Publications by authors named "Francisco Corbi"

20 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Five-Minute Power-Based Test to Predict Maximal Oxygen Consumption in Road Cycling.

Int J Sports Physiol Perform 2021 Jul 5:1-7. Epub 2021 Jul 5.

Purpose: To examine the ability of a multivariate model to predict maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max) using performance data from a 5-minute maximal test (5MT).

Methods: Forty-six road cyclists (age 38 [9] y, height 177 [9] cm, weight 71.4 [8.6] kg, VO2max 61.13 [9.05] mL/kg/min) completed a graded exercise test to assess VO2max and power output. After a 72-hour rest, they performed a test that included a 5-minute maximal bout. Performance variables in each test were modeled in 2 independent equations, using Bayesian general linear regressions to predict VO2max. Stepwise selection was then used to identify the minimal subset of parameters with the best predictive power for each model.

Results: Five-minute relative power output was the best explanatory variable to predict VO2max in the model from the graded exercise test (R2 95% credibility interval, .81-.88) and when using data from the 5MT (R2 95% credibility interval, .61-.77). Accordingly, VO2max could be predicted with a 5MT using the equation VO2max = 16.6 + (8.87 × 5-min relative power output).

Conclusions: Road cycling VO2max can be predicted in cyclists through a single-variable equation that includes relative power obtained during a 5MT. Coaches, cyclists, and scientists may benefit from the reduction of laboratory assessments performed on athletes due to this finding.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/ijspp.2020-0923DOI Listing
July 2021

Characteristics of Pedaling Muscle Stiffness among Cyclists of Different Performance Levels.

Medicina (Kaunas) 2021 Jun 11;57(6). Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences (FCSD), University of Zaragoza, 22002 Huesca, Spain.

The aim of the present study was to compare the impact of an incremental exercise test on muscle stiffness in the rectus femoris (RF), vastus lateralis (VL), biceps femoris (BF), and gastrocnemius (GL) among road cyclists of three performance levels. The study group consisted of 35 cyclists grouped according to their performance level; elite ( = 10; professional license), sub-elite ( = 12; amateur license), and recreational ( = 13; cyclosportive license). Passive muscle stiffness was assessed using myometry before and after an incremental exercise test. : There was a significant correlation between time and category in the vastus lateralis with stiffness increases in the sub-elite ( = 0.001, Cohen's = 0.88) and elite groups ( = 0.003, Cohen's = 0.72), but not in the recreational group ( = 0.085). Stiffness increased over time in the knee extensors (RF, < 0.001; VL, < 0.001), but no changes were observed in the knee flexors (GL, = 0.63, BF, = 0.052). There were no baseline differences among the categories in any muscle. : Although the performance level affected VL stiffness after an incremental exercise test, no differences in passive stiffness were observed among the main muscles implicated in pedaling in a resting state. Future research should assess whether this marker could be used to differentiate cyclists of varying fitness levels and its potential applicability for the monitoring of training load.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/medicina57060606DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8230890PMC
June 2021

Functional Threshold Power as an Alternative to Lactate Thresholds in Road Cycling.

J Strength Cond Res 2021 Jun 11. Epub 2021 Jun 11.

Department of Physiatry and Nursery, Section of Physical Education and Sports, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Huesca, Spain; and National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Lleida (UdL), Lleida, Spain.

Abstract: Sitko, S, Cirer-Sastre, R, Corbi, F, and López-Laval, I. Functional threshold power as an alternative to lactate thresholds in road cycling. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2021-This study assessed the relationship between functional threshold power (FTP) and 7 lactate landmarks (Dmax, modified Dmax, fixed blood lactate concentrations of 2 and 4 mmol·L-1, lactate increases of 1 and 2 mmol·L-1 above baseline, and lactate increases of 1.5 mmol·L-1 above the point of minimum ratio between lactate and work rate) in a sample of 46 road cyclists with a wide range of fitness levels (age 38 ± 9 years, height 177 ± 9 cm, body mass 71.4 ± 8.6 kg, body mass index 22.7 ± 2.2 kg·m-1, fat mass 7.8 ± 4%, and V[Combining Dot Above]O2max = 61.1 ± 9.1 ml·min-1·kg-1). The cyclists performed a graded exercise test in which power outputs (POs) at the lactate landmarks were identified. Functional threshold power was established as 95% of the PO during a 20-minute test. Significance was set as p < 0.05. Statistical analyses revealed large to very large correlations between PO, relative PO (RPO), and cadence at FTP and lactate thresholds (LTs) established through Dmax, modified Dmax, and fixed lactate concentrations of 4 mmol·L-1 (r = 0.68-0.93). Significant differences (p < 0.001) were also observed for PO and RPO at FTP, fixed blood lactate concentrations of 2 mmol·L-1, and lactate increases of 1 mmol·L-1 above baseline. Therefore, although FTP estimated from a 20-minute test is strongly related to several lactate landmarks, caution is required when substituting this concept for LTs. This information will allow coaches, cyclists, and scientists to better choose assessments when attempting to estimate LT through power-based field testing.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000004070DOI Listing
June 2021

