Publications by authors named "David P Looney"

36 Publications

Effects of modern military backpack loads on walking speed and cardiometabolic responses of US Army Soldiers.

Appl Ergon 2021 Feb 27;94:103395. Epub 2021 Feb 27.

US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), 10 General Greene Avenue, Natick, MA, 01760, USA. Electronic address:

Introduction: Military leaders must understand how modern military equipment loads affect trade-offs between movement speed and physiological strain to optimize pacing strategies.

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of load carried in a recently developed military backpack on the walking speed and cardiometabolic responses of dismounted warfighters.

Methods: Fifteen soldiers (1 woman, 14 men; age, 22 ± 2 years; height, 173 ± 7 cm; body mass (BM), 73 ± 10 kg) completed incremental walking tests with four external load conditions (0, 22, 44, or 66% BM) using the US Army's newest backpack: the Modular Lightweight Load-Carrying Equipment 4000 (MOLLE 4000). Oxygen uptake (V̇O) and heart rate (HR) were evaluated relative to maximal values (V̇O and HR respectively). Testing ceased when participants completed the highest tested speed (1.97 m s), exceeded a respiratory exchange ratio (RER) of 1.00, or reached volitional exhaustion.

Results: Peak speed significantly decreased (p < 0.03) with successively heavier loads (0% BM, 1.95 ± 0.06 m s; 22% BM, 1.87 ± 0.10 m s; 44% BM, 1.69 ± 0.13 m s; 66% BM, 1.48 ± 0.13 m s). Peak V̇O was significantly lower (p < 0.01) with 0% BM (47 ± 5% V̇O) than each load (22% BM, 58 ± 8% V̇O; 44% BM, 63 ± 10% V̇O; 66% BM, 61 ± 11% V̇O). Peak HR was significantly lower (p < 0.01) with 0% BM (71 ± 5% HR) versus each load (22% BM, 83 ± 6% HR; 44% BM, 87 ± 6% HR; 66% BM, 88 ± 6% HR).

Conclusion: Overburdened warfighters suffer severe impairments in walking speed even when carrying recently developed military load carriage equipment. Our results suggest that the relative work intensity of heavy load carriage may be better described when expressed relative to HR versus V̇O.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2021.103395DOI Listing
February 2021

Verification Testing to Confirm V˙O2max in a Hot Environment.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2021 04;53(4):763-769

Department of Health and Human Performance, Concordia University, Chicago, IL.

Purpose: This study aimed to evaluate the validity and reliability of a verification test to confirm GXT V˙O2max in a hot environment.

Methods: Twelve recreationally trained cyclists completed a two-test protocol that included a GXT progressing 20 W·min-1 followed by a biphasic supramaximal-load verification test (1 min at 60% increasing to 110% maximal GXT wattage until failure) in a hot environment (39°C, 32% relative humidity). Rest between tests occurred in a thermoneutral room and was anchored to the duration required for gastrointestinal temperature to return to baseline.

Results: Mean verification test V˙O2max (51.3 ± 8.8 mL·kg-1·min-1) was lower than GXT (55.9 ± 7.6 mL·kg-1·min-1, P = 0.02). Verification tests confirmed GXT V˙O2max in 92% of participants using individual analysis thresholds. Bland-Altman analysis revealed a sizable mean bias (-4.6 ± 4.9 mL·kg-1·min-1) with wide 95% limits of agreement (-14.0 to 5.0 mL·kg-1·min-1) across a range of V˙O2max values. The high coefficient of variation (9.6%) and typical error (±3.48 mL·kg-1·min-1) indicate potential issues of test-retest reliability in the heat.

Conclusions: Verification testing in a hot condition confirmed GXT V˙O2max in virtually all participants, indicating robust utility. To enhance test-retest reliability in this environment, protocol recommendations for work rate and recovery between tests are provided.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000002520DOI Listing
April 2021

Formulae for calculating body surface area in modern U.S. Army Soldiers.

J Therm Biol 2020 Aug 30;92:102650. Epub 2020 Jun 30.

Biophysics and Biomedical Modeling Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), 10 General Greene Avenue, Bldg 42, Natick, MA, 01760, USA. Electronic address:

Purpose: Body surface area (BSA) is an important measurement for many thermophysiological, pharmaceutical, toxicological, environmental, and military applications. Unfortunately, BSA is difficult to quantify, and existing prediction methods are not optimized for contemporary populations.

Methods: The present study analyzed data body measurements from 5603 male and female participants of a US Army Anthropometric Survey to determine optimal methods for estimating BSA in modern US Army Soldiers. This data included 94 individual body measurements as well as three dimensional (3D) whole body scans for each participant. We used this data to assess and compared 15 existing equations to the measured data. We also derived best fitting nonlinear regression models for estimating BSA from different combinations of sex, height, and weight and iteratively included the remaining 91 measurements to determine which combinations resulted in the highest goodness-of-fit.

Results: We found that inclusion of armspan measurements as a third body dimension maximized the model goodness-of-fit.

Conclusion: Some of the existing formulae provide reasonable estimates of 3D-scanner derived BSA; while our new formulae derived from this study allows for more accurate estimates of BSA using one or more common input variables.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtherbio.2020.102650DOI Listing
August 2020

Divers risk accelerated fatigue and core temperature rise during fully-immersed exercise in warmer water temperature extremes.

Temperature (Austin) 2019 13;6(2):150-157. Epub 2019 Apr 13.

Navy Experimental Diving Unit (NEDU), Panama City, Florida, USA.

Physiological responses to work in cold water have been well studied but little is known about the effects of exercise in warm water; an overlooked but critical issue for certain military, scientific, recreational, and professional diving operations. This investigation examined core temperature responses to fatiguing, fully-immersed exercise in extremely warm waters. Twenty-one male U.S. Navy divers (body mass, 87.3 ± 12.3 kg) were monitored during rest and fatiguing exercise while fully-immersed in four different water temperatures (Tw): 34.4, 35.8, 37.2, and 38.6°C (Tw, Tw, Tw, and Tw respectively). Participants exercised on an underwater cycle ergometer until volitional fatigue or core temperature limits were reached. Core body temperature and heart rate were monitored continuously. Trial performance time decreased significantly as water temperature increased (Tw, 174 ± 12 min; Tw, 115 ± 13 min; Tw, 50 ± 13 min; Tw, 34 ± 14 min). Peak core body temperature during work was significantly lower in Tw water (38.31 ± 0.49°C) than in warmer temperatures (Tw, 38.60 ± 0.55°C; Tw, 38.82 ± 0.76°C; Tw, 38.97 ± 0.65°C). Core body temperature rate of change increased significantly with warmer water temperature (Tw, 0.39 ± 0.28°C·h; Tw, 0.80 ± 0.19°C·h; Tw, 2.02 ± 0.31°C·h; Tw, 3.54 ± 0.41°C·h). Physically active divers risk severe hyperthermia in warmer waters. Increases in water temperature drastically increase the rate of core body temperature rise during work in warm water. New predictive models for core temperature based on workload and duration of warm water exposure are needed to ensure warm water diving safety.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/23328940.2019.1599182DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6620004PMC
April 2019

Response.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2019 07;51(7):1567

U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine Natick, MA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001918DOI Listing
July 2019

Estimating Energy Expenditure during Level, Uphill, and Downhill Walking.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2019 09;51(9):1954-1960

United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA.

