• Roberts and Brodie’s Inner-City Sport: An undiscovered gem?

      Green, Ken; University of Chester (Routledge, 31/10/2013)
      It may seem strange in a book about exemplars of research offering a distinctive contribution to the study of sport to describe Roberts and Brodie’s Inner-City Sport as an undiscovered gem but that is, I think, how it should be viewed. This is not to say that the study and the book that emanated from it have been entirely overlooked but, rather, that the significance of Inner-City Sport has remained largely hidden from the eyes of those having most to learn from it; namely, the many students and practitioners of school physical education (PE), sports development and the like and, for that matter, academics in these fields. If I am correct in this assertion then the significance of Inner-City Sport cannot be measured, straightforwardly, in terms of its impact upon academic understanding, let alone professional practice. Instead, its significance lies in the impact it could have on students, academics and practitioners – specifically in terms of the light the study throws upon what might be termed the ‘recipe’ for becoming ‘locked-in’ to sport.
    • The discriminant validity of standardised testing battery and its ability to differentiate anthropometric and physical characteristics between youth, academy and senior professional rugby league players

      Dobbin, Nicholas; Moss, Samantha L.; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 31/01/2019)
      Purpose: To assess a standardised testing battery’s ability to differentiate anthropometric and physical qualities between youth, academy and senior rugby league players, and determine the discriminant validity of the battery. Methods: A total of 729 rugby league players from multiple clubs within England categorised as youth (n = 235), academy (n = 362) and senior (n = 132) players completed a standardised testing battery that included the assessment of anthropometric and physical characteristics during preseason. Data was analysed using magnitude-based inferences and discriminant analysis. Results: Academy players were most likely taller and heavier than youth players (effect size (ES) = 0.64 to 1.21), with possibly to most likely superior CMJ, medicine ball throw and prone Yo-Yo IR1 performance (ES = 0.23 to 1.00). Senior players were likely to most likely taller and heavier (ES = 0.32 to 1.84), with possibly to most likely superior 10 and 20 m sprint times, CMJ, CoD, medicine ball throw and prone Yo-Yo IR1 compared to youth and academy (ES = -0.60 to 2.06). The magnitude of difference appeared to be influenced by playing position. For the most part, the battery possessed discriminant validity with an accuracy of 72.2%. Conclusion: The standardised testing battery differentiates anthropometric and physical qualities of youth, academy and senior players as a group and, in most instances, within positional groups. Furthermore, the battery is able to discriminate between playing standards with good accuracy and might be included in future assessments and rugby league talent identification.
    • A community-based, bionic leg rehabilitation program for patients with chronic stroke: clinical trial protocol

      Wright, Amy; Stone, Keeron; Lambrick, Danielle; Fryer, Simon; Stoner, Lee; Tasker, Edward; Jobson, Simon; Smith, Grace; Batten, John; Batey, Jo; et al. (Elsevier, 30/10/2017)
      Stroke is a major global health problem whereby many survivors have unmet needs concerning mobility during recovery. As such, the use of robotic assisted devices (i.e., a bionic leg) within a community-setting may be an important adjunct to normal physiotherapy in chronic stroke survivors. This study will be a dual-centre, randomized, parallel group clinical trial to investigate the impact of a community based, training program using a bionic leg on biomechanical, cardiovascular and functional outcomes in stroke survivors. Following a baseline assessment which will assess gait, postural sway, vascular health (blood pressure, arterial stiffness) and functional outcomes (6-minute walk), participants will be randomized to a 10-week program group, incorporating either: i) physiotherapy plus community-based bionic leg training program, ii) physiotherapy only, or iii) usual care control. The training program will involve participants engaging in a minimum of 1 hour per day of bionic leg activities at home. Follow up assessment, identical to baseline, will occur after 10-weeks, 3 and 12 months post intervention. Given the practical implications of the study, the clinical significance of using the bionic leg will be assessed for each outcome variable. The potential improvements in gait, balance, vascular health and functional status may have a meaningful impact on patients’ quality of life. The integration of robotic devices within home-based rehabilitation programs may prove to be a cost effective, practical and beneficial resource for stroke survivors.
    • Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Recovery in Young and Middle-Aged Males with Different Resistance Training Experience

