The Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences has a strong and energetic research culture. In the RAE2008, a proportion of the Department’s research was considered to be “world-leading” and other esteem indicator scores designated 70% of staff submitted to the Sports-Related studies Unit of Assessment as being “ internationally excellent” or “world leading”. Its research activity can be divided into two distinct groups – Sociology of Sport and Exercise and Applied Sport and Exercise Sciences – which focus on advancing knowledge through high quality research that is of benefit to numerous recipients as a consequence of its impact on the exercising and sporting populations, society, public policy, culture and quality of life. Staff and postgraduate research is positively developed in an energetic environment which provides the opportunity to disseminate and discuss research through Department research seminars. This facilitates an interdisciplinary approach to a number of research questions which have evolved from identified real life problems.

Recent Submissions

  • Exercise-induced muscle damage: what is it, what causes it and what are the nutritional solutions?

    Owens, Daniel J; Twist, Craig; Cobley, James; Howatson, Glyn; Close, Graeme; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester; Northumbria University (Taylor & Francis, 2018-08-15)
    Exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) is characterised by symptoms that present both immediately and for up to 14 days after the initial exercise bout. The main consequence of EIMD for the athlete is the loss of skeletal muscle function and soreness. As such, numerous nutrients and functional foods have been examined for their potential to ameliorate the effects of EIMD and accelerate recovery, which is the purpose of many nutritional strategies for the athlete. However, the trade-off between recovery and adaptation is rarely considered. For example, many nutritional interventions described in this review target oxidative stress and inflammation, both thought to contribute to EIMD but are also crucial for the recovery and adaptation process. This calls into question whether long term administration of supplements and functional foods used to target EIMD is indeed best practice. This rapidly growing area of sports nutrition will benefit from careful consideration of the potential hormetic effect of long term use of nutritional aids that ameliorate muscle damage. This review provides a concise overview of what EIMD is, its causes and consequences and critically evaluates potential nutritional strategies to ameliorate EIMD. We present a pragmatic practical summary that can be adopted by practitioners and direct future research, with the purpose of pushing the field to better consider the fine balance between recovery and adaptation and the potential that nutritional interventions have in modulating this balance.
  • When transport policy becomes health policy: A documentary analysis of active travel policy in England

    Bloyce, Daniel; White, Chris; University of Chester (Elsevier, 2018)
    There has been a succession of policy documents related to active travel published by the British government since the implementation of a National Cycle Network (NCN) in 1995. However, as the latest National Travel Survey (NTS) reveals, the number of journeys made by bike in the UK has remained steadfastly around only 2% (Department for Transport [DfT], 2018a). By using documentary analysis of the available official policy documents and statements, the aim of this paper is to make sense of the policies that have been published concerning active travel (AT) in England. This is done from a figurational sociological perspective. Three key themes emerge from the analysis: (1) the rhetorical, advisory level of the vast majority of the policies; (2) the reliance on a wide network of local authorities to implement AT policy; and (3) the focus placed on individuals to change their behaviour. Furthermore, the analysis reveals that despite a large number of policy publications from a range of government departments claiming to promote AT, little has actually changed in this time period in terms of a national agenda. Despite the successive policies, it seems there is little appetite on behalf of recent governments to make widespread infrastructural changes, where instead the focus has largely been on persuading the individual to seek more active modes of travel, increasingly for their own, individual ‘health’ gains.
  • The concurrent validity of a rugby-specific Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (Level 1) for assessing match-related running performance