Alterations in mechanical muscle characteristics and postural control induced by tennis match-play in young players.

PeerJ 2021 11;9:e11445. Epub 2021 May 11.

Sports Performance Analysis Research Group (SPARG), Universitat de Vic - Universitat Central de Catalunya, Vic, Spain.

Background: Central and peripheric fatigue indicators are among the main reasons for performance decline following competition. Because of the impact of these factors on performance, how these variables are affected by match-play could be of interest, especially in young tennis players.

Objective: This study aimed to investigate alterations induced by a simulated tennis match on postural control and muscle characteristics in young tennis players.

Method: Seventeen male junior players took part in pre- and post-competition testing sessions performing postural control (displacement, speed and surface area of center of pressures) and muscle characteristics measurements (tone, stiffness, time to relaxation and elasticity). Between trials, participants played an 80-min simulated tennis match.

Results: No significant differences were observed in any of the tested variables. Moderate-to-large effect sizes (ES) for decreased stiffness and tone and greater time to relaxation were found between pre- and post-conditions in the right rectus abdominis (-9.8%, -4.4% and 7.8%; ES = 0.8, 0.54 and -0.85). Also, a decrease in tone was found in the right vastus medialis (-7.1%; ES = 0.56), while surface area of the center of pressures with eyes open showed trends towards increasing in post-match measurements (55.9%; ES = 0.56).

Conclusion: An 80-min simulated tennis match seems insufficient to elicit significant changes in postural control and mechanical muscle characteristics. Results suggest that physiological responses triggered by match-play were closer to those seen after a moderate activity than those present following a strenuous task.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7717/peerj.11445DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8121060PMC
May 2021

Relationship between functional threshold power, ventilatory threshold and respiratory compensation point in road cycling.

J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2021 Mar 17. Epub 2021 Mar 17.

Section of Physical Education and Sports, Department of Physiatry and Nursery, Faculty of Health and Sport Sciences, University of Zaragoza, Huesca, Spain.

Background: The purpose of this study was to assess the relationship between power output and relative power output at the functional threshold power, ventilatory threshold and respiratory compensation point in road cyclists.

Methods: Forty-six road cyclists (age 38 ± 9 years; height 177 ± 9 cm; body mass 71.4 ± 8.6 kg; body mass index 22.7 ± 2.2 kg·m-1; fat mass 7.8 ± 4%, VO2max 61.1 ± 9.1 ml·min-1·kg-1) performed a graded exercise test in which power output and relative power output at the ventilatory landmarks were identified. Functional threshold power was established as 95% of the power output during a 20-minute test.

Results: Power output and relative power output at the functional threshold power were higher than at the ventilatory threshold (p < 0.001). There were very large to near perfect correlations for power output (95% CI for r from 0.71 to 0.9) and relative power output (95% CI for r from 0.79 to 0.93) at the functional threshold power and respiratory compensation point. Mean bias in power ouput and relative power output measured at RCP compared with FTP was not significant (mean bias 95% CI from -7 to 10 W and - 0.1 to 0.1 W/kg, respectively).

Conclusions: Power output and relative power output at the functional threshold power are higher than at the ventilatory threshold. Power output and relative power output at the functional threshold power and respiratory compensation point are strongly related, but caution is required when using both concepts indistinctly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.21.12285-6DOI Listing
March 2021

Exercise-Induced Release of Cardiac Troponins in Adolescent vs. Adult Swimmers.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2021 02 1;18(3). Epub 2021 Feb 1.

