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Recent News:

UI Overhall

April 19, 2014

We’re in the process of redesigning the UI to make it easier for both desktop and mobile users.  You’ll notice a lot of new features and UI elements – here’s a rundown:


  • Navigation has been given a ‘mobile-first’ make-over – should make the site much more usable on all devices.
  • Metrics have been expanded and placed on the right of the screen – this will periodically be updated as well.
  • For those who would like a simpler interface, Metrics, News and Progress Bars can be hidden/shown from the menu and will persist between visits.
  • Progress bars (below) have been revamped to look a little more aesthetics
  • New color scheme – ain’t it purty?
  • A “Program Picker” which will take some of the guess work out for y’all.

We’re also getting ready to launch a few new sections/features, including product reviews, user contributed articles and more so be ready!

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Isokinetic Concentric Quadriceps and Hamstring Normative Data for Elite Collegiate American Football Players Participating in the NFL Scouting Combine

imageAbstract: Zvijac, JE, Toriscelli, TA, Merrick, WS, Papp, DF, and Kiebzak, GM. Isokinetic concentric quadriceps and hamstring normative data for elite collegiate American football players participating in the NFL scouting combine. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 875?883, 2014?Isokinetic concentric quadriceps and hamstring strength data using a Cybex dynamometer are collected for elite collegiate American football players invited to the annual National Football League Scouting Combine. We constructed a normative (reference) database of the Cybex strength data for the purpose of allowing comparison of an individual's values to his peers. Data reduction was performed to construct frequency distributions of hamstring/quadriceps (H/Q) ratios and side-to-side strength differences. For the cohort (n = 1,252 players), a statistically significant but very small (1.9%) mean quadriceps strength preference existed for dominant side vs. nondominant side. Peak torque (Newton meters, best repetition) for quadriceps and hamstrings was significantly correlated to player body mass (weight) (the same relationship was found for other variables using peak torque in the calculation). Peak torque varied by player position, being greatest for offensive linemen and lowest for kickers (p < 0.0001). Adjusting for body weight overcorrected these differences. The H/Q ratios and frequency distributions were similar across positions, with a mean of 0.6837 0.137 for the cohort dominant side vs. 0.6940 0.145 for the nondominant side (p = 0.021, n = 1,252). Considerable variation was seen for dominant-to-nondominant side difference for peak torque. For quadriceps, 47.2% of players had differences between ?10% and +10%, 21.0% had a peak torque dominant-side deficit of 10% or greater compared to nondominant side, and for 31.8% of players, dominant-side peak torque was greater than 10% compared to nondominant side. For hamstrings, 57.0% of players had differences between ?10% and +10%, 19.6% had a peak torque dominant-side deficit of 10% or greater compared to nondominant side, and 23.4% of players, dominant-side peak torque was greater than 10% compared to nondominant side. We observed that isokinetic absolute strength variables are dependent on body weight and vary across player position. The H/Q ratios vary only within a relatively narrow range. Side-to-side differences in strength variables >10% are common, not the exception.

Snatch Technique of United States National Level Weightlifters

imageAbstract: Whitehead, PN, Schilling, BK, Stone, MH, Kilgore, JL, and Chiu, LZF. Snatch technique of United States national level weightlifters. J Strength Cond Res 28(3): 587?591, 2014?This study analyzed the top 3 successful snatch attempts by individual lifters in each weight class at a U.S. National Championship weightlifting meet. Two-dimensional (2-D) body position and characteristics of the lifts were compared via 2D video analysis in groups of lifters who displaced forward, showed no displacement, or displaced backward to receive the bar. No significant group differences (p > 0.05) were noted for body mass, bar mass, or hip angle. The rearward displacement group had a significantly greater horizontal distance between the shoulder and heel at the end of the pull (determined as the point where the bar ceases to accelerate vertically). Hip angles for the no displacement group had a small-to-moderate effect size (0.50) in comparison to the forward displacement group, but they only showed a small effect size (0.17) when compared with the rearward displacement group. The forward displacement group showed a small-to-moderate effect size compared with both the no displacement group (0.51) and the rearward displacement group (0.55) concerning the horizontal distance from the shoulder to the heel. These data seem to suggest that rearward displacement in the drop-under phase in the snatch is not detrimental to performance and actually seems to be a preferred technique in U.S. national level lifters. In addition to evidence that rearward displacement is exhibited in elite lifters and is coached globally, it seems this is the preferred technique in international competitions. This technique may be considered a viable variation of the snatch by coaches and athletes of all levels.

A Comparison of Traditional and Block Periodized Strength Training Programs in Trained Athletes

imageAbstract: Bartolomei, S, Hoffman, JR, Merni, F, and Stout, JR. A comparison of traditional and block periodized strength training programs in trained athletes. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 990?997, 2014?The purpose of this study was to compare 2 different periodization models in strength and power athletes. Twenty-four experienced resistance trained men were randomly assigned to either a block periodization training program (BP; age = 24.2 3.1 years, body mass = 78.5 11.0 kg, height = 177.6 4.9 cm) or to a traditional periodization program (TP; age = 26.2 6.0 years, body mass = 80.5 13.3 kg, height = 179.2 4.6). Participants in both training programs performed 4 training sessions per week. Each training program consisted of the same exercises and same volume of training (total resistance lifted per session). The difference between the groups was in the manipulation of training intensity within each training phase. Strength and power testing occurred before training (PRE) and after 15 weeks (POST) of training. Magnitude-based inferences were used to compare strength and power performance between the groups. Participants in BP were more likely (79.8%) to increase the area under the force-power curve than TP. Participants in BP also demonstrated a likely positive (92.76%) decrease in the load corresponding to maximal power at the bench press compared with TP group, and a possible improvement (?60%) in maximal strength and power in the bench press. No significant changes were noted between groups in lower-body strength or jump power performance after the 15-week training period. Results of this study indicate that BP may enhance upper-body power expression to a greater extent than TP with equal volume; however, no differences were detected for lower-body performance and body composition measures.

Improvements in Hip Flexibility Do Not Transfer to Mobility in Functional Movement Patterns

imageAbstract: Moreside, JM and McGill, SM. Improvements in hip flexibility do not transfer to mobility in functional movement patterns. J Strength Cond Res 27(10): 2635?2643, 2013?The purpose of this study was to analyze the transference of increased passive hip range of motion (ROM) and core endurance to functional movement. Twenty-four healthy young men with limited hip mobility were randomly assigned to 4 intervention groups: group 1, stretching; group 2, stretching plus hip/spine disassociation exercises; group 3, core endurance; and group 4, control. Previous work has documented the large increase in passive ROM and core endurance that was attained over the 6-week interventions, but whether these changes transferred to functional activities was unclear. Four dynamic activities were analyzed before and after the 6-week interventions: active standing hip extension, lunge, a standing twist/reach maneuver, and exercising on an elliptical trainer. A Vicon motion capture system collected body segment kinematics, with hip and lumbar spine angles subsequently calculated in Visual 3D. Repeated measures analyses of variance determined group effects on various hip and spine angles, with paired t-tests on specific pre/post pairs. Despite the large increases in passive hip ROM, there was no evidence of increased hip ROM used during functional movement testing. Similarly, the only significant change in lumbar motion was a reduction in lumbar rotation during the active hip extension maneuver (p < 0.05). These results indicate that changes in passive ROM or core endurance do not automatically transfer to changes in functional movement patterns. This implies that training and rehabilitation programs may benefit from an additional focus on grooving new motor patterns if newfound movement range is to be used.

Functional Movement Screen Scores in a Group of Running Athletes

imageAbstract: Loudon, JK, Parkerson-Mitchell, AJ, Hildebrand, LD, and Teague, C. Functional movement screen scores in a group of running athletes. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 909?913, 2014?The purpose of this study was to determine the mean values of the functional movement screen (FMS) in a group of long-distance runners. The secondary aims were to investigate whether the FMS performance differed between sexes and between young and older runners. Forty-three runners, 16 women (mean age = 33.5 years, height = 165.2 cm, weight = 56.3 kg, and body mass index [BMI] = 20.6) and 27 men (mean age = 39.3 years, height = 177.6 cm, weight = 75.8 kg, and BMI = 24.2) performed the FMS. All the runners were injury-free and ran >30 kmwk?1. Independent t-tests were performed on the composite scores to examine the differences between men and women and also between young (<40 years) and older runners (>40 years). Contingency tables (2 2) were developed for each of the 7 screening tests to further look at the differences in groups for each single test. The ?2 values were calculated to determine significant differences. Statistical significance was set at p ? 0.05. There was no significant difference in the composite score between women and men. There were significant differences between the sexes in the push-up and straight leg test scores, with the women scoring better on each test. A significant difference was found in the composite scores between younger and older runners (p < 0.000). Additional score differences were found for the squat, hurdle step, and in-line lunge tests with the younger runners scoring better. This study provided mean values for the FMS in a cohort of long-distance runners. These values can be used as a reference for comparing FMST scores in other runners who are screened with this tool.

Effects of Grip Width on Muscle Strength and Activation in the Lat Pull-Down

imageAbstract: Andersen, V, Fimland, MS, Wiik, E, Skoglund, A, and Saeterbakken, AH. Effects of grip width on muscle strength and activation in the lat pull-down. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1135?1142, 2014?The lat pull-down is one of the most popular compound back exercises. Still, it is a general belief that a wider grip activates the latissimus dorsi more than a narrow one, but without any broad scientific support. The aim of the study was to compare 6 repetition maximum (6RM) load and electromyographic (EMG) activity in the lat pull-down using 3 different pronated grip widths. Fifteen men performed 6RM in the lat pull-down with narrow, medium, and wide grips (1, 1.5, and 2 times the biacromial distance) in a randomized and counterbalanced order. The 6RM strengths with narrow (80.3 7.2 kg) and medium grip (80 7.1 kg) were higher than wide grip (77.3 6.3 kg; p = 0.02). There was similar EMG activation between grip widths for latissimus, trapezius, or infraspinatus, but a tendency for biceps brachii activation to be greater for medium vs. narrow (p = 0.09), when the entire movement was analyzed. Analyzing the concentric phase separately revealed greater biceps brachii activation using the medium vs. narrow grip (p = 0.03). In the eccentric phase, there was greater activation using wide vs. narrow grip for latissimus and infraspinatus (p ? 0.04), and tendencies for medium greater than narrow for latissimus, and medium greater than wide for biceps (both p = 0.08), was observed. Collectively, a medium grip may have some minor advantages over small and wide grips; however, athletes and others engaged in resistance training can generally expect similar muscle activation which in turn should result in similar hypertrophy gains with a grip width that is 1?2 times the biacromial distance.

