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Myriam Paquette, François Bieuzen and François Billaut

% to 78%, and ∼85% to 87% for 200-, 500-, and 1000-m events, respectively. 1 – 3 In 500- and 1000-m events, athletes are performing at 119% and 102% of VO 2 max, 2 respectively, and therefore, VO 2 max, maximal aerobic power, and lactate threshold are strongly related to performance. 4 – 6 Shorter

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Luana T. Rossato, Camila T.M. Fernandes, Públio F. Vieira, Flávia M.S. de Branco, Paula C. Nahas, Guilherme M. Puga and Erick P. de Oliveira

runners (24.1 [4.3] y), healthy, uninjured, and trained (VO 2 max = 55.8 [4.7] mL·kg −1 ·min −1 ) participated in this study. The participants had at least 3 years of experience in running and presented an average of training frequency of 6 times per week. In addition, all volunteers were well

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Thomas A. Haugen, Espen Tønnessen, Erlend Hem, Svein Leirstein and Stephen Seiler

Purpose:

To quantify VO2max among female competitive soccer players as a function of performance level, field position, and age. In addition, the evolution of VO2max among world-class players over an 18-y period was quantified.

Methods:

Female players (N = 199, 22 ± 4 y, 63 ± 6 kg, height 169 ± 6 cm), including an Olympic winning squad, were tested for VO2max at the Norwegian Olympic Training Center between 1989 and 2007.

Results:

National-team players had 5% higher VO2max than 1st-division players (P = .042, d = 0.4), 13% higher than 2nd-division players (P < .001, d = 1.2), and 9% higher than junior players (P = .005, d = 1.0). Midfielders had 8% higher VO2max than goalkeepers (P = .048, d = 1.1). No significant differences were observed across outfield players or different age categories. There was a trend toward lower relative VO2max across time epochs.

Conclusions:

This study demonstrated that VO2max varies across playing-standard level in women’s soccer. No significant differences in VO2max were observed across outfield positions and age categories. Over time, there has been a slight negative development in VO2max among elite Norwegian soccer players.

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James Faulkner, Alexis R. Mauger, Brandon Woolley and Danielle Lambrick

Purpose:

To assess the utility of a self-paced maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) test (SPV) in eliciting an accurate measure of VO2max in comparison with a traditional graded exercise test (GXT) during motorized treadmill exercise.

Design:

This was a cross-sectional experimental study whereby recreationally trained men (n = 13, 25.5 ± 4.6 y) completed 2 maximal exercise tests (SPV, GXT) separated by a 72-h recovery period.

Methods:

The GXT was continuous and incremental, with prescribed 1-km/h increases every 2 min until the attainment of VO2max. The SPV consisted of 5 × 2-min stages of incremental exercise, which were self-selected and adjusted according to 5 prescribed RPE levels (RPE 11, 13, 15, 17, and 20).

Results:

Although no significant differences in VO2max were observed between the SPV and GXT (63.9 ± 3.3 cf 60.9 ± 4.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1, respectively, P > .05), the apparent 4.7% mean difference may be practically important. The 95% limits-of-agreement analysis was 3.03 ± 11.49 mL · kg−1 · min−1. Therefore, in the worst-case scenario, the GXT may underestimate measured VO2max as ascertained by the SPV by up to 19%. Conversely, the SPV could underestimate the GXT by 14%.

Conclusions:

The current study has shown that the SPV is an accurate measure of VO2max during exercise on a motorized treadmill and may provide a slightly higher VO2max value than that obtained from a traditional GXT. The higher VO2max during the SPV may be important when prescribing training or monitoring athlete progression.

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Kristen L. Heck, Jeffrey A. Potteiger, Karen L. Nau and Jan M. Schroeder

We examined the effects of sodium bicarbonate ingestion on the VO2 slow component during constant-load exercise. Twelve physically active males performed two 30-min cycling trials at an intensity above the lactate threshold. Subjects ingested either sodium bicarbonate (BIC) or placebo (PLC) in a randomized. counterbalanced order. Arterialized capillary blood samples were analyzed for pH, bicarbonate concentration ([HCO3 ), and lactate concentration ([La]). Expired gas samples were analyzed for oxygen consumption (VO2). The VO2 slow component was defined as the change in VO2 from Minutes 3 and 4 to Minutes 28 and 29. Values for pH and [HCO3 ] were significantly higher for BIC compared to PLC. There was no significant difference in [La] between conditions. For both conditions there was a significant time effect for VO2 during exercise: however, no significant difference was observed between BIC and PLC. While extracellular acid-base measures were altered during the BIC trial, sodium bicarbonate ingestion did not attenuate the VO2 slow component during constant-load exercise.

