• A Narrative Review on Female Physique Athletes: The Physiological and Psychological Implications of Weight Management Practices

      Alwan, Nura; Moss, Samantha L.; Elliott-Sale, Kisrty; Davies, Ian; Kevin, Enright; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester; Nottingham Trent University (Human Kinetics, 2019-06-13)
      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 Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport, compromising both psychological and physiological health. Available literature suggests that a large proportion of female physique athletes report menstrual irregularities (e.g., 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 a 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.
    • Neuromuscular function after exercise-induced muscle damage: Theoretical and applied implications

      Byrne, Christopher; Twist, Craig; Eston, Roger; DSO National Laboratories, Republic of Singapore ; NEWI/University of Wales, Bangor ; University of Wales, Bangor (Adis, 2004)
      Exercise-induced muscle damage is a well documented phenomenon particularly resulting from eccentric exercise. When eccentric exercise is unaccustomed or is performed with an increased intensity or duration, the symptoms associated with muscle damage are a common outcome and are particularly associated with participation in athletic activity. Muscle damage results in an immediate and prolonged reduction in muscle function, most notably a reduction in force-generating capacity, which has been quantified in human studies through isometric and dynamic isokinetic testing modalities. Investigations of the torque-angular velocity relationship have failed to reveal a consistent pattern of change, with inconsistent reports of functional change being dependent on the muscle action and/or angular velocity of movement. The consequences of damage on dynamic, multi-joint, sport-specific movements would appear more pertinent with regard to athletic performance, but this aspect of muscle function has been studied less often. Reductions in the ability to generate power output during single-joint movements as well as during cycling and vertical jump movements have been documented. In addition, muscle damage has been observed to increase the physiological demand of endurance exercise and to increase thermal strain during exercise in the heat. The aims of this review are to summarise the functional decrements associated with exercise-induced muscle damage, relate these decrements to theoretical views regarding underlying mechanisms (i.e. sarcomere disruption, impaired excitation-contraction coupling, preferential fibre type damage, and impaired muscle metabolism), and finally to discuss the potential impact of muscle damage on athletic performance.
    • No Effect of Beetroot Juice Supplementation on 100-m and 200-m Swimming Performance in Moderately-Trained Swimmers.

      Esen, Ozcan; Nicholas, Ceri; Morris, Mike; Bailey, Stephen J (14/11/2018)
      Dietary nitrate supplementation has been reported to improve performance in kayaking and rowing exercise which mandate significant recruitment of the upper body musculature. Since the effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on swimming performance is unclear, the purpose of this study was to assess the effect of dietary nitrate supplementation on 100-m and 200-m swimming freestyle time-trial (TT) performance. In a double blind, randomized crossover design, ten moderately-trained swimmers underwent two separate 3-day supplementation periods, with a daily dose of either 140 mL nitrate-rich (BRJ; ~800 mg/d nitrate) or nitrate-depleted (PLA) BRJ. Following blood sampling on day 3, the swimmers performed both 200-m and 100-m freestyle swimming TTs, with 30 min recovery between trials. Plasma nitrite concentrations was greater after BRJ relative to PLA consumption (432 ± 203 nmol/L, 111 ± 56 nmol/L, respectively, p = 0.001). Systolic BP was lowered after BRJ compared to PLA supplementation (114 ± 10, 120 ± 10 mmHg, respectively p = 0.001), but time to complete the 200-m (BRJ: 152.6 ± 14.1 s, PLA: 152.5 ± 14.1 s) and 100-m (BRJ: 69.5 ± 7.2 s, PLA: 69.4 ± 7.4 s) freestyle swimming TTs were not different between BRJ and PLA (p > 0.05). While 3 days of BRJ supplementation increased plasma nitrite concentration and lowered blood pressure, it did not improve 100-m and 200-m swimming TT performance. These results do not support an ergogenic effect of nitrate supplementation in moderately-trained swimmers, at least for 100-m and 200-m freestyle swimming performance.
    • ‘No pain, no gain’: former elite female gymnasts’ engagements with pain and injury discourses

