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Effects of Terbutaline Sulfate on Physiological and Biomechanical as Well as Perceived Exertion in Healthy Active Athletes: A Pilot Study

Abstract

This study aimed to investigate the effects of beta2‐agonist terbutaline sulfate (TER) at a supra‐therapeutic dose (8 mg) on aerobic exercise performance. Twelve (6 females and 6 males) amateur athletes familiarized with all experimental procedures had their anthropometric data obtained on day 1. On days 2 and 3 either 8 mg of TER or a placebo (PLA) was administered orally (double‐blind manner) to participants who had rested for 3 h prior to aerobic exercise performance 20 m multistage fitness test (MSFT)]. This test was used to predict maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and velocity at which VO2max occurs (vVO2max). The Borg rating of perceived exertion (RPE), cardiovascular variables [heart rate (HR) and blood pressure (BP)] and blood glucose concentration [BGC] were obtained 15 min pre‐ and immediately post‐MSFT. Significant mean group differences were reported between PLA and TER groups (p < 0.05), respectively, in the RPE (15.6 ± 1.2 vs. 17.3 ± 1.5 a.u.), maximum heart rate (HRmax: 191.2 ± 7.1 vs. 197.2 ± 8.6 bpm) and BGC (118.4 ± 18.3 vs. 141.2 ± 15.8 mg/dL) post‐MSFT. The main effect of gender (male vs. female) in TER and PLA groups (p< 0.05) was observed, with higher estimated VO2max, vVO2max, HRmax and a lower mean HR pre‐test in male than female athletes. For these reasons, the inclusion of TER in the Prohibited List should be re‐discussed because of the lack of ergogenic effects.

Open access
International Standards for the 3‐Minute Burpee Test: High‐ Intensity Motor Performance

Abstract

The aim of this study was to develop international standards for evaluating strength endurance with the use of the 3‐Minute Burpee Test. The results of 3862 women (Poland – 2502, Great Britain – 500, Hungary – 412, Serbia – 448) and 5971 men (Poland – 4517, Great Britain – 500, Hungary – 451, Serbia – 503) aged 18‐25 (mean age of 20.36 ± 0.94 and 20.05 ± 1.25 y, respectively) were collated between 2004 and 2018. The students’ strength endurance was evaluated in the 3‐Minute Burpee Test. The results were expressed on a uniform scale with the 3‐sigma rule which was used to develop the T‐score scale for the 3‐Minute Burpee Test. Men completed 56.69 cycles/3 min and women – 48.84/3 min on average. The best male participant completed 82 burpees, and the best female participant – 73 burpees. The majority of male and female participants (66.71% and 68.18%, respectively) were characterized by average strength endurance in the 3‐Minute Burpee Test (range of scores: 47‐66 and 37‐60 cycles/3 min, respectively). Very good strength endurance (76‐85 and 72‐83 cycles/3 min, respectively) was noted in the smallest percentage of male and female participants (0.52% and 0.26%, respectively). Similar studies should be carried out in other countries and in different age groups to develop objective international classification standards for variously‐aged individuals.

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Is Test Standardization Important when Arm and Leg Muscle Mechanical Properties are Assessed Through the Force‐Velocity Relationship?

Abstract

The force‐velocity (F‐V) relationship observed in multi‐joint tasks proved to be strong and approximately linear. Recent studies showed that mechanical properties of muscles: force (F), velocity (V) and power (P) could be assessed through the F‐V relationship although the testing methods have not been standardized. The aim of the present study was to evaluate and compare F‐V relationships assessed from two tests performed on a modified Smith machine that standardizes kinematics of the movement pattern. Fifteen participants were tested on the maximum performance bench press throws and squat jumps performed against a variety of different loads. In addition, their strength properties were assessed through maximum isometric force (Fiso) and one repetition maximum (1 RM). The observed individual F‐V relationships were exceptionally strong and approximately linear (r = 0.98 for bench press throws; r = 0.99 for squat jumps). F‐V relationship parameter depicting maximum force (F0) revealed high correlations with both Fiso and 1 RM indicating high concurrent validity (p < 0.01). However, the generalizability of F‐V relationship parameters depicting maximum force (F0), velocity (V0) and power (P0) of the tested muscle groups was inconsistent and on average low (i.e. F0; r = ‐0.24) to moderate (i.e. V0 and P0; r = 0.54 and r = 0.64, respectively; both p < 0.05). We concluded that the F‐V relationship could be used for the assessment of arm and leg muscle mechanical properties when standard tests are applied, since the typical outcome is an exceptionally strong and linear F‐V relationship, as well as high concurrent validity of its parameters. However, muscle mechanical properties could be only partially generalized across different tests and muscles.