      Fernandes, John F. T.; Lamb, Kevin L.; Twist, Craig (MDPI, 29/05/2019)
      This study compared the time course of recovery after a squatting exercise in trained young (YG; n = 9; age 22.3 ± 1.7 years) and trained (MT; n = 9; 39.9 ± 6.2 years) and untrained (MU; n = 9; age 44.4 ± 6.3 years) middle-aged males. Before and at 24 and 72 h after 10 × 10 squats at 60% one-repetition maximum (1RM), participants provided measurements of perceived muscle soreness (VAS), creatine kinase (CK), maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), voluntary activation (VA), and resting doublet force of the knee extensors and squatting peak power at 20% and 80% 1RM. When compared to the YG males, the MT experienced likely and very likely moderate decrements in MVC, resting doublet force, and peak power at 20% and 80% 1RM accompanied by unclear differences in VAS, CK, and VA after the squatting exercise. MU males, compared to MT, experienced greater alterations in peak power at 20% and 80% 1RM and VAS. Alterations in CK, MVC, VA, and resting doublet force were unclear at all time-points between the middle-aged groups. Middle-aged males experienced greater symptoms of muscle damage and an impaired recovery profile than young resistance trained males. Moreover, regardless of resistance training experience, middle-aged males are subject to similar symptoms after muscle-damaging lower-body exercise.
    • A Narrative Review on Female Physique Athletes: The Physiological and Psychological Implications of Weight Management Practices.

      Alwan, Nura; Moss, Samantha L; Elliot-Sale, Kirsty J; Davies, Ian G; Enright, Kevin (29/05/2019)
      Physique competitions are events in which aesthetic appearance and posing ability are valued above physical performance. Female physique athletes are required to possess high lean body mass and extremely low fat mass in competition. As such, extended periods of reduced energy intake and intensive training regimens are utilised with acute weight loss practices at the end of the pre-competition phase. This represents an increased risk for chronic low energy availability and associated symptoms of , compromising both psychological and physiological health. Available literature suggests that a large proportion of female physique athletes report menstrual irregularities ( , amenorrhea and oligomenorrhea), which are unlikely to normalise immediately post-competition. Furthermore, the tendency to reduce intakes of numerous essential micronutrients is prominent among those using restrictive eating patterns. Following competition reduced resting metabolic rate, and hyperphagia, are also of concern for these female athletes, which can result in frequent weight cycling, distorted body image and disordered eating/eating disorders. Overall, female physique athletes are an understudied population and the need for more robust studies to detect low energy availability and associated health effects is warranted. This narrative review aims to define the natural female physique athlete, explore some of the physiological and psychological implications of weight management practices experienced by female physique athletes and propose future research directions.
    • Movement demands of elite rugby league players during Australian National Rugby League and European Super League matches

      Twist, Craig; Highton, Jamie M.; Waldron, Mark; Edwards, Emma; Austin, Damien; Gabbett, Tim J.; University of Chester ; University of Chester ; University of New England, Australia ; University of Chester ; Sydney Swans Australian Football Club, Australia ; Australian Catholic University/University of Queensland (Human Kinetics Publishers, 28/02/2014)
      This study compared the movement demands of players competing in matches from the elite Australian and European rugby league competitions.
    • A three-season comparison of match performances among selected and unselected elite youth rugby league players

      Waldron, Mark; Worsfold, Paul R.; Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of New England, Australia ; University of Chester ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 28/02/2014)
      This study compared technical actions, movements, heart rates and perceptual responses of selected and unselected youth rugby league players during matches (under-15 to under-17). The players’ movements and heart rates were assessed using 5 Hz Global Positioning Systems (GPS), while their technical actions were analysed using video analysis. The maturity of each player was predicted before each season for statistical control. There were no differences (P > 0.05) between selected and unselected players in the under-15 or the under-17 age groups for any variables. However, in the under-16 group, the selected players (57.1 ± 11.9 min) played for longer than the unselected players (44.1 ± 12.3 min; P = 0.017; ES = 1.08 ± CI = 0.87), and covered more distance (5,181.0 ± 1063.5 m cf. 3942.6 ± 1,108.6m, respectively; P = 0.012; ES = 1.14 ± CI = 0.88) and high intensity distance (1,808.8 ± 369.3 m cf. 1,380.5 ± 367.7 m, respectively; P = 0.011; ES = 1.16 ± CI = 0.88). Although successful carries per minute was higher in the selected under-15 group, there were no other differences (P > 0.05) in match performance relative to playing minutes between groups. Controlling for maturity, the less mature, unselected players from the under-16 group performed more high-intensity running (P < 0.05). Our findings question the use of match- related measurements in differentiating between selected and unselected players, showing that later maturing players were unselected, even when performing greater high-intensity running during matches.
    • The Reliability and Validity of A Submaximal Warm-Up Test for Monitoring Training Status in Professional Soccer Players.