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Ana Sousa, João Paulo Vilas-Boas, Ricardo J. Fernandes and Pedro Figueiredo

Purpose:

To establish appropriate work intensity for interval training that would elicit maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) for well-trained swimmers.

Methods:

Twelve male competitive swimmers completed an incremental protocol to determine the minimum velocity at VO2max (νVO2max) and, in randomized order, 3 square-wave exercises from rest to 95%, 100%, and 105% of νVO2max. Temporal aspects of the VO2 response were examined in these latter.

Results:

Swimming at 105% of νVO2max took less (P < .04) absolute time to achieve 90%, 95%, and 100% of VO2max intensities (35.0 ± 7.7, 58.3 ± 15.9, 58.3 ± 19.3 s) compared with 95% (72.1 ± 34.3, 106.7 ± 43.9, 151.1 ± 52.4 s) and 100% (55.8 ± 24.5, 84.2 ± 35.4, 95.6 ± 29.8 s) of VO2max. However, swimming at 95% of νVO2max resulted in longer absolute time (P < .001) at or above the desired intensities (90%: 268.3 ± 72.5 s; 95%: 233.8 ± 74.3 s; 100%: 173.6 ± 78.2 s) and more relative time at or above 95% of VO2max than 105% of νVO2max (68.6% ± 13.5% vs 55.3% ± 11.5%, P < .03), and at or above 100% of VO2max than 100% and 105% of νVO2max (52.7% ± 16.3% vs 28.2% ± 10.5% and 34.0% ± 11.3%, P < .001). At 60 s of effort, swimmers achieved 85.8% ± 11.2%, 88.3% ± 5.9%, and 94.7% ± 5.5% of the VO2max when swimming at 95%, 100%, and 105% of νVO2max, respectively.

Conclusions:

When training to elicit VO2max, using higher swimming intensities will promote a faster VO2 response but a shorter time spent above these intensities. However, lower intensities allow maintaining the desired response for a longer period of time. Moreover, using the 60-s time period seem to be a more adequate stimulus than shorter ones (~30-s), especially when performed at 105% of νVO2max intensity.

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Cameron P. Brewer, Brian Dawson, Karen E. Wallman and Kym J. Guelfi

Research into supplementation with sodium phosphate has not investigated the effects of a repeated supplementation phase. Therefore, this study examined the potential additive effects of repeated sodium phosphate (SP) supplementation on cycling time-trial performance and peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak). Trained male cyclists (N = 9, M ± SD VO2peak = 65.2 ± 4.8 ml · kg−1 · min−1) completed baseline 1,000-kJ time-trial and VO2peak tests separated by 48 hr, then ingested either 50 mg · kg fat-free mass−1 · d−1 of tribasic SP or a combined glucose and NaCl placebo for 6 d before performing these tests again. A 14-d washout period separated the end of one loading phase and the start of the next, with 2 SP and 1 placebo phase completed in a counterbalanced order. Although time-trial performance (55.3–56.5 min) was shorter in SP1 and SP2 (~60–70 s), effect sizes and smallest-worthwhile-change values did not differ in comparison with baseline and placebo. However, mean power output was greater than placebo during time-trial performance at the 250-kJ and 500-kJ time points (p < .05) after the second SP phase. Furthermore, mean VO2peak values (p < .01) were greater after the SP1 (3.5–4.3%), with further improvements (p < .01) found in SP2 (7.1–7.7%), compared with baseline and placebo. In summary, repeated SP supplementation, ingested either 15 or 35 d after initial loading, can have an additive effect on VO2peak and possibly time-trial performance.

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James S. Hogg, James G. Hopker and Alexis R. Mauger

Purpose:

The novel self-paced maximal-oxygen-uptake (VO2max) test (SPV) may be a more suitable alternative to traditional maximal tests for elite athletes due to the ability to self-regulate pace. This study aimed to examine whether the SPV can be administered on a motorized treadmill.