Open access
Less Than One Millimeter Under the Great Toe is Enough to Change Balance Ability in Elite Women Handball Players

Abstract

Team handball is a complex intermittent sport game, which requires several motor abilities and effective postural control. Objective evaluation of stabilometric variables may be interesting to assess and improve functional parameters by postural control management. The purpose of the study was to evaluate the effects of a small additional thickness placed under the great toe (TUGT) on the Centre of Pressure (CoP) parameters in elite women handball players. Fourteen elite women handball players voluntarily participated in this study. Two conditions were compared: TUGT 0 (control) and TUGT 0.8 mm; four variables were computed from the CoP displacements. A paired T‐test was performed for each variable. This study concludes that a low focal additional thickness placed under both great toes has an effect on the CoP measures used to assess postural control during an unperturbed stance. These results suggest that a low TUGT could contribute to a change in balance ability, and may be of clinical interest. This brings new perspectives in the management of athletes to prevent injury risk and optimize performance.

Open access
Monitoring Changes Over a Training Macrocycle in Regional Age‐Group Swimmers

Abstract

Our aim was to analyze physiological, kinematical and performance changes induced by swimming training in regional age‐group athletes. Subjects (15.7 ± 2.2 years old) performed a 4 x 50‐m front‐crawl test at maximal velocity (10 s rest interval) in weeks 2, 4, 9 and 12 of a 15‐week macrocycle. Descriptive statistics were used and the percentage of change and smallest worthwhile change (moderate, 0.6‐1.2, and large, > 1.2) were measured. Lactate concentration in the third, seventh and twelfth minute of recovery decreased significantly between weeks 2‐9 (14.1, 15.7 and 17.6%) and increased between weeks 9‐12 (18.2, 18.6 and 19.8%), with the HR presenting only trivial variations during the training period. Stroke length showed a large decrease in the first 50‐m trial between weeks 4‐9 (6.2%) and a large increase between weeks 9‐12 (3.1%). The stroke rate (in all 50‐m trials) increased significantly between weeks 4‐9 (3‐ 7%) and the stroke index had a moderate to large increase in the first and third 50‐m trial (3.6 and 7.1%, respectively) between weeks 9‐12. The overall time decreased by 1.1% between weeks 2‐12, being more evident after week 4. We concluded that physiological, kinematical and performance variables were affected by the period of training in regional age‐group swimmers.

Open access
No Pain, No Gain? Prevalence, Location, Context, and Coping Strategies with Regard to Pain Among Young German Elite Basketball Players

Abstract

Pain among young athletes requires special attention given that symptoms occur during the ongoing development of the conditional, and in particular, the motor capacities, and while the musculoskeletal system is in a continuous process of growth. The purpose of this study was to evaluate prevalence, location, context, and coping strategies regarding pain among young athletes. We chose survey data of young elite athletes from the highest level national basketball leagues in Germany, as this meant that health implications may be observed earlier and in a more pronounced manner. The German ‘Adolescents’ and Children’s Health in Elite Basketball study’ (ACHE study), a quantitative survey, was conducted between April and June 2016. Analyses were based on elite basketball players between 13 and 19 years of age from 46 German teams (n = 182). Constant, and to some extent severe pain, was part of daily life of young elite basketball players: eight out of ten players in the highest German leagues suffered from pain at the time of the survey. Knee, leg, and back pain occurred most frequently. For most players, occasional or frequent consumption of analgesics was the norm, in some cases these were also taken “prophylactically”. The consumption of multiple pharmaceutical substances, especially of cyclooxygenase inhibitors such as ibuprofen and diclofenac, is widespread among adolescent elite basketball players. Physicians involved in treating these athletes should address pain and its management preemptively. Coaches, sporting organizations and parents should be involved in this process from an early stage.

Open access
Physical Performance Differences Between Starter and Non‐Starter Players During Professional Soccer Friendly Matches

Abstract

The aim of this study was to investigate the physical performance differences between players that started (i.e. starters, ≥65 minutes played) and those that were substituted into (i.e. non‐starter) soccer friendly matches. Fourteen professional players (age: 23.2 ± 2.7 years, body height: 178 ± 6 cm, body mass: 73.2 ± 6.9 kg) took part in this study. Twenty, physical performance‐related match variables (e.g. distance covered at different intensities, accelerations and decelerations, player load, maximal running speed, exertion index, work‐to‐rest ratio and rating of perceived exertion) were collected during two matches. Results were analysed using effect sizes (ES) and magnitude based inferences. Compared to starters, non‐starters covered greater match distance within the following intensity categories: >3.3≤4.2m/s (very likely), >4.2≤5 m/s (likely) and >5≤6.9 m/s (likely). In contrast, similar match average acceleration and deceleration values were identified for starters and non‐starters (trivial). Indicators of workloads including player loads (very likely), the exertion index (very likely), and the work–to‐rest ratio (very likely) were greater, while self‐ reported ratings of perceived exertion were lower (likely) for non‐starters compared to starters. The current study demonstrates that substantial physical performance differences during friendly soccer matches exist between starters and non‐starters. Identification of these differences enables coaches and analysts to potentially prescribe optimal training loads and microcycles based upon player’s match starting status.