Introduction: The load carriage decision aid (LCDA) walking equation was developed from literature-aggregated group mean data to calculate standing and level walking energy expenditures in healthy, military-age adults. The LCDA walking equation has not been validated for use in individuals or graded walking.

Purpose: We aimed to validate the LCDA walking equation as a predictor of standing and level walking energy expenditure in individuals and expand to a new graded walking equation for uphill and downhill walking.

Methods: We compiled standing, level walking, and graded walking energy expenditures measured in 95 participants from 11 studies. Walking speeds reached up to 1.96 m·s with grades ranging between -40% and 45%. The LCDA walking equation was validated against the aggregated standing and level walking data. The new LCDA graded walking equation was developed and cross-validated on the graded walking trials. We compared each equation against four reference predictive equations with the standard error of estimation (SEE) as the primary criterion.

Results: The LCDA walking equation accurately estimated standing and level walking energy expenditure (bias, -0.02 ± 0.20 W·kg; SEE, 0.20 W·kg). Addition of the novel grade term resulted in precise estimates of uphill and downhill walking energy expenditure (bias, 0.09 ± 0.40 W·kg; SEE, 0.42 W·kg).

Conclusions: The LCDA walking equation is a valid predictor of standing and walking energy expenditure in healthy, military-age individuals. We developed a novel grade term for estimating both uphill and downhill walking energy expenditure with a single equation. Practitioners can use the new LCDA graded walking equation to calculate energy expenditure during standing as well as walking on level, uphill, and downhill slopes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000002002DOI Listing
September 2019

Heat Strain Decision Aid (HSDA) accurately predicts individual-based core body temperature rise while wearing chemical protective clothing.

Comput Biol Med 2019 04 16;107:131-136. Epub 2019 Feb 16.

Biophysics and Biomedical Modeling Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, 10 General Greene Avenue, Bldg 42, Natick, MA 01760, USA. Electronic address:

Purpose: We examined the accuracy of the Heat Strain Decision Aid (HSDA) as a predictor of core body temperature in healthy individuals wearing chemical protective clothing during laboratory and field exercises in hot and humid conditions.

Methods: The laboratory experiment examined three chemical protective clothing ensembles in eight male volunteers (age 24 ± 6 years; height 178 ± 5 cm; body mass 76.6 ± 8.4 kg) during intermittent treadmill marching in an environmental chamber (air temperature 29.3 ± 0.1 °C; relative humidity 56 ± 1%; wind speed 0.4 ± 0.1 m s). The field experiment examined four different chemical protective clothing ensembles in twenty activity military volunteers (26 ± 5 years; 175 ± 8 cm; 80.2 ± 12.1 kg) during a prolonged road march (26.0 ± 0.5 °C; 55 ± 3%; 4.3 ± 0.7 m s). Predictive accuracy and precision were evaluated by the bias, mean absolute error (MAE), and root mean square error (RMSE). Additionally, accuracy was evaluated using a prediction bias of ±0.27 °C as an acceptable limit and by comparing predictions to observations within the standard deviation (SD) of the observed data.

Results: Core body temperature predictions were accurate for each chemical protective clothing ensemble in laboratory (Bias -0.10 ± 0.36 °C; MAE 0.28 ± 0.24 °C; RMSE 0.37 ± 0.24 °C) and field experiments (Bias 0.23 ± 0.32 °C; MAE 0.30 ± 0.25 °C; RMSE 0.40 ± 0.25 °C). From all modeled data, 72% of all predictions were within one standard deviation of the observed data including 92% of predictions for the laboratory experiment (SD ± 0.64 °C) and 67% for the field experiment (SD ± 0.38 °C). Individual-based predictions showed modest errors outside the SD range with 98% of predictions falling <1 °C; while, 81% of all errors were within 0.5 °C of observed data.

Conclusion: The HSDA acceptably predicts core body temperature when wearing chemical protective clothing during laboratory and field exercises in hot and humid conditions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiomed.2019.02.004DOI Listing
April 2019

Metabolic Costs of Standing and Walking in Healthy Military-Age Adults: A Meta-regression.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2019 02;51(2):346-351

U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), Natick, MA.

Introduction: The Load Carriage Decision Aid (LCDA) is a U.S. Army planning tool that predicts physiological responses of soldiers during different dismounted troop scenarios. We aimed to develop an equation that calculates standing and walking metabolic rates in healthy military-age adults for the LCDA using a meta-regression.

Methods: We searched for studies that measured the energetic cost of standing and treadmill walking in healthy men and women via indirect calorimetry. We used mixed effects meta-regression to determine an optimal equation to calculate standing and walking metabolic rates as a function of walking speed (S, m·s). The optimal equation was used to determine the economical speed at which the metabolic cost per distance walked is minimized. The estimation precision of the new LCDA walking equation was compared with that of seven reference predictive equations.

Results: The meta-regression included 48 studies. The optimal equation for calculating normal standing and walking metabolic rates (W·kg) was 1.44 + 1.94S + 0.24S. The economical speed for level walking was 1.39 m·s (~ 3.1 mph). The LCDA walking equation was more precise across all walking speeds (bias ± SD, 0.01 ± 0.33 W·kg) than the reference predictive equations.

Conclusion: Practitioners can use the new LCDA walking equation to calculate energy expenditure during standing and walking at speeds <2 m·s in healthy, military-age adults. The LCDA walking equation avoids the errors estimated by other equations at lower and higher walking speeds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001779DOI Listing
February 2019

Terrain coefficients for predicting energy costs of walking over snow.

Appl Ergon 2019 Jan 15;74:48-54. Epub 2018 Aug 15.

Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education (ORISE), 1299 Bethel Valley Rd, Oak Ridge, TN, 37830, USA; Biophysics and Biomedical Modeling Division, United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, 01760, USA.

Background: Predicting the energy costs of human travel over snow can be of significant value to the military and other agencies planning work efforts when snow is present. The ability to quantify, and predict, those costs can help planners determine if snow will be a factor in the execution of dismounted tasks and operations. To adjust predictive models for the effect of terrain, and more specifically for surface conditions, on energy costs, terrain coefficients (ƞ) have been developed. The physiological demands of foot travel over snow have been studied previously, and there are well established methods of predicting metabolic costs of locomotion. By applying knowledge gained from prior studies of the effects of terrain and snow, and by leveraging those existing dismounted locomotion models, this paper seeks to outline the steps in developing an improved terrain coefficient (ƞ) for snow to be used in predictive modeling.