Youth Resistance Training: Updated Position Statement Paper From the National Strength and Conditioning Association

imageFaigenbaum, AD, Kraemer, WJ, Blimkie, CJR, Jeffreys, I, Micheli, LJ, Nitka, M, and Rowland, TW. Youth resistance training: Updated position statement paper from the National Strength and Conditioning Association. J Strength Cond Res 23(5): S60-S79, 2009-Current recommendations suggest that school-aged youth should participate daily in 60 minutes or more of moderate to vigorous physical activity that is developmentally appropriate and enjoyable and involves a variety of activities (219). Not only is regular physical activity essential for normal growth and development, but also a physically active lifestyle during the pediatric years may help to reduce the risk of developing some chronic diseases later in life (196). In addition to aerobic activities such as swimming and bicycling, research increasingly indicates that resistance training can offer unique benefits for children and adolescents when appropriately prescribed and supervised (28,66,111,139,147,234). The qualified acceptance of youth resistance training by medical, fitness, and sport organizations is becoming universal (5,6,8,12,18,33,104,167,192,215). Nowadays, comprehensive school-based programs are specifically designed to enhance health-related components of physical fitness, which include muscular strength (169). In addition, the health club and sport conditioning industry is getting more involved in the youth fitness market. In the U.S.A., the number of health club members between the ages of 6 and 17 years continues to increase (127,252) and a growing number of private sport conditioning centers now cater to young athletes. Thus, as more children and adolescents resistance train in schools, health clubs, and sport training centers, it is imperative to determine safe, effective, and enjoyable practices by which resistance training can improve the health, fitness, and sports performance of younger populations. The National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) recognizes and supports the premise that many of the benefits associated with adult resistance training programs are attainable by children and adolescents who follow age-specific resistance training guidelines. The NSCA published the first position statement paper on youth resistance training in 1985 (170) and revised this statement in 1996 (72). The purpose of the present report is to update and clarify the 1996 recommendations on 4 major areas of importance. These topics include (a) the potential risks and concerns associated with youth resistance training, (b) the potential health and fitness benefits of youth resistance training, (c) the types and amount of resistance training needed by healthy children and adolescents, and (d) program design considerations for optimizing long-term training adaptations. The NSCA based this position statement paper on a comprehensive analysis of the pertinent scientific evidence regarding the anatomical, physiological, and psychosocial effects of youth resistance training. An expert panel of exercise scientists, physicians, and health/physical education teachers with clinical, practical, and research expertise regarding issues related to pediatric exercise science, sports medicine, and resistance training contributed to this statement. The NSCA Research Committee reviewed this report before the formal endorsement by the NSCA. For the purpose of this article, the term children refers to boys and girls who have not yet developed secondary sex characteristics (approximately up to the age of 11 years in girls and 13 years in boys; Tanner stages 1 and 2 of sexual maturation). This period of development is referred to as preadolescence. The term adolescence refers to a period between childhood and adulthood and includes girls aged 12-18 years and boys aged 14-18 years (Tanner stages 3 and 4 of sexual maturation). The terms youth and young athletes are broadly defined in this report to include both children and adolescents. By definition, the term resistance training refers to a specialized method of conditioning, which involves the progressive use of a wide range of resistive loads and a variety of training modalities designed to enhance health, fitness, and sports performance. Although the term resistance training, strength training, and weight training are sometimes used synonymously, the term resistance training encompasses a broader range of training modalities and a wider variety of training goals. The term weightlifting refers to a competitive sport that involves the performance of the snatch and clean and jerk lifts. This article builds on previous recommendations from the NSCA and should serve as the prevailing statement regarding youth resistance training. It is the current position of the NSCA that: 1. A properly designed and supervised resistance training program is relatively safe for youth. 2. A properly designed and supervised resistance training program can enhance the muscular strength and power of youth. 3. A properly designed and supervised resistance training program can improve the cardiovascular risk profile of youth. 4. A properly designed and supervised resistance training program can improve motor skill performance and may contribute to enhanced sports performance of youth. 5. A properly designed and supervised resistance training program can increase a young athlete's resistance to sports-related injuries. 6. A properly designed and supervised resistance training program can help improve the psychosocial well-being of youth. 7. A properly designed and supervised resistance training program can help promote and develop exercise habits during childhood and adolescence.

Characteristics of Shoulder Impingement in the Recreational Weight-Training Population

imageAbstract: Kolber, MJ, Cheatham, SW, Salamh, PA, and Hanney, WJ. Characteristics of shoulder impingement in the recreational weight-training population. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1081?1089, 2014?Despite reports implicating subacromial impingement syndrome (SIS) as an etiologic source of shoulder pain among weight-training (WT) participants, a paucity of case-controlled evidence exists to support this premise. The purpose of this study was to determine whether WT participants present with characteristics of SIS. Additionally, we investigated the role of exercise selection among those identified as having SIS. Seventy-seven (154 shoulders) men (mean age, 28) were recruited, including 46 individuals who engaged in WT a minimum of 2 days per week; and 31 controls with no history of WT participation. Before testing, participants completed a questionnaire summarizing their training patterns. On completing questionnaire, 2 previously validated tests used to identify SIS were performed on both groups and included the painful arc sign and Hawkins-Kennedy test. When clustered, these tests have a positive likelihood ratio of 5.0 for identifying SIS when compared with diagnostic gold standards. Analysis identified significant between-group differences in the combined presence of a positive painful arc and Hawkins-Kennedy (p < 0.001) test. A significant association existed between clinical characteristics of SIS (p ? 0.004) and both lateral deltoid raises and upright rows above 90. Conversely, a significant inverse association was found between external rotator strengthening and characteristics of SIS. Results suggest that WT participants may be predisposed to SIS. Avoiding performance of lateral deltoid raises and upright rows beyond an angle of 90 and efforts to strengthen the external rotators may serve as a useful means to mitigate characteristics associated with SIS.

The Acute Hormonal Response to Free Weight and Machine Weight Resistance Exercise

imageAbstract: Shaner, AA, Vingren, JL, Hatfield, DL, Budnar Jr, RG, Duplanty, AA, and Hill, DW. The acute hormonal response to free weight and machine weight resistance exercise. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1032?1040, 2014?Resistance exercise can acutely increase the concentrations of circulating neuroendocrine factors, but the effect of mode on this response is not established. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of resistance exercise selection on the acute hormonal response using similar lower-body multijoint movement free weight and machine weight exercises. Ten resistance trained men (25 3 years, 179 7 cm, 84.2 10.5 kg) completed 6 sets of 10 repetitions of squat or leg press at the same relative intensity separated by 1 week. Blood samples were collected before (PRE), immediately after (IP), and 15 (P15) and 30 minutes (P30) after exercise, and analyzed for testosterone (T), growth hormone (GH), and cortisol (C) concentrations. Exercise increased (p ? 0.05) T and GH at IP, but the concentrations at IP were greater for the squat (T: 31.4 10.3 nmolL?1; GH: 9.5 7.3 ?gL?1) than for the leg press (T: 26.9 7.8 nmolL?1; GH: 2.8 3.2 ?gL?1). At P15 and P30, GH was greater for the squat (P15: 12.3 8.9 ?gL?1; P30: 12.0 8.9 ?gL?1) than for the leg press (P15: 4.8 3.4 ?gL?1; P30: 5.4 4.1 ?gL?1). C was increased after exercise and was greater for the squat than for the leg press. Although total work (external load and body mass moved) was greater for the squat than for the leg press, rating of perceived exertion did not differ between the modes. Free weight exercises seem to induce greater hormonal responses to resistance exercise than machine weight exercises using similar lower-body multijoint movements and primary movers.

Body Composition Changes Among Female NCAA Division 1 Athletes Across the Competitive Season and Over a Multiyear Time Frame

imageAbstract: Stanforth, PR, Crim, BN, Stanforth, D, and Stults-Kolehmainen, MA. Body composition changes among female NCAA division 1 athletes across the competitive season and over a multiyear time frame. J Strength Cond Res 28(2): 300?307, 2014?Body composition can affect athletic performance. Numerous studies have documented changes in body composition in female collegiate athletes from pre- to postseason; however, longitudinal studies examining changes across years are scarce. Therefore, the primary purpose of this study was to assess longitudinal body composition changes among female collegiate athletes across 3 years. Two hundred twelve female athletes from basketball (BB; n = 38), soccer (SOC; n = 47), swimming (SW; n = 52), track (sprinters and jumpers; TR; n = 49), and volleyball (VB; n = 26) with an initial mean age of 19.2 1.2 years, height of 172.4 8.9 cm, and total mass of 66.9 9.0 kg had body composition assessments using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry pre- and postseason over 3 years. A restricted maximum-likelihood linear mixed model regression analysis examined body composition differences by sport and year. Changes (p < 0.05) over 3 years included the following: Lean mass increased in VB from year 1 to 2 (0.7 kg), year 2 to 3 (1.1 kg), and year 1 to 3 (1.8 kg) and in SW from year 1 to 3 (0.6 kg); and percent body fat (%BF) increased in BB from year 1 to 3 (1.7%). There were no changes in SOC or TR. These results indicate that during their college careers, female collegiate athletes can be expected to maintain their %BF and athletes in sports like SW and VB can anticipate an increase in lean mass, but the increases may be less than many athletes, coaches, and trainers envision.

Comparison of Two-Hand Kettlebell Exercise and Graded Treadmill Walking: Effectiveness as a Stimulus for Cardiorespiratory Fitness

imageAbstract: Thomas, JF, Larson, KL, Hollander, DB, and Kraemer, RR. Comparison of two-hand kettlebell exercise and graded treadmill walking: Effectiveness as a stimulus for cardiorespiratory fitness. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 998?1006, 2014?Prevailing interest in the use of kettlebell (KB) exercises for rehabilitation and improvement of muscular strength has led to several recent studies, some suggesting that KB exercise may be useful for improvement of cardiorespiratory fitness. The purpose of this study was to determine whether KB exercise would produce similar cardiovascular stress to that of walking and thus provide an additional exercise mode for the improvement of cardiorespiratory fitness. It was hypothesized that a moderate-intensity, continuous KB protocol, would produce similar metabolic and cardiorespiratory responses as a brisk bout of graded treadmill (TM) walking, but greater rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Ten novice volunteers (5 men, 5 women) completed a preliminary session to determine body composition and V[Combining Dot Above]O2max and to familiarize participants with standardized KB exercise technique. Subsequently, they completed a 30-minute KB session that included 3 continuous 10-minute sets of 10 KB swings followed by 10 sumo deadlifts, with 3-minute rests between 10-minute exercise periods. The third session was a 30-minute TM regimen that began at the walking speed and 4% grade that matched the V[Combining Dot Above]O2 from the KB session and included 3-minute rest intervals after 10-minute TM exercise periods. V[Combining Dot Above]O2, respiratory exchange ratio, kcalmin?1, and blood pressure were similar for KB and moderate-intensity TM exercise, but RPE and heart rate were greater during KB exercise. Data indicate that a KB routine consisting of 2-hand swings and sumo deadlifts with 3-minute rest periods produces similar metabolic responses to those of a moderate-intensity TM walking protocol designed for the improvement of aerobic fitness.

Performance and Neuromuscular Adaptations Following Differing Ratios of Concurrent Strength and Endurance Training

imageAbstract: Jones, TW, Howatson, G, Russell, M, and French, DN. Performance and neuromuscular adaptations following differing ratios of concurrent strength and endurance training. J Strength Cond Res 27(12): 3342?3351, 2013?The interference effect attenuates strength and hypertrophic responses when strength and endurance training are conducted concurrently; however, the influence of training frequency on these responses remain unclear when varying ratios of concurrent strength and endurance training are performed. Therefore, the purpose of the study was to examine the strength, limb girth, and neuromuscular adaptations to varying ratios of concurrent strength and endurance training. Twenty-four men with >2 years resistance training experience completed 6 weeks of 3 days per week of (a) strength training (ST), (b) concurrent strength and endurance training ratio 3:1 (CT3), (c) concurrent strength and endurance training ratio 1:1 (CT1), or (d) no training (CON) in an isolated limb model. Assessments of maximal voluntary contraction by means of isokinetic dynamometry leg extensions (maximum voluntary suppression [MVC]), limb girth, and neuromuscular responses through electromyography (EMG) were conducted at baseline, mid-intervention, and postintervention. After training, ST and CT3 conditions elicited greater MVC increases than CT1 and CON conditions (p ? 0.05). Strength training resulted in significantly greater increases in limb girth than both CT1 and CON conditions (p = 0.05 and 0.004, respectively). The CT3 induced significantly greater limb girth adaptations than CON condition (p = 0.04). No effect of time or intervention was observed for EMG (p > 0.05). In conclusion, greater frequencies of endurance training performed increased the magnitude of the interference response on strength and limb girth responses after 6 weeks of 3 days a week of training. Therefore, the frequency of endurance training should remain low if the primary focus of the training intervention is strength and hypertrophy.