Open access
Player Load and Metabolic Power Dynamics as Load Quantifiers in Soccer

Abstract

There has recently been an increase in quantification and objective analysis of soccer performance due to improvements in technology using load indexes such as Player Load (PL) and Metabolic Power (MP). The objectives of this study were: (1) to describe the performance of PL and MP in competition according to the specific role, match‐to‐ match variation, periods of play, game location and match status according to game periods, and (2) to analyze the relationship between both indexes. Twenty‐one national‐level soccer players were distributed in the following specific positional roles: external defenders (ED) (n = 4), central defenders (CD) (n = 4), midfielders (M) (n = 5), external midfielders (EM) (n = 4) and attackers (A) (n = 4). A total of 12 matches played by a Spanish Third Division team during the 2016/2017 season were analyzed. WIMU PROTM inertial devices (RealTrack System, Almeria, Spain) were used for recording the data. The main results were: (1) a performance reduction in both variables over the course of match time, (2) significant differences in both variables based on the specific position, (3) differences in physical demands during the season matches, (4) winning during a game period and the condition of being the visitor team provoked higher demands, and (5) a high correlation between both variables in soccer. In conclusion, different contextual variables influence the external load demands; both indexes are related so they could be used for external load quantification, and it is necessary to analyze physical demands of the competition for a specific and individualized load design in training sessions.

Open access
Post‐Activation Potentiation: Is there an Optimal Training Volume and Intensity to Induce Improvements in Vertical Jump Ability in Highly‐Trained Subjects?

Abstract

The aim of this study was to compare the acute effects of performing half squats (HSs) with different loading intensities (1, 3, and 5 repetitions maximum [RM], and 60% 1RM) and a different number of sets (1, 2, and 3) on the countermovement jump (CMJ) performance of 18 highly‐trained male subjects. Participants were submitted to four experimental conditions (1RM, 3RM, 5RM, and 60% 1RM) in randomized order. The CMJ was assessed before and after each set. Differences in CMJ performance between the distinct experimental conditions and individual responses in CMJ performance induced by the different protocols were analyzed via the magnitude‐based inference method. Overall, significant improvements were detected in individual CMJ heights after each activation protocol. It can be concluded that the use of 1 to 3 sets of HSs performed at moderate‐to‐high loads may be an effective strategy to improve jump performance in highly‐trained subjects. Nonetheless, despite the high efficiency of the protocols tested here, coaches and researchers are strongly encouraged to perform individualized assessments within the proposed range of loads and sets, to find optimal and tailored post‐activation potentiation protocols.

Open access
Post-Activation Potentiation on Squat Jump Following Two Different Protocols: Traditional vs. Inertial Flywheel

Abstract

Post‐activation potentiation (PAP) has been defined as a major enhancement of muscular performance following a preload stimulus. The eccentric actions seem to cause a potentiating effect on subsequent explosive exercises. The aim of this study was to determine whether a protocol of squat exercise using an inertial flywheel could have a potentiating effect on jump performance. Sixteen physically active volunteers participated in the study (age: 21.8 ± 2.7 years; body mass index: 23.6 ± 3). All participants completed two different protocols on separate days: a Traditional Protocol (using a half squat with a guided barbell) and an Inertial Flywheel Protocol (using a half squat with an inertial flywheel). Both protocols were similar and consisted of 3 x 6 reps at the load that maximized power, with a 3‐minute rest interval between sets. The squat jump (SJ) was measured by a contact platform at baseline, and four, eight and twelve minutes after the PAP stimulus. A two‐way ANOVA with repeated measures was performed to analyze significant differences over time. There were significant increases of SJ height (p = 0.004, d = 0.665), velocity (p = 0.003, d = 0.688) and power (p = 0.004, d = 0.682) from baseline after the inertial flywheel protocol. A significant interaction effect (time x protocol) was observed, showing that the inertial flywheel protocol had a potentiating effect on the jump performance compared to the traditional protocol, more specifically at 4 and 8 minutes after the PAP stimulus. In conclusion, the inertial flywheel protocol showed a potentiating effect on the squat jump performance, thus this pre‐ conditioning activity could be useful during the warm‐up before the competition.

Open access