    Dobbin, Nick; Highton, Jamie M.; Moss, Samantha L.; Hunwicks, Richard; Twist, Craig; University of Chester; Rugby Football League, Leeds (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2018-06-01)
    This study investigated the concurrent validity of a rugby-specific high-intensity intermittent running test (HIIR) against the internal, external and perceptual responses to simulated match-play. Thirty-six rugby league players (age 18.5 ± 1.8 years; stature 181.4 ± 7.6 cm; body mass 83.5 ± 9.8 kg) completed the prone Yo-Yo IR1, of which sixteen also completed the Yo-Yo IR1, and 2 x ~20 min bouts of a simulated match-play (RLMSP-i). Most likely reductions in relative total, low-speed and high-speed distance, mean speed and time above 20 W·kg-1 (HMP) were observed between bouts of the RLMSP-i. Likewise, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and percentage of peak heart rate (%HRpeak) were very likely and likely higher during the second bout. Pearson’s correlations revealed a large relationship for the change in relative distance (r = 0.57-0.61) between bouts with both Yo-Yo IR1 tests. The prone Yo-Yo IR1 was more strongly related to the RLMSP-i for change in repeated sprint speed (r = 0.78 cf. 0.56), mean speed (r = 0.64 cf. 0.36), HMP (r = 0.48 cf. 0.25), fatigue index (r = 0.71 cf. 0.63), %HRpeak (r = -0.56 cf. -0.35), RPEbout1 (r = -0.44 cf. -0.14), and RPEbout2 (r = -0.68 cf. -0.41) than the Yo-Yo IR1, but not for blood lactate concentration (r = -0.20 to -0.28 cf. -0.35 to -0.49). The relationships between prone Yo-Yo IR1 distance and measure of load during the RLMSP-i suggests it possesses concurrent validity and is more strongly associated with measures of training or match load than the Yo-Yo IR1 using rugby league players.
  • The influence of music genre on explosive power, repetitions to failure and mood responses during resistance exercise

    Moss, Samantha L.; Enright, Kevin; Cushman, Simon; University of Chester; Liverpool John Moores University (Elsevier, 2018-05-04)
    Objectives: To investigate the influence of different music genres on the psychological, psychophysical and psychophysiological responses during power-based and strength-based resistance exercises. Design: Repeated-measures counterbalanced design. Method: Sixteen resistance-trained participants completed an explosive power test in the squat and bench exercises at 30% 1RM across no music, electronic dance music, metal and self-selected conditions. Peak and mean values were recorded for power and velocity. A progressive loading protocol assessed the impact of condition on repetitions to failure at 60, 70 and 80% 1RM in the squat and bench exercises. For all tests, recording of heart rate and rating of perceived exertion were completed after every set, blood lactate after protocol completion, and mood states before and after. Results: Using magnitude-based inferences, music either had no effect or a small detrimental effect on power and velocity, depending on the exercise. Repetitions to failure increased by a small to moderate amount for all music conditions compared to no music at low but not high intensities. Self-selected music provided additional small benefits in repetitions than other music conditions. Rating of perceived exertion was similar between self-selected, metal and no music conditions, whereas electronic dance music revealed higher responses. Vigour increased after all music conditions but remained unchanged in no music. Conclusions: Explosive power exercises either remain unchanged or are disadvantaged when completed to music. Various music genres could improve repetition to failure training at low to moderate intensities, although individuals might expect greatest improvements using self-selected music, without concomitant increases in perceived effort.
  • An examination of a modified Yo-Yo test to measure intermittent running performance in rugby players

    Dobbin, Nick; Moss, Samantha; Highton, Jamie M.; Twist, Craig; University of Chester; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-06-17)
    This study examined how starting each shuttle in the prone position altered the internal, external and perceptual responses to the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1. Using a randomized crossover design, 17 male rugby players completed the Yo-Yo IR1 and prone Yo-Yo IR1 on two separate occasions. External loads (via microtechnology), V ̇O2, heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured at 160, 280 and 440 m (sub-maximal) and when the test was terminated (peak). The pre-to-post change in blood lactate concentration (∆[La]b) was determined for both tests. All data were analysed using effect sizes and magnitude-based inferences. Between-trial differences (ES  90%CL) indicated total distance was most likely lower (-1.87  0.19), whereas other measures of peak external load were likely to very likely higher during the prone Yo-Yo IR1 (0.62-1.80). Sub-maximal RPE was likely to most likely higher (0.40-0.96) and peak RPE very likely higher (0.63  0.41) in the prone Yo-Yo IR1. The change in [La]b was likely higher after the prone Yo-Yo IRl. Mean HR was possibly lower at 440 m (-0.25  0.29) as was peak HR (-0.26  0.25) in the prone Yo-Yo IR1. "V" ̇E, "V" ̇O2 and "V" ̇CO2 were likely to very likely higher at 280 and 440 m (ES = 0.36-1.22), while peak values were possibly to likely higher (ES = 0.23-0.37) in the prone Yo-Yo IR1. Adopting a prone position during the Yo-Yo IR1 increases the internal, perceptual and external responses, placing greater emphasis on metabolically demanding actions typical of rugby.
  • The influence of preseason training phase and training load on body composition and its relationship with physical qualities in professional junior rugby league players

