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Plews D.J.,High Performance Sport New Zealand | Plews D.J.,Auckland University of Technology | Laursen P.B.,High Performance Sport New Zealand | Laursen P.B.,Auckland University of Technology | And 4 more authors.
Sports Medicine | Year: 2013

The measurement of heart rate variability (HRV) is often considered a convenient non-invasive assessment tool for monitoring individual adaptation to training. Decreases and increases in vagal-derived indices of HRV have been suggested to indicate negative and positive adaptations, respectively, to endurance training regimens. However, much of the research in this area has involved recreational and well-trained athletes, with the small number of studies conducted in elite athletes revealing equivocal outcomes. For example, in elite athletes, studies have revealed both increases and decreases in HRV to be associated with negative adaptation. Additionally, signs of positive adaptation, such as increases in cardiorespiratory fitness, have been observed with atypical concomitant decreases in HRV. As such, practical ways by which HRV can be used to monitor training status in elites are yet to be established. This article addresses the current literature that has assessed changes in HRV in response to training loads and the likely positive and negative adaptations shown. We reveal limitations with respect to how the measurement of HRV has been interpreted to assess positive and negative adaptation to endurance training regimens and subsequent physical performance. We offer solutions to some of the methodological issues associated with using HRV as a day-to-day monitoring tool. These include the use of appropriate averaging techniques, and the use of specific HRV indices to overcome the issue of HRV saturation in elite athletes (i.e., reductions in HRV despite decreases in resting heart rate). Finally, we provide examples in Olympic and World Champion athletes showing how these indices can be practically applied to assess training status and readiness to perform in the period leading up to a pinnacle event. The paper reveals how longitudinal HRV monitoring in elites is required to understand their unique individual HRV fingerprint. For the first time, we demonstrate how increases and decreases in HRV relate to changes in fitness and freshness, respectively, in elite athletes. © 2013 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.

Grigg N.L.,Queensland University of Technology | Wearing S.C.,Bond University | Wearing S.C.,Queensland Academy of Sport | Smeathers J.E.,Queensland University of Technology
Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise | Year: 2012

PURPOSE: Eccentric exercise has become the treatment of choice for Achilles tendinopathy. However, little is known about the acute response of tendons to eccentric exercise or the mechanisms underlying its clinical benefit. This research evaluated the sonographic characteristics and acute anteroposterior (AP) strain response of control (healthy), asymptomatic, and symptomatic Achilles tendons to eccentric exercise. METHODS: Eleven male adults with unilateral midportion Achilles tendinopathy and nine control male adults without tendinopathy participated in the research. Sagittal sonograms of the Achilles tendon were acquired immediately before and after completion of a common eccentric rehabilitation exercise protocol and again 24 h later. Tendon thickness, echogenicity, and AP strain were determined 40 mm proximal to the calcaneal insertion. RESULTS: Compared with the control tendon, both the asymptomatic and symptomatic tendons were thicker (P < 0.05) and hypoechoic (P < 0.05) at baseline. All tendons decreased in thickness immediately after eccentric exercise (P < 0.05). The symptomatic tendon was characterized by a significantly lower AP strain response to eccentric exercise compared with both the asymptomatic and control tendons (P < 0.05). AP strains did not differ in the control and asymptomatic tendons. For all tendons, preexercise thickness was restored 24 h after exercise completion. CONCLUSIONS: These observations support the concept that Achilles tendinopathy is a bilateral or systemic process and structural changes associated with symptomatic tendinopathy alter fluid movement within the tendon matrix. Altered fluid movement may disrupt remodeling and homeostatic processes and represents a plausible mechanism underlying the progression of tendinopathy.

Reed L.F.,Queensland University of Technology | Urry S.R.,Queensland University of Technology | Wearing S.C.,Bond University | Wearing S.C.,Queensland Academy of Sport
BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders | Year: 2013