      Tynan, Ruby; McEvilly, Nollaig; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 11/05/2017)
      This paper investigates former elite female gymnasts’ views and experiences of pain and injury. The purpose of the study was to examine how participants engaged with pain and injury discourses and interrogate the ways in which certain knowledge and practices had become dominant. A Foucaultian theoretical framework underpinned the study, making use of Foucault’s work on discourses, power and resistance. Data were generated through semi-structured interviews with seven former elite gymnasts. By analysing the participants’ talk through poststructural discourse analysis, three themes were identified. Firstly, participants’ persistence through pain and injury was due to the desire to compete. Secondly, participants differentiated between ‘good pain’ and ‘bad pain’. Thirdly, participants had a higher tolerance for pain than for injury. This research raises questions about the dominance of a ‘no pain, no gain’ discourse, and the ways in which gymnasts may develop an uncritical acceptance of particular ‘truths’ surrounding pain and injury.
    • Norwegian youngsters’ perceptions of physical education: Exploring the implications for mental health

      Røset, Linda; Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda; University of Chester (Taylor & Francis, 2019-06-24)
      Improving young people’s mental health has become a priority for policy-makers in Norway as elsewhere. Although the evidence is limited, physical activity has been identified as having a role in mental health promotion with school physical education (PE) typically being presented as a suitable setting. Few studies, however, have explored young people’s perceptions and experiences of PE and the possible consequences for their mental health – the departure point for this paper. We approach this issue sociologically by focusing on the processes through which PE is enacted. Qualitative data were generated by 31 focus groups involving 148 youngsters from the 10th grade (15–16-year-olds) in eight secondary schools in Norway. The overarching theme to emerge was that PE was valued by the students for what it was not as much as what it was. The appeal of PE often lay in being different and a break from ‘normal’ school lessons and, at the same time, an opportunity for informal social interaction and strengthening social bonds. Enjoyment of PE – even among those with limited sporting competence – was understood as giving rise to cathartic benefits and an antidote to their increasingly academic, routinized and performance-oriented school lives. However, processes relating to the organization, delivery and assessment of lessons meant that these benefits were sometimes compromised for some young people. We conclude that as far as the mental health of young people is concerned, the best justificatory defence for PE becomes physical recreation as a solution to (academic) schooling rather than PE as education.
    • The number of directional changes alters the physiological, perceptual and neuromuscular responses of netball players during intermittent shuttle running

      Ashton, Ruth; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 11/03/2015)
      This study investigated whether an increased number of changes in direction altered the metabolic, cardiovascular, perceptual and neuromuscular responses to intermittent shuttle running. Using a randomized crossover design, ten female netball players completed 30 min of intermittent shuttle running over a 10 m (ISR10) and 20 m (ISR20) linear course. Measures of expired air, heart rate (HR), RPE, blood lactate concentration ([BLa]) and peak torque of knee extensors and flexors were measured. Differences (% ± 90% CL) in VO2 (1.5 ± 5.6%) was unclear between conditions, while HR was possibly higher (1.5 ± 2.5%) and [BLa] very likely lower in ISR20 compared to ISR10 (-32.7 ± 9.9%). RPE was likely lower in the ISR20 compared to the ISR10 condition at 15 (-5.0 ± 5.0%) and mosly likely lower at 30 min (-9.4 ± 2.0%). Sprint times over 20 m were likely slower during ISR20 at mid (3.9 ± 3.2%) but unclear post (2.1 ± 5.4%). Changes in muscle function were not different between ISR10 and ISR20 conditions for knee extension (-0.2 ± 0.9%) but were likely different for knee flexion (-5.7 ± 4.9%). More directional changes during shuttle running increases the physiological and perceptual load on female athletes that also causes a greater reductions in knee extensor torque. These findings have implications for the effective conditioning and injury prevention of female team sport athletes.
    • The observational analysis of elite coaches within youth soccer: The importance of performance analysis

      Nicolls, Scott B.; Worsfold, Paul R.; University of Chester; Middlesex University; Manchester Institute of Health and Performance (SAGE, 15/11/2016)
      The study investigated the observational capabilities of experienced elite coaches whilst focusing upon soccer specific actions and playing positions within elite youth soccer. Six soccer coaches assessed the performances of 10 youth soccer players (across 8 matches) on their short/long passing, tackling, shooting, heading and dribbling. Analysis was undertaken on an overall, quality and positional grouping basis. Mean observational accuracy was 38.8%, with successful shooting (78.6%) and passing (29.9%) illustrating the range. The limited effective observation of dribbling (37.2%), often considered a separating factor within talent identification, highlights the need for objective measures to aid such processes. Positional grouping analysis elicited 20% more effective observation for unsuccessful compared with successful actions. The poor level of observational accuracy identified herein has significant implications on talent identification assessments devoid of post-performance analyses. The findings reinforce the importance of performance analysis in the provision of highly accurate and comprehensive augmented feedback within the coaching process.
    • 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.
    • Pacing during a cross-country mountain bike mass-participation event according to race performance, experience, age and sex.

