• 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.
    • Randomisation of simulated rugby match activity produces reliable movements and associated measures of subjective task load, cognitive and neuromuscular function

      Mullen, Thomas; Twist, Craig; Highton, Jamie; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 2019)
      The study assesses the test-retest reliability of movement and physiological measures during a simulated rugby match that employed activities performed in a random order. Twenty male rugby players (21.4 ± 2.1 y) completed two trials of a 2 x 23 min rugby movement simulation protocol during which the order of events was randomised, with 7-10 days between trials. Movement characteristics, heart rate (HR), RPE, maximum voluntary contraction (MVC), voluntary activation (VA%) of the quadriceps, Stroop test and subjective task load rating (NASA-TLX) were measured. The most reliable measures of external load was relative distance (typical error [TE] and CV% = 1.5-1.6 m.min-1 and 1.4-1.5%, respectively), with all other movement characteristics possessing a CV% <5%. The most reliable measure of internal load, neuromuscular function and perceptual measures were for %HRmax (TE and CV% = 1.4-1.7% and 1-4-2.1%, respectively), MVC before (TE and CV% = 10.8-14.8 N·m and 3.8-4.6%, respectively), and average RPE (TE and CV% = 0.5-0.8 AU and 3.6-5.5%, respectively). The Stroop test, NASA-TLX and blood lactate produced the least reliable measures (CV% >5%). Future studies can confidently examine changes in several perceptual, neuromuscular, physiological and movement measures related to rugby activity using stochastic movements.
    • A re-appraisal of the reliability of the 20 m multi-stage shuttle run test

      Lamb, Kevin L.; Rogers, Louise; University of Chester (Springer-Verlag, 07/03/2007)
    • "Read with caution": A reply to Pickett et al

      Smith, Dave; Wright, Caroline J.; Bruce-Low, Stewart; Hale, Bruce; University College Chester ; University College Chester ; University College Chester ; Penn State University (British Association of Sport and Medicine, 2005)
      This article critiques a study by Pickett Lewis & Cash titled "Men, muscles, and body image: comparisons of competitive bodybuilders, weigh trainers, and athletically active controls" published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in 2005.
    • Reduction in high intensity activity during senior elite rugby league matches

      Sykes, Dave; Twist, Craig; Lamb, Kevin L.; Nicholas, Ceri; University of Chester (2009-06)
    • The Relationship Between Match-Play Characteristics of Elite Rugby League and Indirect Markers of Muscle Damage

      Oxendale, Chelsea; Twist, Craig; Daniels, Matthew; Highton, Jamie M.; University of Chester; St Helens Rugby League Club (Human Kinetics, 2016)
      Purpose: Whilst exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD) after a rugby league match has been well documented, the specific match actions that contribute to EIMD are unclear. Accordingly, the purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between the physical demands of elite rugby league matches and subsequent EIMD. Methods: Twenty-eight performances were captured using 10 Hz global positioning systems. Upper and lower body neuromuscular fatigue, creatine kinase (CK) and perceived muscle soreness were assessed 24 h before and at 12, 36 and 60 h after a competitive match. Results: High-intensity running was moderately higher in backs (6.6 ± 2.6 m•min-1) compared to forwards (5.1 ± 1.6 m•min-1), whereas total collisions were moderately lower (31.1 ± 13.1 cf. 54.1 ± 37.0). Duration (r = 0.9, CI: 0.77 to 0.96), total distance covered (r = 0.86, CI: 0.7 to 0.95) and distance covered over 18 km•h-1 (r = 0.76, CI: 0.51 to 0.91) were associated with increased CK concentration post-match. Total collisions and repeated high-intensity efforts (RHIE) were associated with large decrements in upper body neuromuscular performance (r = -0.48, CI: -0.74 to 0.02 and r = -0.49, CI: -0.77 to 0.05, respectively), muscle soreness (r = -0.68, CI: -0.87 to -0.1 and r = -0.66, CI: -0.89 to 0.21, respectively), and CK concentration (r = 0.67, CI: 0.42 to 0.85 and r = 0.73, CI: 0.51 to 0.87, respectively). Conclusion: Match duration, high-intensity running and collisions were associated with variations in EIMD markers, suggesting recovery is dependent on individual match demands.
    • 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.
    • 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.
    • The reliability and validity of short-distance sprint performance assessed on a nonmotorized treadmill

      Highton, Jamie M.; Lamb, Kevin L.; Twist, Craig; Nicholas, Ceri; University of Chester (National Strength and Conditioning Association, 2012)
      This study examined the interday and intraday reliabilities and validities of various sprint performance variables on a nonmotorized treadmill (NMT) over distances of 10, 20, and 30 metres.
    • 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.
    • Reliability of ratings of perceived exertion during progressive treadmill exercise.

