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Video interview:

Robin McKeever & Canada’s Para Nordic Ski Team

Also inside: Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Plan to Win Stop Talking about Talent Whole-Body Vibration Effects of a Heat Acclimation Protocol


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Editorial WELCOME,

Passion, determination and focus are the words that come to mind when we think of success within our high performance system. Our athletes, our coaches and certainly our support teams demonstrate over and over, the true grit it takes to win. Paul Dorotich’s video interview in this issue of the High Performance SIRCuit with Robin McKeever and ParaNordic skiers Mark Arendz, Brian McKeever, and Chris Klebl, captures valuable IST training insights as they relate to psychology, strength training and physiotherapy from our leading athletes that every coach should watch.

Whether it’s navigating terminology, training at our finest facilities or continuing the research and learning, this issue demonstrates the high performance strategy in Canada is moving forward with intentionality. Thank you for your continued suggestions and contributions, the feedback has been fabulous. We hope you enjoy the HP SIRCuit and look forward to seeing you at the SPIN Conference in Montreal.

Debra Gassewitz President & CEO SIRC

Jon and Debra

A focused eye on the future is what Catherine GosselinDesprès, Executive Director, Sport, CPC, maintained as she worked on aligning the sport department with the new high performance strategic direction of the Canadian Paralympic Committee. Her article truly captures a passion with purpose for helping Canadian athletes to reach the podium.

Jon Kolb, PhD

Director, Sport Science, Medicine and Innovation Own the Podium





E” EDICIN 4 E&M Fall 201

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Contributing Editor


IST Journal Club

Debra Gassewitz, SIRC Nancy Rebel, SIRC Michelle Caron, SIRC Joshua Karanja, SIRC


Josyane Morin, SIRC

Dr. Jon Kolb, OTP

Mathieu Charbonneau Eugene Liang Judy Goss Matt Jordan Christine St. Clair Leo Thornley


CSI Calgary Joseph Baker Nick Wattie Catherine Gosselin-Després, CPC

Special Thanks

Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) is Canada’s national sport library, established over 40 years ago.


Mailing address: SIRC 180 rue Elgin Street, suite 1400 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, K2P 2K3

Photos Courtesy of:

Disclaimer: Author’s opinions expressed in the articles are not necessarily those of SIRCuit, its publisher, the Editor, or the Editorial Board. SIRC makes no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability for any purpose of the content.

Paul Dorotich, OTP Robin McKeever Marcel Nadeau Alexandre Contreras Canadian Olympic Committee Canadian Paralympic Committee Own The Podium SIRC CSI Calgary Canadian Interuniversity Sport Cross-Country Canada

Copyright © 2014 SIRC. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced, stored, transmitted, or disseminated, in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission from SIRC, to whom all requests to reproduce copyright material should be directed, in writing. HP SIRCuit is partially funded by


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Moving Forward with a Purpose: the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Plan to Win - Learn more about CPC’s new strategic plan to move Paralympic sport in Canada “Forward with a Purpose”, with a focus on podium and high performance.

Robin McKeever, An Insight into Para-Nordic Olympic Preparation

A Pilot Study: The Effects of a Seven Day Heat Acclimation Protocol on Plasma Volume and Hemoglobin Mass in Female Rugby Players

Whole-Body Vibration

Moving Forward with a Purpose: the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Plan to Win


A Pilot Study: The Combined Effects of a Seven Day Heat Acclimation Protocol on Plasma Volume and Hemoglobin Mass in Female Rugby Players


Learn more about CPC’s new strategic plan to move Paralympic sport in Canada “Forward with a Purpose”, with a focus on podium and high performance.

The primary aim of this pilot investigation was to assess plasma volume after a 7-day heat acclimation protocol using CO-rebreathe technique to monitor changes in plasma volume and hemoglobin mass.

Canadian Sport Institute Calgary – A New Home for Canadian High Performance Sport


Improving How We Think About Talent: Step 1, Stop Talking About Talent.