Methods: Using published data, methods, and a well-informed understanding of the physical elements of terrain, e.g., characterization of snow sinkage (z), this study made adjustments to ƞ-values specific to snow.

Results: This review of published metabolic cost methods suggest that an improved ƞ-value could be developed for use with the Pandolf equation, where z = depth (h)*(1 - (snow density (ρ)/1.186)) and ƞ = 0.0005z + 0.0001z + 0.1072z + 1.2604.

Conclusion: While the complexity of variables related to characteristics of snow, speed of movement, and individuals confound efforts to develop a simple, predictive model, this paper provides data-driven improvements to models that are used to predict the energy costs of dismounted movements over snow.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2018.08.017DOI Listing
January 2019

Relationship Between Heart Rate Variability and Acute:Chronic Load Ratio Throughout a Season in NCAA D1 Men's Soccer Players.

J Strength Cond Res 2021 Apr;35(4):1103-1109

Department of Kinesiology, Korey Stringer Institute, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

Abstract: Sekiguchi, Y, Huggins, RA, Curtis, RM, Benjamin, CL, Adams, WM, Looney, DP, West, CA, and Casa, DJ. Relationship between heart rate variability and acute:chronic load ratio throughout a season in NCAA D1 men's soccer players. J Strength Cond Res 35(4): 1103-1109, 2021-The purpose of this study was twofold: (a) to examine the relationship between heart rate variability (HRV) and acute:chronic workload ratio (ACWR)-based training load (TL) metrics and (b) to examine relationships across various A:C ratio-based TL metrics. Heart rate variability in 23 male college soccer players (mean ± SD; age, 21 ± 1 years; body mass, 80.3 ± 5.8 kg; height, 181.9 ± 6.5 cm; %body fat, 11.9 ± 2.0%; and V̇o2max, 51.9 ± 5.0 ml·kg-1·min-1) was measured at 5 time points: week(W)1, W3, W7, W12, and W14 during the 2015 NCAA men's soccer season. Heart rate variability was calculated from beat to beat intervals using a heart rate monitor. Players donned a global position satellite-enabled device that measured the following TL metrics: session time (ST), Player Load (PL), PL·min-1, and total distance (TD). Acute:chronic workload ratio was calculated for each TL metric: ACWR-based ST (ACWRST), ACWR-based PL (ACWRPL), ACWR-based PL·min-1 (ACWRPLM), and ACWR-based TD (ACWRTD): ACWR = week average TLs/mo average (30 ± 1 days) TLs. Relationships between HRV and ACWR-based each TL metric were evaluated using mixed effects models. Tukey pairwise comparisons were used to examine differences between types of ACWR-based TL metrics. An increase in ACWRST significantly reduced HRV throughout a season (-7.4 ± 3.6 m·s-1; p = 0.04). There were significant differences between ACWRPLM and ACWRST, ACWRPL and ACWRTD at W1, ACWRPLM and ACWRST at W3 (p < 0.05). In conclusion, ACWRST, ACWRPL, and ACWRTD were significantly different from ACWRPLM. ACWRST was found to significantly predict HRV; higher ACWRST was significantly associated with lower HRV. Therefore, tracking of the ACWR using ST may help to optimize athlete's physiological state throughout a season.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002853DOI Listing
April 2021

Cardiorespiratory responses to heavy military load carriage over complex terrain.

Appl Ergon 2018 Nov 24;73:194-198. Epub 2018 Jul 24.

US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), 10 General Green Ave, Natick, MA, 01760, USA.

This study examined complex terrain march performance and cardiorespiratory responses when carrying different Soldier loads. Nine active duty military personnel (age, 21 ± 3 yr; height, 1.72 ± 0.07 m; body mass (BM), 83.4 ± 12.9 kg) attended two test visits during which they completed consecutive laps around a 2.5-km mixed terrain course with either a fighting load (30% BM) or an approach load (45% BM). Respiratory rate and heart rate data were collected using physiological status monitors. Training impulse (TRIMP) scores were calculated using Banister's formula to provide an integrated measure of both time and cardiorespiratory demands. Completion times were not significantly different between the fighting and approach loads for either Lap 1 (p = 0.38) or Lap 2 (p = 0.09). Respiration rate was not significantly higher with the approach load than the fighting load during Lap 1 (p = 0.17) but was significantly higher for Lap 2 (p = 0.04). However, heart rate was significantly higher with the approach load versus the fighting load during both Lap 1 (p = 0.03) and Lap 2 (p = 0.04). Furthermore, TRIMP was significantly greater with the approach load versus the fighting load during both Lap 1 (p = 0.02) and Lap 2 (p = 0.02). Trained military personnel can maintain similar pacing while carrying either fighting or approach loads during short mixed terrain marches. However, cardiorespiratory demands are greatly elevated with the approach load and will likely continue to rise during longer distance marches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apergo.2018.07.010DOI Listing
November 2018

Monitoring Blood Biomarkers and Training Load Throughout a Collegiate Soccer Season.

J Strength Cond Res 2019 Nov;33(11):3065-3077

Korey Stringer Institute, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

Huggins, RA, Fortunati, AR, Curtis, RM, Looney, DP, West, CA, Lee, EC, Fragala, MS, Hall, ML, and Casa, DJ. Monitoring blood biomarkers and training load throughout a collegiate soccer season. J Strength Cond Res 33(11): 3065-3077, 2019-This observational study aimed to characterize the responses of a comprehensive panel of biomarkers, observed ranges, training load (TL) metrics, and performance throughout the collegiate soccer season (August-November). Biomarkers (n = 92) were collected before the start of pre-season (PS), in-season weeks (W)1, W4, W8, and W12 in NCAA Division I male soccer players (n = 20, mean ± SD; age = 21 ± 1 years, height = 180 ± 6 cm, body mass = 78.19 ± 6.3 kg, body fat = 12.0 ± 2.6%, VO2max 51.5 ± 5.1 ml·kg·min). Fitness tests were measured at PS, and W12 and TL was monitored daily. Changes in biomarkers and performance were calculated via separate repeated-measures analysis of variance. Despite similar fitness (p > 0.05), endocrine, muscle, inflammatory, and immune markers changed over time (p < 0.05). Total and free testosterone was lower in W1 vs. PS, whereas free cortisol remained unchanged at PS, W1, and W4 (>0.94 mg·dL). Oxygen transport and iron metabolism markers remained unchanged except for HCT (W1 vs. PS) and total iron binding capacity (W8-W12 vs. W1). Hepatic markers albumin, globulin, albumin:globulin, and total protein levels were elevated (p < 0.05) at W12 vs. W1, whereas aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase levels were elevated at W1-W12 and W8-W12 vs. PS, respectively. Vitamin E, zinc, selenium, and calcium levels were elevated (p < 0.05) at W12 vs. W1, whereas Vitamin D was decreased (p < 0.05). Fatty acids and cardiovascular markers (omega-3 index, cholesterol:high-density lipoprotein [HDL], docosahexenoic acid, low-density lipoprotein [LDL], direct LDL, non-HDL, ApoB) were reduced at W1 vs. PS (p ≤ 0.05). Immune, lipid, and muscle damage biomarkers were frequently outside clinical reference ranges. Routine biomarker monitoring revealed subclinical and clinical changes, suggesting soccer-specific reference ranges. Biomarker monitoring may augment positive adaptation and reduce injuries from stressors incurred during soccer.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002622DOI Listing
November 2019

Match Demands of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I Men's Soccer.