      Moss, Samantha L.; Francis, Ben; Calogiuri, Giovanna; Highton, Jamie (15/12/2018)
      This study describes pacing strategies adopted in an 86-km mass-participation cross-country marathon mountain bike race (the 'Birkebeinerrittet'). Absolute (km·h ) and relative speed (% average race speed) and speed coefficient of variation (%CV) in five race sections (15.1, 31.4, 52.3, 74.4 and 100% of total distance) were calculated for 8182 participants. Data were grouped and analysed according to race performance, age, sex and race experience. The highest average speed was observed in males (21.8 ± 3.7 km/h), 16-24 yr olds (23.0 ± 4.8 km/h) and those that had previously completed >4 Birkebeinerrittet races (22.5 ± 3.4 km/h). Independent of these factors, the fastest performers exhibited faster speeds across all race sections, whilst their relative speed was higher in early and late climbing sections (Cohen's d = 0.45-1.15) and slower in the final descending race section (d = 0.64-0.98). Similar trends were observed in the quicker age, sex and race experience groups, who tended to have a higher average speed in earlier race sections and a lower average speed during the final race section compared to slower groups. In all comparisons, faster groups also had a lower %CV for speed than slower groups (fastest %CV = 24.02%, slowest %CV = 32.03%), indicating a lower variation in speed across the race. Pacing in a cross-country mountain bike marathon is related to performance, age, sex and race experience. Better performance appears to be associated with higher relative speed during climbing sections, resulting in a more consistent overall race speed.
    • Passive heat maintenance after an initial warm-up improves high intensity activity during an interchange rugby league match simulation protocol.

      Fairbank, Matthew; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 01/01/2019)
      This study examined using passive heat maintenance to maintain core temperature after a warm-up and its effect on first half running performance in rugby players. Thirteen male rugby players completed this randomized crossover study. Tympanic temperature was taken before a warm-up and then after a further 15 minutes passive recovery either with (PHM) or without (CON) a passive heat maintenance garment. Participants then completed 23 min of the rugby league match simulation protocol (RLMSP-i). Differences in tympanic temperature were unclear between CON and PHM before (35.7 ± 1.3 cf. 36.0 ± 1.1oC; ES = 0.20) and during exercise (34.5 ± 0.1 cf. 35.2 ± 0.1oC; ES = 0.26-0.35). High-intensity running (ES = 0.27) and peak sprint speed were higher (ES = 0.46-0.56) during the PHM compared to the CON trial. Time spent above 20 W.kg-1 also increased in the first quartile of PHM compared to CON trial (ES = 0.18). All other between trial comparisons of performance were unclear. HRmean (ES = 0.38) was higher in PHM compared to CON, while differences in RPEmean (ES = -0.19) were unclear. There are small to large increases in high intensity work performed during a playing bout when rugby players wear a PHM garment after a warm-up. Rugby players should consider PHM during extended periods of time between a warm-up and starting a match.
    • Perceptions and measurement of playtime physical activity in English primary school children: The influence of socioeconomic status

      McWhannell, Nicola; Triggs, Carmel; Moss, Samantha (Sage, 2017-11-27)
      Children in areas of low socioeconomic status might face barriers to physical activity during school playtime in comparison to their high socioeconomic status counterparts. However, limited research within the area currently prevents evidence-based interventions from being targeted appropriately. This exploratory study aimed to assess and compare playtime physical activity levels and perceptions of physical activity in primary school children from two schools of different socioeconomic status. Fifty-three children wore an accelerometer during playtime for three school days while 33 children participated in single-sex focus groups to elicit their experiences of physical activity during playtime. Results revealed that children from the low socioeconomic status school spent more time in sedentary activities (P = 0.001) and spent less time in moderate and moderate to vigorous physical activity (P = 0.001) than children from the high socioeconomic status school. Despite some between-school similarities in their perceptions of physical activity, differences resonated in their reasons for taking part in physical activity, perceptions of the play environment and ideas to improve physical activity. These findings contribute to current research and provide in-depth information from active users of the play environment that could be useful to inform new interventions for schools of varying socioeconomic status.
    • Physical activity guidelines and cardiovascular risk in children: a cross sectional analysis to determine whether 60 minutes is enough