Video Interview: Robin McKeever – An Insight into Para-Nordic Olympic Preparation


Introducing the new Canadian Sport Institute Calgary, the first and only multi-sport training facility in Canada dedicated to high performance sports.

This article challenges us to think about the word talent and how coaches, athletes, and parents interpret its use and the expectations it evokes. Robin McKeever discusses the strategies of the Para-Nordic ski program and the critical contribution of the IST to high performance success.

Athlete-Coach Focus – Brian and Robin McKeever

Whole-Body Vibration

We take a look at what the research says about the application of whole-body vibration (WBV) for high performance athletes in the areas of power, strength, and postural control, and as a recovery tool.

Must Reads … Read, Learn, Excel



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IST Journal Club Recommended Research Readings from SIRC & OTP New Books @ SIRC

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Moving forward, with purpose:



Catherine Gosselin-Desprès, Executive Director, Sport, Canadian Paralympic Committee Since November 2013, Catherine Gosselin–Despres has been the Executive Director, Sport with the Canadian Paralympic Committee. She has been focused on aligning the sport department with the new strategic direction of the CPC. Originally from Quebec City, she has a Bachelor Degree in Kinesiology specialized in high performance sport from Laval University which she also completed through an exchange program with the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She also has a Masters degree in Sport Management from University of Ottawa.


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t was no mean feat when Toronto orthopedic surgeon Dr. Robert Jackson succeeded in having almost 450 visually-impaired and amputee athletes compete, for the first time, in the 1976 Olympiad for the Physically Disabled in Toronto.

Now, four years after Canada’s stellar success as both host and competitor at the Vancouver 2010 Paralympic Winter Games – where Canada turned in a bestever finish with 19 medals, including 10 gold – the CPC is poised to usher in a new era of Paralympic success in Canada.

Dr. Jackson’s ambitious plan for those Games was a game-changer for the Paralympic movement, as was the pioneering work of Canadian Dr. Robert Steadward, the founding president of the International Paralympic Committee. Government investment in the Canadian Paralympic Committee and new sport opportunities for people with a disability continued to advance parasport in this country.

We believe Canada can be the world’s leading Paralympic nation by 2022.


Our recently-released plan to get there, titled “Forward with Purpose,” can be viewed here. Paralympic Sport in Canada is at a critical juncture. The CPC has witnessed a rapid social acceleration in the appreciation of, and appetite for, Paralympic sport— more rapid than anyone could have predicted even a few short years ago.

This plan to win is a focus on the podium – a focus on high performance. If the Everest for our athletes – the highest peak they can summit – is a gold medal at the Paralympic Games, then the CPC is the “Sherpa” for the final ascent.

There is a growing sense of excitement and Canadians feel more connected to our athletes than ever, drawn to their inspiring stories and amazing athleticism, to their drive and their passion. Awareness of Paralympic sport, the Canadian Paralympic Team and the Paralympic brand is flourishing in Canada amongst sport partners, corporate leaders, educators, youth, parents, fans, and in the media. At the same time, the Paralympic story has shifted dramatically to one that focuses more on athletic achievement: our athletes’ stories are now reported in the sports pages, rather than in the lifestyle section. This exploding interest has raised the level and stakes of Paralympic competition to new heights. Just as it is becoming ever more difficult to win a Paralympic gold medal, the need to very clearly define priorities and determine the best way forward is vital. What do we aspire to achieve? What are our priority sports? And what key advantages will characterize a world-class Paralympic sport system in Canada? Working closely with our members, our performance partners, our board and staff, we generated answers to these questions. To secure our country’s place as the world’s leading Paralympic nation by 2022, we must be: clear in our aspirations; focused in our plan to win; nimble in adapting to an ever-changing landscape; and leaders in mobilizing and supporting our members and partners. This plan to win is a focus on the podium – a focus on high performance. If the Everest for our athletes – the highest peak they can summit – is a gold medal at the Paralympic Games, then the CPC is the “Sherpa” for the final ascent. We are working closely with member organizations, our performance partners and the broader sport community to identify the next generation of Paralympic athletes and coaches. We are mapping out a clear path to the summit, removing