      Rabbani, Alireza; Kargarfard, Mehdi; Twist, Craig; University of Isfahan; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 27/11/2017)
      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.
    • On the Role of Lyrics in the Music-Exercise Performance Relationship

      Sanchez, Xavier; Moss, Samantha L.; Twist, Craig; Karageorghis, Costas I.; University of Groningen; University of Chester; Brunel University (Elsevier, 27/10/2013)
      Objectives. To examine the role of the musical constituent of lyrics with reference to a range of psychological, psychophysical, and physiological variables during submaximal cycling ergometry. Design. Two-factor (Condition x Time) within-subject counterbalanced design. Method. Twenty five participants performed three 6-min cycling trials at a power output corresponding to 75% of their maximum heart rate under conditions of music with lyrics, same music without lyrics, and a no-music control. Cycling cadence, heart rate, and perceived exertion were recorded at 2-min intervals during each trial. Positive and negative affect was assessed before and after each trial. Results. A significant (p = .006) Condition x Time interaction emerged for cadence wherein participants cycled at a higher rate at the end of the task under music with lyrics. Main effects were found for perceived exertion and heart rate, both of which increased from min 2 through to min 6, and for affect: positive affect increased and negative affect decreased from pre- to post-trials. Conclusions. Participants pedalled faster in both music conditions while perceived exertion and heart rate did not differ across conditions. The inclusion of lyrics influenced cycling performance only at min 6 and had no bearing on the remaining dependent variables throughout the duration of the task. The impact of lyrical content in the music-exercise performance relationship warrants further attention in order that we might better understand its role.
    • An analysis of the three-dimensional kinetics and kinematics of maximal effort punches among amateur boxers.

      Stanley, Edward; Thomson, Edward; Smith, Grace; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Routledge, 27/09/2018)
      The purpose of this study was to quantify the 3D kinetics and kinematics of six punch types among amateur boxers. Fifteen males (age: 24.9 ± 4.2 years; stature: 1.78 ± 0.1 m; body mass: 75.3 ± 13.4 kg; boxing experience: 6.3 ± 2.8 years) performed maximal effort punches against a suspended punch bag during which upper body kinematics were assessed via a 3D motion capture system, and ground reaction forces (GRF) of the lead and rear legs via two force plates. For all variables except elbowjoint angular velocity, analysis revealed significant (P < 0.05) differences between straight, hook and uppercut punches. The lead hook exhibited the greatest peak fist velocity (11.95 ± 1.84 m/s), the jab the shortest delivery time (405 ± 0.15 ms), the rear uppercut the greatest shoulder-joint angular velocity (1069.8 ± 104.5°/s), and the lead uppercut the greatest elbow angular velocity (651.0 ± 357.5°/s). Peak resultant GRF differed significantly (P < 0.05) between rear and lead legs for the jab punch only. Whilst these findings provide novel descriptive data for coaches and boxers, future research should examine if physical and physiological capabilities relate to the key biomechanical qualities associated with maximal punching performance.
    • The relationship between physical abilities, ball-carrying and tackling among elite youth rugby league players

      Waldron, Mark; Worsfold, Paul R.; Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 27/09/2013)
      This study investigated the relationship between the physical abilities of adolescent rugby league players and tackling and ball-carrying skills performed during matches, across three seasons (under-15 to under-17). The players were measured each season for acceleration (10–30 m), peak and mean speed (10–30 m), sprinting force (10–30 m), aerobic power, counter-movement jump (CMJ) height and jumping power. The matches were filmed and analysed for ball-carrying and tackling frequency per minute (successful and unsuccessful outcomes). There were strong relationships between successful carries∙min–1 and 10 m force in the under-15 (R = 0.61, P < 0.001), under-16 (R = 0.69, P < 0.001) and under-17 groups (R = 0.64, P < 0.001). There were also strong and moderate relationships between predicted vertical power and successful carries∙min–1 in the under-15 (R = 0.63, P = 0.011) and under-17 group (R = 0.40, P = 0.030), respectively. There were no relationships between carries or tackles and any other performance indicators. These findings suggest that acceleration, in accordance with gains in body mass, support ball-carrying but not tackling performance. Performance measurements, such as CMJ or aerobic power, do not support ball-carrying ability among youth rugby league players.
    • Effort Perception

      Lamb, Kevin L.; Eston, Roger; Parfitt, Gaynor; University of Chester; University of South Australia (Oxford University Press, 27/04/2017)
      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 intra- and inter-day reliability of the FitroDyne as a measure of multi-jointed muscle function