The Effects of High Intensity Short Rest Resistance Exercise on Muscle Damage Markers in Men and Women

imageAbstract: Heavens, KR, Szivak, TK, Hooper, DR, Dunn-Lewis, C, Comstock, BA, Flanagan, SD, Looney, DP, Kupchak, BR, Maresh, CM, Volek, JS, and Kraemer, WJ. The effects of high intensity short rest resistance exercise on muscle damage markers in men and women. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1041?1049, 2014?Within and between sexes, universal load prescription (as assigned in extreme conditioning programs) creates extreme ranges in individual training intensities. Exercise intensity has been proposed to be the main factor determining the degree of muscle damage. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine markers of muscle damage in resistance-trained men (n = 9) and women (n = 9) from a high intensity (HI) short rest (SR) (HI/SR) resistance exercise protocol. The HI/SR consisted of a descending pyramid scheme starting at 10 repetitions, decreasing 1 repetition per set for the back squat, bench press, and deadlift, as fast as possible. Blood was drawn pre-exercise (pre), immediately postexercise (IP), 15 minutes postexercise (+15), 60 minutes postexercise (+60), and 24 hours postexercise (+24). Women demonstrated significant increases in interleukin 6 (IL-6; IP), creatine kinase (CK; +24), myoglobin (IP, +15, +60), and a greater relative increase when compared with men (+15, +60). Men demonstrated significant increases in myoglobin (IP, +15, +60, +24), IL-6 (IP, +15), CK (IP, +60, +24), and testosterone (IP, +15). There were significant sex interactions observed in CK (IP, +60, +24) and testosterone (IP, +15, +60, +24). Women completed the protocol faster (women: 34:04 9:40 minutes, men: 39:22 14:43 minutes), and at a slightly higher intensity (women: 70.1 3.5%, men 68.8 3.1%); however, men performed significantly more work (men: 14384.6 1854.5 kg, women: 8774.7 1612.7 kg). Overall, women demonstrated a faster inflammatory response with increased acute damage, whereas men demonstrated a greater prolonged damage response. Therefore, strength and conditioning professionals need to be aware of the level of stress imposed on individuals when creating such volitional high intensity metabolic type workouts and allow for adequate progression and recovery from such workouts.

Performance Trends in Large 10-km Road Running Races in the United States

imageAbstract: Cushman, DM, Markert, M, and Rho, M. Performance trends in large 10-km road running races in the United States. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 892?901, 2014?Our study examines the current trends of runners participating in 10-km road races in the United States. Finish times and ages of all runners participating in 10 of the largest 10-km running races in the United States between 2002?2005 and 2011 were recorded. Linear regression analysis was performed to examine the trends for age, sex, and finishing time for all participants completing the course in <1 hour. A total of 408,296 runners were analyzed. There was a significant annual decrease in the ratio of men to women finishers (p < 0.001, r2 = 0.976). The average finishing time of the top 10 (men, p ? 0.05), 100 (men and women, p ? 0.05), and 1,000 (men and women, p < 0.01) significantly decreased annually. The total number of subhour finishers increased annually across all races (194 men per year, r2 = 0.584, p = 0.045; 161 women per year, r2 = 0.779, p = 0.008), whereas the percentage of overall finishers completing the course in less than an hour significantly declined for men and women (p ? 0.003). There was a significant trend toward younger men in all top groups except for the single fastest runner (p ? 0.017). Our study demonstrates that for large 10-km U.S. races: the top men and women seem to be getting faster; there are more subhour finishers, with increasingly more women accomplishing this feat compared with men; an increasingly lower percentage of overall finishers is finishing in <1 hour; and the fastest men are also increasingly younger.

Effects of Fatigue From Resistance Training on Barbell Back Squat Biomechanics

imageAbstract: Hooper, DR, Szivak, TK, Comstock, BA, Dunn-Lewis, C, Apicella, JM, Kelly, NA, Creighton, BC, Flanagan, SD, Looney, DP, Volek, JS, Maresh, CM, and Kraemer, WJ. Effects of fatigue from resistance training on barbell back squat biomechanics. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1127?1134, 2014?Exhaustive resistance training programs that have been previously referred to as extreme conditioning protocols have increased in popularity in military and civilian populations in recent years. However, because of their highly fatiguing nature, proprioception is likely altered during such programs that would significantly affect the safety and efficacy of such programs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the alterations in movement patterns that result from extreme conditioning protocols and to evaluate if these protocols can be deemed safe and effective. Twelve men (age 24 4.2 years, height 173.1 3.6 cm, weight 76.9 7.8 kg, body fat percentage 9.0 2.2%) and 13 women (age 24.5 3.8 years, height 166.9 8.5 cm, weight 66.1 9.2 kg, body fat percentage 18.6 4.0%) with at least 6 months of resistance training experience involving barbell bench press, barbell deadlift, and barbell back squat performed a highly fatiguing resistance training workout. During the barbell back squat, a 2-dimensional analysis was performed where the knee and hip angles were recorded throughout the 55 repetitions of the workout. At the early stages of the protocol, knee angle was significantly lower in men and in women demonstrating less knee flexion. Also, hip angle was significantly lower early in the program in men and in women, demonstrating a greater forward lean. The technique changes that occur in high repetition sets do not favor optimal strength development and may increase the risk of injury, clearly questioning the safety and efficacy of such resistance training programming. This is likely a display of self-preservation by individuals who are faced with high repetition programs.

Sex-Specific Responses to Self-Paced, High-Intensity Interval Training With Variable Recovery Periods

imageAbstract: Laurent, CM, Vervaecke, LS, Kutz, MR, and Green, JM. Sex-specific responses to self-paced, high-intensity interval training with variable recovery periods. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 920?927, 2014?This study examined sex-specific responses during self-paced, high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Sixteen (8 men and 8 women) individuals completed a peak oxygen uptake test and 3 treadmill HIIT sessions on separate days. The HIIT sessions consisted of six 4-minute intervals performed at the highest self-selected intensity individuals felt they could maintain. Recovery between intervals was counterbalanced and consisted of 1-, 2-, or 4-minute recovery during each trial. Relative measures of intensity, including percentage of velocity at VO2peak (vVO2peak), %VO2peak, %HRmax, and blood lactate concentration ([La]), were observed during the trials. Perceived readiness was recorded immediately before and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded at the end of each interval with session RPE recorded after each trial. Results revealed a significant effect of sex on %vVO2peak (p < 0.01) and %HRmax (p < 0.01). Data show that across trials, men self-select higher %vVO2peak (84.5 vs. 80.7%), whereas women produce higher %HRmax (96.9 vs. 92.1%) and %VO2peak (89.6 vs. 86.1%) with no difference in [La] or perceptual responses. These findings support the notion that women may demonstrate improved recovery during high-intensity exercise, as they will self-select intensities resulting in greater cardiovascular strain. Moreover, results confirm previous findings suggesting that a 2:1 work-to-rest ratio is optimal during HIIT for both men and women.

Body Composition and Bone Mineral Density of National Football League Players

imageAbstract: Dengel, DR, Bosch, TA, Burruss, TP, Fielding, KA, Engel, BE, Weir, NL, and Weston, TD. Body composition and bone mineral density of national football league players. J Strength Cond Res 28(1): 1?6, 2014?The purpose of the present study was to examine the body composition of National Football League (NFL) players before the start of the regular season. Four hundred eleven NFL players were measured for height, weight and lean, fat, and bone mass using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). Subjects were categorized by their offensive or defensive position for comparison. On average, positions that mirror each other (i.e., offensive lineman [OL] vs. defensive lineman [DL]) have very similar body composition. Although OL had more fat mass than DL, they were similar in total and upper and lower lean mass. Linebackers (LB) and running backs (RB) were similar for all measures of fat and lean mass. Tight ends were unique in that they were similar to RB and LB on measures of fat mass; however, they had greater lean mass than both RB and LB and upper-body lean mass that was similar to OL. Quarterbacks and punters/kickers were similar in fat and lean masses. All positions had normal levels of bone mineral density. The DXA allowed us to measure differences in lean mass between arms and legs for symmetry assessments. Although most individuals had similar totals of lean mass in each leg and or arms, there were outliers who may be at risk for injury. The data presented demonstrate not only differences in total body composition, but also show regional body composition differences that may provide positional templates.

Static Stretching and Performance in Multiple Sets in the Bench Press Exercise

imageAbstract: Ribeiro, AS, Romanzini, M, Dias, DF, Ohara, D, da Silva, DRP, Achour, A Jr, Avelar, A, and Cyrino, ES. Static stretching and performance in multiple sets in the bench press exercise. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1158?1163, 2014?The purpose of this study was to analyze the acute effect of static stretching on the performance of multiple sets in the bench press (BP) exercise. Fifteen men (26.2 0.7 years, 72.4 1.3 kg, 1.78 0.1 m, 22.8 0.3 kgm?2) performed 4 sets of the BP exercise at 80% of 1 repetition maximum until concentric failure, both in the stretching condition (SC) and control condition (CC). The rate of force decline between the first and the fourth set was used as fatigue index. A randomized, counterbalanced, crossover design was performed with 48 hours between each session. Two static stretching exercises (pectoral and triceps brachii muscles) were performed in a single set before BP in SC, whereas in CC, subjects remained at rest for 150 seconds. For each stretching exercise, the muscle was held at the maximal stretched position for 30 seconds. No significant difference (p > 0.05) was identified for total repetitions performed in 4 sets (SC, 21.3 0.7% vs. CC, 20.5 0.7%) and in the fatigue index (SC, 75.5 1.3% vs. CC, 73.2 1.9%). The results suggest that the performance of multiple sets in the BP exercise does not seem to be influenced by previous static stretching.

Heart Rate-Running Speed Index May Be an Efficient Method of Monitoring Endurance Training Adaptation

imageAbstract: Vesterinen, V, Hokka, L, Hynynen, E, Mikkola, J, Hkkinen, K, and Nummela, A. Heart rate-running speed index may be an efficient method of monitoring endurance training adaptation. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 902?908, 2014?The aim of this study was to investigate whether a novel heart rate (HR)-running speed index could be used in monitoring adaptation to endurance training. Forty-five recreational runners underwent a 2-phased 28-week training regime. The first 14 weeks included basic endurance training, whereas the second 14 weeks were more intensive (increased volume and intensity). A maximal treadmill running test was performed in the beginning of the experiment, in the middle of basic endurance training, and at the end of each training period (PRE, WEEK 7, WEEK 14, and POST). The novel HR-running speed index was calculated from every continuous-type running exercise during the 28-week experiment based on exercise HR-running speed relation accompanied by individual information on resting and maximal HR and speed. The change in the novel index correlated significantly with the changes of peak running speed in the treadmill tests (r = 0.43?0.61, p < 0.01) and speed at respiratory compensation threshold (r = 0.35?0.39, p ? 0.05) during the experiment. The change in the index also correlated significantly (r = 0.49, p = 0.001) with relative changes in maximal oxygen uptake (in mlkg?1min?1). According to these findings, it seems that the novel index based on exercise HR and running speed may serve as a practical tool for daily monitoring of individual's training adaptation without the need to realize a maximal running test in laboratory conditions.

Lean Mass Asymmetry Influences Force and Power Asymmetry During Jumping in Collegiate Athletes

imageAbstract: Bell, DR, Sanfilippo, JL, Binkley, N, and Heiderscheit, BC. Lean mass asymmetry influences force and power asymmetry during jumping in collegiate athletes. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 884?891, 2014?The purpose of this investigation was to (a) examine how asymmetry in lower extremity lean mass influenced force and power asymmetry during jumping, (b) determine how power and force asymmetry affected jump height, and (c) report normative values in collegiate athletes. Force and power were assessed from each limb using bilateral force plates during a countermovement jump in 167 division 1 athletes (mass = 85.7 20.3 kg, age = 20.0 1.2 years; 103 men and 64 women). Lean mass of the pelvis, thigh, and shank was assessed using dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Percent asymmetry was calculated for lean mass at each region (pelvis, thigh, and shank) as well as force and power. Forward stepwise regressions were performed to determine the influence of lean mass asymmetry on force and power asymmetry. Thigh and shank lean mass asymmetry explained 20% of the variance in force asymmetry (R2 = 0.20, p < 0.001), whereas lean mass asymmetry of the pelvis, thigh, and shank explained 25% of the variance in power asymmetry (R2 = 0.25, p < 0.001). Jump height was compared across level of force and power asymmetry (p > 0.05) and greater than 10% asymmetry in power tended to decrease the performance (effect size >1.0). Ninety-five percent of this population (2.5th to 97.5th percentile) displayed force asymmetry between ?11.8 and 16.8% and a power asymmetry between ?9.9 and 11.5%. A small percentage (<4%) of these athletes displayed more than 15% asymmetry between limbs. These results demonstrate that lean mass asymmetry in the lower extremity is at least partially responsible for asymmetries in force and power. However, a large percentage remains unexplained by lean mass asymmetry.