      Lamb, Kevin L.; Eston, Roger; Corns, David; University College Chester (Elsevier, 1999-10)
      OBJECTIVE: To assess the test-retest reliability (repeatability) of Borg's 6-20 rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale using a more appropriate statistical technique than has been employed in previous investigations. The RPE scale is used widely in exercise science and sports medicine to monitor and/or prescribe levels of exercise intensity. The "95% limits of agreement" technique has recently been advocated as a better means of assessing within-subject (trial to trial) agreement than traditional indicators such as Pearson and intraclass correlation coefficients. METHODS: Sixteen male athletes (mean (SD) age 23.6 (5.1) years) completed two identical multistage (incremental) treadmill running protocols over a period of two to five days. RPEs were requested and recorded during the final 15 seconds of each three minute stage. All subjects successfully completed at least four stages in each trial, allowing the reliability of RPE responses to be examined at each stage. RESULTS: The 95% limits of agreement (bias +/- 1.96 x SDdiff) were found to widen as exercise intensity increased: 0.88 (2.02) RPE units (stage 1), 0.25 (2.53) RPE units (stage 2), -0.13 (2.86) RPE units (stage 3), and -0.13 (2.94) RPE units (stage 4). Pearson correlations (0.81, 0.72, 0.65, and 0.60) and intraclass correlations (0.82, 0.80, 0.77, and 0.75) decreased as exercise intensity increased. CONCLUSIONS: These findings question the test-retest reliability of the RPE scale when used to monitor subjective estimates of exercise intensity in progressive (or graded) exercise tests.
    • 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, 10/08/2012)
      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.
    • A reliable testing battery for assessing physical qualities of elite academy rugby league players

      Dobbin, Nicholas; Hunwicks, Richard; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig (2017-11-14)
      This study assessed the inter-day reliability of a testing battery for the assessment of physical qualities of rugby league players. Fifty players (age 17.1 ± 1.1 years; stature 181.3 ± 6.3 cm; body mass 89.0 ± 11.6 kg) from three Super League academies participated in this study. Tests of countermovement jump performance, 10 and 20 m sprint performance, change of direction, medicine ball throw and a modified Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 (prone Yo-Yo IR1) were completed on three separate occasions. Between-day intraclass correlation coefficient, typical error (TE), coefficient of variation (CV) and the smallest worthwhile change (SWC) were calculated to determine the reliability and sensitivity of each measure. Individual tests (except medicine ball throw) were not systematically different between trials (P>0.05), with an inter-day variability that was <10%. In all instances, the TE was larger than the calculated SWC change although variability was less than that typically observed after a training intervention or specific training period (i.e. preseason). Using a magnitude-based inference approach, we present the required change for all performance tests to be 75% confident the change is beneficial. This simple and time efficient testing battery is sufficiently reliable to detect previously observed changes in a range of physical qualities of rugby league players.
    • The reproducibility and external validity of a modified rugby league movement simulation protocol for interchange players

      Norris, Jonathan; Highton, Jamie; Twist, Craig; University of Chester (01/04/2019)
      Purpose: The study assessed the reliability and external validity of a rugby league movement simulation protocol for interchange players that was adapted to include physical contact between participants Methods: Eighteen rugby players performed two trials of a modified rugby league movement simulation protocol for interchange players (RLMSP-i), seven days apart. The simulation was conduced outdoors on artificial turf with movement speeds controlled using an audio signal. Micro-technology was used to measure locomotive and accelerometer (i.e. PlayerLoadTM) metrics for both bouts (~23 min each) alongside heart rate and RPE. Results: Reported for each bout, total distance (102 ± 3 and 101 ± 3 m.min-1), low-speed distance (77 ± 3 and 79 ± 4 m.min-1), high-speed distance (25 ± 3 and 22 ± 4 m.min-1), PlayerLoadTM (10 ± 1 and 10 ± 1 AU.min-1), PlayerLoadTM slow (3.2 ± 0.6 and 3.2 ± 0.6 AU.min-1), PlayerLoadTM 2D (6.0 ± 0.9 and 5.7 ± 0.8 AU.min-1) and heart rate (86 ± 5 and 84 ± 6 %HR max) were similar to match play. The coefficient of variation (%CV) for locomotive metrics ranged from 1.3 to 14.4%, accelerometer CV% 4.4 to 10.0%, and internal load 4.8 to 13.7%. All variables presented a CV% less than the calculated moderate change during one or both bouts of the simulation except high-speed distance (m.min-1), %HRpeak and RPE (AU). Conclusion: The modified RLMSP-i offers a reliable simulation to investigate influences of training and nutrition interventions on the movement and collision activities of rugby league interchange players.
    • The reproducibility of perceptually regulated exercise responses during short-term cycle ergometry