Departament de Didàctiques Específiques, Universitat de Lleida (UdL), 25003 Lleida, Spain.

To examine the exercise-induced release of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) in adolescent and adult swimmers. Thirty-two trained male (18 adolescents, 14 adults) swam at maximal pace in a 45 min distance trial, and blood samples were drawn before, immediately and 3 h after exercise for subsequent cTnT analysis and comparison. Having comparable training experience and baseline values of cTnT ( = 0.78 and = 0.13), adults exercised at lower absolute and relative intensity ( < 0.001 and < 0.001, respectively), but presented higher immediate cTnT after exercise than adolescents ( < 0.001). Despite that, peak concentrations were observed at 3 h post exercise and peak elevations were comparable between groups ( = 0.074). Fourteen (44%) apparently healthy subjects exceeded the cutoff value for myocardial infarction (MI). Adolescents presented a delayed elevation of cTnT compared with adults, but achieved similar peak values.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph18031285DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7908416PMC
February 2021

Effects of a low-carbohydrate diet on body composition and performance in road cycling: a randomized, controlled trial.

Nutr Hosp 2020 Oct;37(5):1022-1027

Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud y del Deporte. Universidad de Zaragoza.

Introduction: Low-carbohydrate diets are frequently used to improve performance in endurance sports, often with contradictory results. This study aimed to assess whether a low-carbohydrate diet can outperform an isocaloric conventional diet for improving body composition and performance in a sample of twenty-six trained male road cyclists (previous experience in cyclosportive events, 7.6 ± 4.4 years; age, 26.9 ± 4.9 years; weekly training volume, 7.8 ± 2.9 hours; height, 176 ± 7 centimeters; body fat percentage, 9.7 ± 0.8 %; weight, 65.3 ± 2.3 kg). Detraining and pretreatment periods in which nutrition and training were standardized were followed by an eight-week long intervention in which cyclists consumed either a low-carbohydrate diet (15 % of calories from carbohydrates) or a conventional endurance sports diet while maintaining the same training volumes and intensities. Body composition was assessed through electrical impedance, and performance was evaluated through a twenty-minute time trial performed on a smart bike trainer. The results revealed an overall improvement over time in absolute and relative power, body mass, and body fat for both groups, whilst the improvement in absolute power was comparable. The improvements seen in relative power (p = 0.042), body mass (p = 0.006), and body fat (p = 0.01) were significantly higher in the low-carbohydrate group. We concluded that eight weeks of a low-carbohydrate diet significantly reduced body weight and body fat percentage, and improved 20-minute relative power values in a sample of road cyclists when compared to an isocaloric conventional diet.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.20960/nh.03103DOI Listing
October 2020

Influence of maturational status in the exercise-induced release of cardiac troponin T in healthy young swimmers.

J Sci Med Sport 2021 Feb 3;24(2):116-121. Epub 2020 Jul 3.

Grup de Recerca Moviment Humà, Universitat de Lleida (UdL), Spain; Section of Physical Education, Universitat de Lleida (UdL), Spain.

Objectives: To determine the influence of maturational status on the release of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) induced by a bout of 30min, high-intensity, continuous exercise.

Design: Quasi-experimental, cross-sectional study.

Methods: Seventy male, young, well trained swimmers (age range 7-18 years, training experience 1-11 years) were classified by maturational stages: Tanner stage I (n=14), II (n=15), III (n=15), IV (n=13), and V (n=13). Participants underwent a distance-trial of 30min continuous swimming, and cTnT was measured before, immediately after and 3h after exercise. Changes in cTnT over time were compared among groups, and associated with exercise load.

Results: Basal cTnT was higher in Tanner-V (3.8-8.1ng/L) compared with I (1.5-5.5ng/L, p<0.001), II (1.5-4.5ng/L, p<0.001) and III (1.5-6.8ng/L, p=0.003), and in IV (1.5-6.3ng/L) compared with II (p=0.036). Maximal elevations of cTnT from baseline were notable (p<0.001) and comparable among maturational stages (p=0.078). The upper reference limit for myocardial injury was exceeded in 35.7% of the participants, without differences among groups (p=0.18). Baseline cTnT correlated with participant characteristics, and maximal cTnT elevations from baseline with exercise internal load (%HRpeak, r=0.34, p= 0.003; %HRmean, r=0.28, p=0.02).

