The purpose of this study was to determine ice-hockey players’ playing intensity based on their heart rates (HRs) recorded during a game and on the outcomes of an incremental maximum oxygen uptake test. Twenty ice-hockey players, members of the Polish junior national team (U18), performed an incremental test to assess their maximal oxygen uptake (V̇ O2max) in the two week’s period preceding 5 games they played at the World Championships. Players’ HRs at the first and second ventilatory thresholds obtained during the test were utilized to determine intensity zones (low, moderate, and high) that were subsequently used to classify HR values recorded during each of the games. For individual intensity zones, the following HRs expressed as mean values and as percentages of the maximal heart rate (HRmax) were obtained: forwards 148-158 b⋅min-1 (79.5-84.8% HRmax), 159-178 b⋅min-1 (85.4-95.6% HRmax), 179-186 b⋅min-1 (96.1-100.0% HRmax); defensemen 149-153 b⋅min-1 (80.0-82.1% HRmax), 154-175 b⋅min-1 (82.6- 94.0% HRmax), 176-186 b⋅min-1 (94.5-100.0% HRmax). The amount of time the forwards and defensemen spent in the three intensity zones expressed as percentages of the total time of the game were: 54.91 vs. 55.62% (low), 26.40 vs. 22.38% (moderate) and 18.68 vs. 22.00% (high). The forwards spent more time in the low intensity zone than the defensemen, however, the difference was not statistically significant. The results of the study indicate that using aerobic and anaerobic metabolism variables to determine intensity zones can significantly improve the reliability of evaluation of the physiological demands of the game, and can be a useful tool for coaches in managing the training process.
The study aimed to determine the values of selected aerobic and anaerobic capacity variables, physical profiles, and to analyze the results of on-ice tests performed by ice-hockey players relegated to a lower league. Performance of 24 ice-hockey players competing in the top league in the 2012/2013 season was analysed to this end. In the 2013/2014 season, 14 of them still played in the top league (the control group), while 10 played in the first league (the experimental group). The study was conducted one week after the end of the playoffs in the seasons under consideration. The results revealed that only in the experimental group the analysed variables changed significantly between the seasons. In the Wingate test, significant changes were only noted in mean relative power (a decrease from 9.91 to 9.14 W/kg; p=0.045) and relative total work (a decrease from 299.17 to 277.22 J/kg; p=0.048). The ramp test indicated significantly lower power output in its final stages (364 compared with 384 W; p=0.034), as well as a significant decrease in relative VO2max (from 52.70 to 48.30 ml/min/kg). Blood lactate concentrations were recorded at the 3rd, 6th, 9th and 12th min of recovery after the ramp test. The rate of post-exercise recovery, ∆LA, recorded after the ramp test turned out to be significantly lower. The times recorded in the on-ice “6x30 m stop” test increased from 32.18 to 33.10 s (p=0.047). The study showed that playing in a lower league where games were less intensive, training sessions shorter and less frequent, had an adverse effect on the performance level of the investigated players. Lower VO2max recorded in the study participants slowed down their rates of post-exercise recovery and led to a significantly worse performance in the 6x30 m stop test, as well as lower relative power and relative total work in the Wingate test.
The Development and Prediction of Athletic Performance in Freestyle Swimming
This paper analyses the dynamics of changes between the performances of elite freestyle swimmers recorded at particular Olympic Games. It also uses a set of chronologically ordered results to predict probable times of swimmers at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. The analysis of past performances of freestyle swimmers and their prediction have revealed a number of interesting tendencies within separately examined results of men and women. Women's results improve more dynamically compared with men's. Moreover, the difference between women's and men's results is smaller, the longer the swimming distance. As both male and female athletes tend to compete more and more vigorously within their groups, the gap between the gold medallist and the last finisher in the final is constantly decreasing, which provides significant evidence that this sport discipline continues to develop.