      Füssenich, Lotte M.; Boddy, Lynne M.; Green, Daniel J.; Graves, Lee E. F.; Foweather, Lawrence; Dagger, Rebecca M.; McWhannell, Nicola; Henaghan, Jayne; Ridgers, Nicola D.; Stratton, Gareth; et al. (BioMed Central, 22/01/2016)
      Background: Physical activity reduces cardiovascular mortality and morbidity. The World Health Organisation (WHO) recommends children engage in 60 min daily moderate-to-vigorous physical activity (MVPA). The effect of compliance with this recommendation on childhood cardiovascular risk has not been empirically tested. To evaluate whether achieving recommendations results in reduced composite-cardiovascular risk score (CCVR) in children, and to examine if vigorous PA (VPA) has independent risk-reduction effects. Methods PA was measured using accelerometry in 182 children (9–11 years). Subjects were grouped according to achievement of 60 min daily MVPA (active) or not (inactive). CCVR was calculated (sum of z-scores: DXA body fat %, blood pressure, VO2peak, flow mediated dilation, left ventricular diastolic function; CVR score ≥1SD indicated ‘higher risk’). The cohort was further split into quintiles for VPA and odds ratios (OR) calculated for each quintile. Results Active children (92 (53 boys)) undertook more MVPA (38 ± 11 min, P < 0.001), had greater VO2peak (4.5 ± 0.8 ml/kg/min P < 0.001), and lower fat % (3.9 ± 1.1 %, P < 0.001) than inactive. No difference were observed between active and inactive for CCVR or OR (P > 0.05). CCVR in the lowest VPA quintile was significantly greater than the highest quintile (3.9 ± 0.6, P < 0.05), and the OR was 4.7 times higher. Conclusion Achievement of current guidelines has positive effects on body composition and cardiorespiratory fitness, but not CCVR. Vigorous physical activity appears to have beneficial effects on CVD risk, independent of moderate PA, implying a more prescriptive approach may be needed for future VPA guidelines.
    • Physical education and health promotion: A qualitative study of teachers' perceptions

      Green, Ken; Thurston, Miranda (Emerald, 2002)
      This article discusses the extent to which health promotion is central to physical education (PE) teachers' philosophies and practices. 35 PE teachers in secondary schools in north-west England were interviewed.
    • Physical education at preschools: practitioners’ and children’s engagements with physical activity and health discourses

      McEvilly, Nollaig; Verheul, Martine; Atencio, Matthew; University of Chester; The University of Edinburgh; California State University (Taylor & Francis, 16/12/2013)
      This paper focuses on one aspect of a qualitative study concerned with investigating the place and meaning of ‘physical education’ to practitioners and children at three preschools in Scotland. We examine the ways in which the participants engaged with discourses related to physical activity and health in order to construct their subjectivities. Fourteen practitioners and 70 children participated. Research methods employed were observations, interviews with adults, a group drawing and discussion activity with children, and interviews with children. Both the adults’ and children’s talk illustrated the dominance of neoliberal, healthism meanings which position individuals as responsible for their own health. While the children’s talk primarily centred on health as a corporeal notion, the practitioners tended to talk about physical activity and health in both corporeal terms and in relation to the self more holistically. The practitioners also talked about physical activity as a means of regulating children’s behaviour.
    • Physical education teachers in their figurations: A sociological analysis of everyday 'philosophies'

      Green, Ken; Chester College of Higher Education (Taylor & Francis, 2002-03)
      This article examines physical education (PE) teachers' perceptions of their subject and the impact upon their practice of their (sporting) predispositions as well as the contraints of their school and 'professional' contexts. It reports data from an original empirical study conducted by the author with physical education teachers in secondary schools in the north-west of England.
    • Physical education teachers on physical education: a sociological study of philosophies and ideologies

      Green, Ken (Chester Academic Press, 2003)
      This book discusses the results of a research study in the late 1990s amongst practicing PE secondary school teachers in the North West of England.
    • Physical education, lifelong participation and 'the couch potato society'