Effects of 18-Week In-Season Heavy-Resistance and Power Training on Throwing Velocity, Strength, Jumping, and Maximal Sprint Swim Performance of Elite Male Water Polo Players

imageAbstract: Ramos Veliz, R, Requena, B, Suarez-Arrones, L, Newton, RU, and Sez de Villarreal, E. Effects of 18-week in-season heavy-resistance and power training on throwing velocity, strength, jumping, and maximal sprint swim performance of elite male water polo players. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1007?1014, 2014?We examined the effects of 18 weeks of strength and high-intensity training on key sport performance measures of elite male water polo (WP) players. Twenty-seven players were randomly assigned to 2 groups, control (in-water training only) and strength group, (strength training sessions [twice per week] + in-water training). In-water training was conducted 5 dwk?1. Twenty-meter maximal sprint swim, maximal dynamic strength 1-repetition maximum (1RM) for upper bench press (BP) and lower full squat (FS) body, countermovement jump (CMJ), and throwing velocity were measured before and after the training. The training program included upper and lower body strength and high-intensity exercises (BP, FS, military press, pull-ups, CMJ loaded, and abs). Baseline-training results showed no significant differences between the groups in any of the variables tested. No improvement was found in the control group; however, meaningful improvement was found in all variables in the experimental group: CMJ (2.38 cm, 6.9%, effect size [ES] = 0.48), BP (9.06 kg, 10.53%, ES = 0.66), FS (11.06 kg, 14.21%, ES = 0.67), throwing velocity (1.76 kmh?1, 2.76%, ES = 0.25), and 20-m maximal sprint swim (?0.26 seconds, 2.25%, ES = 0.29). Specific strength and high-intensity training in male WP players for 18 weeks produced a positive effect on performance qualities highly specific to WP. Therefore, we propose modifications to the current training methodology for WP players to include strength and high-intensity training for athlete preparation in this sport.

Strength Training Increases Endurance Time to Exhaustion During High-Intensity Exercise Despite No Change in Critical Power

imageAbstract: Sawyer, BJ, Stokes, DG, Womack, CJ, Morton, RH, Weltman, A, and Gaesser, GA. Strength training increases endurance time to exhaustion during high-intensity exercise despite no change in critical power. J Strength Cond Res 28(3): 601?609, 2014?The purpose of this study was to determine whether improvements in endurance exercise performance elicited by strength training were accurately reflected by changes in parameters of the power-duration hyperbola for high-intensity exercise. Before and after 8 weeks of strength training (N = 14) or no exercise, control (N = 5), 19 males (age: 20.6 2.0 years; weight: 78.2 15.9 kg) performed a maximal incremental exercise test on a cycle ergometer and also cycled to exhaustion during 4 constant-power exercise bouts. Critical power (CP) and anaerobic work capacity (W?) were estimated using nonlinear and linear models. Subjects in the strength training group improved significantly more than controls (p < 0.05) for strength (?30%), power at V[Combining Dot Above]O2peak (7.9%), and time to exhaustion (TTE) for all 4 constant-power tests (?39%). Contrary to our hypothesis, CP did not change significantly after strength training (p > 0.05 for all models). Strength training improved W? (mean range of improvement = +5.8 to +10.0 kJ; p < 0.05) for both linear models. Increases in W? were consistently positively correlated with improvements in TTE, whereas changes in CP were not. Our findings indicate that strength training alters the power-duration hyperbola such that W? is enhanced without any improvement in CP. Consequently, CP may not be robust enough to track changes in endurance capacity elicited by strength training, and we do not recommend it to be used for this purpose. Conversely, W? may be the better indicator of improvement in endurance performance elicited by strength training.

Development of Repeated Sprint Ability in Talented Youth Basketball Players

imageAbstract: te Wierike, SCM, de Jong, MC, Tromp, EJY, Vuijk, PJ, Lemmink, KAPM, Malina, RM, Elferink-Gemser, MT, and Visscher, C. Development of repeated sprint ability in talented youth basketball players. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 928?934, 2014?Factors affecting repeated sprint ability (RSA) were evaluated in a mixed-longitudinal sample of 48 elite basketball players 14?19 years of age (16.1 1.7 years). Players were observed on 6 occasions during the 2008?09 and 2009?10 seasons. Three following basketball-specific field tests were administered on each occasion: the shuttle sprint test for RSA, the vertical jump for lower body explosive strength (power), and the interval shuttle run test for interval endurance capacity. Height and weight were measured; body composition was estimated (percent fat, lean body mass). Multilevel modeling of RSA development curve was used with 32 players (16.0 1.7 years) who had 2 or more observations. The 16 players (16.1 1.8 years) measured on only 1 occasion were used as a control group to evaluate the appropriateness of the model. Age, lower body explosive strength, and interval endurance capacity significantly contributed to RSA (p ? 0.05). Repeated sprint ability improved with age from 14 to 17 years (p ? 0.05) and reached a plateau at 17?19 years. Predicted RSA did not significantly differ from measured RSA in the control group (p ? 0.05). The results suggest a potentially important role for the training of lower body explosive strength and interval endurance capacity in the development of RSA among youth basketball players. Age-specific reference values for RSA of youth players may assist basketball coaches in setting appropriate goals for individual players.

Exercise Behavior of Ultramarathon Runners: Baseline Findings From the ULTRA Study

imageAbstract: Hoffman, MD, and Krishnan, E. Exercise behavior of ultramarathon runners: baseline findings from the ULTRA Study. J Strength Cond Res 27(11): 2939?2945, 2013?Little is known about exercise habits of those who compete in foot races longer than the standard 42-km marathon distance. The purpose of this work was to describe the past-year and lifetime exercise patterns of a large cohort of ultramarathon runners. Information on exercise history was collected on 1,345 current and former ultramarathon runners as baseline data for participation in a longitudinal observational study. Median age at the first ultramarathon was 36 years, and the median number of years of regular running before the first ultramarathon was 7 (interquartile range, 3?15). Age at first ultramarathon did not change across the past several decades, but there was evidence of an inverse relationship (r = ?0.13, p < 0.0001) between number of years of regular running before the first ultramarathon and calendar year. The active ultramarathon runners (n = 1,212) had a previous year median running distance of 3,347 km, which was minimally related to age (r = ?0.068, p = 0.018), but mostly related to their longest ultramarathon competition of the year (p < 0.0001). Running injuries represented the most common reason for discontinuation of regular running, whereas work and family commitments were reported as the main reasons for not running an ultramarathon in the previous year among those who were regularly running and intending to run ultramarathons again. We conclude that runners tend to be well into adulthood and with several years of running experience before running their first ultramarathon, but 25% have only been regularly running for 3 years or less at the time of their first ultramarathon.

Relationships Between Field Performance Tests in High-Level Soccer Players

imageAbstract: Ingebrigtsen, J, Brochmann, M, Castagna, C, Bradley, PS, Ade, J, Krustrup, P, and Holtermann, A. Relationships between field performance tests in high-level soccer layers. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 942?949, 2014?To reduce athlete testing time, the aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between the Yo-Yo intermittent recovery test levels 1 (IR1) and 2 (IR2) performances, maximal sprinting speed (10, 20, and 35 m), repeated sprint ability (RSA; 7 35 m), and submaximal heart rates (HRs) after 2 and 4 minutes of the Yo-Yo IR tests by testing 57 high-level soccer players. All players played regularly in one of 3 highest levels of Norwegian soccer and were tested during 3 sessions on 3 consecutive days. Large correlations were observed between Yo-Yo IR1 and IR2 test performances (r = 0.753, p ? 0.05). Small and moderate correlations were found between 20- and 35-m sprinting speed and Yo-Yo IR1 performance (r = ?0.289 and ?0.321, respectively, p ? 0.05), whereas 35-m sprinting speed correlated moderately to Yo-Yo IR2 performance (r = ?0.371, p ? 0.05). Repeated sprint ability at 10, 20, and 35 m all showed moderate to large correlations to Yo-Yo IR1 performance (r = ?0.337 to ?0.573, p ? 0.05). Repeated sprint ability at 20 m (r = ?0.348, p ? 0.05) and 35 m (r = ?0.552, p ? 0.01) correlated moderately and largely to Yo-Yo IR2 performance. In addition, moderate and large correlations were found between submaximal Yo-Yo IR1 HRs after 2 (r = ?0.483, p ? 0.01) and 4 minutes (r = ?0.655, p ? 0.01) and Yo-Yo IR1 performance, and 2 minutes Yo-Yo IR2 HR and Yo-Yo IR2 performance (r = ?0.530, p ? 0.01). Intraclass correlation measures of submaximal HR after 2 and 4 minutes of Yo-Yo IR1 test and after 2 minutes of the Yo-Yo IR2 were 0.92 (coefficient of variation [CV] = 4.1%, n = 33), 0.93 (CV = 3.8%, n = 33), and 0.72 (CV = 2.9%, n = 10). Adjusted ordinary least square (OLS) regressions revealed associations (p ? 0.05) between sprint speed at 20 and 35 m and Yo-Yo IR1 test performance, but only between 35 m and IR2 test performance (p ? 0.05). Further, OLS showed that RSA at 35 m was related to both levels of the Yo-Yo IR test (p ? 0.01), and that submaximal HRs after 2 and 4 minutes were independently associated with Yo-Yo IR1 and IR2 performances (p ? 0.01). In conclusion, Yo-Yo IR1 and 2 test performances, as well as sprint and RSA performances, correlated very largely, and it may therefore be considered using only one of the Yo-Yo tests and a RSA test, in a general soccer-specific field test protocol. The submaximal HR measures during Yo-Yo tests are reproducible and may be used for frequent, time-efficient, and nonexhaustive testing of intermittent exercise capacity of high-level soccer players.

The Acute Effect of Mouth Only Breathing on Time to Completion, Heart Rate, Rate of Perceived Exertion, Blood Lactate, and Ventilatory Measures During a High-Intensity Shuttle Run Sequence

imageAbstract: Meir, R, Zhao, G-G, Zhou, S, Beavers, R, and Davie, A. The acute effect of mouth-only breathing on time to completion, heart rate, rate of perceived exertion, blood lactate, and ventilatory measures during a high-intensity shuttle run sequence. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 950?957, 2014?This study investigated the effect of restricting nasal breathing during a series of 20-m shuttle runs. Ten male participants (mean age = 21.7 2.4 years, height = 1.80 0.62 m, mass = 79.2 10.4 kg, sum of 4 skinfolds = 54.5 7.8 mm) were required to either (a) dive on the ground and complete a rolling sequence (condition = GRD) or (b) complete the shuttles while staying on their feet and tagging the line with 1 foot, at the end of each 20-m segment (condition = STD). The shuttle runs were completed with and without a nose clip (no clip = nc; with a clip = clip) under 4 different trial conditions in a randomized order (GRDnc; GRDclip; STDnc; and STDclip), requiring the participants to return on 4 separate occasions separated by 5?7 days. Heart rate was recorded throughout each trial, and the rate of perceived exertion (RPE) was measured at the completion of each shuttle sequence. Pretrial and posttrial lactate and respiratory function measures were also recorded. The general linear model with repeated measures analysis indicated that there was a significant effect for Roll (GRD > STD) (p ? 0.05) but not for Clip (p > 0.05) on total time to completion in the trials. There was no significant interaction of the conditions (Roll Clip) for RPE (p > 0.05). Similarly, there was no significant effect for blood lactate measured 3 minutes post the last shuttle for Roll (p > 0.05) and Clip (p > 0.05). There was a significant main effect on the HR across all 6 time points (i.e., pre, intervals 1?4 and 10 minutes post) (p ? 0.05) and for Roll (GRD > STD) (p ? 0.05), but not for Clip (p > 0.05). No significant effect of Roll or Clip was found for any of the recorded ventilation measures (p > 0.05). On the basis of these findings, the use of restricted nasal breathing, while performing a high-intensity shuttle sequence as a method of increasing the acute training effect on athletes, is questionable, so strength and conditioning coaches should carefully consider their rationale for using such a training strategy.