      Hartshorn, James E. O.; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Georg Thieme Verlag, 18/05/2004)
      The purpose of this study was to assess the reproducibility over four trials of perceptually regulated exercise intensity during short-term cycle ergometry. Recent research has suggested that an improvement in the reproducibility (better agreement) of the exercise output would be observed with a repeated practice of using regulatory tools such as Borg’s 6-20 rating of perceived exertion (RPE) scale. Eighteen healthy active volunteers (nine males mean age (± SD) 24.7 ± 3.4 yr, and nine females 27.6 ± 5.4 yr) completed four identical intermittent effort production trials on a cycle ergometer, over a period of two-three weeks, with all trials being between three and five days apart. After warm-up, the volunteers were asked to produce four x three-minute bouts of exercise at RPE levels: 13, 15, 9, and 17 (in this order). Power output (W), percentage maximum heart rate reserve (%MHRR), and oxygen consumption (VO2; ml•kg-1•min-1) were recorded in the final minute of each bout. Analysis revealed that the 95% limits of agreement (LoA) between repeated trials did not decrease for the objective markers of exercise intensity, remaining wide throughout. In the worst case comparisons the LoA represented changes (expressed as a proportion of the mean of two trials) of up to 58.3% in power output (T2 vs. T3 at RPE 9), 65.5% in %MHRR (T1 vs. T2 at RPE 13) and 36.5% in VO2 (T3 vs. T4 at RPE 17). These findings question the use of ratings of perceived exertion to regulate exercise effort. That the reproducibility of effort is also not seen to improve with practice raises doubts over the validity of using the RPE scale for providing training intensities for this type of exercise.
    • Reproducibility of the internal load and performance-based responses to simulated amateur boxing

      Thomson, Edward; Lamb, Kevin L.; University of Chester (Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins, 01/12/2017)
      The aim of this study was to examine the reproducibility of the internal load and performance-based responses to repeated bouts of a three-round amateur boxing simulation protocol (BOXFIT). Twenty-eight amateur boxers completed two familiarisation trials before performing two complete trials of the BOXFIT, separated by 4-7 days. To characterise the internal load, mean (HRmean) and peak (HRpeak) heart rate, breath-by-breath oxygen uptake (V ̇O2), aerobic energy expenditure (EEaer), excess carbon dioxide production (CO2excess) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded throughout each round and blood lactate determined post-BOXFIT. Additionally, an indication of the performance-based demands of the BOXFIT was provided by a measure of acceleration of the punches thrown in each round. Analysis revealed there were no significant differences (P > 0.05) between repeated trials in any round for all dependent measures. The typical error (coefficient variation %) for all but one marker of internal load (CO2excess) was 1.2 – 16.5% and reflected a consistency that was sufficient for the detection of moderate changes in variables owing to an intervention. The reproducibility of the punch accelerations was high (CV% range = 2.1 – 2.7%). In general, these findings suggest that the internal load and performance-based efforts recorded during the BOXFIT are reproducible and thereby offers practitioners a method by which meaningful changes impacting on performance could be identified.
    • Research is a messy process: A case study of a figurational sociology approach to conventional issues in social science research methods

      Bloyce, Daniel; University College Chester (2004)
      This article aims to provide an overview of a figurational approach to research methods by utilising a case study of specific research undertaken into the global diffusion of baseball. The article outlines the figurational approach to research in general; in other words, what 'doing' figurational research entails and provides outlines of how this approach necessarily impacts on one's research strategy, design and methods, respectively.
    • Risk perception as a function of risk exposure amongst rock climbers

      Martha, Cecile; Sanchez, Xavier; Gomà-i-Freixanet, Montserrat; Université de la Méditerranée ; University of Chester ; Autonomous University of Barcelona (Elsevier, 2009-01)
      This article discusses a study of 235 climbers which examined the extent to which climbers' climbing safety perceived competence and perceived own absolute and comparative risk of getting seriously injured whilst climbing is related to risk exposure.
    • 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.
    • Season-long increases in perceived muscle soreness in professional rugby league players: role of player position, match characteristics and playing surface

      Fletcher, Ben D.; Twist, Craig; Haigh, Julian; Brewer, Clive; Morton, James P.; Close, Graeme L.; Liverpool John Moores University; University of Chester (Taylor and Francis, 14/09/2015)
      Rugby League (RL) is a high-impact collision sport characterised by repeated sprints and numerous high-speed impacts and consequently players often report immediate and prolonged muscle soreness in the days after a match. We examined muscle soreness after matches during a full season to understand the extent to which match characteristics influence soreness. Thirty-one elite Super League players provided daily measures of muscle soreness after each of the 26 competitive fixtures of the 2012 season. Playing position, phase of the season, playing surface and match characteristics were recorded from each match. Muscle soreness peaked at day 1 and was still apparent at day 4 post-game with no attenuation in the magnitude of muscle soreness over the course of the season. Neither playing position, phase of season or playing surface had any effects on the extent of muscle soreness. Playing time and total number of collisions were significantly correlated with higher ratings of muscle soreness, especially in the forwards. These data indicate the absence of a repeated bout effect or ‘contact adaptations’ in elite rugby players with soreness present throughout the entire season. Strategies must now be implemented to deal with the physical and psychological consequences of prolonged feeling of pain