      Fernandes, John; Lamb, Kevin L.; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (IOS Press, 27/02/2016)
      The FitroDyne has been used to assess muscle function but its reliability has not been determined during traditional multi-jointed resistance exercises. Objective: To assess the intra- and inter-day reliability of the FitroDyne during traditional resistance exercises. Methods: 14 resistance trained males completed a one repetition maximum (1RM) and three repetitions of bench press, squat and bent-over-row in 10% increments (from 20 to 80%). Replica trials were completed two and 48 hours later. The FitroDyne rotary encoder measured barbell velocity during each repetition from which power output was calculated. Results: For all loads and exercises the intra-day typical error (TE) for peak and mean power, and velocity, respectively, during bench press (8.2-53 W and 2.2-6.9 cms-1), squat (13.3-55.6 W and 2.4-7.4 cms-1), and bent-over-row (14.5-62.8 W and 4-10.5 cms-1) identified only moderate changes. Bench press yielded poor intra-day reliability at 80% 1RM only (CV% = 12.2-17.1), whereas squat and bent-over-row across all loads for peak and mean power and velocity displayed better reliability CV% = 2.4-9.0). Inter-day, the TE detected moderate changes for peak and mean power and velocity for all three exercises. Inter-day reliability was comparable to intra-day, though improved for bench press 80%1RM (CV% = 6.1-8.6). Conclusion: These data support the use of the FitroDyne at submaximal loads for monitoring moderate changes in muscle function both intra- and inter-day.
    • The reliability of Functional Movement Screening (FMS) and in-season changes in physical function and performance among elite rugby league players

      Waldron, Mark; Gray, Adrian; Worsfold, Paul R.; Twist, Craig; University of New England, Australia ; University of New England, Australia ; University of Chester ; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 26/03/2014)
      Functional Movement Screening (FMS) comprises seven tests that assess fundamental movement characteristics of athletes. However, the reliability of the FMS protocol and its sensitivity to changes in physical performance has not been appropriately investigated. Accordingly, this study aimed to assess the real-time reliability of the FMS protocol and to establish changes in both FMS and tests of physical performance throughout a season. The reliability of the FMS components (12 in total) were assessed via a non-parametric statistical approach, based on two trials, separated by one week. Score on the FMS, strength (3 RM full squat, 1 RM bench press), running speed (10 & 40 m) and jump height of 12 elite male under-19 rugby league players was monitored at pre-, mid- and late-season periods. There was no bias found between trials for the FMS, with the majority of components reaching 100% ‘perfect agreement’. There were no effects of season stage on any of the FMS components; however, an improvement in every performance test was apparent between the pre- and both mid- and late-season periods. Our findings demonstrate that the FMS can be reliably administered to elite rugby league players but question its sensitivity to systematic changes in athletic performance.
    • 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, 25/03/2017)
      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.
    • “[We’re on the right track, baby], we were born that way!” Exploring sports participation in Norway

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; Vaage, Odd; Roberts, Ken; University of Chester; Hedmark University College; Norsk Statistisk Sentralbyra (Taylor & Francis, 25/02/2013)
      Based on quantitative data from the Norwegian Statistisk Sentralbyrå (Statistics Norway) study of Mosjon, Friluftsliv og Kulturaktiviteter, this paper explores trends in Norwegians' participation in sports, with a focus on young people. Norway boasts particularly high levels of sports participation as well as sports club membership and young Norwegians are the quintessential sporting omnivores. Among other things, the Statistics Norway study reveals substantial increases in participation (among young people and females especially) during the period 1997–2007, a shift in the peak of participation to the late teenage years, a relatively high level of lifelong participants, a re-bound effect in the post-child rearing years and a growth in lifestyle sports. Young Norwegians grow up in a socio-economic context of relative equality between the sexes and high standards of living. An abundance of natural and artificial outdoor and indoor sporting facilities alongside a well-established voluntary sports club sector and an elementary school system that emphasizes physical exercise and recreation, as well as high levels of parental involvement, add to the favourable socio-economic conditions to create seemingly optimal circumstances for sports participation. All these reinforce the sporting and physical recreation cultures deeply embedded in Norwegian society and embodied by the very many middle-class parents in a country which, for the time being at least, remains relatively young in demographic terms. In terms of lessons to be learned for policy towards sports and physical education beyond Norway, there may be grounds for some optimism around parental involvement in children's sport as well as the potential appeal of lifestyle sports. That said, it is likely to be the greater socio-economic equalities in Scandinavian countries such as Norway that make them unrealistic benchmarks for sports participation elsewhere.
    • Theorising lifestyle drift in health promotion: explaining community and voluntary sector engagement practices in disadvantaged areas