roadblocks and distractions along the way, and leading the country in celebrating our athletes’ achievements. This strategy is now front and center in our daily work and has become a source of motivation to all committed to achieving our ascent. Looking towards 2022, our priorities focus on developing a system delivering consistent podium results and increasing our medal count at the Games through strategic performance partnerships and collaboration with our sports. We need to invest in the right projects and sports in order to achieve this. We will:


familiarization as well as focus on Paralympic Games service delivery and enhancements to maximize our chances for podium performances at the Games;


overall athlete pool, especially in sports where we can increase our medal count;


appropriate support to athletes through the pathway to high performance, as well as optimal daily training environments for podium potential athletes and the next generation of athletes;

• FOCUS ON DEVELOPING AND ALIGNING THE OVERALL PARALYMPIC SYSTEM within Canada through targeted developmental activities to fill the podium pipeline for the future.

Our goal to make Canada the world’s leading Paralympic nation by 2022 is not going to be easy to reach, but with our members and partners standing strong beside us, it can be achieved through hard work, focus and determination. Parasport has come a long way since Canada hosted the Torontolympiad in 1976, and there is still much work to be done. Our strategic plan will take the Canadian Paralympic movement boldly and purposefully in to the future – a future we believe all Canadians will be proud of. I invite all in the sport community to review this exciting plan and to reflect on your potential role, involvement or contribution – if not already – towards this world-leading journey for Canada. ∆ For more information: @CDNParalympics


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The Effects of a Seven Day Heat Acclimation Protocol on Plasma Volume and Hemoglobin Mass in Female Rugby Players A Pilot Study:

Wendy Pethick, Holly Murray, James Brotherhood, Tyler Goodale, Trent Stellingwerff Key Points

Wendy Pethick

• Previous studies have found increased blood plasma volume (PV) with 7-days of heat acclimation (HA), which improves performance (VO2max) by increased cardiac output and increased ability to dissipate heat. • This study undertook a seven day heat acclimation protocol (90 min per day at 35◦C degrees with 1.5-2.0% dehydration), which significantly increased PV of elite female rugby players by 5.7% (p=0.014). • Over the seven days, hemoglobin mass (Hbmass; measured via CO-rebreathe) concurrently decreased by -3.4% (p=0 .011). These Hbmass results should be viewed with caution and warrant further research, as there was no control group and these elite field sport athletes were in the middle of a hard training camp, which may have also compromised Hbmass.


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Wendy Pethick is a Physiologist and Manager of the Canadian Sport Institute’s Performance Lab in Victoria. In addition to testing athletes and members of the RCMP, Canadian Coast Guard and the BC Forestry Service (BCFS) she has been involved in Wellness projects for the RCMP and BCFS and has extensive teaching experience in the areas of Human Physiology, Exercise Physiology, Measurement & Evaluation, and Exercise Prescription. A graduate of the University of Victoria (BSc. Human Performance, M.A. Exercise Physiology) Wendy worked as the Coordinator of the University of Victoria Sport and Fitness Centre organizing and conducting physiological testing and research for the Physical Education department.