Aerobic Fitness Ecological Validity in Elite Soccer Players: A Metabolic Power Approach

imageAbstract: Manzi, V, Impellizzeri, F, and Castagna, C. Aerobic fitness ecological validity in elite soccer players: a metabolic power approach. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 914?919, 2014?The aim of this study was to examine the association between match metabolic power (MP) categories and aerobic fitness in elite-level male soccer players. Seventeen male professional soccer players were tested for V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, maximal aerobic speed (MAS), V[Combining Dot Above]O2 at ventilatory threshold (V[Combining Dot Above]O2VT and %V[Combining Dot Above]O2VT), and speed at a selected blood lactate concentration (4 mmolL?1, VL4). Aerobic fitness tests were performed at the end of preseason and after 12 and 24 weeks during the championship. Aerobic fitness and MP variables were considered as mean of all seasonal testing and of 16 Championship home matches for all the calculations, respectively. Results showed that V[Combining Dot Above]O2max (from 0.55 to 0.68), MAS (from 0.52 to 0.72), V[Combining Dot Above]O2VT (from 0.72 to 0.83), %V[Combining Dot Above]O2maxVT (from 0.62 to 0.65), and VL4 (from 0.56 to 0.73) were significantly (p < 0.05 to 0.001) large to very large associated with MP variables. These results provide evidence to the ecological validity of aerobic fitness in male professional soccer. Strength and conditioning professionals should consider aerobic fitness in their training program when dealing with professional male soccer players. The MP method resulted an interesting approach for tracking external load in male professional soccer players.

Combining Normobaric Hypoxia With Short-term Resistance Training Has No Additive Beneficial Effect on Muscular Performance and Body Composition

imageAbstract: Ho, J-Y, Kuo, T-Y, Liu, K-L, Dong, X-Y, and Tung, K. Combining normobaric hypoxia with short-term resistance training has no additive beneficial effect on muscular performance and body composition. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 935?941, 2014?The aim of this study was to determine the effects of short-term resistance training combined with systemic hypoxia on muscular performance and body composition. Eighteen resistance-untrained men (21.3 2.0 years, 172.7 5.5 cm, 67.3 9.7 kg) were matched and assigned to 2 experimental groups: performing 6 weeks of squat exercise training under normobaric hypoxia (H, FiO2 = 15%) or normoxia (N). In both groups, subjects performed 3 weekly sessions (a total of 18 sessions) of 3 sets of back squat at 10-repetition maximum with 2 minutes of rest between sets. Dynamic, isometric, and isokinetic leg strength and body composition were measured under normoxia before and after resistance training. Squat 1 repetition maximum (1RM) improved significantly (p ? 0.05) after resistance training in both H and N groups (88.9 16.9 to 109.4 17.0 kg and 90.0 12.2 to 105.6 13.3 kg, respectively). However, there were no changes in maximal isometric and isokinetic leg strength, lean body mass, and fat mass after the resistance training in both groups. In addition, no significant differences were observed between H and N groups in squat 1RM, maximal isometric and isokinetic leg strength, and body composition. The major findings of this study suggest that short-term resistance training performed under normobaric hypoxia has no additive beneficial effect on muscular performance and body composition. In practical terms, our data suggest that the use of systemic hypoxia during short-term resistance training is not a viable method to further enhance muscular performance and body composition in previously resistance-untrained men.

Jump-Landing Differences Between Varsity, Club, and Intramural Athletes: The Jump-ACL Study

imageAbstract: Theiss, JL, Gerber, JP, Cameron, KL, Beutler, AI, Marshall, SW, Distefano, LJ, Padua, DA, de la Motte, SJ, Miller, JM, and Yunker, CA. Jump-landing differences between varsity, club, and intramural athletes: The jump-ACL study. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1164?1171, 2014?Abnormal movement patterns have been identified as important prospective risk factors for lower extremity injury, including anterior cruciate ligament injury. Specifically, poor neuromuscular control during the early landing phase has been associated with increased injury risk. Although it is commonly assumed that higher division collegiate athletes generally exhibit better movement patterns than lower division athletes, few studies compare the biomechanical differences on basic tasks such as jump landing between various levels of athletic groups. The objective of this study was to evaluate jump-landing and fitness differences among college-aged Intramural, Competitive Club, and National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I level athletes. Two hundred seventy-seven student-athletes (222 men, 55 women; age 19.3 0.8 years) categorized as NCAA Division I, Competitive Club, or Intramural level athletes were evaluated during a jump-landing task using the Landing Error Scoring System (LESS), a validated qualitative movement assessment. Fitness was measured using the Army Physical Fitness Test (APFT). Results showed no significant differences in landing errors between the levels of athletic group (F2,267 = 0.36, p = 0.70). There was a significant difference in landing errors between genders (F1,268 = 3.99, p = 0.05). Significant differences in APFT scores were observed between level of athletic group (F2,267 = 11.14, p < 0.001) and gender (F1,268 = 9.27, p = 0.003). There was no significant correlation between the APFT and LESS scores (p = 0.26). In conclusion, higher level athletes had better physical fitness as measured by the APFT but did not as a group exhibit better landing technique. The implications of this research suggest that ?high-risk? movement patterns are prevalent in all levels of athletes.

Changes in Height, Body Weight, and Body Composition in American Football Players From 1942 to 2011

imageAbstract: Anzell, AR, Potteiger, JA, Kraemer, WJ, and Otieno, S. Changes in height, body weight, and body composition in American football players from 1942 to 2011. J Strength Cond Res 27(2): 277?284, 2013?The purpose of this study was to document changes in height (cm), body weight (kg), and body composition (%fat) of American football players from 1942 to 2011. Published articles were identified from databases and cross-referencing of bibliographies. Studies selected met the requirements of (1) having 2 of 3 dependent (height, body weight, and body composition) variables reported in the results; (2) containing a skill level of college or professional; (3) providing measured not self-reported data; and (4) published studies in English language journals. The data were categorized into groups based on skill level (college and professional). The player positions were grouped into 3 categories: mixed linemen (offensive and defensive linemen, tight ends, and linebackers), mixed offensive backs (quarterback and running backs), and mixed skilled positions (defensive backs and wide receivers). Linear regression was used to provide slope estimates and 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Unpaired t-tests were used to determine whether an individual regression slope was significantly different from zero. Statistical significance was set at p < 0.017. College level players in all position groups have significantly increased body weight over time (95% CI: mixed lineman 0.338?0.900 kgy?1; mixed offensive backs 0.089?0.298 kgy?1; mixed skilled 0.078?0.334 kgy?1). The college level mixed linemen showed a significant increase over time for height (95% CI: 0.034?0.188 cmy?1) and body composition (0.046?0.275% fat per year). Significant increases in body weight over time were found for professional level mixed lineman (95% CI: 0.098?0.756 kgy?1) and mixed offensive backs (95% CI: 0.1800?0.545 kgy?1). There were no other significant changes at the professional level. These data demonstrate that body weight of all college players and professional mixed lineman have significantly increased from 1942 to 2011.

A Systematic Review: Plyometric Training Programs for Young Children

imageJohnson, BA, Salzberg, CL, and Stevenson, DA. A systematic review: plyometric training programs for young children. J Strength Cond Res 25(9): 2623-2633, 2011?The purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the efficacy and safety of plyometric training for improving motor performance in young children; to determine if this type of training could be used to improve the strength, running speed, agility, and jumping ability of children with low motor competence; and to examine the extent and quality of the current research literature. Primary research articles were selected if they (a) described the outcomes of a plyometric exercise intervention; (b) included measures of strength, balance, running speed, jumping ability, or agility; (c) included prepubertal children 5-14 years of age; and (d) used a randomized control trial or quasiexperimental design. Seven articles met the inclusion criteria for the final review. The 7 studies were judged to be of low quality (values of 4-6). Plyometric training had a large effect on improving the ability to run and jump. Preliminary evidence suggests plyometric training also had a large effect on increasing kicking distance, balance, and agility. The current evidence suggests that a twice a week program for 8-10 weeks beginning at 50-60 jumps a session and increasing exercise load weekly results in the largest changes in running and jumping performance. An alternative program for children who do not have the capability or tolerance for a twice a week program would be a low-intensity program for a longer duration. The research suggests that plyometric training is safe for children when parents provide consent, children agree to participate, and safety guidelines are built into the intervention.

Differences Among Estimates of Critical Power and Anaerobic Work Capacity Derived From Five Mathematical Models and the Three-Minute All-Out Test

imageAbstract: Bergstrom, HC, Housh, TJ, Zuniga, JM, Traylor, DA, Lewis, RW Jr, Camic, CL, Schmidt, RJ, and Johnson, GO. Differences among estimates of critical power and anaerobic work capacity derived from five mathematical models and the three-minute all-out test. J Strength Cond Res 28(3): 592?600, 2014?Estimates of critical power (CP) and anaerobic work capacity (AWC) from the power output vs. time relationship have been derived from various mathematical models. The purpose of this study was to examine estimates of CP and AWC from the multiple work bout, 2- and 3-parameter models, and those from the 3-minute all-out CP (CP3min) test. Nine college-aged subjects performed a maximal incremental test to determine the peak oxygen consumption rate and the gas exchange threshold. On separate days, each subject completed 4 randomly ordered constant power output rides to exhaustion to estimate CP and AWC from 5 regression models (2 linear, 2 nonlinear, and 1 exponential). During the final visit, CP and AWC were estimated from the CP3min test. The nonlinear 3-parameter (Nonlinear-3) model produced the lowest estimate of CP. The exponential (EXP) model and the CP3min test were not statistically different and produced the highest estimates of CP. Critical power estimated from the Nonlinear-3 model was 14% less than those from the EXP model and the CP3min test and 4?6% less than those from the linear models. Furthermore, the Nonlinear-3 and nonlinear 2-parameter (Nonlinear-2) models produced significantly greater estimates of AWC than did the linear models and CP3min. The current findings suggested that the Nonlinear-3 model may provide estimates of CP and AWC that more accurately reflect the asymptote of the power output vs. time relationship, the demarcation of the heavy and severe exercise intensity domains, and anaerobic capabilities than will the linear models and CP3min test.

The Effects of Myofascial Release With Foam Rolling on Performance

imageAbstract: Healey, KC, Hatfield, DL, Blanpied, P, Dorfman, LR, and Riebe, D. The effects of myofascial release with foam rolling on performance. J Strength Cond Res 28(1): 61?68, 2014?In the last decade, self-myofascial release has become an increasingly common modality to supplement traditional methods of massage, so a masseuse is not necessary. However, there are limited clinical data demonstrating the efficacy or mechanism of this treatment on athletic performance. The purpose of this study was to determine whether the use of myofascial rollers before athletic tests can enhance performance. Twenty-six (13 men and 13 women) healthy college-aged individuals (21.56 2.04 years, 23.97 3.98 body mass index, 20.57 12.21 percent body fat) were recruited. The study design was a randomized crossover design in which subject performed a series of planking exercises or foam rolling exercises and then performed a series of athletic performance tests (vertical jump height and power, isometric force, and agility). Fatigue, soreness, and exertion were also measured. A 2 2 (trial gender) analysis of variance with repeated measures and appropriate post hoc was used to analyze the data. There were no significant differences between foam rolling and planking for all 4 of the athletic tests. However, there was a significant difference between genders on all the athletic tests (p ? 0.001). As expected, there were significant increases from pre to post exercise during both trials for fatigue, soreness, and exertion (p ? 0.01). Postexercise fatigue after foam rolling was significantly less than after the subjects performed planking (p ? 0.05). The reduced feeling of fatigue may allow participants to extend acute workout time and volume, which can lead to chronic performance enhancements. However, foam rolling had no effect on performance.