J Strength Cond Res 2018 Oct;32(10):2907-2917

Korey Stringer Institute, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

Curtis, RM, Huggins, RA, Looney, DP, West, CA, Fortunati, A, Fontaine, GJ, and Casa, DJ. Match demands of National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I men's soccer. J Strength Cond Res 32(10): 2907-2917, 2018-This study aimed to profile positional movement characteristics of National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I male soccer players. Eighteen Division I male soccer players were monitored using global positioning systems, inertial movement, and heart rate (HR) technology during 24 matches over a full competitive season (N = 235 observations). Positional groups were classified as either a forward (F), center midfielder (CM), wide midfielder (WM), or defender (D). Movement was profiled by locomotor (walking [0-7.19 km·h], jogging [7.20-14.39 km·h], running [14.40-21.59 km·h], and sprinting [>21.6 km·h]), and acceleration/deceleration characteristics (low intensity [0-1.99 m·s], moderate intensity [2-3.99 m·s], and high intensity [>4 m·s]). Players averaged distances of 9,367 ± 2,149 m per match at speeds of 91 ± 20 m·min and physiological intensities of 78 ± 8 %HRmax. Center midfielder demonstrated the highest average speeds (97 ± 20 m·min) and covered the most distance (9,941 ± 2,140 m). Wide midfielder accumulated the most sprint distance (391 ± 145 m) and high-intensity accelerations (129 ± 30 n)/decelerations (96 ± 24 n). Several practically meaningful differences exist between positions for internal and external load metrics. Match loads seen in NCAA Division I soccer vary from reports of professional soccer; however, the effects of match regulation, structure, and congestion, which are unique to NCAA soccer, require further investigation. Physical and physiological load monitoring of NCAA soccer may aid coaches and practitioners in the periodization of training programs leading up to and during a competitive soccer season. These data speak to the necessity for examining both internal and external loads by position.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000002719DOI Listing
October 2018

Complex Terrain Load Carriage Energy Expenditure Estimation Using Global Positioning System Devices.

Med Sci Sports Exerc 2018 Oct;50(10):2145-2149

United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA.

Introduction: Military load carriage can cause extreme energy expenditure (EE) that is difficult to estimate due to complex terrain grades and surfaces. Global Positioning System (GPS) devices capture rapid changes in walking speed and terrain but the delayed respiratory response to movement is problematic. We investigated the accuracy using GPS data in three different equations to estimate EE during complex terrain load carriage.

Methods: Twelve active duty military personnel (age, 20 ± 3 yr; height, 174 ± 8 cm; body mass, 85 ± 13 kg) hiked a complex terrain trail on multiple visits under different external load conditions. Energy expenditure was estimated by inputting GPS data into three different equations: the Pandolf-Santee equation, a recent GPS-based equation from de Müllenheim et al.; and the Minimum Mechanics model. Minute-by-minute EE estimates were exponentially smoothed using smoothing factors between 0.05 and 0.95 and compared with mobile metabolic sensor EE measurements.

Results: The Pandolf-Santee equation had no significant estimation bias (-2 ± 12 W; P = 0.89). Significant biases were detected for the de Müllenheim equation (38 ± 13 W; P = 0.004) and the Minimum Mechanics model (-101 ± 7 W; P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Energy expenditure can be accurately estimated from GPS data using the Pandolf-Santee equation. Applying a basic exponential smoothing factor of 0.5 to GPS data enables more precise tracking of EE during non-steady-state exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1249/MSS.0000000000001669DOI Listing
October 2018

Metabolic Costs of Military Load Carriage over Complex Terrain.

Mil Med 2018 09;183(9-10):e357-e362

United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine (USARIEM), 10 General Greene Avenue, Natick, MA.

Introduction: Dismounted military operations often involve prolonged load carriage over complex terrain, which can result in excessive metabolic costs that can directly impair soldiers' performance. Although estimating these demands is a critical interest for mission planning purposes, it is unclear whether existing estimation equations developed from controlled laboratory- and field-based studies accurately account for energy costs of traveling over complex terrain. This study investigated the accuracy of the following equations for military populations when applied to data collected over complex terrain with two different levels of load carriage: American College of Sports Medicine (2002), Givoni and Goldman (1971), Jobe and White (2009), Minetti et al (2002), Pandolf et al (1977), and Santee et al (2003).

Materials And Methods: Nine active duty military personnel (age 21 ± 3 yr; height 1.72 ± 0.07 m; body mass 83.4 ± 12.9 kg; VO2 max 47.8 ± 3.9 mL/kg/min) were monitored during load carriage (with loads equal to 30% and 45% of body mass) over a 10-km mixed terrain course on two separate test days. The course was divided into four 2.5-km laps of 40 segments based on distance, grade, and/or surface factors. Timing gates and radio-frequency identification cards (SportIdent; Scarborough Orienteering, Huntington Beach, CA) were used to record completion times for each course segment. Breath-by-breath measures of energy expenditure were collected using portable oxygen exchange devices (COSMED Sri., Rome, Italy) and compared model estimates.

Results: The Santee et al equation performed best, demonstrating the smallest estimation bias (-13 ± 87 W) and lowest root mean square error (99 W).

Conclusion: Current predictive equations underestimate the metabolic cost of load carriage by military personnel over complex terrain. Applying the Santee et al correction factor to the Pandolf et al equation may be the most suitable approach for estimating metabolic demands in these circumstances. However, this work also outlines the need for improvements to these methods, new method development and validation, or the use of a multi-model approach to account for mixed terrain.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usx099DOI Listing
September 2018

Estimation of core body temperature from skin temperature, heat flux, and heart rate using a Kalman filter.

Comput Biol Med 2018 08 18;99:1-6. Epub 2018 May 18.