    Dobbin, Nick; Gardner, Adrian; Daniels, Matthew; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-08)
    This study investigated changes in body composition in relation to training load determined using RPE and duration (sRPE), and its relationship with physical qualities over a preseason period. Sixteen professional academy players (age = 17.2 ± 0.7 years; stature = 179.9 ± 4.9 cm; body mass = 88.5 ± 10.1 kg) participated in the study. Body composition was assessed before and after each training phase and physical qualities assessed at the start and end of preseason. Across the whole preseason period, skinfold thickness, body fat percentage and fat mass were most likely lower (ES = -0.73 to -1.00), and fat free mass and lean mass were likely to most likely higher (ES = 0.31 to 0.40). Results indicated that the magnitude of change appeared phase-dependent (ES = -0.05 to -0.85) and demonstrated large individual variability. Changes in physical qualities ranged from unclear to most likely (ES = -0.50 to 0.64). Small to moderate correlations were observed between changes in body composition, and TL with changes in physical qualities. This study suggests training phase and TL can influence a player’s body composition; that large inter-participant variability exists; and that body composition and TL are related to the change in physical qualities.
  • Metabolic demands of elite rugby competition after 36 hours of a high (6 g·kg-1) or low (3 g·kg-1) carbohydrate diet: implications for dietary recommendations.

    Bradley, Warren J.; Morehen, James C.; Haigh, Julian; Clarke, Jon; Donovan, Timothy F.; Twist, Craig; Cotton, Caroline; Shepherd, Sam; Cocks, Matthew; Sharma, Asheesh; Impey, Samuel G.; MacLaren, Don P. M.; Morton, James P.; Close, Graeme L.; Liverpool John Moores University; Widnes Vikings Rugby; Glyndwr University; University of Chester; Aintree University Hospital; Royal Liverpool Hospital; University of Liverpool (Elsevier, 2016-04-22)
    Objectives: Although the physical demands of Rugby League (RL) match-play are well-known, the fuel sources supporting energy-production are poorly understood. We therefore assessed muscle glycogen utilisation and plasma metabolite responses to RL match-play after a relatively high (HCHO) or relatively low CHO (LCHO) diet. Design: Sixteen (mean ± SD age; 18 ± 1 years, body-mass; 88 ± 12 kg, height 180 ± 8 cm) professional players completed a RL match after 36-h consuming a non-isocaloric high carbohydrate (n = 8; 6 g kg day−1) or low carbohydrate (n = 8; 3 g kg day−1) diet. Methods: Muscle biopsies and blood samples were obtained pre- and post-match, alongside external and internal loads quantified using Global Positioning System technology and heart rate, respectively. Data were analysed using effects sizes ±90% CI and magnitude-based inferences. Results: Differences in pre-match muscle glycogen between high and low carbohydrate conditions (449 ± 51 and 444 ± 81 mmol kg−1 d.w.) were unclear. High (243 ± 43 mmol kg−1 d.w.) and low carbohydrate groups (298 ± 130 mmol kg−1 d.w.) were most and very likely reduced post-match, respectively. For both groups, differences in pre-match NEFA and glycerol were unclear, with a most likely increase in NEFA and glycerol post-match. NEFA was likely lower in the high compared with low carbohydrate group post-match (0.95 ± 0.39 mmol l−1 and 1.45 ± 0.51 mmol l−1, respectively), whereas differences between the 2 groups for glycerol were unclear (98.1 ± 33.6 mmol l−1 and 123.1 ± 39.6 mmol l−1) in the high and low carbohydrate groups, respectively. Conclusions: Professional RL players can utilise ∼40% of their muscle glycogen during a competitive match regardless of their carbohydrate consumption in the preceding 36-h.
  • Playing exposure does not affect movement characteristics or physiological responses of elite youth footballers during an intensified period of competition.