levated core temperatures initiate several mechanisms designed to dissipate heat including sweating to cool skin via evaporation, and dilation of peripheral skin blood vessels which shunt heated blood from the core to the skin for cooling. Both of these mechanisms rely on the maintenance of blood volume (BV). Maintaining BV becomes very difficult in the heat because of the additive effects of heat generated from exercise combined with heat from the environment 1,2. As a result, sweat rate increases in a feed-forward mechanism, resulting in a potentially greater loss of body fluids which further compromises BV. If too much fluid is lost due to high sweat rates, cooling supersedes exercise, decreasing work rate, with the potential for complete shut-down (e.g. heat stroke). HA is a process which elicits physiological changes allowing an individual to deal with heat stress more effectively. One of the biggest adaptations is an increase in BV (specifically the plasma (PV)), with some studies showing a ~5 to 7% increase in PV 3-5. There are generally three benefits of increasing the circulating PV: 1) less competition between cooling and fueling exercising muscles; 2) more fluids available for sweating resulting in enhanced cooling capabilities; and 3) better maintenance and/or increase of cardiac output, and accordingly, ability to achieve greater VO 2max values at maximal exercise, which have shown benefits in both warm and cool conditions (especially important to high intensity sports) 4. Many athletes use the Canadian Sport Institute Pacific (CSI Pacific) Mobile Environmental Trainer (MET) in preparation for competitions in hot environments. Despite the consistency of increase PV via HA, the optimal HA protocol currently used by CSI Pacific and others 3-5, has yet to be completely characterized. Therefore the primary aim of this pilot investigation was to assess PV after a 7-day HA protocol using COrebreathe technique to monitor changes in PV and hemoglobin mass (Hbmass). It was hypothesized that PV would significantly increase as a result of the 7-day HA protocol without any significant group changes to Hbmass.

Methods: Nine elite female rugby players (Table 1) completed the 7-day HA intervention and all the pre-and post-intervention testing at CSI Pacific (November, 2012). Core temperature pills were used on day 1 and 2 to ensure that the training loads elicited the core temperature target of 38.5 ◦C, but did not exceed the limit of 39.5 ◦C (hyperthermia controlled workloads). Heart rate (HR) was recorded every five minutes throughout each session. Individual HRs were used for the remaining five days to determine work intensity for optimal heat stress and safety for each athlete. Athletes cycled on spin bikes for a total of 90 minutes

broken down into 10 minutes of warmup, 20 minutes of 10 x 1:1 high intensity intervals (to increase core temperature (Tc) rapidly), followed by 60 minutes of steady state (SS) regulated by target HR’s to maintain an elevated Tc. Sweat rate (SR) (pre and post body weight (BW) & fluid weight) was calculated for each session. The optimized CO-rebreathing protocol, as previously outlined by Schmidt & Prommer 6, was used to determine BV, PV and Hbmass immediately pre and post the 7-days of HA from venous blood draws.

Table 1. Physical Characteristics of the Female Athletes (n=9). Age (years) Body Weight (kg) Height (cm) Sum of 7 Skinfolds (mm) Lean mass index

MEAN 26.6 69.2 172.0 76.9 38.0

SD 2.7 5.4 4.6 9.3 2.6

Figure 1. A comparison of average fluid intake, average sweat rate and urine specific gravity (USG) over the 7-day HA.


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Results: Athletes were generally either hydrated to mildly dehydrated throughout the intervention (USG of 1.012-1.016; Figure 1). Mean sweat rates were consistent over the seven days (~0.9-1.19 L/hr; Figure 1). On days one and two the athletes were able to drink ad libitum (~1.7L/session; Figure 1) resulting in ~0.09% increase in BW; Figure 2). On subsequent days (3-7), fluid intake was limited to elicit mild dehydration (~1.3% BW loss; Figure 2).

PV increased for all athletes ranging from 1.3% to 12.9% with the exception of one athlete (PV -5.8% (Figure 3), resulting in a significant 5.7±5.7% increase in PV (p=0.014). Eight of the nine athletes showed a decrease in Hbmass ranging from -1.3% to -9.5%, resulting in a significant -3.4±3.7% decrease (p =0.011; Figure 4). There was no relationship found between the level of dehydration and PV expansion (r=-0.035, p=0.464). There was a weak, positive relationship between Tc and PV expansion, (r=0.405, p=0.097). The change in Tc and PV expansion resulted in a weak relationship (r=0.549, p=0.063). There was a non-significant relationship between % weight loss and the decrease in Hbmass (r=-0.285, p=0.458,) as well as Tc and Hbmass (r=0.142, p=0.7137), suggesting that the decrease in Hbmass is not related to the level of dehydration or Tc changes. Discussion

Figure 2. A comparison of pre and post HA session body weight and % weight loss over the 7-day HA.