The aim of this study was to determine changes in climbers’ hormonal, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, sleep and fatigue status, and their relationship with performance and workloads during a sport rock climbing camp. Mean difficulty of individual leading climbing routes (mean Difficulty) was calculated for six male, intermediate level sport rock climbers participating in a 2-week camp in Orpierre. Additionally, each morning climbers were tested for: cortisol (d-Cortisol) and testosterone (d-Testosterone) concentrations, testosterone/cortisol ratio (T/C), heart rate and heart rate variability in supine (d-L-HR, d-L-SD1, d-L-SD2) and standing positions (d-S-HR, d-S-SD1, d-S-SD2), difference in S-HR and L-HR (HR-S-L), maximal voluntary hand grip strength (MVC), sleep duration (Sleep) and the self-perception of fatigue (M-Fatigue). Only M-Fatigue and d-Testosterone did not change significantly during the camp. Changes in other variables were large and significant, especially in the second week of the camp when the mean Difficulty was > 70%. The greatest changes were noted on the last day, when T/C, HR-S-L, and Sleep decreased and d-Cortisol, d-L-HR, and d-SD1 increased. The monitoring of the uncoupling of neuromuscular, hormonal, and cardiovascular markers can be instrumental in determining the level of athletes’ morning fatigue and readiness during a climbing camp. An increase in d-Cortisol and a decrease in T/C and HR-S-L are relevant indicators of overreaching in sport climbers.
This study is a contribution to the discussion about the structure of performance of sport rock climbers. Because of the complex and multifaceted nature of this sport, multivariate statistics were applied in the study. The subjects included thirty experienced sport climbers. Forty three variables were scrutinised, namely somatic characteristics, specific physical fitness, coordination abilities, aerobic and anaerobic power, technical and tactical skills, mental characteristics, as well as 2 variables describing the climber’s performance in the OS (Max OS) and RP style (Max RP). The results show that for training effectiveness of advanced climbers to be thoroughly analysed and examined, tests assessing their physical, technical and mental characteristics are necessary. The three sets of variables used in this study explained the structure of performance similarly, but not identically (in 38, 33 and 25%, respectively). They were also complementary to around 30% of the variance. The overall performance capacity of a sport rock climber (Max OS and Max RP) was also evaluated in the study. The canonical weights of the dominant first canonical root were 0.554 and 0.512 for Max OS and Max RP, respectively. Despite the differences between the two styles of climbing, seven variables - the maximal relative strength of the fingers (canonical weight = 0.490), mental endurance (one of scales : The Formal Characteristics of Behaviour-Temperament Inventory (FCB-TI; Strelau and Zawadzki, 1995)) (-0.410), climbing technique (0.370), isometric endurance of the fingers (0.340), the number of errors in the complex reaction time test (- 0.319), the ape index (-0.319) and oxygen uptake during arm work at the anaerobic threshold (0.254) were found to explain 77% of performance capacity common to the two styles.
The aim of the present study was to evaluate the efficacy of 3-week high intensity interval training in normobaric hypoxia (IHT) on aerobic capacity in basketball players. Twelve male well trained basketball players, randomly divided into a hypoxia (H) group (n=6; age: 22±1.6 years; VO2max: 52.6±3.9 ml/kg/min; body height - BH: 188.8±6.1 cm; body mass - BM: 83.9±7.2 kg; % of body fat - FAT%: 11.2±3.1%), and a control (C) group (n=6; age: 22±2.4 years; VO2max: 53.0±5.2 ml/kg/min; BH: 194.3 ± 6.6 cm; BM: 99.9±11.1 kg; FAT% 11.0±2.8 %) took part in the study. The training program applied during the study was the same for both groups, but with different environmental conditions during the selected interval training sessions. For 3 weeks, all subjects performed three high intensity interval training sessions per week. During the interval training sessions, the H group trained in a normobaric hypoxic chamber at a simulated altitude of 2500 m, while the group C performed interval training sessions under normoxia conditions also inside the chamber. Each interval running training sessions consisted of four to five 4 min bouts at 90% of VO2max velocity determined in hypoxia (vVO2max-hyp) for the H group and 90% of velocity at VO2max determined in normoxia for the group C. The statistical post-hoc analysis showed that the training in hypoxia caused a significant (p<0.001) increase (10%) in total distance during the ramp test protocol (the speed was increased linearly by 1 km/h per 1min until volitional exhaustion), as well as increased (p<0.01) absolute (4.5%) and relative (6.2%) maximal workload (WRmax). Also, the absolute and relative values of VO2max in this group increased significantly (p<0.001) by 6.5% and 7.8%. Significant, yet minor changes were also observed in the group C, where training in normoxia caused an increase (p<0.05) in relative values of WRmax by 2.8%, as well as an increase (p<0.05) in the absolute (1.3%) and relative (2.1%) values of VO2max. This data suggest that an intermittent hypoxic training protocol with high intensity intervals (4 to 5 x 4 min bouts at 90% of vVO2max-hyp) is an effective training means for improving aerobic capacity at sea level in basketball players.