Background: Despite the emerging use of treadmills integrated with pressure platforms as outcome tools in both clinical and research settings, published evidence regarding the measurement properties of these new systems is limited. This study evaluated the within- and between-day repeatability of spatial, temporal and vertical ground reaction force parameters measured by a treadmill system instrumented with a capacitance-based pressure platform. Methods. Thirty three healthy adults (mean age, 21.5 ± 2.8 years; height, 168.4 ± 9.9 cm; and mass, 67.8 ± 18.6 kg), walked barefoot on a treadmill system (FDM-THM-S, Zebris Medical GmbH) on three separate occasions. For each testing session, participants set their preferred pace but were blinded to treadmill speed. Spatial (foot rotation, step width, stride and step length), temporal (stride and step times, duration of stance, swing and single and double support) and peak vertical ground reaction force variables were collected over a 30-second capture period, equating to an average of 52 ± 5 steps of steady-state walking. Testing was repeated one week following the initial trial and again, for a third time, 20 minutes later. Repeated measures ANOVAs within a generalized linear modelling framework were used to assess between-session differences in gait parameters. Agreement between gait parameters measured within the same day (session 2 and 3) and between days (session 1 and 2; 1 and 3) were evaluated using the 95% repeatability coefficient. Results: There were statistically significant differences in the majority (14/16) of temporal, spatial and kinetic gait parameters over the three test sessions (P <.01). The minimum change that could be detected with 95% confidence ranged between 3% and 17% for temporal parameters, 14% and 33% for spatial parameters, and 4% and 20% for kinetic parameters between days. Within-day repeatability was similar to that observed between days. Temporal and kinetic gait parameters were typically more consistent than spatial parameters. The 95% repeatability coefficient for vertical force peaks ranged between ± 53 and ± 63 N. Conclusions: The limits of agreement in spatial parameters and ground reaction forces for the treadmill system encompass previously reported changes with neuromuscular pathology and footwear interventions. These findings provide clinicians and researchers with an indication of the repeatability and sensitivity of the Zebris treadmill system to detect changes in common spatiotemporal gait parameters and vertical ground reaction forces. © 2013 Reed et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Wearing S.C.,Bond University | Wearing S.C.,Queensland Academy of Sport | Reed L.F.,Queensland University of Technology | Urry S.R.,Queensland University of Technology
Gait and Posture | Year: 2013

Background: Commercially available instrumented treadmill systems that provide continuous measures of temporospatial gait parameters have recently become available for clinical gait analysis. This study evaluated the level of agreement between temporospatial gait parameters derived from a new instrumented treadmill, which incorporated a capacitance-based pressure array, with those measured by a conventional instrumented walkway (criterion standard). Methods: Temporospatial gait parameters were estimated from 39 healthy adults while walking over an instrumented walkway (GAITRite®) and instrumented treadmill system (Zebris) at matched speed. Differences in temporospatial parameters derived from the two systems were evaluated using repeated measures ANOVA models. Pearson-product-moment correlations were used to investigate relationships between variables measured by each system. Agreement was assessed by calculating the bias and 95% limits of agreement. Results: All temporospatial parameters measured via the instrumented walkway were significantly different from those obtained from the instrumented treadmill ( P < .01). Temporospatial parameters derived from the two systems were highly correlated (r, 0.79-0.95). The 95% limits of agreement for temporal parameters were typically less than ±2% of gait cycle duration. However, 95% limits of agreement for spatial measures were as much as ±5. cm. Conclusions: Differences in temporospatial parameters between systems were small but statistically significant and of similar magnitude to changes reported between shod and unshod gait in healthy young adults. Temporospatial parameters derived from an instrumented treadmill, therefore, are not representative of those obtained from an instrumented walkway and should not be interpreted with reference to literature on overground walking. © 2012 Elsevier B.V.

Stanley J.,Queensland Academy of Sport | Stanley J.,University of Queensland | Peake J.M.,Queensland Academy of Sport | Peake J.M.,Queensland University of Technology | Buchheit M.,Academy for Sports Excellence
Sports Medicine | Year: 2013