Predictors of High-Intensity Running Capacity in Collegiate Women During a Soccer Game

imageAbstract: McCormack, WP, Stout, JR, Wells, AJ, Gonzalez, AM, Mangine, GT, Fragala, MS, and Hoffman, JR. Predictors of high-intensity running capacity in collegiate women during a soccer game. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 964?970, 2014?The purpose of this investigation was to determine which physiological assessments best predicted high-intensity running (HIR) performance during a women's collegiate soccer game. A secondary purpose was to examine the relationships among physiological performance measures including muscle architecture on soccer performance (distance covered, HIR, and sprints during the game) during a competitive collegiate women's soccer game. Ten National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I women soccer players performed physiological assessments within a 2-week period before a competitive regulation soccer game performed during the spring season. Testing consisted of height, body mass, ultrasound measurement of dominant (DOMleg), and nondominant leg (NDOMleg) vastus lateralis for muscle thickness (MT) and pennation angle (PA), V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, running economy, and Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) for peak power (PP), mean power (MP), and fatigue rate (FR). During the game, distance run, HIR, and sprints were measured using a 10-Hz global positioning system. Stepwise regression revealed that V[Combining Dot Above]O2max, dominant leg thickness, and dominant leg PA were the strongest predictors of HIR distance during the game (R = 0.989, SEE = 115.5 m, p = 0.001). V[Combining Dot Above]O2max was significantly correlated with total distance run (r = 0.831; p = 0.003), HIR (r = 0.755; p = 0.012), WAnTPP (r = ?0.737; p = 0.015), WAnTPPkg?1 (r = ?0.706; p = 0.022), and WAnTFR (r = ?0.713; p = 0.021). DOMlegMT was significantly correlated with WAnTFR (r = 0.893; p = 0.001). DOMlegPA was significantly correlated with WAnTFR (r = 0.740; p = 0.023). The NDOMlegPA was significantly correlated to peak running velocity (r = 0.781; p = 0.013) and WAnT MPkg?1 (r = 0.801; p = 0.01). Results of this study indicate that V[Combining Dot Above]O2max and muscle architecture are important characteristics of NCAA Division I women soccer players and may predict HIR distance during a competitive contest.

Acute Apnea Swimming: Metabolic Responses and Performance

imageAbstract: Guimard, A, Prieur, F, Zorgati, H, Morin, D, Lasne, F, and Collomp, K. Acute apnea swimming: Metabolic responses and performance. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 958?963, 2014?Competitive swimmers regularly perform apnea series with or without fins as part of their training, but the ergogenic and metabolic repercussions of acute and chronic apnea have not been examined. Therefore, we aimed to investigate the cardiovascular, lactate, arterial oxygen saturation and hormonal responses to acute apnea in relation to performance in male swimmers. According to a randomized protocol, 15 national or regional competitive swimmers were monitored while performing four 100-m freestyle trials, each consisting of four 25-m segments with departure every 30 seconds at maximal speed in the following conditions: with normal frequency breathing with fins (F) and without fins (S) and with complete apnea for the four 25-m segments with (FAp) and without fins (SAp). Heart rate (HR) was measured continuously and arterial oxygen saturation, blood, and saliva samples were assessed after 30 seconds, 3 minutes, and 10 minutes of recovery, respectively. Swimming performance was better with fins than without both with normal frequency breathing and apnea (p < 0.001). Apnea induced no change in lactatemia, but a decrease in arterial oxygen saturation in both SAp and FAp (p < 0.001) was noted and a decrease in HR and swimming performance in SAp (p < 0.01). During apnea without fins, performance alteration was correlated with bradycardia (r = 0.63) and arterial oxygen desaturation (r = ?0.57). Saliva dehydroepiandrosterone was increased compared with basal values whatever the trial (p ? 0.05), whereas no change was found in saliva cortisol or testosterone. Further studies are necessary to clarify the fin effect on HR and performance during apnea swimming.

Exercises to Activate the Deeper Abdominal Wall Muscles: The Lewit: A Preliminary Study

imageAbstract: Badiuk, BWN, Andersen, JT, and McGill, SM. Exercises to activate the deeper abdominal wall muscles: The Lewit: A preliminary study. J Strength Cond Res 28(3): 856?860, 2014?The abdominal wall is a prime target for therapeutic exercises aimed to prevent and rehabilitate low back pain and to enhance performance training. This study examined the ?Lewit,? a corrective exercise prescribed for several purposes, which is performed lying supine in a crook-lying position and involves forceful breathing. Muscle activation and lumbar posture were compared with bracing the abdominal wall (stiffening) with robust effort and ?hollowing? (attempting to draw in the wall toward the naval) with robust effort. Eight healthy male volunteers with 6 channels of electromyography were collected by means of surface electrode pairs of the rectus abdominis, external oblique, and internal oblique (IO) together with lumbar motion. The Lewit exercise caused higher muscle activity in the deeper abdominal wall muscles, in particular the IO and by default the transverse abdominis were activated at 54% maximum voluntary contractions (MVCs) on average and 84% MVC peak with no change in spine posture to maintain the elastic equilibrium of the lumbar spine. The Lewit is a deep oblique muscle activation exercise, and the activation levels are of a sufficient magnitude for training muscle engrams. This information will assist strength and conditioning coaches with program design decisions where this corrective abdominal exercise may be considered for clients who elevate the ribcage during strength exertions, or for clients targeting the deep obliques.

Plyometric Training Performance in Elite-Oriented Prepubertal Female Gymnasts

imageAbstract: Marina, M and Jemni, M. Plyometric training performance in elite-oriented prepubertal female gymnasts. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1015?1025, 2014?We studied the effectiveness of a combined strength and plyometric training program (experimental period) on jumping performance when compared with a training routine on apparatus (control period) over 2 successive gymnastics training seasons. Nine female elite-orientated gymnasts (around 30-hour training per week) were participated in the study. The study was based on a 20-month longitudinal design covering 2 training seasons separated by a competitive period and transition periods. Each season included 1 control and 1 experimental period (Ctrl?1 + Ex?1 and Ctrl?2 + Ex?2, respectively). Before and after each control and experimental period, we assessed plyometric performance by means of drop jumps (DJs) from 20, 40, 60, 80, and 100 cm. The jump performance variables considered were flight time (FT), contact time (CT), flight-contact ratio (FC), and estimated mechanical power (also called Bosco expression [BE]), all of which were expressed as raw data and normalized (expressed as a percentage) with respect to the recordings at the beginning of each period of analysis. Flight time was the only variable to increase not only during both experimental periods but also during both controls. Our results confirmed larger relative increments of all the variables (FT, CT, BE, and FC), except for CT at DJs of 80 and 100 cm, during the experimental periods than during their respective previous control periods. Despite the additive effect of growth, development, and maturation, the gymnasts were not able to maintain the DJ performance accomplished during Ex?1, thereby confirming detraining during the competitive and transition periods. We conclude that a combination of heavy resistance training with high impact plyometric jumps is effective in prepubertal gymnasts, despite their initial high level of physical conditioning.

An Examination of the Differences Between Two Methods of Estimating Energy Expenditure in Resistance Training Activities

imageAbstract: Vezina, JW, Der Ananian, CA, Campbell, KD, Meckes, N, and Ainsworth, BE. An examination of the differences between two methods of estimating energy expenditure in resistance training activities. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1026?1031, 2014?To date, few studies have looked at the energy expenditure (EE) of individual resistance training (RT) exercises. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the EE of 4 modes of RT (push-ups, curl-ups, pull-ups, and lunges) using 2 different calculation methods for estimating EE. Twelve healthy men with a minimum of 1 year of RT experience were randomly assigned to an RT circuit. Each circuit contained the 4 RT exercises in a specified order. The participants completed 3 trials of their assigned circuit during one visit to the laboratory. Oxygen consumption was measured continuously throughout the trial using indirect calorimetry. Two different calculation methods were applied to estimate EE. Using the traditional method (TEC), we estimated EE by calculating the average oxygen consumption recorded during each activity. Using the second, nontraditional method (NEC), we estimated EE by calculating the average oxygen consumption recorded during the recovery period. Independent T-tests were used to evaluate mean EE differences between the 2 methods. Estimates of EE obtained from the NEC were significantly higher for all the 4 activities (p < 0.001). Using the NEC, 3 of the 4 activities were classified as vigorous intensity (push-ups: 6.91 metabolic equivalents (METs); lunges: 7.52 METs; and pull-ups: 8.03 METs), whereas none were classified as vigorous using the TEC. Findings suggest that the methods we use to calculate the EE of anaerobic activities significantly affect EE estimates. Using the TEC may underestimate actual EE of anaerobic activities.

Kansas Squat Test: A Reliable Indicator of Short-term Anaerobic Power

imageAbstract: Fry, AC, Kudrna, RA, Falvo, MJ, Bloomer, RJ, Moore, CA, Schilling, BK, and Weiss, LW. Kansas squat test: A reliable indicator of short-term anaerobic power. J Strength Cond Res 28(3): 630?635, 2014?The purposes of this study were to establish stability reliability of a measure of lower-body anaerobic power, the Kansas squat test (KST), and to compare the KST with the commonly used Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) for lower-body power. Fourteen resistance-trained men (mean SD; age = 24.2 3.6 years) performed both the KST and the WAnT twice on separate occasions. The KST consisted of using an external dynamometer to measure mean repetition power while performing 15 repetitions of speed squats using 70% of 1 repetition maximum system mass (barbell + body mass), initiating each repetition at 6-second intervals. Repetition power, mean power for all 15 repetitions, and % fatigue for the KST were all reliable (intraclass correlation coefficient = 0.754?0.937; p ? 0.05). There were no differences between tests for the mean power for all repetitions or relative fatigue (p ? 0.05) and no significant differences between tests for any individual repetition (test repetition interaction, p < 0.05). Although absolute values were different (p > 0.05), significant correlations were found between the KST and WAnT for mean (r = 0.752) and maximum (r = 0.775) test powers but not for relative fatigue (r = 0.174). Lactate (HLa) responses were greater for the WAnT compared with the KST. These data indicate that the KST is reliable for resistance-trained men, and that measures of maximum and mean test powers for the KST are highly correlated to those values for the WAnT, but fatigue rates and HLa responses were not correlated. It appears that the KST is a lifting-specific anaerobic power and power endurance test that emphasizes phosphagen metabolism and may be used to assess training-induced changes in lower-body power.

Acute Potentiating Effect of Depth Jumps on Sprint Performance

imageAbstract: Byrne, PJ, Kenny, J, and O? Rourke, B. Acute potentiating effect of depth jumps on sprint performance. J Strength Cond Res 28(3): 610?615, 2014?The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether the addition of 3 depth jumps to a dynamic warm-up (DYNDJ) protocol would significantly improve 20-m sprint performance when compared with a cardiovascular (C) warm-up protocol or a dynamic (DYN) stretching protocol alone. The first part of the study identified optimal drop height for all subjects using the maximum jump height method. The identified optimal drop heights were later used during the DYNDJ protocol. The second part compared the 3 warm-up protocols above to determine their effect on 20-m sprint performance. Twenty-nine subjects (age, 20.8 4.4 years; weight, 82.6 9.9 kg; height, 180.3 6.2 cm) performed 3 protocols of a C protocol, a DYN protocol, and a DYNDJ protocol in a randomized order. A 20-m sprint was performed 1 minute after the completion of each of the 3 protocols. Results displayed significant differences between each of the 3 protocols. A significant improvement (p = 0.001) of 2.2% was obtained in sprint time between the C protocol (3.300 0.105 seconds) and the DYN protocol (3.227 0.116 seconds), a further significant improvement of 5.01% was attained between the C and the DYNDJ protocols (3.300 0.10 vs. 3.132 0.120 seconds; p = 0.001). In addition, a significant improvement (p = 0.001) of 2.93% was observed between the DYN protocol (3.227 0.116 seconds) and the DYNDJ protocol (3.132 0.116 seconds). The data from this study advocate the use of DYNDJ protocol as a means of significantly improving 20-m sprint performance 1 minute after the DYNDJ protocol.