    Gibson, Neil; McCunn, Robert; MacNay, Sophie; Mullen, Thomas; Twist, Craig; Heriot-Watt University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-05-08)
    This study investigated the effect of playing time on physiological and perceptual responses to six, 60 min matches played over five days. Thirty youth football players (age = 14.1 ± 0.4 years; body mass = 57.4 ± 12.9 kg; stature 169.3 ± 7.7 cm) were grouped into low (<250 min; LPG, n = 18) and high (≥250 min; HPG, n = 12) match exposure groups and monitored daily for lower body power and perceived wellness. GPS technology was used to assess match running demands in total distance (m•min-1), low (<13 km•h-1) and high (≥13 km•h-1) speed running categories. Hypothesis based testing and effect sizes (ES) were used to analyse data. The HPG performed moderately more total distance (103.7 ± 10.4 cf. 90.2 ± 19.7 m•min-1, P = 0.03; ES=0.74 ± 0.63) and high speed running (26.7 ± 6.6 cf. 20.3 ± 6.5 m•min-1, P = 0.01; ES=0.87 ± 0.6) than the LPG across all six matches. Differences of a small magnitude were observed between groups for lower body power (P = 0.08; ES =0.59 ± 0.8) and perceived wellness (P = 0.09; ES=0.42 ± 0.4) which were both higher in the HPG. Youth football players appear well equipped to deal with intensified period of competition, such as those experienced in tournaments, irrespective of match exposure.
  • Movement characteristics, physiological and perceptual responses of elite standard youth football players to different high intensity running drills

    Gibson, Neil; Henning, Greig; Twist, Craig; Heriot-Watt University; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2018-04-06)
    Purpose: To examine responses to high intensity running drills in youth football players. Methods: Seventeen players completed the YoYo Intermittent Recovery test level one (YYIR1) and a 15 m maximal sprint to quantify target running speeds. Players performed three conditions on separate occasions comprising: 12 x 15 s high intensity runs at 100% of the final YYIRT1 speed, 12 x ~4 s repeated sprints with ~26 s recovery, and combination running using both modalities. Heart rate was monitored continuously with PlayerLoadTM and movement characteristics using microtechnology. Ratings of perceived exertion and blood lactate responses were measured 2 min after the final repetition. The ratio of Flight:contraction time was calculated from a countermovement jump before and at 2 min and 14 hours after each condition. Data analysis used magnitude based inferences and effect sizes statistics. Results: Peak speed (1.1%; ES 0.23 ± 0.44) and mean speed over the initial 4s (6.3%; ES 0.45 ± 0.46) were possibly faster during combination compared to high intensity running with unclear differences when compared to repeated sprinting. This was despite most likely (21.6%; ES 7.65 ± 1.02) differences in prescribed speeds between conditions. There were likely reductions in F:C at 14 hours ratio after high intensity (-5.6%; ES –0.44 ± 0.32) and combination running (-6.8%; ES -0.53 ± 0.47). Changes in the repeated sprinting condition were unclear. Conclusions: Actual movement characteristics of high intensity running drills may not reflect those used to prescribe them whilst reductions in F:C ratio are still evident 14 hours after their completion.
  • The effects of variable resistance using chains on bench throw performance in trained rugby players