The purpose of this pilot investigation was to determine the effect of a 7-day HA protocol on PV expansion and Hbmass in nine elite team sport female athletes. All athletes, except one, responded favorably to the HA for PV expansion (+5.7±5.7%; p=0.014; Figure 3). Hbmass significantly decreased (-3.4±3.7%; p=0.011; Figure 4) post HA. These Hbmass results should be viewed with caution as limitations of this study include the absence of a control group and these elite field sport athletes were in themiddle of a hard training camp, which alone, may have compromised Hbmass. To that end, follow-up controlled studies are needed to confirm the result of decreased Hbmass. Sweat rates, fluid intake rates and PV expansion throughout the 7-day HA camp

Figure 3. Individual variation in percent change of PV after the 7-day HA.

Figure 4. Individual variation in percent change of PV after the 7-day HA.


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It has been shown that 2-3% body mass loss, due to heat-induced dehydration, augments increases in PV3. However, on days 1 and 2 athletes were able to drink ad libitum resulting in a ~0.3% BW increase (Figure 1&2), so on subsequent days fluid intake was limited (0.5-0.7L/session) to elicit mild dehydration during the HA sessions (~1.2% BW loss; Figures 1&2). On the group level, there was no relationship between the level of dehydration and PV expansion (r=-0.035, p=0.464). However, to our knowledge, no study has clearly elucidated whether there is a dose-response between %BW loss and PV expansion, which should be examined with further research. Sweat rates and USG were monitored to determine individual fluid recommendations between HA sessions to ensure the athletes did not end up chronically dehydrated, which appeared successful in maintaining hydration status of the athletes (Figure 1). Dehydration and the consequent competition for body fluids to support exercise, as well as to cool the body, is an acute response to exercise in the heat. Increased PV, provides a greater circulating volume of blood for heat

to this study and large increase in volume of continuous aerobic exercise required to induce the HA. However, these results should be viewed with caution, as we did not implement a control training only group and these elite field sport athletes were in the middle of a hard training camp, which alone, may have compromised Hbmass. Furthermore, this result of decreased Hbmass needs to be confirmed in follow-up studies (Note: in a follow-up study in female soccer players undertaking 5 days of HA we, indeed, did not find any change in Hbmass). ∆

dissipation3-5. The 7-day HA protocol was successful in increasing PV by 5.7±5.7% increase (p=-0.02; range of -5.8-12.9%; Figure 3), which is in line with previous HA studies4,5. The mechanism(s) underlying adaptations to HA (PV expansion and increased sudomotor function) have yet to be clearly defined, but level of dehydration and a criticial core temperature (Tc) have been suggested as possible drivers of the overall response. No relationship was found between average % BW loss and PV expansion. However, three of the biggest PV expansion responders were on the high end of % BW loss, suggesting that dehydration could be a contributing factor in PV expansion. The expansion of PV may also be influenced by hormonal input brought on in the heat, specifically the action of aldosterone and arginine vasopressin (AVP). Repeated elevations in renin and AVP activity may develop chronic enhancement of water retention within the vasculature and other tissue7,8,9. The impact of Tc was also investigated, and the data clearly demonstrates that with the exception of 1 athlete, the biggest responses in PV (greater than 5% increase) were seen when Tc was maintained at 38.3oC or higher. Although this relationship is not significant, it supports the findings of 38.5oC as a critical Tc for the hyperthermia controlled HA protocols cited in the literature3,11,12. The individual variability of PV expansion, as well as the positive HA responses for some at temperatures below the critical target of 38.5oC (38.2-38.4oC), suggest that maybe it is the change in Tc from baseline which facilitates PV expansion. Interestingly, the outlier athlete that had the smallest average increase in Tc (0.5oC) was the same athlete whose PV decreased. Additionally, with the exception of 1 athlete, the greatest increases in PV were seen with Tc increases of greater than 1.0oC from baseline. However, caution needs to be taken with this, as we only undertook Tc monitoring on days 1 and 2. Utilizing the change in Tc may be a more useful approach for those athletes who are unable to exercise at workloads high enough to reach and/or sustain a target of 38.5oC. Anecdotally,

