

Conclusions:

These data provide useful information about targeted periods of loading and unloading across different stages of a season. The study also provides a framework for further investigation of training periodization in AF teams.

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Laurie-Anne Marquet, Christophe Hausswirth, Arnaud Hays, Fabrice Vettoretti and Jeanick Brisswalter

Purpose:

To assess the impact of between-training-sessions recovery strategies (passive [PAS], active [ACT], cold-water immersion [CWI], and ingestion of a recovery drink [NUTR]) on maximal cycling performance, perceptions of delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS), and fatigue in world-class BMX riders.

Methods:

Eleven elite BMX athletes, members of the French national team (top country in the 2011 international ranking, 4 medals at the 2012 World Championships, top European country), participated in the study, which involved standardized training periods. Athletes performed 3 maximal-sprint power tests: the first day of the week before the training session and before and after training on the third day of the week (D3). The recovery strategy was randomly assigned to each participant on day 2 immediately after the last training period of the day. Perceptions of DOMS and general fatigue were recorded on D3.

Results:

After training on D3, the decrease in maximal-sprint power (Pmax) was significantly greater for PAS than with CWI (P = .02) and NUTR (P = .018). Similar results were found with ACT (vs CWI P = .044, and vs NUTR P = .042). Self-reported DOMS and fatigue were significantly greater after PAS than after other strategies.

Conclusions:

For elite BMX riders, between training days, nutritional and/or CWI recovery strategies appear to be best for reducing muscle fatigue and increasing the capacity to withstand the training schedule.

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Jessica C. Dobek, Karen N. White and Katherine B. Gunter

The purpose of this study was to determine the degree to which a novel training program based on activities of daily living (ADL) would affect performance of ADLs, as well as the fitness of older adults. Fourteen individuals (mean age 82 years) took part in a 10-week control period followed by a 10-week ADL-based training program. Pre- and posttests included the Physical Performance Test (PPT), the Physical Functional Performance–10 (PFP-10), and the Senior Fitness Test (SFT). After the training period, improvements ranging from 7% to 33% (p < .05) were seen on the PPT and PFP-10 and on three items of the SFT. After conversion to standard scores, the magnitude of change in the PPT and the PFP-10 was significantly greater (p < .05) than the magnitude of change in the SFT. These data support the idea that this novel ADL-based training program was able to facilitate improved performance of ADLs, as well as select measures of fitness among older adults.

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Monoem Haddad, Anis Chaouachi, Carlo Castagna, Del P. Wong, David G. Behm and Karim Chamari

Purpose:

The session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) is a practical and non-invasive method that allows a quantification of the internal training load (TL) in individual and team sports, but no study has investigated its construct validity in martial arts. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the convergent validity between the session-RPE method and two objective HR-based methods for quantifying the similar TL during a high-TL camp in young Taekwondo (TKD) athletes.

Methods:

Ten young TKD athletes (mean ± SD: age, 13.1 ± 2.4 y; body mass, 46.1 ± 12.7 kg; height, 1.53 ± 0.15 m; maximum heart rate (HRmax), 201.0 ± 8.2 bpm) participated in this study. During the training period, subjects performed 35 TKD training sessions, including two formal competitions during which RPE and HR were recorded and analyzed (308 individual training sessions). Correlation analysis was used to evaluate the convergent validity between session-RPE method and the two commonly used HR-based methods for assessing TL in a variety of training modes.

Results:

Significant relationships were found between individual session-RPE and all the HR-based TLs (r values from 0.55 to 0.90; P < .001). Significant correlations were observed in all mode of exercises practiced in TKD.

Conclusions:

This study shows that session-RPE can be considered as a valid method to assess TL in TKD.