    Godwin, Mark S.; Fernandes, John F. T.; Twist, Craig; University College Birmingham; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2018-04-01)
    This study sought to determine the effects of variable resistance using chain resistance on bench throw performance. Eight male rugby union players (19.4 ± 2.3 y, 88.8 ± 6.0 kg, 1RM 105.6 ± 17.0 kg) were recruited from a national league team. In a randomised cross-over design participant’s performed three bench throws at 45% one repetition maximum (1RM) at a constant load (No Chains) or a variable load (30% 1RM constant load, 15% 1RM variable load; Chains) with seven days between conditions. For each repetition the peak and mean velocity, peak power, peak acceleration and time to peak velocity were recorded. Differences in peak and mean power were very likely trivial and unclear between the Chains and No Chains conditions, respectively. Possibly greater peak and likely greater mean bar velocity were accompanied by likely to most likely greater bar velocity between 50-400 ms from initiation of bench press in the Chains compared to the No Chains condition. Accordingly, bar acceleration was very likely greater in the Chains compared to the No Chains condition. In conclusion, these results show that the inclusion of chain resistance can acutely enhance several variables in the bench press throw and gives support to this type of training.
  • Beetroot supplementation improves the physiological responses to incline walking

    Waldron, Mark; Waldron, Luke; Lawlor, Craig; Gray, Adrian; Highton, Jamie M.; St Mary's University; University of New England; Medical Education Centre Royal Cornwall Hospitals NHS Trust; University of Chester (Springer, 2018-03-15)
    Purpose: We investigated the effects of an acute 24-h nitrate-rich beetroot juice supplement (BR) on the energy cost, exercise efficiency and blood pressure responses to intermittent walking at different gradients. Methods: In a double-blind, cross-over design, eight participants were provided with a total of 350 ml of nitrate-rich (~20.5 mmol nitrate) BR or placebo (PLA) across 24-h before completing intermittent walking at 3 km/h on treadmill at gradients of 1%, 5%, 10%, 15% and 20%. Results: Resting mean arterial pressure (MAP) was ~4.1% lower after BR (93 vs. 89 mmHg; P = 0.001), as well as during exercise (102 vs. 99 mmHg; P = 0.011) and recovery (97 vs. 94 mmHg; P = 0.001). Exercising (1227 vs. 1129 ml/min P < 0.001) and end-stage (1404 vs. 1249 ml/min; P = 0.002) oxygen uptake (𝑉O2) was lower in BR compared to PLA, which was accompanied by an average reduction in phase II 𝑉 ̇O2 amplitude (1067 vs. 940 ml/min; P = 0.025). Similarly, recovery 𝑉O2 (509 vs. 458 ml/min; P = 0.001) was lower in BR. Whole-blood potassium concentration increased from pre-post exercise in PLA (4.1 ± 0.3 vs. 4.5 ± 0.3 mmol/L; P = 0.013) but not BR (4.1 ± 0.31 vs. 4.3 ± 0.2 mmol/L; P = 0.188). Conclusions: Energy cost of exercise, recovery of 𝑉O2, MAP and blood markers were ameliorated after BR. Previously reported mechanisms explain these findings, which are more noticeable during less efficient walking at steep gradients (15-20%). These findings have practical implications for hill-walkers.
  • The Reliability and Validity of A Submaximal Warm-Up Test for Monitoring Training Status in Professional Soccer Players.

    Rabbani, Alizera; Kargarfard, Mehdi; Twist, Craig; University of Isfahan; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 2017-11-27)
    Two studies were conducted to assess the reliability and validity of a submaximal warm-up test (SWT) in professional soccer players. For the reliability study, 12 male players performed SWT over three trials, with one week between trials. For the validity study, 14 players of the same team performed SWT and 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) 7 days apart. Week-to-week reliability in selected heart rate (HR) responses [exercise HR (HRex), HR recovery (HRR) expressed as the number of beats recovered within 1 min (HRR60s) and expressed as the mean HR during 1 min (HRpost1)], were determined using intraclass correlation coefficient (ICC) and typical error of measurement expressed as coefficient of variation (CV). The relationships between HR measures derived from SWT and the maximal speed reached at the 30-15IFT (VIFT) were used to assess validity. The range for ICC and CV values were 0.83 to 0.95 and 1.4 to 7.0% in all HR measures, respectively, with the HRex as the most reliable HR measure of SWT. Inverse large (r = -0.50, 90% confidence limits, CL (-0.78; -0.06)) and very large (r = -0.76, CL, -0.90; -0.45) relationships were observed between HRex and HRpost1 with VIFT in relative (expressed as the % of maximal HR) measures, respectively. SWT is a reliable and valid submaximal test to monitor high-intensity intermittent running fitness in professional soccer players. In addition, the test’s short duration (5-min) and simplicity mean that it can be used regularly to assess training status in high-level soccer players.
  • Validity of an isometric mid-thigh pull dynamometer in male youth athletes