The objective of exercise training is to initiate desirable physiological adaptations that ultimately enhance physical work capacity. Optimal training prescription requires an individualized approach, with an appropriate balance of training stimulus and recovery and optimal periodization. Recovery from exercise involves integrated physiological responses. The cardiovascular system plays a fundamental role in facilitating many of these responses, including thermoregulation and delivery/removal of nutrients and waste products. As a marker of cardiovascular recovery, cardiac parasympathetic reactivation following a training session is highly individualized. It appears to parallel the acute/intermediate recovery of the thermoregulatory and vascular systems, as described by the supercompensation theory. The physiological mechanisms underlying cardiac parasympathetic reactivation are not completely understood. However, changes in cardiac autonomic activity may provide a proxy measure of the changes in autonomic input into organs and (by default) the blood flow requirements to restore homeostasis. Metaboreflex stimulation (e.g. muscle and blood acidosis) is likely a key determinant of parasympathetic reactivation in the short term (0-90 min post-exercise), whereas baroreflex stimulation (e.g. exercise-induced changes in plasma volume) probably mediates parasympathetic reactivation in the intermediate term (1-48 h post-exercise). Cardiac parasympathetic reactivation does not appear to coincide with the recovery of all physiological systems (e.g. energy stores or the neuromuscular system). However, this may reflect the limited data currently available on parasympathetic reactivation following strength/resistance-based exercise of variable intensity. In this review, we quantitatively analyse post-exercise cardiac parasympathetic reactivation in athletes and healthy individuals following aerobic exercise, with respect to exercise intensity and duration, and fitness/training status. Our results demonstrate that the time required for complete cardiac autonomic recovery after a single aerobic-based training session is up to 24 h following low-intensity exercise, 24-48 h following threshold-intensity exercise and at least 48 h following high-intensity exercise. Based on limited data, exercise duration is unlikely to be the greatest determinant of cardiac parasympathetic reactivation. Cardiac autonomic recovery occurs more rapidly in individuals with greater aerobic fitness. Our data lend support to the concept that in conjunction with daily training logs, data on cardiac parasympathetic activity are useful for individualizing training programmes. In the final sections of this review, we provide recommendations for structuring training microcycles with reference to cardiac parasympathetic recovery kinetics. Ultimately, coaches should structure training programmes tailored to the unique recovery kinetics of each individual. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013.

Knez W.L.,Qatar Orthopedic and Sports Medicine Hospital | Peake J.M.,Queensland Academy of Sport
International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism | Year: 2010

Ultraendurance exercise training places large energy demands on athletes and causes a high turnover of vitamins through sweat losses, metabolism, and the musculoskeletal repair process. Ultraendurance athletes may not consume sufficient quantities or quality of food in their diet to meet these needs. Consequently, they may use oral vitamin and mineral supplements to maintain their health and performance. We assessed the vitamin and mineral intake of ultraendurance athletes in their regular diet, in addition to oral vitamin and mineral supplements. Thirty-seven ultraendurance triathletes (24 men and 13 women) completed a 7-day nutrition diary including a questionnaire to determine nutrition adequacy and supplement intake. Compared with dietary reference intakes for the general population, both male and female triathletes met or exceeded all except for vitamin D. In addition, female athletes consumed slightly less than the recommended daily intake for folate and potassium; however, the difference was trivial. Over 60% of the athletes reported using vitamin supplements, of which vitamin C (97.5%), vitamin E (78.3%), and multivitamins (52.2%) were the most commonly used supplements. Almost half (47.8%) the athletes who used supplements did so to prevent or reduce cold symptoms. Only 1 athlete used supplements on formal medical advice. Vitamin C and E supplementation was common in ultraendurance triathletes, despite no evidence of dietary deficiency in these 2 vitamins. © 2010 Human Kinetics, Inc.

Gabbett T.,University of Queensland | Wake M.,Queensland Academy of Sport | Abernethy B.,University of Hong Kong
Journal of Sports Sciences | Year: 2011

We assessed the attentional demands of drawing and passing in rugby league players and investigated the effects of single-task and dual-task training on the acquisition, retention, and transfer of skill in these athletes. In Study 1, high-skilled and lesserskilled rugby league players performed a standardized 2-on-1 drill under single-task (primary skill in isolation) and dual-task (primary skill while performing a secondary verbal tone recognition task) conditions. No differences were detected in primary task performance between groups, although the performance of the high-skilled players was more resistant to skill decrement under dual-task conditions. In Study 2, high-performance rugby league players were randomly allocated to either a single-task or dual-task training group. Each group underwent 8 weeks of training between the pre- and post-test sessions. While the mean improvement for draw and pass proficiency under dual-task conditions in the dual-task training group was greater than in the single-task training group (10.0% vs. 2.3%), the differences, while providing a moderate effect size (d=0.57), were not statistically significant. These results suggest that the attentional demands of drawing and passing are reduced in high-skilled rugby league players compared with their lesser-skilled counterparts. In addition, compared with single-task training, dual-task training appears to improve the ability to perform dual-task draw and pass tasks (possibly through an improvement in timesharing skills). Further studies are required to verify the efficacy of dual-task training as a training stimulus. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Terry P.C.,University of Southern Queensland | Terry P.C.,Queensland Academy of Sport | Karageorghis C.I.,Brunel University | Saha A.M.,University of Southern Queensland | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport | Year: 2012