      Powell, Katie; Thurston, Miranda; Bloyce, Daniel; University of Sheffield, Hedmark University College, University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 24/07/2017)
      The past two decades have seen an increasing role for the UK community and voluntary sector (CVS) in health promotion in disadvantaged areas, largely based on assumptions on the part of funders that CVS providers are better able to engage ‘hard-to-reach’ population groups in services than statutory providers. However, there is limited empirical research exploring CVS provider practices in this field. Using ethnographic data this paper examines the experiences of a network of CVS providers seeking to engage residents in health promoting community services in a disadvantaged region in the North of England. The paper shows how CVS providers engaged in apparently contradictory practices, fluctuating between an empathically informed response to complex resident circumstances and (in the context of meeting externally set targets) behavioural lifestyle approaches to health promotion. Drawing on concepts from figurational sociology, the paper explains how lifestyle drift occurs in health promotion as a result of the complex web of relations (with funders, commissioners and residents) in which CVS providers are embedded. Despite the fact that research has revealed the impact of targets on the work of the CVS before, this paper demonstrates more specifically the way in which monitoring processes within CVS contracts can draw providers into the neoliberal lifestyle discourse so prevalent in health promotion.
    • Quantification of the physical and physiological load of a boxing-specific simulation protocol

      Thomson, Edward; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 24/03/2017)
      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.
    • Associations between selected training stress measures and fitness changes in male soccer players

      Rabbani, Alireza; Kargarfard, Mehdi; Castagna, Carlo; Clemente, Filipe M.; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 24/01/2019)
      Purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship of accumulated Global Positioning System (GPS)-accelerometer-based and heart rate (HR)-based training metrics to changes in high-intensity intermittent running capacity during an in-season phase in professional soccer players. Method: Eleven male professional players (mean ± SD, age: 27.2 ± 4.5 years) performed the 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) before and after a five-week in-season training phase, and the final velocity (VIFT) was considered as players’ high-intensity intermittent running capacity. During all sessions, Edwards’ training impulse (Edwards’ TRIMP), Banister’s TRIMP, Z5 TRIMP, training duration, total distance covered, New Body Load (NBL), high-intensity running performance (distance covered above 14.4 km•h-1), and very high-intensity running performance (distance covered above 19.8 km•h-1) were recorded. Results: The players’ VIFT showed a most likely moderate improvement (+4.3%, 90% confidence limits [3.1; 5.5%], effect size ES, 0.70 [0.51; 0.89]). Accumulated NBL, Banister’s TRIMP and Edwards’ TRIMP showed large associations (r = 0.51 to 0.54) with changes in VIFT. Very large relationship was also observed between accumulated Z5 TRIMP (r= 0.72) with changes in VIFT. Large-to-nearly perfect within-individual relationships were observed between NBL and some of the other training metrics (i.e., Edwards’ TRIMP, Banister’s TRIMP, training duration, and total distance) in 10 out of 11 players. Conclusions: HR-based training metrics can be used to monitor high-intensity intermittent running capacity changes in professional soccer players. The dose-response relationship is also largely detected using accelerometer-based metrics (i.e., NBL) to track changes in high-intensity intermittent running capacity of professional soccer players.
    • Factors affecting the anthropometric and physical characteristics of elite academy rugby league players: a multi-club study.

      Dobbin, Nicholas; Moss, Samantha L.; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 24/01/2019)
      Purpose: To investigate the factors affecting the anthropometric and physical characteristics of elite academy rugby league players. Methods: One hundred and ninety-seven elite academy rugby league players (age = 17.3 ± 1.0 years) from five Super League clubs completed measures of anthropometric and physical characteristics during a competitive season. The interaction between, and influence of contextual factors on characteristics was assessed using linear mixed modelling. Results: Associations were observed between several anthropometric and physical characteristics. All physical characteristics improved during preseason and continued to improve until mid-season where thereafter 10 m sprint (η2 = 0.20 cf. 0.25), CMJ (η2 = 0.28 cf. 0.30) and prone Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test (Yo-Yo IR) (η2 = 0.22 cf. 0.54) performance declined. Second (η2 = 0.17) and third (η2 = 0.16) years were heavier than first years, whilst third years had slower 10 m sprint times (η2 = 0.22). Large positional variability was observed for body mass, 20 m sprint time, medicine ball throw, countermovement jump, and prone Yo-Yo IR1. Compared to bottom-ranked teams, top demonstrated superior 20 m (η2 = -0.22) and prone Yo-Yo IR1 (η2 = 0.26) performance whilst middle-ranked teams reported higher CMJ height (η2 = 0.26) and prone Yo-Yo IR1 distance (η2 = 0.20), but slower 20 m sprint times (η2 = 0.20). Conclusion: These findings offer practitioners designing training programmes for academy rugby league players insight into the relationships between anthropometric and physical characteristics and how they are influenced by playing year, league ranking, position and season phase.