    Till, Kevin; Morris, R.; Stokes, K.; Trewartha, G.; Twist, Craig; Dobbin, Nick; Hunwicks, Richard; Jones, Ben (2017-11-16)
    The purpose of the present study was to investigate the validity of an isometric mid-thigh pull dynamometer against a criterion measure (i.e., 1,000 Hz force platform) for assessing muscle strength in male youth athletes. Twenty-two male adolescent (age 15.3 ± 0.5 years) rugby league players performed four isometric mid-thigh pull efforts (i.e., two on the dynamometer and two on the force platform) separated by 5 minutes rest in a randomised and counterbalanced order. Mean bias, typical error of estimate (TEE) and Pearson correlation coefficient for peak force (PF) and peak force minus body weight (PFBW) from the force platform were validated against peak force from the dynamometer (DynoPF). When compared to PF and PFBW, mean bias (with 90% Confidence limits) for DynoPF was very large (-32.4 [-34.2 to -30.6] %) and moderate (-10.0 [-12.8 to -7.2] %), respectively. The TEE was moderate for both PF (8.1 [6.3 to 11.2] %) and PFBW (8.9 [7.0 to 12.4]). Correlations between DynoPF and PF (r 0.90 [0.79 to 0.95]) and PFBW (r 0.90 [0.80 to 0.95] were nearly perfect. The isometric mid-thigh pull assessed using a dynamometer underestimated PF and PFBW obtained using a criterion force platform. However, strong correlations between the dynamometer and force platform suggest that a dynamometer provides an appropriate alternative to assess isometric mid-thigh pull strength when a force platform is not available. Therefore, practitioners can use an isometric mid-thigh pull dynamometer to assess strength in the field with youth athletes but should be aware that it underestimates peak force.
  • Misperception: No evidence to dismiss RPE as regulator of moderate-intensity exercise

    Eston, Roger; Coquart, J.; Lamb, Kevin L.; Parfitt, Gaynor; University of South Australia; Universite´ de Rouen; University of Chester (American College of Sports Medicine, 2015-12-01)
    Dear Editor-in-Chief, Shaykevich et al. (7) demonstrate the efficacy of auditory feedback anchored at 75% of age-predicted HRmax to regulate intensity (claimed as ‘‘moderate’’) during several 20-min bouts of cycling. Their technical approach is novel, but 76% HRmax is the upper limit of moderate intensity, so given the large error in age-predicted HRmax, it is unlikely that their exercise bandwidth was ‘‘moderate’’ for all participants. This is not our major concern, but it reveals one among other inaccuracies: the most serious include training, interpretation, and inferences relating to the RPE.
  • Lower-volume muscle-damaging exercise protects against high-volume muscle-damaging exercise and the detrimental effects on endurance performance