Position Stand on Androgen and Human Growth Hormone Use

imageHoffman, JR, Kraemer, WJ, Bhasin, S, Storer, T, Ratamess, NA, Haff, GG, Willoughby, DS, and Rogol, AD. Position stand on Androgen and human growth hormone use. J Strength Cond Res 23(5): S1-S59, 2009-Perceived yet often misunderstood demands of a sport, overt benefits of anabolic drugs, and the inability to be offered any effective alternatives has fueled anabolic drug abuse despite any consequences. Motivational interactions with many situational demands including the desire for improved body image, sport performance, physical function, and body size influence and fuel such negative decisions. Positive countermeasures to deter the abuse of anabolic drugs are complex and yet unclear. Furthermore, anabolic drugs work and the optimized training and nutritional programs needed to cut into the magnitude of improvement mediated by drug abuse require more work, dedication, and preparation on the part of both athletes and coaches alike. Few shortcuts are available to the athlete who desires to train naturally. Historically, the NSCA has placed an emphasis on education to help athletes, coaches, and strength and conditioning professionals become more knowledgeable, highly skilled, and technically trained in their approach to exercise program design and implementation. Optimizing nutritional strategies are a vital interface to help cope with exercise and sport demands (516-518). In addition, research-based supplements will also have to be acknowledged as a strategic set of tools (e.g., protein supplements before and after resistance exercise workout) that can be used in conjunction with optimized nutrition to allow more effective adaptation and recovery from exercise. Resistance exercise is the most effective anabolic form of exercise, and over the past 20 years, the research base for resistance exercise has just started to develop to a significant volume of work to help in the decision-making process in program design (187,248,305). The interface with nutritional strategies has been less studied, yet may yield even greater benefits to the individual athlete in their attempt to train naturally. Nevertheless, these are the 2 domains that require the most attention when trying to optimize the physical adaptations to exercise training without drug use. Recent surveys indicate that the prevalence of androgen use among adolescents has decreased over the past 10-15 years (154,159,246,253,370,441,493). The decrease in androgen use among these students may be attributed to several factors related to education and viable alternatives (i.e., sport supplements) to substitute for illegal drug use. Although success has been achieved in using peer pressure to educate high school athletes on behaviors designed to reduce the intent to use androgens (206), it has not had the far-reaching effect desired. It would appear that using the people who have the greatest influence on adolescents (coaches and teachers) be the primary focus of the educational program. It becomes imperative that coaches provide realistic training goals for their athletes and understand the difference between normal physiological adaptation to training or that is pharmaceutically enhanced. Only through a stringent coaching certification program will academic institutions be ensured that coaches that they hire will have the minimal knowledge to provide support to their athletes in helping them make the correct choices regarding sport supplements and performance-enhancing drugs. The NSCA rejects the use of androgens and hGH or any performance-enhancing drugs on the basis of ethics, the ideals of fair play in competition, and concerns for the athlete's health. The NSCA has based this position stand on a critical analysis of the scientific literature evaluating the effects of androgens and human growth hormone on human physiology and performance. The use of anabolic drugs to enhance athletic performance has become a major concern for professional sport organizations, sport governing bodies, and the federal government. It is the belief of the NSCA that through education and research we can mitigate the abuse of androgens and hGH by athletes. Due to the diversity of testosterone-related drugs and molecules, the term androgens is believed to be a more appropriate term for anabolic steroids. 1. Androgen administration in a concentration-dependent manner increases lean body mass, muscle mass, and maximal voluntary strength in men. However, the upper concentration for maximum effects remains unknown. 2. Combined administration of androgens and resistance exercise training is associated with greater gains in lean body mass, muscle size, and maximal voluntary strength in men than either intervention alone. 3. Testosterone therapy is approved only for the treatment of hypogonadism in adolescent and adult men. However, the anabolic applications of androgens and selective AR modulators are being explored for the functional limitations associated with aging and some types of chronic illness. 4. The magnitude and frequency of adverse effects among androgen users have not been systematically studied. Potential adverse effects of androgen use in men include suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis, mood and behavior disorders, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, hepatic dysfunction with oral androgens, insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, acne, gynecomastia, and withdrawal after discontinuation. In addition, the polypharmacy of many androgen users (psychoactive and accessory drugs) may have serious adverse effects of their own. 5. The adverse effects of androgen administration in women are similar to those noted in men. In addition, women using androgens may also experience virilizing side effects such as enlargement of the clitoris, deepening of the voice, hirsutism, and changes in body habitus. These changes may not be reversible on cessation of androgen use. 6. In pre- and peripubertal children, androgen use may lead to virilization, premature epiphyseal closure, and resultant adult short stature. 7. Since 1990, the use of androgens for a nonmedical purpose is illegal. Androgens are labeled as a schedule III drug. Possession of any schedule III substance including androgens is punishable by fine, prison time, or both. Prescribing androgens for bodybuilding or enhanced athletic performance is also punishable as noted above. 8. Human growth hormone increases lean body mass within weeks of administration; however, the majority of the change is within the water compartment and not in body cell mass. 9. Human growth hormone is unlikely to be administered as a single agent but often in combination with androgens. 10. Combined administration of hGH and resistance exercise training is associated with minimal gains in lean body mass, muscle size, and maximal voluntary strength in men compared with resistance exercise alone. 11. Human growth hormone is approved for the therapy of children and adolescents with growth hormone deficiency, Turner syndrome, small for gestational age with failure to catch-up to the normal growth curves, chronic kidney disease, Prader-Willi syndrome, idiopathic short stature, Noonan syndrome, and SHOX gene deletion. For adults, hGH is approved for the treatment of GH deficiency, AIDS/HIV with muscle wasting, and short bowel syndrome. 12. The magnitude and frequency of adverse events associated with hGH use are clearly dose related. Potential adverse events include suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary GH/IGF-1 axis, water retention, edema, increased intracranial pressure, joint and muscle aches, and those of needle injection (hepatitis and HIV/AIDS). These should be the same in women as well as in men. 13. Continued effort should be made to educate athletes, coaches, parents, physicians, and athletic trainers along with the general public on androgen and hGH use and abuse. Educational programs should focus on potential medical risks of these illegal performance-enhancing drugs use, optimizing training programs and concurrent nutritional strategies to enhance physiological adaptation and performance. In addition, educating coaches on setting realistic training goals and expectations for their athletes will help reduce the pressures to use illegal PED and assist in potentially identifying potential users of illegal PED. 14. The NSCA supports and promotes additional research funding to be directed toward effective educational programs, documentation of both acute and long-term adverse effects of androgen and hGH abuse, strategies for optimizing athletic performance through training and nutritional interventions, strategies to help athletes discontinue androgen and hGH use, and strategies for the detection of abuse of androgens and hGH.

The Influence of Age on the Viscoelastic Stretch Response

imageAbstract: Sobolewski, EJ, Ryan, ED, Thompson, BJ, McHugh, MP, and Conchola, EC. The influence of age on the viscoelastic stretch response. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1106?1112, 2014?Passive stretching is commonly recommended to help reduce passive stiffness in older adults, yet their acute viscoelastic stretch responses are still unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the influence of age on the acute viscoelastic responses to a practical stretching intervention. Twenty-two younger (24 3 years) and 14 older (67 3 years) males performed four 30-second passive stretches of the plantar flexors at a predetermined torque threshold. The absolute and relative change in stress relaxation (decline in torque during each 30-second stretch) and creep (increase in ankle joint angle across the 4 stretches) were recorded. Passive stiffness was calculated as the slope of the angle-torque curve at 10 angle of dorsiflexion. There were no differences for the absolute stress relaxation responses (p ? 0.118); however, the relative change in stress relaxation was greater (p = 0.010) for the younger vs. older men at stretch 1 (13.0 vs. 8.6%) and decreased across stretches for the younger men (stretch 1 > 3 and 4; p ? 0.018), whereas the older men demonstrated a similar relative change across all 4 stretches (p = 0.917). No age related differences were found for either the absolute or relative creep responses (p ? 0.072). Passive stiffness was also greater in the older men (p = 0.044). These results suggest that the younger men displayed a greater initial relative stress relaxation response that diminished across the repeated stretches, whereas the older men experienced a smaller relative response that remained constant across the four 30-second stretches. However, the increase in range of motion for a given stretch torque (creep) across all 4 stretches was similar between groups despite differences in passive stiffness.

The Athletic Performance of Elite Rugby League Players Is Improved After an 8-Week Small-Sided Game Training Intervention

imageAbstract: Seitz, LB, Rivire, M, de Villarreal, ES, and Haff, GG. The athletic performance of elite rugby league players is improved after an 8-week small-sided game training intervention. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 971?975, 2014?The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of a small-sided game training intervention on the intermittent shuttle running performance, speed, and repeated sprint ability of elite rugby league players during the competitive phase of a rugby league season. Ten elite rugby league players from a Stobart Super League team academy underwent 2 small-sided game sessions per week over an 8-week period. Each session consisted of four 10-minute blocks of 1 small-sided game, interspersed with a 3-minute recovery. Changes in physical performance were assessed before and after the training intervention with an intermittent shuttle running test (30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test), speed tests (10-, 20-, and 40-m linear sprints) and a repeated sprint ability test (8 20-m linear sprint, departing every 20 seconds). Results showed that the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (+1.29%), 10-m (?3.17%), 20-m (?1.37%), and 40-m (?0.96%) sprint times and mean sprint time (?2.11%), total sprint time (?2.11%), and percentage of sprint decrement (7.10 vs. 5.93%) during the repeated sprint ability test were significantly improved after the training intervention. Based on these results, it was concluded that an 8-week small-sided game training intervention was an effective method for improving the physical performance of elite rugby league players during the competitive phase of the season.

Acute Effect of Constant Torque and Angle Stretching on Range of Motion, Muscle Passive Properties, and Stretch Discomfort Perception

imageAbstract: Cabido, CET, Bergamini, JC, Andrade, AGP, Lima, FV, Menzel, HJ, and Chagas, MH. Acute effect of constant torque and angle stretching on range of motion, muscle passive properties, and stretch discomfort perception. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1050?1057, 2014?The aim of the present study was to compare the acute effects of constant torque (CT) and constant angle (CA) stretching exercises on the maximum range of motion (ROMmax), passive stiffness (PS), and ROM corresponding to the first sensation of tightness in the posterior thigh (FSTROM). Twenty-three sedentary men (age, 19?33 years) went through 1 familiarization session and afterward proceeded randomly to both CA and CT treatment stretching conditions, on separate days. An isokinetic dynamometer was used to analyze hamstring muscles during passive knee extension. The subjects performed 4 stretches of 30 seconds each with a 15-second interval between them. In the CA stretching, the subject reached a certain ROM (95% of ROMmax), and the angle was kept constant. However, in the CT stretching exercise, the volunteer reached a certain resistance torque (corresponding to 95% of ROMmax) and it was kept constant. The results showed an increase in ROMmax for both CA and CT (p < 0.001), but the increase was greater for CT than for CA (CA vs. CT in poststretching, p = 0.002). Although the PS decreased for both CA and CT (p < 0.001), the decrease was greater for CT than for CA (CA vs. CT in poststretching, p = 0.002). The FSTROM increased for both CA and CT, but the increase for CT was greater than that for CA (CA vs. CT in poststretching, p = 0.003). The greater increase in ROMmax for the CT stretch may be explained by greater changes in the biomechanical properties of the muscle-tendon unit and stretch tolerance, as indicated by the results of PS and FSTROM.