Conclusions: Maturational status influences positively absolute pre- and post-exercise cTnT but not its elevation after a bout of 30min, high-intensity, continuous exercise.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsams.2020.06.019DOI Listing
February 2021

Effects of a Single Power Strength Training Session on Heart Rate Variability When Performed at Different Simulated Altitudes.

High Alt Med Biol 2020 09 15;21(3):292-296. Epub 2020 May 15.

Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Álvarez-Herms, Jesús, Sonia Julià-Sánchez, Hannes Gatterer, Francisco Corbi, Gines Viscor, and Martin Burtscher. Effects of a single power strength training session on heart rate variability when performed at different simulated altitudes. . 21:292-296, 2020. This study assessed heart rate variability (HRV) after a single power strength training session performed at different hypoxic levels. Eight physically active subjects (31.1 ± 4.3 years; 177.6 ± 3.0 cm; 70.1 ± 5.2 kg) performed 6 bouts of 15-second continuous maximal jump exercises interspersed by 3 minutes of rest at different altitude levels (total volume of each session: 20 minutes). The normoxic hypoxia levels were FiO low altitude: 20.9%; moderate altitude: 16.5%; and high altitude: 13.5%. Average power output during the jumps was similar for all conditions (≅3150 W). Twenty-four hours before (PRE) and 24 hours after (POST) each training session, HRV parameters (R-R, square root of the mean of the sum of differences between intervals [RMSSD], pNN50, and very low frequency, low frequency, and high frequency) were determined without resulting in significant statistical differences, neither from PRE to POST nor between conditions ( > 0.05). This study showed a negligible perturbation of HRV parameters 24 hours after a single power strength session up to a hypoxic level equivalent to 4000 m. Further studies are needed to determine the hypoxia-dependent threshold and intensities of training loads affecting HRV.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/ham.2020.0014DOI Listing
September 2020

Influence of Strength, Power, and Muscular Stiffness on Stroke Velocity in Junior Tennis Players.

Front Physiol 2020 6;11:196. Epub 2020 Mar 6.

National Institute of Sport and Physical Education (INEFC), University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain.

Objective: The main aim of this study was to establish the relationship between strength, power characteristics, individual muscle stiffness, international tennis number (ITN), and stroke velocity (StV) in junior tennis players.

Methods: Twenty one junior male tennis players (mean ± SD; age, 17.0 ± 0.8 years; height, 1.8 ± 0.1 m; body mass, 72.3 ± 5.8 kg; BMI 22.1 ± 1.5 kg/m), with an ITN ranging from 2 to 4, performed measurements regarding muscle stiffness of selected muscles involved in tennis strokes. StV (serve, forehand, and backhand), strength (maximum isometric strength) and power (medicine ball throws, squat jump, countermovement jump, and bench press) measurements were also performed (ICC = 0.803-0.998; CV = 0.3-6.4).

Results: Moderate inverse correlations were found between serve velocity (SV) and ITN ( = -0.43; = 0.05), and large positive correlations were observed between pectoralis majoris stiffness (PMStiff) ( = 0.53; = 0.01), isometric wrist flexion ( = 0.58; = 0.006) and ITN, respectively. PMStiff was moderately inversely correlated to forehand velocity (FV) ( = -0.45; = 0.03) and gastrocnemius (GStiff) and infraspinatus stiffness (IStiff) positively to SV ( = 0.45; = 0.04; = 0.42; = 0.05). No significant correlations were found regarding strength and power measurements.

Conclusion: Greater stiffness values may enhance StV, especially when transferring power from lower to upper body. On the other hand, high scores could interfere in technical parameters that are key for velocity production in complex tennis strokes. Strength and power values proved to correlate poorly to StV in this particular sample of junior tennis players, possibly due to the multifactorial nature of tennis strokes and the possibility that they become more important as age and level increase.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2020.00196DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7069274PMC
March 2020

Acute effects of in-step and wrist weights on change of direction speed, accuracy and stroke velocity in junior tennis players.

PLoS One 2020 23;15(3):e0230631. Epub 2020 Mar 23.

National Institute of Sport and Physical Education (INEFC), University of Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain.