Biophysics and Biomedical Modeling Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, 10 General Greene Avenue, Natick, MA, 01760-5007, USA. Electronic address:

Core body temperature (T) is a key physiological metric of thermal heat-strain yet it remains difficult to measure non-invasively in the field. This work used combinations of observations of skin temperature (T), heat flux (HF), and heart rate (HR) to accurately estimate T using a Kalman Filter (KF). Data were collected from eight volunteers (age 22 ± 4 yr, height 1.75 ± 0.10 m, body mass 76.4 ± 10.7 kg, and body fat 23.4 ± 5.8%, mean ± standard deviation) while walking at two different metabolic rates (∼350 and ∼550 W) under three conditions (warm: 25 °C, 50% relative humidity (RH); hot-humid: 35 °C, 70% RH; and hot-dry: 40 °C, 20% RH). Skin temperature and HF data were collected from six locations: pectoralis, inner thigh, scapula, sternum, rib cage, and forehead. Kalman filter variables were learned via linear regression and covariance calculations between T and T, HF, and HR. Root mean square error (RMSE) and bias were calculated to identify the best performing models. The pectoralis (RMSE 0.18 ± 0.04 °C; bias -0.01 ± 0.09 °C), rib (RMSE 0.18 ± 0.09 °C; bias -0.03 ± 0.09 °C), and sternum (RMSE 0.20 ± 0.10 °C; bias -0.04 ± 0.13 °C) were found to have the lowest error values when using T, HF, and HR but, using only two of these measures provided similar accuracy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.compbiomed.2018.05.021DOI Listing
August 2018

Estimation of metabolic energy expenditure from core temperature using a human thermoregulatory model.

J Therm Biol 2018 Feb 21;72:44-52. Epub 2017 Dec 21.

Biophysics and Biomedical Modeling Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, 10 General Greene Avenue, Natick, MA 01760-5007, USA. Electronic address:

Human metabolic energy expenditure is critical to many scientific disciplines but can only be measured using expensive and/or restrictive equipment. The aim of this work is to determine whether the SCENARIO thermoregulatory model can be adapted to estimate metabolic rate (M) from core body temperature (T). To validate this method of M estimation, data were collected from fifteen test volunteers (age = 23 ± 3yr, height = 1.73 ± 0.07m, mass = 68.6 ± 8.7kg, body fat = 16.7 ± 7.3%; mean ± SD) who wore long sleeved nylon jackets and pants (I = 1.22, I = 0.41) during treadmill exercise tasks (32 trials; 7.8 ± 0.5km in 1h; air temp. = 22°C, 50% RH, wind speed = 0.35ms). Core body temperatures were recorded by ingested thermometer pill and M data were measured via whole room indirect calorimetry. Metabolic rate was estimated for 5min epochs in a two-step process. First, for a given epoch, a range of M values were input to the SCENARIO model and a corresponding range of T values were output. Second, the output T range value with the lowest absolute error relative to the observed T for the given epoch was identified and its corresponding M range input was selected as the estimated M for that epoch. This process was then repeated for each subsequent remaining epoch. Root mean square error (RMSE), mean absolute error (MAE), and bias between observed and estimated M were 186W, 130 ± 174W, and 33 ± 183W, respectively. The RMSE for total energy expenditure by exercise period was 0.30 MJ. These results indicate that the SCENARIO model is useful for estimating M from T when measurement is otherwise impractical.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jtherbio.2017.12.007DOI Listing
February 2018

The Effects of Nitrate-Rich Supplementation on Neuromuscular Efficiency during Heavy Resistance Exercise.

J Am Coll Nutr 2016 17;35(2):100-7. Epub 2016 Feb 17.

a Department of Human Sciences , The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (S.D.F., W.H.D., B.C.C., A.J.S., T.K.S., D.R.H., C.M.M., J.S.V., W.J.K.); Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut (D.P.L., L.P., B.C.C., L.A.E.); Healthy Directions , Bethesda , Maryland (M.J.S.M.).

Objective: Nitrate-rich (NR) supplements can enhance exercise performance by improving neuromuscular function and the aerobic cost of exercise. However, little is known about the effects of nitrate on dynamic, multijoint resistance exercise.

Methods: Fourteen resistance-trained men (age, 21.1 ± 0.9 years; height, 173.2 ± 2.9 cm: body mass, 77.6 ± 4.3 kg; squat one-repetition maximum [1RM], 127.5 ± 18.8 kg) participated in a randomized, double-blind, crossover experiment. Subjects consumed an NR or nitrate-poor (NP) supplement for 3 days, performed a bout of heavy resistance exercise, completed a washout, and then repeated the procedures with the remaining supplement. Before, during, and after exercise, individual and gross motor unit efficiency was assessed during isometric and dynamic muscle contractions. In addition, we compared physical performance, heart rate, lactate, and oxygen consumption (VO2).

Results: Nitrate-rich supplementation resulted in lower initial muscle firing rates at rest and lower mean and maximum firing rates over the course of fatiguing exercise. Nitrate-poor supplementation was accompanied by increased mean and maximum firing rates by the end of exercise and lower initial firing rates. In addition, NR supplementation resulted in higher mean peak electromyography (EMG) amplitudes. Heart rate, lactate, and physical performance did not differ by treatment, but oxygen consumption increased more frequently when the NP supplement was consumed.

Conclusion: Supplementation with an NR beetroot extract-based supplement provided neuromuscular advantages during metabolically taxing resistance exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2015.1081572DOI Listing
December 2016

Electromyographical and Perceptual Responses to Different Resistance Intensities in a Squat Protocol: Does Performing Sets to Failure With Light Loads Produce the Same Activity?

J Strength Cond Res 2016 Mar;30(3):792-9

1Department of Kinesiology, College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut; 2Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; 3School of Biomedical and Sports Science, Edith Cowan University, Joondalup, Australia; and 4Department of Biology of Physical Activity, University of Jyväskylä, Jyväskylä, Finland.

This investigation examined peak motor unit activity during sets that differed in resistance (50, 70, or 90% 1 repetition maximum [1RM]). Ten resistance-trained men (age, 23 ± 3 years; height, 187 ± 7 cm; body mass, 91.5 ± 6.9 kg; squat 1RM, 141 ± 28 kg) were assessed by electromyography (EMG) on the vastus lateralis and vastus medialis muscles in a randomized within-subject experiment consisting of 2 test visits: a drop-set day and a single-set day using only the 50% of 1RM intensity performed to failure. At the start of each day, subjects performed 2 submaximal repetition sets (50% 1RM × 10 repetitions and 70% 1RM × 7 repetitions). On the drop-set day, subjects performed 3 consecutive maximal repetition sets at 90%, 70%, and 50% 1RM to failure with no rest periods in between. On the single-set day, subjects performed a maximal repetition set at 50% 1RM to failure. Overall, the maximal repetition sets to failure at 50% and 70% 1RM resulted in higher peak EMG amplitude than during submaximal repetition sets with the same resistance. However, peak EMG amplitude was significantly (p ≤ 0.05) greater in the maximal 90% 1RM set than all other sets performed. When sets were performed to failure, ratings of perceived exertion (CR-10) did not differ over the intensity range of loads and suggests that perception is not capable of accurately detecting the actual amount of motor unit activation. The results of this investigation indicate that using higher external resistance is a more effective means of increasing motor unit activity than increasing the number of repetitions performed with lighter weights even when the end point is muscular failure. Accordingly, previous recommendations for the use of heavier loads during resistance training programs to stimulate the maximal development of strength and hypertrophy are further supported.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000001109DOI Listing
March 2016

The addition of beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate and isomaltulose to whey protein improves recovery from highly demanding resistance exercise.