    Burt, Dean G.; Lamb, Kevin L.; Nicholas, Ceri; Twist, Craig; University of Chester; Staffordshire University (Springer Verlag, 2015-02-21)
    Purpose: This study examined whether lower-volume exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) performed 2 weeks before high-volume muscle-damaging exercise protects against its detrimental effect on running performance. Methods: Sixteen male participants were randomly assigned to a lower-volume (five sets of ten squats, n = 8) or high-volume (ten sets of ten squats, n = 8) EIMD group and completed baseline measurements for muscle soreness, knee extensor torque, creatine kinase (CK), a 5-min fixedintensity running bout and a 3-km running time-trial. Measurements were repeated 24 and 48 h after EIMD, and the running time-trial after 48 h. Two weeks later, both groups repeated the baseline measurements, ten sets of ten squats and the same follow-up testing (Bout 2). Results: Data analysis revealed increases in muscle soreness and CK and decreases in knee extensor torque 24–48 h after the initial bouts of EIMD. Increases in oxygen uptake ˙V O2 , minute ventilation ˙V E and rating of perceived exertion were observed during fixed-intensity running 24–48 h after EIMD Bout 1. Likewise, time increased and speed and ˙V O2 decreased during a 3-km running time-trial 48 h after EIMD. Symptoms of EIMD, responses during fixed-intensity and running time-trial were attenuated in the days after the repeated bout of high-volume EIMD performed 2 weeks after the initial bout. Conclusions: This study demonstrates that the protective effect of lower-volume EIMD on subsequent high-volume EIMD is transferable to endurance running. Furthermore, time-trial performance was found to be preserved after a repeated bout of EIMD.
  • The effects of a cycling warm-up including high-intensity heavy-resistance conditioning contractions on subsequent 4 km time trial performance

    Chorley, Alan; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (National Strength and Conditioning Association, 2017-03-25)
    Prior exercise has been shown to improve subsequent performance via different mechanisms. Sport-specific conditioning contractions can be used to exploit the 'post-activation potentiation' (PAP) phenomenon to enhance performance although this has rarely been investigated in short endurance events. The aim of this study was to compare a cycling warm-up with PAP-inducing conditioning contractions (CW) with a moderate intensity warm-up (MW) on performance and physiological outcomes of 4 km time trial. Ten well-trained male endurance cyclists (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max 65.3 +/- 5.6 ml[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1) performed two 4 km cycling time trials following a 5-minute recovery after a warm-up at 60% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max for 6.5-minutes (MW), and a warm-up with conditioning contractions (CW) consisting of 5 minutes at 60% of V[Combining Dot Above]O2max then 3 x 10-seconds at 70% of peak power interspersed with 30-seconds recovery. Blood lactate concentrations were measured before and after time trial. Expired gases were analysed along with time, power output (PO), and peak forces over each 500 m split. Following CW, mean completion time was reduced (1.7 +/- 3.5 s p > 0.05), PO increased (5.1 +/- 10.5 W p > 0.05) as did peak force per pedal stroke (5.7 +/- 11 N p > 0.05) when compared to MW. V[Combining Dot Above]O2 increased (1.4 +/- 1.6 ml[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1 p < 0.05) following CW, whilst RER decreased (0.05 +/- 0.02 p < 0.05). Physiological and performance differences following CW were greatest over the first 1500 m of the trials. The results suggest a PAP-inducing warm-up alters V[Combining Dot Above]O2 kinetics and can lead to performance improvements in short endurance cycling but work and recovery durations should be optimised for each athlete.
  • Quantification of the physical and physiological load of a boxing-specific simulation protocol

    Thomson, Edward; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2017-03-24)
    The aim of the study was to determine the physical and physiological responses to simulated amateur boxing of 3 × 3-min rounds. Using an externally valid technical and ambulatory demand, 28 amateur boxers (mean ± SD; age 22.4 ± 3.5 years, body mass 67.7 ± 10.1 kg, stature 171 ± 9 cm) completed the protocol following familiarisation. The physiological load was determined continuously via collection of mean (HRmean) and peak (HRpeak) heart rate, breath-by-breath oxygen uptake ( ̇V O2), aerobic energy expenditure (EEaer), excess carbon dioxide production (CO2excess), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and post-performance blood lactate. Physical performance was quantified as the acceleration delivered to the target by punches. HRmean and HRpeak were found to exceed 165 and 178 b min−1, absolute ̇V O2 > 124.6 ml kg−1, EEaer > 30.7 kcal min−1 and acceleration via 78 punches >2697 g during each round. Mean blood lactate (4.6 mmol l−1) and CO2excess (438.7 ml min−1) were higher than typical resting values reflecting a notable anaerobic contribution. RPEs reinforced the intensity of exercise was strenuous (>6–8). For all measures, there were typical increases (p < 0.05; moderate ES) across rounds. Accordingly, boxers might consider high-intensity (>90% ̇V O2max) interval training in anticipation such exercise yields improvements in aerobic conditioning. Moreover, the current simulation protocol – the boxing conditioning and fitness test – could be used as a form of training per se and as a means to monitor intervention-based changes in aspects of boxing-related physiology and performance. 1.
  • Effort Perception