The main aim of this study was to investigate the acute effects of the use of a weighting set (Powerinstep®) on measures of stroke velocity (StV), accuracy and change of direction speed (CODS) in junior tennis players. A within-subjects design was used to evaluate seventeen (6 female and 11 male) tennis players (mean ± SD; 16.5 ± 1.3 years old; 1.75 ± 8.4 m; 67.0 ± 8.1 kg; 22.04 ± 1.8 kg/m2) on StV of three specific tennis actions (serve, forehand and backhand) and CODS for the following conditions: wearing a 50, 100, 150, 200 g weight or no weight at all (baseline). No significant differences were found between conditions for forehand (F = 0.412; p = 0.799), backhand (F = 0.269; p = 0.897) and serve (F = 0.541; p = 0.706) velocity and forehand (F = 1.688; p = 0.161), backhand (F = 0.567; p = 0.687) and serve (F = 2.382; p = 0.059) accuracy and CODS (F = 0.416; p = 0.797). Small-to-moderate effect sizes (ES) negatively affecting StV when using 200 g compared to the baseline (ES = 0.48, 0.35 and 0.45) could be observed. Moderate (ES = -0.49) and trivial (ES = -0.14 and -0.16) ES for a higher accuracy score were noticed in serve, forehand and backhand 100 g compared to the baseline. Moreover, small ES (ES = 0.41) for improvement in 200 g CODS comparing to baseline conditions were found. These results indicate that the use of a weighting set does not significantly affect StV or CODS respectively. Notwithstanding, small-to-moderate changes show impact in accuracy and no variance in velocity production when using 100 g alongside faster execution in CODS when using 200 g.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0230631PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7089532PMC
June 2020

The Influence of Dental Occlusion on Dynamic Balance and Muscular Tone.

Front Physiol 2019 31;10:1626. Epub 2020 Jan 31.

Department of Sport Science, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Excellent postural control is essential to improve the physical performance of athletes. Stability of the body during motor tasks depends on different physiological systems. The influence of dental occlusion on body balance has been widely investigated in the past few years. It has been suggested that this relationship is strengthened by disturbing environments for balance control (i.e., unstable platform, fatigue, development tasks.). Moreover, dental occlusion may influence the muscle tone of both masticatory and postural muscles, which are involved in the preservation of balance. Therefore, we attempted to determine whether (i) there are differences in dynamic balance assessed by the modified star excursion balance test between opposed dental occlusion conditions (dental contact: intercuspal position/no dental contact: cotton rolls mandibular position) and (ii) dental occlusion influences the biomechanical and viscoelastic properties of the masticatory and postural muscles assessed with MyotonPRO. Thirty physically active subjects were recruited for the study. The main findings were the following: (i) the Star Excursion Balance Test composite score was significantly higher for measurements made in cotton rolls mandibular position ( < 0.001) and also in subjects showing a correct occlusion ( = 0.04), and (ii) the biomechanic and viscolelastic properties of selected muscles showed different trend according to the presence of malocclusal traits. It is concluded that dental occlusion conditioned both dynamic stability and the biomechanic and viscoelastic properties of the analyzed muscles.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2019.01626DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7005008PMC
January 2020

Cardiac Troponin T Release after Football 7 in Healthy Children and Adults.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2020 02 4;17(3). Epub 2020 Feb 4.

Research Group Human Movement (RGHM), Universitat de Lleida (UdL), Plaça de Víctor Siurana, 25003 Lleida, Spain.

The objective of this study was to compare the release of cardiac troponin T (cTnT) after a football 7 match between two cohorts of children and adult players. Thirty-six male football players (children = 24, adult = 12) played a football 7 match, and cTnT was measured before, and 3 h after exercise. Concentrations of cTnT were compared between groups and time, and correlated with participants' characteristics, as well as internal and external exercise load. Cardiac troponin T was elevated in all participants ( < 0.001), and exceeded the upper reference limit for myocardial infarction in 25 (~70%) of them. Baseline concentrations were higher in adults ( < 0.001), but the elevation of cTnT was comparable between the groups ( = 0.37). Age ( < 0.001), body mass ( = 0.001) and height ( < 0.001), and training experience ( = 0.001) were associated to baseline cTnT values, while distance ( < 0.001), mean speed ( < 0.001), and peak ( = 0.013) and mean ( = 0.016) heart rate were associated to the elevation of cTnT. The present study suggests that a football 7 match evoked elevations of cTnT during the subsequent hours in healthy players regardless of their age. However, adults might present higher resting values of cTnT than children. In addition, results suggest that the exercise-induced elevations of cTnT might be mediated by exercise load but not participant characteristics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17030956DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7037606PMC
February 2020

Effect of Training Load on Post-Exercise Cardiac Troponin T Elevations in Young Soccer Players.