Rock climbing is a physical activity that not only causes an increase in muscle tension, heart rate and blood pressure, but also results in the elevation of stress hormones including cortisol. It has not been established which of the above mentioned variables serve as the most accurate indicator of rock climbing-induced physical and mental stress. The aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of physical activity, short-term fatigue and mental demand on heart rate (HR), salivary cortisol (C) and blood plasma lactate (LA) concentrations in rock climbers under laboratory conditions. Twelve male and female rock climbers of comparable climbing performance (5a – 6b OS) were recruited. The participants completed two routes of different climbing difficulty (effect of physical demand), repeated a difficult route with a short 5-min recovery period three times (effect of fatigue), and repeated a difficult lead climb (effect of mental demand). Heart rate as well as C and LA concentrations were determined. The results indicated that more difficult climbing routes elicited increases in HR (especially relative values) and LA concentrations, whereas fatigue accumulation had an effect on climbing HR and relative C concentration values. Lead climbing only caused an increase in climbing HR. Based on the results it was concluded that HR was a good indicator of physical and mental stress intensity. Performing the same difficult route three times with a short recovery period in-between turned out to be the most demanding task and resulted in the highest increase of the cortisol concentration. Dynamics of changes in lactate concentrations depend on muscle loading (local muscular effort), lactate clearance and technical/tactical skills of the climber.
Introduction. The aim of this study was to determine the dynamics of changes in selected motor abilities of javelin throwers and to determine predictors of javelin throw distances. Material and methods. Research material included the results obtained from a group of 60 competitors from the Silesia Region of Poland, aged 14 - 15 years. In order to answer the research question, the following statistical analysis were employed: Pearson's linear correlation coefficients, vectors R0 and R1, time series analysis, distributed lag analysis and Almon distributed lag analysis and coefficient of concordance φ2Results. The correlation analyzes allowed for a selection of two variables for further analyses: specific strength of arms and trunk (SSAT) and specific strength of shoulders girdle and trunk (SSGT). Calculated indexes revealed that the level of SSAT showed a constant upward tendency (+15%). The highest rise in SSAT level was recorded in the 4th and 5th quarter (+9%). The level of SSGT showed an upward tendency nearly (+6%). In this case, the highest rise was observed in the 7th and 8th quarter (+4.5%). Conclusions. The standardized regression analysis revealed that the variable of specific power of arms and trunk (SOBT) is the most important predictor for javelin throw distance with a full approach run.
The aim of the present study was to compare executive attention of top soccer referees and assistant referees at different levels of professional attainment. The sample consisted of 53 subjects (FIFA and national level) - 30 referees and 23 assistant referees. Executive attention of assistant referees was significantly better than the referees’ (p<0.01). Furthermore, extraclass and international referees demonstrated better executive attention than the first-league referees (p<0.01). The research results have proved that referees’ executive attention differs depending on their function and professional level, as well as indicated that the quality of abilities may influence the number and correctness of decisions made during a game. This elementary cognitive process may be strongly shaped by individual’s experience and age. This finding may be instrumental in screening referees and developing criteria for recruiting future referees.