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Petter Fagerberg

et al., 1988 ; Hagmar et al., 2013 ; Hetland et al., 1993 ; MacConnie et al., 1986 ; Olmedillas et al., 2011 ; Smathers et al., 2009 ; Wheeler et al., 1984 ), potentially due to long-term LEA ( Mountjoy et al., 2014 , 2015 ). Bodybuilding is a sport in which athletes compete to show extreme

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Lindy M. Rossow, David H. Fukuda, Christopher A. Fahs, Jeremy P. Loenneke and Jeffrey R. Stout

Bodybuilding is a sport in which competitors are judged on muscular appearance. This case study tracked a drug-free male bodybuilder (age 26–27 y) for the 6 mo before and after a competition.

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to provide the most comprehensive physiological profile of bodybuilding competition preparation and recovery ever compiled.

Methods:

Cardiovascular parameters, body composition, strength, aerobic capacity, critical power, mood state, resting energy expenditure, and hormonal and other blood parameters were evaluated.

Results:

Heart rate decreased from 53 to 27 beats/min during preparation and increased to 46 beats/min within 1 mo after competition. Brachial blood pressure dropped from 132/69 to 104/56 mmHg during preparation and returned to 116/64 mmHg at 6 mo after competition. Percent body fat declined from 14.8% to 4.5% during preparation and returned to 14.6% during recovery. Strength decreased during preparation and did not fully recover during 6 months of recovery. Testosterone declined from 9.22 to 2.27 ng/mL during preparation and returned back to the baseline level, 9.91 ng/mL, after competition. Total mood disturbance increased from 6 to 43 units during preparation and recovered to 4 units 6 mo after competition.

Conclusions:

This case study provides a thorough documentation of the physiological changes that occurred during natural bodybuilding competition and recovery.

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Brandon M. Kistler, Peter J. Fitschen, Sushant M. Ranadive, Bo Fernhall and Kenneth R. Wilund

The purpose of this study was to document the physiological changes that occur in a natural bodybuilder during prolonged contest preparation for a proqualifying contest. During the 26-week preparation, the athlete undertook a calorically restrictive diet with 2 days of elevated carbohydrate intake per week, increased cardiovascular (CV) training, and attempted to maintain resistance-training load. The athlete was weighed twice a week and body composition was measured monthly by DXA. At baseline and every 2 weeks following CV structure and function was measured using a combination of ultrasound, applanation tonometry, and heart rate variability (HRV). Cardiorespiratory performance was measured by VO2peak at baseline, 13 weeks, and 26 weeks. Body weight (88.6 to 73.3 Kg, R 2 = .99) and percent body fat (17.5 to 7.4%) were reduced during preparation. CV measurements including blood pressure (128/61 to 113/54mmHg), brachial pulse wave velocity (7.9 to 5.8m/s), and measures of wave reflection all improved. Indexed cardiac output was reduced (2.5 to 1.8L/m2) primarily due to a reduction in resting heart rate (71 to 44bpm), and despite an increase in ejection faction (57.9 to 63.9%). Assessment of HRV found a shift in the ratio of low to high frequency (209.2 to 30.9%). Absolute VO2 was minimally reduced despite weight loss resulting in an increase in relative VO2 (41.9 to 47.7ml/Kg). In general, this prolonged contest preparation technique helped the athlete to improve body composition and resulted in positive CV changes, suggesting that this method of contest preparation appears to be effective in natural male bodybuilders.

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Eric T. Trexler, Katie R. Hirsch, Bill I. Campbell and Abbie E. Smith-Ryan