    Lamb, Kevin L.; Eston, Roger; Parfitt, Gaynor; University of Chester; University of South Australia (Oxford University Press, 2017-04-27)
    Research addressing children's perceptions of exercise effort (their ‘perceived exertion’) has appeared steadily in the scientific literature over the last 30 years. Accepting that the established Borg adult rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale was not appropriate for children, investigators set about developing child-specific scales which employed numbers, words and/or images that were more familiar and understandable. Numerous studies have examined the validity and reliability of such scales as the CERT, PCERT and OMNI amongst children aged 5 to 16, across different modes of exercise (cycling, running, stepping, resistance exercise), protocols (intermittent vs. continuous, incremental vs. non-incremental) and paradigms (estimation vs. production). Such laboratory-based research has enabled the general conclusion that children can, especially with practice, use effort perception scales to differentiate between exercise intensity levels, and to self-regulate their exercise output to match various levels indicated on them. However, inconsistencies in the methodological approaches adopted diminish the certainty of some of the interpretations made by researchers. In addition, though often mentioned, the would-be application of effort perception in physical education and activity/health promotion contexts has been relatively ignored. Accordingly, the scope for research in this applied domain is now considerable.
  • The reliability of tests for sport-specific skill amongst elite youth rugby league players

    Waldron, Mark; Worsfold, Paul R.; Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2012-08-10)
    In rugby league, tests of sport-specific skill often involve subjective assessments of performance by observers of varying qualification. However, the reliability of such subjective assessments has yet to be investigated via appropriate statistical techniques. Therefore, the aims of the current study were to investigate: (1) the intra-observer reliability of a non-qualified observer (‘novice’) and (2) the inter-observer reliability of the three observers (two qualified ‘experts’ and one novice observer) in the assessment of catching, passing and tackling (stages 1 and 2) ability in elite adolescent rugby league players (age: 14.790.5 years). Players performed each skill element within a simulated practice drill and were assessed in ‘real time’ by the observers according to pre-defined criteria. An overall bias (PB0.05) was revealed between the observers in stage 1 of catching and stage 1 of passing, the differences being higher for the novice compared to both expert coaches for each stage of catching and the first stage of passing, and between expert 2 and the novice for stage 2 of tackling. No comparisons met the pre-determined analytical goal of ‘perfect agreement’, for any of the skill components. Comparisons between the expert observers did not reach perfect agreement, with the lowest values occurring for both tackling skill stages (60 65%). None of the tests employed were sufficiently reliable to potentially discern between players of differing ability, which may mean up to 56% of players’ skill being misinterpreted. The credibility of such assessments should be questioned and alternative tests considered.
  • Education, Physical Education and Physical Activity Promotion

    Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Edge Hill University; University of Chester; Innland Norway University (Routledge, 2018)
    This chapter examines: (i) the policy rationale for viewing education and schools as an appropriate setting for PA promotion; (ii) the apparent role PE is expected to have in fostering lifelong participation in PA and sport; and (iii) the limits of education in promoting PA given the significance of wider social inequalities in families and the wider societies of which they are a part. It is suggested that while engaging in PE may help promote PA among young people in schools, and may strengthen their sporting predispositions and biographies, whether the content, organization and delivery of curricula promotes PA often depends on the predispositions, habits and experiences that are acquired and reproduced outside of education in childhood and family contexts characterized by varying degrees of social inequality.

View more