Int J Environ Res Public Health 2019 12 2;16(23). Epub 2019 Dec 2.

Research Group Human Movement (RGHM), Universitat de Lleida (UdL), Plaça de Víctor Siurana, 25003 Lleida, Spain.

Training load (TL) metrics are usually assessed to estimate the individual, physiological and psychological, acute, and adaptive responses to training. Cardiac troponins (cTn) reflect myocardial damage and are routinely analyzed for the clinical diagnosis of myocardial injury. The association between TL and post-exercise cTn elevations is scarcely investigated in young athletes, especially after playing common team sports such as soccer. The objective of this study was to assess the relationship between TL measurements during a small-sided soccer game and the subsequent increase in cTn in young players. Twenty male soccer players (age 11.9 ± 2 years, height 151 ± 13 cm, weight 43 ± 13 kg) were monitored during a 5 × 5 small-sided game and had blood samples drawn before, immediately after, and 3 h after exercise for a posterior analysis of high-sensitivity cardiac troponin T (hs-cTnT). Internal, external, and mixed metrics of TL were obtained from the rating of perceived exertion (RPE), heart rate (HR), and GPS player tracking. The results show that the concentration of hs-cTnT peaked at 3 h post-exercise in all participants. The magnitude of hs-cTnT elevation was mainly explained by the exercise duration in the maximal heart rate zone (Maximum Probability of Effect (MPE) = 92.5%), time in the high-speed zone (MPE = 90.4 %), and distance in the high-speed zone (MPE = 90.45%). Our results support the idea that common metrics of TL in soccer, easily obtained using player tracking systems, are strongly associated with the release of hs-cTnT in children and adolescents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/ijerph16234853DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6926666PMC
December 2019

Physiological demands and characteristics of the participants in a cycling sportive event.

J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2020 Mar 28;60(3):367-373. Epub 2019 Oct 28.

Laboratory of Analysis of Sports Performance, Sport Section, Department of Physical Education and Sport, Faculty of Education, University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Vitoria, Spain.

Background: Cycling sportives have become increasingly popular in the last years. With over 11,000 participants, the Quebrantahuesos (Qh), is one of the most prominent cycling events in Europe and its ever-growing competitive nature has increased the physiological demands required to obtain a great result. The objectives of the current study were to determine the relationship between the power profile and the result in the event as well as to describe the physiological differences among subgroups of participants according to their result.

Methods: Ninety-one male cyclists took part in the study. Data regarding weight, height, experience and training volume were collected before the event. The raw data from the power meter used by the participants during the event's four climbs was sent to the researchers as an Excel file. Participants were then divided in three different groups according to their performance. One-way analysis of variance was performed to assess differences between groups. Pearson's product-moment correlation coefficient was used to assess for associations among performance and/or anthropometric data.

Results: Group differences were found in body weight (P<0.001), body mass index (P<0.001), training volume (P<0.001) and previous participations in the event (P<0.001). A very high negative correlation between relative power during the climbs and the final time was also observed (r>-0.92; P<0.001).

Conclusions: Better performances were associated to lower body weight and body mass index and higher training volume, relative power and experience. The current study provides data that suggest that as long as the average relative power is sustained, the pacing strategy throughout the different climbs does not affect the race outcome. This information could be used by cyclists and coaches when preparing the pacing strategy for the event.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.23736/S0022-4707.19.10196-XDOI Listing
March 2020

Putative Role of Respiratory Muscle Training to Improve Endurance Performance in Hypoxia: A Review.

Front Physiol 2018 15;9:1970. Epub 2019 Jan 15.

Department of Sport Science, University Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria.