J Am Coll Nutr 2015 11;34(2):91-9. Epub 2015 Mar 11.

a Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University , Columbus , Ohio.

Objective: This study evaluated whether a combination of whey protein (WP), calcium beta-hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate (HMB), and carbohydrate exert additive effects on recovery from highly demanding resistance exercise.

Methods: Thirteen resistance-trained men (age: 22.6 ± 3.9 years; height: 175.3 ± 12.2 cm; weight: 86.2 ± 9.8 kg) completed a double-blinded, counterbalanced, within-group study. Subjects ingested EAS Recovery Protein (RP; EAS Sports Nutrition/Abbott Laboratories, Columbus, OH) or WP twice daily for 2 weeks prior to, during, and for 2 days following 3 consecutive days of intense resistance exercise. The workout sequence included heavy resistance exercise (day 1) and metabolic resistance exercise (days 2 and 3). The subjects performed no physical activity during day 4 (+24 hours) and day 5 (+48 hours), where recovery testing was performed. Before, during, and following the 3 workouts, treatment outcomes were evaluated using blood-based muscle damage markers and hormones, perceptual measures of muscle soreness, and countermovement jump performance.

Results: Creatine kinase was lower for the RP treatment on day 2 (RP: 166.9 ± 56.4 vs WP: 307.1 ± 125.2 IU · L(-1), p ≤ 0.05), day 4 (RP: 232.5 ± 67.4 vs WP: 432.6 ± 223.3 IU · L(-1), p ≤ 0.05), and day 5 (RP: 176.1 ± 38.7 vs 264.5 ± 120.9 IU · L(-1), p ≤ 0.05). Interleukin-6 was lower for the RP treatment on day 4 (RP: 1.2 ± 0.2 vs WP: 1.6 ± 0.6 pg · ml(-1), p ≤ 0.05) and day 5 (RP: 1.1 ± 0.2 vs WP: 1.6 ± 0.4 pg · ml(-1), p ≤ 0.05). Muscle soreness was lower for RP treatment on day 4 (RP: 2.0 ± 0.7 vs WP: 2.8 ± 1.1 cm, p ≤ 0.05). Vertical jump power was higher for the RP treatment on day 4 (RP: 5983.2 ± 624 vs WP 5303.9 ± 641.7 W, p ≤ 0.05) and day 5 (RP: 5792.5 ± 595.4 vs WP: 5200.4 ± 501 W, p ≤ 0.05).

Conclusions: Our findings suggest that during times of intense conditioning, the recovery benefits of WP are enhanced with the addition of HMB and a slow-release carbohydrate. We observed reductions in markers of muscle damage and improved athletic performance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2014.938790DOI Listing
January 2016

Roles of an Upper-Body Compression Garment on Athletic Performances.

J Strength Cond Res 2015 Sep;29(9):2655-60

1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; 2Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut; 3Department of Kinesiology and Sport Science, Human Performance Laboratory, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota; and 4Innovation at Under Armour, Under Armour Inc., Baltimore, Maryland.

Compression garments (CGs) have been previously shown to enhance proprioception; however, this benefit has not been previously shown to transfer to improved performance in sports skills. The purpose of this study was to assess whether enhanced proprioception and comfort can be manifested in improved sports performance of high-level athletes. Eleven Division I collegiate pitchers (age: 21.0 ± 2.9 years; height: 181.0 ± 4.6 cm; weight: 89.0 ± 13.0 kg; body fat: 12.0 ± 4.1%) and 10 Division I collegiate golfers (age: 20.0 ± 1.3 years; height: 178.1 ± 3.9 cm; weight: 76.4 ± 8.3 kg; body fat: 11.8 ± 2.6%) participated in the study. A counterbalanced within-group design was used. Subjects performed the respective baseball or golf protocol wearing either typical noncompressive (NC) or the experimental CG. Golfers participated in an assessment of driving distance and accuracy, as well as approach shot, chipping, and putting accuracy. Pitchers were assessed for fastball accuracy and velocity. In pitchers, there was a significant (p ≤ 0.05) improvement in fastball accuracy (NC: 0.30 ± 0.04 vs. CG: 0.21 ± 0.07 cm). There were no differences in pitching velocity. In golfers, there were significant (p ≤ 0.05) improvements in driving accuracy (NC: 86.7 ± 30.6 vs. CG: 68.9 ± 18.5 feet), as well as approach shot accuracy (NC: 26.6 ± 11.9 vs. CG: 22.1 ± 8.2 feet) and chipping accuracy (NC: 2.9 ± 0.6 vs. CG: 2.3 ± 0.6 inch). There was also a significant (p ≤ 0.05) increase in comfort for the golfers (NC: 3.7 ± 0.8 vs. CG: 4.5 ± 1.0). These results demonstrate that comfort and performance can be improved with the use of CGs in high-level athletes being most likely mediated by improved proprioceptive cues during upper-body movements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000909DOI Listing
September 2015

The effects of exercise training programs on plasma concentrations of proenkephalin Peptide F and catecholamines.

Peptides 2015 Feb 10;64:74-81. Epub 2015 Jan 10.

Exercise Physiology Division, U.S. Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA 01760, United States.

To determine if exercise training alters the pattern and magnitude of plasma concentrations of proenkephalin Peptide F and epinephrine, plasma proenkephalin [107-140] Peptide F(ir) and catecholamines were examined pre-training (T-1), and after 4- (T-2), 8- (T-3), and 12-weeks (T-4) of training. 26 healthy men were matched and randomly assigned to one of three groups: heavy resistance strength training (Strength, n=9), high intensity endurance training (Endurance, n=8), or both training modalities combined (Combined, n=9). Blood was collected using a syringe with a cannula inserted into a superficial arm vein with samples collected at rest, after each 7 min stage and 5 and 15 min into recovery. With training, all groups observed shifted plasma Peptide F responses to graded exercise, where significant increases were observed at lower exercise intensities. Increases in plasma epinephrine with exercise were observed in all groups. The Combined group saw increases at 25% at T-3 and for 50% at T-2, T-3, and T-4 which was higher than T-1. The Endurance group demonstrated increases for 50% at T-1, T-2, T-3 but not at T-4. The plasma epinephrine response to graded exercise was reduced in the Strength group. Increases in plasma norepinephrine above rest were observed starting at 50% . The Strength group demonstrated a significant reduction in norepinephrine observed at 100% at T-3 and T-4. Peptide F and catecholamines responses to graded exercise can be altered by different types of physical exercise training. Simultaneous high intensity training may produce adrenal medulla exhaustion when compared to single mode training.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.peptides.2015.01.001DOI Listing
February 2015

Synthetic garments enhance comfort, thermoregulatory response, and athletic performance compared with traditional cotton garments.