      Green, Ken; University College Chester (Routledge, 2004-05)
      This article discusses the need to encourage continuing participation in sport and physical activity by young people through catering for their preferences through a wider range of activities in more informal and individual and small-group settings. Consequently, school PE lessons would need to focus on 'optional', recreational, lifestyle-oriented sports and physical activities, rather than competitive, performance-oriented sport.
    • Physiological, perceptual and performance responses associated with self-selected versus standardized recovery periods during a repeated sprint protocol in elite youth football players: A preliminary study

      Gibson, Neil; Brownstein, Callum; Ball, Derek; Twist, Craig; Heriot-Watt University; Northumbria University; University of Chester (Human Kinetics, 2017-05)
      Purpose: To examine the physiological and perceptual responses of youth footballers to a repeated sprint protocol employing standardized and self-selected recovery. Methods: Eleven male participants (13.7 ± 1.1 years) performed a repeated sprint assessment comprising 10 x 30 m efforts. Employing a randomized crossover design, repeated sprints were performed using 30 s and self-selected recovery periods. Heart rate was monitored continuously with ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and lower body muscle power measured 2 min after the final sprint. The concentration of blood lactate was measured at 2, 5 and 7 minutes post sprinting. Magnitude of effects were reported using effect size (ES) statistics ± 90% confidence interval and percentage differences. Differences between trials were examined using paired student t-tests (p < 0.05). Results: Self-selected recovery resulted in most likely shorter recovery times (57.7%; ES 1.55 ± 0.5; p < 0.01), a most likely increase in percentage decrement (65%; ES 0.36 ±1 0.21; p = 0.12), very likely lower heart rate recovery (-58.9%; ES -1.10 ± 0.72; p = 0.05), and likely higher blood lactate concentration (p = 0.08-0.02). Differences in lower body power and RPE were unclear (p > 0.05). Conclusion: Self-selected recovery periods compromise repeated sprint performance.
    • The place of sport and physical activity in young people's lives and its implications for health: Some sociological comments

      Smith, Andy; Green, Ken; University of Chester (Routledge, 2005-06)
      This exploratory paper seeks, first, to offer some critical sociological comments on the common-sense, or rather ideological, claims surrounding two supposedly emerging 'crises': namely, the alleged poor health and declining sport and physical activity participation levels of young people. In this regard, it is suggested that while young people are, in fact, doing more sport and physical activity than at any other time in the past, this process has, and continues to, co-occur with other prominent social processes (e.g., rising levels of overweight, obesity and sedentariness). Second, the paper begins to make sense of this seemingly 'irreconcilable paradox' by arguing for the need to make use of a sociological perspective that views the complexity of young people's lives 'in the round' and by locating them within the particular social interdependencies or relationships in which they are inescapably involved.
    • Player responses to match and training demands during an intensified fixture schedule in professional rugby league: A case study.

      Twist, Craig; Highton, Jamie M.; Daniels, Matthew; Mill, Nathan; Close, Graeme L.; University of Chester; St Helens RFC; Liverpool John Moores (Human Kinetics, 2017-09)
      Player loads and fatigue responses are reported in 15 professional rugby league players (24.3 ± 3.8 y) during a period of intensified fixtures. Repeated measures of internal and external loads, perceived well-being, and jump flight time were recorded across 22 d, comprising 9 training sessions and matches on days 5, 12, 15, and 21 (player exposure: 3.6 ± 0.6 matches). Mean training loads (session rating of perceived exertion × duration) between matches were 1177, 1083, 103, and 650 AU. Relative distance in match 1 (82 m/min) and match 4 (79 m/min) was very likely lower in match 2 (76 m/min) and likely higher in match 3 (86 m/min). High-intensity running (≥5.5 m/s) was likely to very likely lower than match 1 (5 m/min) in matches 2–4 (2, 4, and 3 m/min, respectively). Low-intensity activity was likely to very likely lower than match 1 (78 m/min) in match 2 (74 m/min) and match 4 (73 m/min) but likely higher in match 3 (81 m/min). Accumulated accelerometer loads for matches 1–4 were 384, 473, 373, and 391 AU, respectively. Perceived well-being returned to baseline values (~21 AU) before all matches but was very likely to most likely lower the day after each match (~17 AU). Prematch jump flight times were likely to most likely lower across the period, with mean values of 0.66, 0.65, 0.62, and 0.64 s before matches 1–4, respectively. Across a 22-d cycle with fixture congestion, professional rugby league players experience cumulative neuromuscular fatigue and impaired match running performance.