Countermovement Jump Height: Gender and Sport-Specific Differences in the Force-Time Variables

imageAbstract: Laffaye, G, Wagner, PP, and Tombleson, TIL. Countermovement jump height: Gender and sport-specific differences in the force-time variables. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1096?1105, 2014?The goal of this study was to assess (a) the eccentric rate of force development, the concentric force, and selected time variables on vertical performance during countermovement jump, (b) the existence of gender differences in these variables, and (c) the sport-specific differences. The sample was composed of 189 males and 84 females, all elite athletes involved in college and professional sports (primarily football, basketball, baseball, and volleyball). The subjects performed a series of 6 countermovement jumps on a force plate (500 Hz). Average eccentric rate of force development (ECC-RFD), total time (TIME), eccentric time (ECC-T), Ratio between eccentric and total time (ECC-T:T) and average force (CON-F) were extracted from force-time curves and the vertical jumping performance, measured by impulse momentum. Results show that CON-F (r = 0.57; p < 0.001) and ECC-RFD (r = 0.52, p < 0.001) are strongly correlated with the jump height (JH), whereas the time variables are slightly and negatively correlated (r = ?0.21?0.23, p < 0.01). Force variables differ between both sexes (p < 0.01), whereas time variables did not differ, showing a similar temporal structure. The best way to jump high is to increase CON-F and ECC-RFD thus minimizing the ECC-T. Principal component analysis (PCA) accounted for 76.8% of the JH variance and revealed that JH is predicted by a temporal and a force component. Furthermore, the PCA comparison made among athletes revealed sport-specific signatures: volleyball players revealed a temporal-prevailing profile, a weak-force with large ECC-T:T for basketball players and explosive and powerful profiles for football and baseball players.

Crossfit-Based High-Intensity Power Training Improves Maximal Aerobic Fitness and Body Composition

imageAbstract: Smith, MM, Sommer, AJ, Starkoff, BE, and Devor, ST. Crossfit-based high-intensity power training improves maximal aerobic fitness and body composition. J Strength Cond Res 27(11): 3159?3172, 2013?The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a crossfit-based high-intensity power training (HIPT) program on aerobic fitness and body composition. Healthy subjects of both genders (23 men, 20 women) spanning all levels of aerobic fitness and body composition completed 10 weeks of HIPT consisting of lifts such as the squat, deadlift, clean, snatch, and overhead press performed as quickly as possible. Additionally, this crossfit-based HIPT program included skill work for the improvement of traditional Olympic lifts and selected gymnastic exercises. Body fat percentage was estimated using whole-body plethysmography, and maximal aerobic capacity (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max) was measured by analyzing expired gasses during a Bruce protocol maximal graded treadmill test. These variables were measured again after 10 weeks of training and compared for significant changes using a paired t-test. Results showed significant (p < 0.05) improvements of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max in men (43.10 1.40 to 48.96 1.42 mlkg?1min?1) and women (35.98 1.60 to 40.22 1.62 mlkg?1min?1) and decreased body fat percentage in men (22.2 1.3 to 18.0 1.3) and women (26.6 2.0 to 23.2 2.0). These improvements were significant across all levels of initial fitness. Significant correlations between absolute oxygen consumption and oxygen consumption relative to body weight was found in both men (r = 0.83, p < 0.001) and women (r = 0.94, p < 0.001), indicating that HIPT improved V[Combining Dot Above]O2max scaled to body weight independent of changes to body composition. Our data show that HIPT significantly improves V[Combining Dot Above]O2max and body composition in subjects of both genders across all levels of fitness.

On the Relationship Between Discrete and Repetitive Lifting Performance in Military Tasks

imageAbstract: Savage, RJ, Best, SA, Carstairs, GL, Ham, DJ, and Doyle, TLA. On the relationship between discrete and repetitive lifting performance in military tasks. J Strength Cond Res 28(3): 767?773, 2014?Military manual handling requirements range from discrete lifts to continuous and repetitive lifting tasks. For the military to introduce a discrete lifting assessment, the assessment must be predictive of the various submaximum lifting tasks personnel are required to perform. This study investigated the relationship between discrete and repetitive military lifting to assess the validity of implementing a discrete lifting test. Twenty-one soldiers from the Australian Army completed a whole-body box-lifting assessment as a one repetition maximum (1RM) and a series of submaximal lifting repetitions (% 1RM). Performance was measured between the number of lifting repetitions that could be performed at different intensities between 58 and 95% 1RM. A strong curvilinear relationship existed across the entire submaximal lifting range (r = 0.72, p ? 0.05). The model developed demonstrated a low predictive error (standard error of the estimate = 7.2% 1RM) with no differences detected in the relationship when comparing individuals of high and low strength. Findings support the use of a discrete functional lifting assessment in providing coverage of a broad range of military lifting tasks. Parallels can be drawn between the trend reported in the current study and weight-training exercises reported in the literature.

A Profile of a National Football League Team

imageAbstract: Pryor, JL, Huggins, RA, Casa, DJ, Palmieri, GA, Kraemer, WJ, and Maresh, CM. A profile of a National Football League team. J Strength Cond Res 28(1): 7?13, 2014?The purpose of this study was to document the physical profiles of players on the 2011 New York Giants (NYG) team and to make comparisons with the historical literature on previous National Football League (NFL) player profiles. In this study, height, body mass (BM), body fat percentage (BF%) using skinfold measurements, and several predicted 1 repetition maximal strength and power measures in 30 returning players from the 2011 NYG team, who recently won the Super Bowl, were collected. Players were grouped by position: running back, quarterback (QB), wide receiver (WR), tight end, offensive lineman (OL), defensive lineman (DL), linebacker (LB), and defensive back (DB). Pooled and weighted mean differences (NYG ? NFL) and effect sizes were used to evaluate height, BM, and BF% comparisons of NYG to previous NFL studies from 1998 to 2009. The characteristics of the players as a group were: age, height, BM, BF%: 26 2 years, 183.8 9.0 cm, 144.9 20.8 kg, 14.3 5.5%, respectively. Comparisons highlight distinct position-specific dissimilarity in strength measures, BM, and BF%, which reflect current strength training, conditioning, and team play strategy. As expected, NYG positional differences were found for height (p ? 0.05), BM (p ? 0.037), BF% (p ? 0.048), bench press (p ? 0.048), inclined bench press (p ? 0.013), and squat (p ? 0.026). Anthropometrics profiles did not significantly differ from previously published trends in NFL players indicating equity in physical characteristics over the past 13 years. However, NYG LBs, DLs, OLs, QBs, and WRs trended toward less BF% but generally similar BM compared with NFL players, suggesting greater lean BM in these positions. This study adds new players' data to prototypical position-specific databases that may be used as templates for comparison of players for draft selection or physical training.

Peristaltic Pulse Dynamic Compression of the Lower Extremity Enhances Flexibility

imageAbstract: Sands, WA, Murray, MB, Murray, SR, McNeal, JR, Mizuguchi, S, Sato, K, and Stone, MH. Peristaltic pulse dynamic compression of the lower extremity enhances flexibility. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1058?1064, 2014?This study investigated the effects of peristaltic pulse dynamic compression (PPDC) on range-of-motion (ROM) changes in forward splits. Serious stretching usually involves discomfort and large time investments. Tissue structural changes and stretch tolerance have heretofore been considered the primary mechanisms of enhanced ROM. The PPDC treatment was computer controlled. Circumferential and segmented inflation pressures were induced by feet to hip leggings. Nine subjects, experienced in stretching and a forward split position, volunteered. The subjects were familiarized with the protocol and randomly assigned to an initial condition: experimental (PPDC), or control (CONT). The study involved a crossover design. Second conditions were tested within 1?5 days. All tests were 2 trials of right and left forward splits. Split flexibility was assessed by measuring the height of the anterior superior iliac spine of the rear leg from the floor. Pelvic posture was controlled by rear leg position. The PPDC treatment was 15 minutes of seated PPDC. The control condition was the same except that leggings were not inflated. Pressures of 5 cells in the leggings were set at factory defaults, 70 mm Hg sequentially. Difference score results indicated statistically significant (p ? 0.05) differences by condition and the condition by leg interaction. The rapid acute changes in ROM (PPDC: right 25.3%, left 33.3%; CONT: right 12.2%, left 1.0%) support the premise that changes in ROM were dependent on mechanisms other than tissue structural changes and/or stretch tolerance. PPDC provides a means of rapidly enhancing acute ROM requiring less discomfort and time.

Blood Ammonium and Lactate Accumulation Response to Different Training Protocols Using the Parallel Squat Exercise

imageAbstract: Rogatzki, MJ, Wright, GA, Mikat, RP, and Brice, AG. Blood Ammonium and Lactate Accumulation Response to Different Training Protocols Using the Parallel Squat Exercise. J Strength Cond Res 28(4): 1113?1118, 2014?Three parallel squat protocols with equal total work volume were used to determine the metabolic response of resistance exercise with different practical training protocols combining program variables in the way that they are typically prescribed in field. Sixteen men able to back squat 1.5 times their body weight participated in the study. Individualized muscular endurance (ME), strength (STR), and hypertrophy (HYP) squat workouts were developed based on a 1 repetition maximum back squat. Each protocol was performed 3?7 days apart in random order. Venous blood was obtained after 5 minutes of seated rest both before and after each workout for ammonium and lactate analysis. The ME protocol (79.8 ?M [SD = 45.4], 95% confidence interval [CI]: 55.7?104.0) produced a greater change of plasma ammonium than both the HYP (45.3 ?M [SD = 34.5], 95% CI: 26.9?63.6, p = 0.017) and STR (31.7 ?M [SD = 52.3], 95% CI: 3.9?59.6, p = 0.006) protocols. Change of blood lactate concentration from resting levels to postexercise levels was significantly different (p = 0.005) between ME (6.1 mM [SD = 2.9], 95% CI: 4.6?7.7) and STR (3.9 mM [SD = 2.5], 95% CI: 2.6?5.2) protocols. The main finding of this study is that blood ammonium and lactate seem to accumulate in response to an increasing number of repetitions with decreasing rest time between sets. As consequence, a greater number of repetitions should be added to a resistance workout, along with a shorter rest time between sets when training for events that induce a large metabolic load. The metabolic accumulation associated with high repetition exercise may represent the need for longer recovery time between these types of workouts compared with workouts using a low number of repetitions.

How to Find New Perspectives Even If You?ve Seen It All Before

The following post is shared from GMB Fitness. Enjoy, Baby.

When you’ve been training for a long time, you tend to pick up habits, both good and bad, and hopefully learn some things along the way. The key to lifelong progress is making sure that those habits don’t define you, and that you heed those lessons rather than brushing them off and continuing what you’ve...

Thanks for reading How to Find New Perspectives Even If You’ve Seen It All Before by Amber.


The GMB Fitness Skills Show [Episode #50] ? Choosing the Right Coach for You

The following post is shared from GMB Fitness. Enjoy, Baby.

Choosing the right personal trainer is a difficult decision that too many people take lightly. After all, the person you hire as your trainer is responsible for keeping you safe, giving you the appropriate level of challenge, and pushing you toward your goals. If your personal trainer isn’t doing that, that’s a big problem. Here’s...

Thanks for reading The GMB Fitness Skills Show [Episode #50] – Choosing the Right Coach for You by Rachel.


The Spine ? How it Works, What Can Go Wrong, and How to Make it Stronger

The following post is shared from GMB Fitness. Enjoy, Baby.

Our backs are amazing, complex structures. The spine alone houses the spinal cord and nerves that control our every movement and process the sensations that allow us to connect with the world around us. It?s also part of a system that both absorbs and distributes force, such as lifting and carrying loads through our shoulders...

Thanks for reading The Spine – How it Works, What Can Go Wrong, and How to Make it Stronger by Jarlo.


The GMB Fitness Skills Show [Episode #49] ? Breathe, Dammit!

The following post is shared from GMB Fitness. Enjoy, Baby.

It may seem obvious, but breathing is really important, and the proper way to breathe during various activities isoften underestimated or overlooked. Ryan recently posted a video with a little tip for maintaining even breathing during training, but this episode of the GMB Fitness Skills Show provides a more detailed explanation of various breathing techniques....

Thanks for reading The GMB Fitness Skills Show [Episode #49] – Breathe, Dammit! by Rachel.


A Case for Competition ? Strategies for Engaging in Healthy Competition

The following post is shared from GMB Fitness. Enjoy, Baby.

In today?s brave new world where everyone gets a trophy for participating, and keeping score is deemed vulgar, competition seems to be such a dirty word. Perhaps there are some good reasons for that. Nobody likes that hypercompetitive boor who takes things too seriously and is a poor sport at winning and losing. And who...

Thanks for reading A Case for Competition – Strategies for Engaging in Healthy Competition by Jarlo.


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Chest Exercises

Back Exercises


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Shoulder Exercises

Arm Exercises

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