The purpose of the current study was to evaluate changes in body composition, metabolic rate, and hormones during postcompetition recovery. Data were collected from natural physique athletes (7 male/8 female) within one week before (T1) competition, within one week after (T2), and 4–6 weeks after (T3) competition. Measures included body composition (fat mass [FM] and lean mass [LM] from ultrasongraphy), resting metabolic rate (RMR; indirect calorimetry), and salivary leptin, testosterone, cortisol, ghrelin, and insulin. Total body water (TBW; bioelectrical impedance spectroscopy) was measured at T1 and T2 in a subsample (n = 8) of athletes. Significant (p < .05) changes were observed for weight (T1 = 65.4 ± 12.2 kg, T2 = 67.4 ± 12.6, T3 = 69.3 ± 13.4; T3 > T2 > T1), LM (T1 = 57.6 ± 13.9 kg, T2 = 59.4 ± 14.2, T3 = 59.3 ± 14.2; T2 and T3 > T1), and FM (T1 = 7.7 ± 4.4 kg, T2 = 8.0 ± 4.4, T3 = 10.0 ± 6.2; T3 > T1 and T2). TBW increased from T1 to T2 (Δ=1.9 ± 1.3 L, p < .01). RMR increased from baseline (1612 ± 266 kcal/day; 92.0% of predicted) to T2 (1881 ± 329, 105.3%; p < .01) and T3 (1778 ± 257, 99.6%; p < .001). Cortisol was higher (p < .05) at T2 (0.41 ± 0.31 μg/dL) than T1 (0.34 ± 0.31) and T3 (0.35 ± 0.27). Male testosterone at T3 (186.6 ± 41.3 pg/mL) was greater than T2 (148.0 ± 44.6, p = .04). RMR changes were associated (p ≤ .05) with change in body fat percent (ΔBF%; r = .59) and T3 protein intake (r= .60); male testosterone changes were inversely associated (p≤ .05) with ΔBF%, ΔFM, and Δweight (r=-0.81–-0.88). TBW increased within days of competition. Precompetition RMR suppression appeared to be variable and markedly reversed by overfeeding, and reverted toward normal levels following competition. RMR and male testosterone increased while FM was preferentially gained 4–6 weeks postcompetition.

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Bill I. Campbell, Danielle Aguilar, Laurin Conlin, Andres Vargas, Brad Jon Schoenfeld, Amey Corson, Chris Gai, Shiva Best, Elfego Galvan and Kaylee Couvillion

Aspiring female physique athletes are often encouraged to ingest relatively high levels of dietary protein in conjunction with their resistance training programs. However, there is little to no research investigating higher versus lower protein intakes in this population. This study examined the influence of a high versus low-protein diet in conjunction with an 8-week resistance training program in this population. A total of 17 females (21.2 ± 2.1 years; 165.1 ± 5.1 cm; 61 ± 6.1 kg) were randomly assigned to a high-protein diet (HP: 2.5 g·kg−1·day−1; n = 8) or a low-protein diet (LP: 0.9 g·kg−1·day−1, n = 9) and were assessed for body composition and maximal strength prior to and after the 8-week protein intake and exercise intervention. Fat-free mass increased significantly more in the HP group as compared with the LP group (p = .009), going from 47.1 ± 4.5 to 49.2 ± 5.4 kg (+2.1 kg) and from 48.1 ± 2.7 to 48.7 ± 2 kg (+0.6 kg) in the HP and LP groups, respectively. Fat mass significantly decreased over time in the HP group (14.1 ± 3.6 to 13.0 ± 3.3 kg; p < .01), but no change was observed in the LP group (13.2 ± 3.7 to 12.5 ± 3.0 kg). Although maximal strength significantly increased in both groups, there were no differences in strength improvements between the two groups. In aspiring female physique athletes, a higher protein diet is superior to a lower protein diet in terms of increasing fat-free mass in conjunction with a resistance training program.

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Sharon R. Guthrie, Cathy Ferguson and Dixie Grimmett

This research examined the nutritional practices and body images of 13 competitive women bodybuilders living in southern California and in the Midwest. Data collection included both structured interviews and survey methods. Findings indicate nutritional health and positive body image among this sample of women. None of the bodybuilders had anorexia nervosa or bulimia nervosa, as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-III-R; American Psychiatric Association, 1987) criteria, were binge eaters or used pathogenic weight control measures. Instead, they reported significant improvement in their nutritional attitudes and behaviors after beginning bodybuilding training. These data suggest a relationship between participating in competitive bodybuilding and other behaviors related to nutrition and self-perception.