Respiratory/inspiratory muscle training (RMT/IMT) has been proposed to improve the endurance performance of athletes in normoxia. In recent years, due to the increased use of hypoxic training method among athletes, the RMT applicability has also been tested as a method to minimize adverse effects since hyperventilation may cause respiratory muscle fatigue during prolonged exercise in hypoxia. We performed a review in order to determine factors potentially affecting the change in endurance performance in hypoxia after RMT in healthy subjects. A comprehensive search was done in the electronic databases MEDLINE and Google Scholar including keywords: "RMT/IMT," and/or "endurance performance," and/or "altitude" and/or "hypoxia." Seven appropriate studies were found until April 2018. Analysis of the studies showed that two RMT methods were used in the protocols: respiratory muscle endurance (RME) (isocapnic hyperpnea: commonly 10-30', 3-5 d/week) in three of the seven studies, and respiratory muscle strength (RMS) (Powerbreathe device: commonly 2 × 30 reps at 50% MIP (maximal inspiratory pressure), 5-7 d/week) in the remaining four studies. The duration of the protocols ranged from 4 to 8 weeks, and it was found in synthesis that during exercise in hypoxia, RMT promoted (1) reduced respiratory muscle fatigue, (2) delayed respiratory muscle metaboreflex activation, (3) better maintenance of SaO and blood flow to locomotor muscles. In general, no increases of maximal oxygen uptake (VO) were described. Ventilatory function improvements (maximal inspiratory pressure) achieved by using RMT fostered the capacity to adapt to hypoxia and minimized the impact of respiratory stress during the acclimatization stage in comparison with placebo/sham. In conclusion, RMT was found to elicit general positive effects mainly on respiratory efficiency and breathing patterns, lower dyspneic perceptions and improved physical performance in conditions of hypoxia. Thus, this method is recommended to be used as a pre-exposure tool for strengthening respiratory muscles and minimizing the adverse effects caused by hypoxia related hyperventilation. Future studies will assess these effects in elite athletes.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.01970DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6341067PMC
January 2019

Cardiac Biomarker Release After Exercise in Healthy Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

Pediatr Exerc Sci 2019 02 30;31(1):28-36. Epub 2018 Sep 30.

University of Lleida.

Purpose: The authors evaluated the impact of acute exercise and 24-hour recovery on serum concentration of cardiac troponins T and I (cTnT and cTnI) and N-terminal fragment of the prohormone brain natriuretic peptide (NT-proBNP) in healthy children and adolescents. The authors also determined the proportion of participants exceeding the upper reference limits and acute myocardial infarction cutoff for each assay.

Method: Web of Science, SPORTDiscus, MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, and Scopus databases were systematically searched up to November 2017. Studies were screened and quality-assessed; the data was systematically extracted and analyzed.

Results: From 751 studies initially identified, 14 met the inclusion criteria for data extraction. All 3 biomarkers were increased significantly after exercise. A decrease from postexercise to 24 hours was noted in cTnT and cTnI, although this decrease was only statistically significant for cTnT. The upper reference limit was exceeded by 76% of participants for cTnT, a 51% for cTnI, and a 13% for NT-proBNP. Furthermore, the cutoff value for acute myocardial infarction was exceeded by 39% for cTnT and a 11% for cTnI. Postexercise peak values of cTnT were associated with duration and intensity (Q = 28.3, P < .001) while NT-proBNP peak values were associated with duration (Q = 11.9, P = .003).

Conclusion: Exercise results in the appearance of elevated levels of cTnT, cTnI, and NT-proBNP in children and adolescents. Postexercise elevations of cTnT and NT-proBNP are associated with exercise duration and intensity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1123/pes.2018-0058DOI Listing
February 2019

Contralateral Effects After Unilateral Strength Training: A Meta-Analysis Comparing Training Loads.

J Sports Sci Med 2017 Jun 1;16(2):180-186. Epub 2017 Jun 1.

National Institute of Physical Education of Catalonia (INEFC), University of Lleida, Lleida, Spain.