Objectives: Music can provide ergogenic, psychological, and psychophysical benefits during physical activity, especially when movements are performed synchronously with music. The present study developed the train of research on synchronous music and extended it to elite athletes. Design: Repeated-measures laboratory experiment. Method: Elite triathletes (n=11) ran in time to self-selected motivational music, a neutral equivalent and a no-music control during submaximal and exhaustive treadmill running. Measured variables were time-to-exhaustion, mood responses, feeling states, RPE, blood lactate concentration, oxygen consumption and running economy. Results: Time-to-exhaustion was 18.1% and 19.7% longer, respectively, when running in time to motivational and neutral music, compared to no music. Mood responses and feeling states were more positive with motivational music compared to either neutral music or no music. RPE was lowest for neutral music and highest for the no-music control. Blood lactate concentrations were lowest for motivational music. Oxygen consumption was lower with music by 1.0%-7%. Both music conditions were associated with better running economy than the no-music control. Conclusions: Although neutral music did not produce the same level of psychological benefits as motivational music, it proved equally beneficial in terms of time-to-exhaustion and oxygen consumption. In functional terms, the motivational qualities of music may be less important than the prominence of its beat and the degree to which participants are able to synchronise their movements to its tempo. Music provided ergogenic, psychological and physiological benefits in a laboratory study and its judicious use during triathlon training should be considered. © 2011 Sports Medicine Australia.

James D.A.,Griffith University | James D.A.,Queensland Academy of Sport | Wixted A.,Griffith University
Procedia Engineering | Year: 2011

The treatment and handling of large quantities of time series sensor data is a particular challenge for the sport science community. Significant quantities of data can be generated during routine training sessions that involve multi-sensor monitoring on multiple limb segments. Whilst sensor devices are commonplace, the data formats, available sensors and acquisition rates vary considerably. Additionally sensor fusion is of increasing interest where multiple data sets from multiple sources are required to be combined. In this paper we present a set of tools that have been developed over the last 5 years to help meet this emerging challenge. The tools are based on the popular computational environment Matlab, which allows rapid customisation of routines, together with complex analysis and visualisation tools to be used by technical and non-technical researchers alike. Using these developed tools data gained from a variety of sources (including video) can be combined together, visualised and processed using over 50 processing and visualisation tools. The toolbox is designed to automatically annotate data sets to keep track of signal processing steps and maintain original data source integrity. It can also be easily extended and customised for individual applications. At its core is the 'athdata' data structure, which can accommodate multiple channels and kind of data at a variety of sample rates, annotations and unlimited processing steps. A sample import tool has been developed for users to easily apply the toolbox to their own data sets and real-time streaming of data into the toolbox is also possible. When adopted as a research team tool it facilitates the sharing of developed processing and visualisation steps, it also enables a faster path to application for new researchers joining any team © 2011 Published by Elsevier Ltd.

Stanley J.,University of Queensland | D'Auria S.,Queensland Academy of Sport | Buchheit M.,Sport Science Unit
International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance | Year: 2015

The authors examined whether changes in heart-rate (HR) variability (HRV) could consistently track adaptation to training and race performance during a 32-wk competitive season. An elite male long-course triathlete recorded resting HR (RHR) each morning, and vagal-related indices of HRV (natural logarithm of the square root of mean squared differences of successive R-R intervals [ln rMSSD] and the ratio of ln rMSSD to R-R interval length [ln rMSSD:RR]) were assessed. Daily training load was quantified using a power meter and wrist-top GPS device. Trends in HRV indices and training load were examined by calculating standardized differences (ES). The following trends in week-to-week changes were consistently observed: (1) When the triathlete was coping with a training block, RHR decreased (ES -0.38 [90% confidence limits -0.05;-0.72]) and ln rMSSD increased (+0.36 [0.71;0.00]). (2) When the triathlete was not coping, RHR increased (+0.65 [1.29;0.00]) and ln rMSSD decreased (-0.60 [0.00;-1.20]). (3) Optimal competition performance was associated with moderate decreases in ln rMSSD (-0.86 [-0.76;-0.95]) and ln rMSSD:RR (-0.90 [-0.60;-1.20]) in the week before competition. (4) Suboptimal competition performance was associated with small decreases in ln rMSSD (-0.25 [-0.76;-0.95]) and trivial changes in ln rMSSD:RR (-0.04 [0.50;-0.57]) in the week before competition. To conclude, in this triathlete, a decrease in RHR concurrent with increased ln rMSSD compared with the previous week consistently appears indicative of positive training adaptation during a training block. A simultaneous reduction in ln rMSSD and ln rMSSD:RR during the final week preceding competition appears consistently indicative of optimal performance. © 2015 Human Kinetics, Inc.

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