J Strength Cond Res 2015 Mar;29(3):700-7

1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio; 2Human Performance Laboratory, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut; and 3Division of Kinesiology and Sport Science, University of South Dakota, Vermillion, South Dakota.

The ability of a fabric to transfer moisture is referred to as "wicking," and an increase in this property may have benefits in terms of comfort and thermoregulation. However, this phenomenon has not been studied in the context of sporting-type activities. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to assess whether comfort, thermal physiological parameters, and physical performance can be affected by the garment that is used. Ten men (age: 27.5 ± 4.4 years; height: 169.3 ± 14.2 cm; weight: 80.05 ± 10.87 kg) and 10 women (age: 26.8 ± 3.7 years; height: 166.6 ± 4.46 cm; weight: 64.63 ± 4.49 kg) volunteered to participate in the study. A within-group crossover counterbalanced design was used that included the Illinois Agility Run (IAR) and the Multistage Fitness Test (MSFT). The IAR was also performed while wearing protective padding. The protocol was completed on 2 occasions, once while wearing a cotton garment (C) and again while wearing a polyester (P) garment. Questionnaires referring to sensations of various components of comfort were completed after each test. The P garment provided significantly (p ≤ 0.05) greater comfort in men and women after both the IAR and the MSFT. The P garment led to significantly (p ≤ 0.05) improved performance during the IAR in women. The P garment also provided significantly (p ≤ 0.05) greater body mass loss during the protocol in women. This study demonstrated dramatic increases in the comfort of P garments, including while using protective equipment. This study also discovered the influence of P garments on anaerobic tasks and also revealed dramatic sex differences, where women seem to be much more sensitive to the benefits of P garments. Strength and conditioning coaches should be aware of the dramatic impact of garment choice, in aerobic and anaerobic tasks, particularly in women.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000783DOI Listing
March 2015

Developmental differences between boys and girls result in sex-specific physical fitness changes from fourth to fifth grade.

J Strength Cond Res 2015 Jan;29(1):175-80

1Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut; 2Department of Health Sciences, School of Science and Engineering, Merrimack College, North Andover, Massachusetts; 3Department of Kinesiology, University of Rhode Island, Kingston, Rhode Island; 4Department of Educational and Human Sciences, College of Education and Human Performance, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida; 5Department of Wellness and Fitness, Chambersburg Area School District, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; 6Department of Human Sciences, Society and Health, University of Cassino and Lazio Meridionale, Cassino, Italy; 7Cumberland Valley Family Physicians, Chambersburg, Pennsylvania; and 8Department of Human Sciences, The Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio.

To better understand how developmental differences impact performance on a broad selection of common physical fitness measures, we examined changes in boys and girls from fourth to fifth grade. Subjects included 273 boys (age, 9.5 ± 0.6 years; height, 139.86 ± 7.52 cm; mass, 38.00 ± 9.55 kg) and 295 girls (age, 9.6 ± 0.5 years; height, 139.30 ± 7.19 cm; weight, 37.44 ± 9.35 kg). We compared anthropometrics, cardiorespiratory and local muscular endurance, flexibility, power, and strength. A mixed-method analysis of variance was used to compare boys and girls at the 2 time points. Pearson correlation coefficients were used to examine relationships between anthropometric and fitness measurements. Significance was set at p ≤ 0.05. Weight increased significantly (>10%) in both sexes, and girls became significantly taller than boys after growing 4.9% by fifth grade (vs. 3.5%). Both groups improved cardiorespiratory endurance and power, although boys performed better than girls at both time points. Boys were stronger in fourth grade, but girls improved more, leading to similar fifth-grade values. Girls were more flexible in fourth grade, but their significant decreases (∼32.4%) coupled with large improvements in boys (∼105%) resulted in similar fifth-grade scores. Body mass index (BMI) was positively correlated with run time regardless of grade or sex. Power was negatively correlated with BMI and run time in fourth grade. In conclusion, sex-specific differences in physical fitness are apparent before pubescence. Furthermore, this selection of measures reveals sexually dimorphic changes, which likely reflect the onset of puberty in girls. Coaches and teachers should account these developmental differences and their effects on anthropometrics and fitness in boys and girls.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000623DOI Listing
January 2015

Similar hormonal stress and tissue damage in response to National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I football games played in two consecutive seasons.

J Strength Cond Res 2014 Nov;28(11):3234-8

Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

The recovery process from a college football game has been studied, yet the stability of such findings year to year in the same players remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to examine the same players' biochemical recovery process in 2 consecutive seasons to a National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) Division I football game. Ten starting players volunteered to participate in the study in each of the 2 seasons. Players performed a periodized heavy resistance training program over the entire year for each season. Fasted resting blood samples were obtained at similar times the Friday before the game (T1), 18-20 hours after the game (T2), and 42-44 hours after the game (T3). In both seasons, serum creatine kinase (CK) concentrations increased significantly from T1 to T2, and returned to T1 values at T3. When we compared seasons, CK values did not differ at any time point. Myoglobin demonstrated similar patterns and results. Testosterone and cortisol values were similar at all time points and did not differ by season as no significant differences were observed for the resting hormonal concentrations. The results of this study indicate that yearly programs should maintain a periodized progressive program, which seeks to increase physical potential of players while providing a protective effect on skeletal muscle and stabilization of hormonal status in response to both game and season stressors.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000467DOI Listing
November 2014

Influence of HMB supplementation and resistance training on cytokine responses to resistance exercise.

J Am Coll Nutr 2014 20;33(4):247-55. Epub 2014 Aug 20.

a Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology , University of Connecticut , Storrs , Connecticut.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a multinutritional supplement including amino acids, β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB), and carbohydrates on cytokine responses to resistance exercise and training.

Methods: Seventeen healthy, college-aged men were randomly assigned to a Muscle Armor™ (MA; Abbott Nutrition, Columbus, OH) or placebo supplement group and 12 weeks of resistance training. An acute resistance exercise protocol was administered at 0, 6, and 12 weeks of training. Venous blood samples at pre-, immediately post-, and 30-minutes postexercise were analyzed via bead multiplex immunoassay for 17 cytokines.

Results: After 12 weeks of training, the MA group exhibited decreased interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) and interleukin (IL)-10. IL-1β differed by group at various times. Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), IL-6, IL-7, IL-8, IL-12p70, IL-13, IL-17, monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1), and macrophage inflammatory protein-1 beta (MIP-1β) changed over the 12-week training period but did not differ by group.