There is solid evidence on the cross-training phenomenon, but the training load required to achieve it has yet to be established. The aim of this meta-analysis was to deduce which unilateral strength training load (duration, frequency, intensity, rest and type) would enable the biggest strength increases to be obtained in the inactive contralateral limb. The examined studies were limited to those written in the English language within the Web of Science, PubMed and SPORTDiscus databases. Ten of the 43 eligible studies were included, covering a total of 409 participants. The studies included in the meta-analysis showed a low risk of bias and had an estimated pooled effect size of 0.56 (95% CI from 0.34 to 0.78). Greater effect sizes were observed in lengthy protocols involving fast eccentric exercises using designs of 3 sets of 10 repetitions and a 2-minute rest time. Effect size did not relate to absolute volume, relative intensity, absolute duration and speed of execution. In conclusion, to optimize contralateral strength improvements, cross-training sessions should involve fast eccentric sets with moderate volumes and rest intervals.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5465979PMC
June 2017

The Relationship Between Maximum Isometric Strength and Ball Velocity in the Tennis Serve.

J Hum Kinet 2016 Dec 14;53:63-71. Epub 2016 Oct 14.

Sports Research Centre, Miguel Hernandez University, Elche, Spain.

The aims of this study were to analyze the relationship between maximum isometric strength levels in different upper and lower limb joints and serve velocity in competitive tennis players as well as to develop a prediction model based on this information. Twelve male competitive tennis players (mean ± SD; age: 17.2 ± 1.0 years; body height: 180.1 ± 6.2 cm; body mass: 71.9 ± 5.6 kg) were tested using maximum isometric strength levels (i.e., wrist, elbow and shoulder flexion and extension; leg and back extension; shoulder external and internal rotation). Serve velocity was measured using a radar gun. Results showed a strong positive relationship between serve velocity and shoulder internal rotation (r = 0.67; p < 0.05). Low to moderate correlations were also found between serve velocity and wrist, elbow and shoulder flexion - extension, leg and back extension and shoulder external rotation (r = 0.36 - 0.53; p = 0.377 - 0.054). Bivariate and multivariate models for predicting serve velocity were developed, with shoulder flexion and internal rotation explaining 55% of the variance in serve velocity (r = 0.74; p < 0.001). The maximum isometric strength level in shoulder internal rotation was strongly related to serve velocity, and a large part of the variability in serve velocity was explained by the maximum isometric strength levels in shoulder internal rotation and shoulder flexion.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1515/hukin-2016-0028DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5260594PMC
December 2016

The influence of a biopsychosocial educational internet-based intervention on pain, dysfunction, quality of life, and pain cognition in chronic low back pain patients in primary care: a mixed methods approach.

BMC Med Inform Decis Mak 2015 Nov 23;15:97. Epub 2015 Nov 23.

Grupo de Estudios Sociedad, Salud, Educación y Cultura, Universidad de Lleida, Pl. de Víctor Siurana 1, Lleida, 25003, Spain.

Background: Low back pain is the highest reported musculoskeletal problem worldwide. Up to 90 % of patients with low back pain have no clear explanation for the source and origin of their pain. These individuals commonly receive a diagnosis of non-specific low back pain. Patient education is a way to provide information and advice aimed at changing patients' cognition and knowledge about their chronic state through the reduction of fear of anticipatory outcomes and the resumption of normal activities. Information technology and the expedited communication processes associated with this technology can be used to deliver health care information to patients. Hence, this technology and its ability to deliver life-changing information has grown as a powerful and alternative health promotion tool. Several studies have demonstrated that websites can change and improve chronic patients' knowledge and have a positive impact on patients' attitudes and behaviors. The aim of this project is to identify chronic low back pain patients' beliefs about the origin and meaning of pain to develop a web-based educational tool using different educational formats and gamification techniques.

Methods/design: This study has a mixed-method sequential exploratory design. The participants are chronic low back pain patients between 18-65 years of age who are attending a primary care setting. For the qualitative phase, subjects will be contacted by their family physician and invited to participate in a personal semi-structured interview. The quantitative phase will be a randomized controlled trial. Subjects will be randomly allocated using a simple random sample technique. The intervention group will be provided access to the web site where they will find information related to their chronic low back pain. This information will be provided in different formats. All of this material will be based on the information obtained in the qualitative phase. The control group will follow conventional treatment provided by their family physician.

Discussion: The main outcome of this project is to identify chronic low back pain patients' beliefs about the origin and meaning of pain to develop a web-based educational tool using different educational formats and gamification techniques.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02369120 Date: 02/20/2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12911-015-0220-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4657202PMC
November 2015
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