Methods:

Fourteen highly trained male distance runners performed a standard graded exercise test (GXT), an incline-based SPV (SPVincline), and a speed-based SPV (SPVspeed). The GXT included a plateau-verification stage. Both SPV protocols included 5 × 2-min stages (and a plateau-verification stage) and allowed for self-pacing based on fixed increments of rating of perceived exertion: 11, 13, 15, 17, and 20. The participants varied their speed and incline on the treadmill by moving between different marked zones in which the tester would then adjust the intensity.

Results:

There was no significant difference (P = .319, ES = 0.21) in the VO2max achieved in the SPVspeed (67.6 ± 3.6 mL · kg−1 · min−1, 95%CI = 65.6–69.7 mL · kg−1 · min−1) compared with that achieved in the GXT (68.6 ± 6.0 mL · kg−1 · min−1, 95%CI = 65.1–72.1 mL · kg−1 · min−1). Participants achieved a significantly higher VO2max in the SPVincline (70.6 ± 4.3 mL · kg−1 · min−1, 95%CI = 68.1–73.0 mL · kg−1 · min−1) than in either the GXT (P = .027, ES = 0.39) or SPVspeed (P = .001, ES = 0.76).

Conclusions:

The SPVspeed protocol produces VO2max values similar to those obtained in the GXT and may represent a more appropriate and athlete-friendly test that is more oriented toward the variable speed found in competitive sport.

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Mitsuo Neya, Taisuke Enoki, Nao Ohiwa, Takashi Kawahara and Christopher J. Gore

Purpose:

To quantify the changes of hemoglobin mass (Hbmass) and maximum oxygen consumption (VO2max) after 22 days training at 1300–1800 m combined with nightly exposure to 3000-m simulated altitude. We hypothesized that with simulated 3000-m altitude, an adequate beneficial dose could be as little as 10 h/24 h.

Methods:

Fourteen male collegiate runners were equally divided into 2 groups: altitude (ALT) and control (CON). Both groups spent 22 days at 1300–1800 m. ALT spent 10 h/night for 21 nights in simulated altitude (3000 m), and CON stayed at 1300 m. VO2max and Hbmass were measured twice before and once after the intervention. Blood was collected for assessment of percent reticulocytes (%retics), serum erythropoietin (EPO), ferritin, and soluble transferrin receptor (sTfR) concentrations.

Results:

Compared with CON there was an almost certain increase in absolute VO2max (8.6%, 90% confidence interval 4.8–12.6%) and a likely increase in absolute Hbmass (3.5%; 0.9–6.2%) at postintervention. The %retics were at least very likely higher in ALT than in CON throughout the 21 nights, and sTfR was also very likely higher in the ALT group until day 17. EPO of ALT was likely higher than that of CON on days 1 and 5 at altitude, whereas serum ferritin was likely lower in ALT than CON for most of the intervention.

Conclusions:

Together the combination of the natural and simulated altitude was a sufficient total dose of hypoxia to increase both Hbmass and VO2max.

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J. Mark Davis, Catherine J. Carlstedt, Stephen Chen, Martin D. Carmichael and E. Angela Murphy

Quercetin, a natural polyphenolic flavonoid substance present in a variety of food plants, has been shown in vitro and in animal studies to have widespread health and performance benefits resulting from a combination of biological properties, including antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity, as well as the ability to increase mitochondrial biogenesis. Little is known about these effects in humans, however, especially with respect to exercise performance. The authors determined whether quercetin ingestion would enhance maximal aerobic capacity and delay fatigue during prolonged exercise in healthy but untrained participants. Twelve volunteers were randomly assigned to 1 of 2 treatments: (a) 500 mg of quercetin twice daily dissolved in vitamin-enriched Tang or (b) a nondistinguishable placebo (Tang). Baseline VO2max and bike-ride times to fatigue were established. Treatments were administered for a period of 7 days using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study design. After treatment both VO2max and ride time to fatigue were determined. Seven days of quercetin feedings were associated with a modest increase in VO2max (3.9% vs. placebo; p < .05) along with a substantial (13.2%) increase in ride time to fatigue (p < .05). These data suggest that as little as 7 days of quercetin supplementation can increase endurance without exercise training in untrained participants. These benefits of quercetin may have important implications for enhancement of athletic and military performance. This apparent increase in fitness without exercise training may have implications beyond that of performance enhancement to health promotion and disease prevention.