Conclusions: Twelve weeks of resistance training alters the cytokine response to acute resistance exercise, and supplementation with HMB and amino acids appears to further augment this result.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07315724.2014.911669DOI Listing
May 2015

The influence of age and exercise modality on growth hormone bioactivity in women.

Growth Horm IGF Res 2014 Apr-Jun;24(2-3):95-103. Epub 2014 Apr 8.

Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA 16802, USA.

Objective: Prior research has indicated that the loss of skeletal muscle mass and bone mineral density observed with aging is related to the prominent age-related decline in the concentration of serum growth hormone (GH). However, there is limited data on the effects of aging on GH responses to acute bouts of heavy resistance exercise (HRE) and aerobic exercise (AE).

Design: The present investigation examined the effects of a HRE protocol and an AE protocol on immunoreactive GH (IGH) and bioactive GH (BGH) in active young and old women.

Results: Older women had a diminished serum IGH response to both the HRE and AE protocols compared to the younger women, however a similar response was not observed in serum BGH. Additionally, the HRE protocol elicited a greater BGH response than the AE protocol exclusively in the younger group.

Conclusions: Regardless of exercise mode, aging induces an increase in growth hormone polymerization that specifically results in a loss of serum growth hormone immunoreactivity without a concurrent loss of serum growth hormone bioactivity. The greater BGH response to the HRE protocol found in the younger group can be attributed to an unknown serum factor of molecular weight between 30 and 55kD that either potentiated growth hormone bioactivity in response to HRE or inhibited growth hormone bioactivity in response to AE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ghir.2014.03.005DOI Listing
January 2015

Relationships of physical performance tests to military-relevant tasks in women.

US Army Med Dep J 2014 Apr-Jun:20-6

Dept of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs CT.

Purpose: This investigation sought to determine the most predictive measures of performance on a repetitive box lifting task (RBLT) and load bearing task (LBT) among 123 women (aged ±4 years, height 165±7 cm, body mass 64±10 kg).

Methods: To determine the relationship of various predictors to performance on the RBLT and LBT, multiple regression analysis was conducted on body mass, height, leg cross-sectional area, upper and lower body muscular strength, lower body explosive power, upper and lower body local muscular endurance, and aerobic capacity.

Results: The mean±SD (range) number of repetitions for the RBLT was 86±23 (20-159). The mean±SD (range) time to complete the LBT was 2,054±340 seconds (1,307-3,447). The following equations were generated: RBLT (number of repetitions)=57.4+0.2(peak jump power)+0.4(number of pushups in 2 minutes)+0.15(number of repetitions during the squat endurance test)+1.39(one repetition maximal strength boxlift (kg))-0.04(2-mile run time (2MR) in seconds), R=0.81; standard error of the estimate (SEE)=14; LBT (in seconds)=1,831-4.28(number of repetitions during the squat endurance test)+0.95(2MR in seconds)-13.4(body mass), R=0.73; SEE=232.

Conclusions: We found that the 2MR and squat endurance test were significant predictive factors for performance on both load carriage tasks. These data also imply that women's performance in combat-related tasks can be improved with training that targets muscular strength, power, and local muscular endurance in addition to aerobic capacity.
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June 2014

Effects of fatigue from resistance training on barbell back squat biomechanics.

J Strength Cond Res 2014 Apr;28(4):1127-34

Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

Exhaustive resistance training programs that have been previously referred to as extreme conditioning protocols have increased in popularity in military and civilian populations in recent years. However, because of their highly fatiguing nature, proprioception is likely altered during such programs that would significantly affect the safety and efficacy of such programs. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the alterations in movement patterns that result from extreme conditioning protocols and to evaluate if these protocols can be deemed safe and effective. Twelve men (age 24 ± 4.2 years, height 173.1 ± 3.6 cm, weight 76.9 ± 7.8 kg, body fat percentage 9.0 ± 2.2%) and 13 women (age 24.5 ± 3.8 years, height 166.9 ± 8.5 cm, weight 66.1 ± 9.2 kg, body fat percentage 18.6 ± 4.0%) with at least 6 months of resistance training experience involving barbell bench press, barbell deadlift, and barbell back squat performed a highly fatiguing resistance training workout. During the barbell back squat, a 2-dimensional analysis was performed where the knee and hip angles were recorded throughout the 55 repetitions of the workout. At the early stages of the protocol, knee angle was significantly lower in men and in women demonstrating less knee flexion. Also, hip angle was significantly lower early in the program in men and in women, demonstrating a greater forward lean. The technique changes that occur in high repetition sets do not favor optimal strength development and may increase the risk of injury, clearly questioning the safety and efficacy of such resistance training programming. This is likely a display of self-preservation by individuals who are faced with high repetition programs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JSC.0000000000000237DOI Listing
April 2014

The effects of high intensity short rest resistance exercise on muscle damage markers in men and women.

J Strength Cond Res 2014 Apr;28(4):1041-9

Department of Kinesiology, Human Performance Laboratory, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut.

Within and between sexes, universal load prescription (as assigned in extreme conditioning programs) creates extreme ranges in individual training intensities. Exercise intensity has been proposed to be the main factor determining the degree of muscle damage. Thus, the purpose of this study was to examine markers of muscle damage in resistance-trained men (n = 9) and women (n = 9) from a high intensity (HI) short rest (SR) (HI/SR) resistance exercise protocol. The HI/SR consisted of a descending pyramid scheme starting at 10 repetitions, decreasing 1 repetition per set for the back squat, bench press, and deadlift, as fast as possible. Blood was drawn pre-exercise (pre), immediately postexercise (IP), 15 minutes postexercise (+15), 60 minutes postexercise (+60), and 24 hours postexercise (+24). Women demonstrated significant increases in interleukin 6 (IL-6; IP), creatine kinase (CK; +24), myoglobin (IP, +15, +60), and a greater relative increase when compared with men (+15, +60). Men demonstrated significant increases in myoglobin (IP, +15, +60, +24), IL-6 (IP, +15), CK (IP, +60, +24), and testosterone (IP, +15). There were significant sex interactions observed in CK (IP, +60, +24) and testosterone (IP, +15, +60, +24). Women completed the protocol faster (women: 34:04 ± 9:40 minutes, men: 39:22 ± 14:43 minutes), and at a slightly higher intensity (women: 70.1 ± 3.5%, men 68.8 ± 3.1%); however, men performed significantly more work (men: 14384.6 ± 1854.5 kg, women: 8774.7 ± 1612.7 kg). Overall, women demonstrated a faster inflammatory response with increased acute damage, whereas men demonstrated a greater prolonged damage response. Therefore, strength and conditioning professionals need to be aware of the level of stress imposed on individuals when creating such volitional high intensity metabolic type workouts and allow for adequate progression and recovery from such workouts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1097/JSC.0000000000000236DOI Listing
April 2014