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Tracy W. Olrich and Martha E. Ewing

A significant amount of attention has been given to the psychological effects of anabolic-androgenic steroid (AAS) use in sport (Bahrke, Yesalis, & Wright, 1996). However, apart from a few selected case studies, a relative dearth of information has been provided concerning the subjective experience of people using AAS. The purpose of this study was to examine the perceptions of 10 men who were using or had previously used AAS. The participants in this study were weight trainers with primarily a bodybuilding emphasis. All had used AAS at some point in their training experience. The study involved in-depth interviews focusing on the AAS use experience. Nine of the 10 men described their AAS use experience in a very favorable manner. The men perceived increases in muscle mass, strength, peer recognition, social status, sexual performance, and vocational performance. These findings are discussed relative to current AAS educational programs and interventions.

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Sara Long Anderson, Kate Zager, Ronald K. Hetzler, Marcia Nahikian-Nelms and Georganne Syler

The intensity and effort of bodybuilding training suggest an overinvestment in body shape and physical appearance, which has been suggested to be a risk factor for developing eating disorders. The purpose of this study was to investigate the prevalence of eating disorder tendencies among a sample of collegiate male bodybuilders (BB, n = 68) and controls (C, n = 50) (nonbodybuilders), using the Eating Disorders Inventory 2 (EDI-2). T tests were used to test the hypothesis that bodybuilders' scores would be higher than those of controls. The mean scores on the EDI-2 did not indicate the presence of eating disorder tendencies for either group. Controls scored significantly higher than bodybuilders on the Body Dissatisfaction scale. Results indicate that when the EDI-2 is used, college-age male bodybuilders are not shown to be more likely to have eating disorders than a group of college-age male controls.

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Arny A. Ferrando and Nancy R. Green

The effect of boron supplementation was investigated in 19 male bodybuilders, ages 20–27 years. Ten were given a 2.5-mg boron supplement while 9 were given a placebo every day for 7 weeks. Plasma total and free testosterone, plasma boron, lean body mass, and strength measurements were determined on Days 1 and 49 of the study. Plasma boron values were significantly (p<0.05) different as the experimental group increased from (±SD) 20.1 ±7.7 ppb pretest to 32.6 ±27.6 ppb posttest, while the control group mean decreased from 15.1 ±14.4 ppb pretest to 6.3 ±5.5 ppb posttest. Analysis of variance indicated no significant effect of boron supplementation on any of the dependent variables. Both groups demonstrated significant increases in total testosterone, lean body mass, 1-RM squat, and 1-RM bench press. The findings suggest that 7 weeks of bodybuilding can increase total testosterone, lean body mass, and strength in lesser trained bodybuilders, and that boron supplementation had no effect on these measures.

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Andrew Pardue, Eric T. Trexler and Lisa K. Sprod

Extreme body composition demands of competitive bodybuilding have been associated with unfavorable physiological changes, including alterations in metabolic rate and endocrine profile. The current case study evaluated the effects of contest preparation (8 months), followed by recovery (5 months), on a competitive drug-free male bodybuilder over 13 months (M1-M13). Serum testosterone, triiodothyronine (T3), thyroxine (T4), cortisol, leptin, and ghrelin were measured throughout the study. Body composition (BodPod, dualenergy x-ray absorptiometry [DXA]), anaerobic power (Wingate test), and resting metabolic rate (RMR) were assessed monthly. Sleep was assessed monthly via the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) and actigraphy. From M1 to M8, testosterone (623–173 ng∙dL-1), T3 (123–40 ng∙dL-1), and T4 (5.8–4.1 mg∙dL-1) decreased, while cortisol (25.2–26.5 mg∙dL-1) and ghrelin (383–822 pg∙mL-1) increased. The participant lost 9.1 kg before competition as typical energy intake dropped from 3,860 to 1,724 kcal∙day-1; BodPod estimates of body fat percentage were 13.4% at M1, 9.6% at M8, and 14.9% at M13; DXA estimates were 13.8%, 5.1%, and 13.8%, respectively. Peak anaerobic power (753.0 to 536.5 Watts) and RMR (107.2% of predicted to 81.2% of predicted) also decreased throughout preparation. Subjective sleep quality decreased from M1 to M8, but objective measures indicated minimal change. By M13, physiological changes were largely, but not entirely, reversed. Contest preparation may yield transient, unfavorable changes in endocrine profile, power output, RMR, and subjective sleep outcomes. Research with larger samples must identify strategies that minimize unfavorable adaptations and facilitate recovery following competition.