there are some very lean female athletes who can reach target Tc through intervals, but find it difficult to maintain during the 60 minutes of steady state work. For these athletes maybe setting the target as a change in Tc of 1.0oC or greater may elicit the desired adaptive response, without subjecting them to undo fatigue of having to maintain high SS workloads. However, the dose-response relationships between core temperature and PV expansion remain to be elucidated. Potential impact of heat-acclimation on Hbmass There is very little research on the effect of HA on Hbmass, with this study being only the second to look at the interaction between HA and Hbmass. In 1997, Gore et al.13 reported no significant impact on Hbmass as a result of HA (rowers undertaking four weeks of training (70-90min/day) at subtropical location). Contrary to those findings, this study demonstrated that Hbmass decreased -3.4% (P=0.011) for eight of the nine athletes (range of -1.3 to -9.5%; Figure 4). PV expansion has the potential to decrease hemoglobin (g/dL) as it is a measure of gram per volume of fluid. However, Hbmass is measured and calculated as an absolute value (total grams of hemoglobin), and thus is not impacted by fluid levels or by an increase of PV. It should be noted, that the small -3.4% decrease in Hbmass theoretically corresponds to a very small decline of 2.2% for VO2max14. Potential reasons for the finding of decreased Hbmass in these elite female athletes may include menstrual cycle blood losses or foot strike hemolysis. Menstrual blood losses were not measured during this study, however normal menstrual blood loss volumes of 10-80 ml and average of 35ml would only impact total Hbmass measurement by 5g15, well within the technical error of measurement for our lab. The acute destruction of red blood cells has been widely demonstrated following running exercise and is commonly referred to as foot strike hemolysis16,17. Impact, foot strike or circulatory hemolysis could be implicated in the reduction of Hbmass observed in this study due to training external Français

References 1. Armstrong LE, Casa DJ, Millard-Stafford M, et al. American College of Sports Medicine position stand. Exertional heat illness during training and competition. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2007-Mar 2007;39(3):556-572. 2. Casa DJ, Armstrong LE, Ganio MS, Yeargin SW. Exertional heat stroke in competitive athletes. Current sports medicine reports. 2005-Dec 2005;4(6):309-317. 3. Garrett AT, Creasy R, Rehrer NJ, Patterson MJ, Cotter JD. Effectiveness of short-term heat acclimation for highly trained athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology. May 2012;112(5):1827-1837. 4. Lorenzo S, Halliwill JR, Sawka MN, Minson CT. Heat acclimation improves exercise performance. Journal of Applied Physiology. Oct 2010;109(4):1140-1147. 5. Scoon GSM, Hopkins WG, Mayhew S, Cotter JD. Effect of post-exercise sauna bathing on the endurance performance of competitive male runners. Journal of Science and Medicine in Sport. Aug 2007;10(4):259-262. 6. Schmidt W, Prommer N. The optimised CO-rebreathing method: a new tool to determine total haemoglobin mass routinely. European Journal of Applied Physiology. Dec 2005;95(5-6):486495. 7. Green HJ, Thomson JA, Ball ME, Hughson RL, Houston ME, Sharratt MT. Alterations in blood volume following short term supramaximal exercise. Journal of Applied Physiology. 1984 1984;56(1):145-149. 8. McKeever KH, Schurg WA, Jarrett SH, Convertino VA. Exercise training induced hypervolemia in the horse. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Feb 1987;19(1):21-27. 9. Avellini BA, Shapiro Y, Fortney SM, Wenger CB, Pandolf KB. Effects of heat tolerance on physicaltraining in water and on land. Journal of Applied Physiology. 1982 1982;53(5):1291-1298. 10. Senay LC, Jr., Pivarnik JM. Fluid shifts during exercise. Exercise and sport sciences reviews. 1985 1985;13:335-387. 11. Garrett AT, Rehrer NJ, Patterson MJ. Induction and Decay of ShortTerm Heat Acclimation in Moderately and Highly Trained Athletes. Sports Medicine. 2011 2011;41(9):757-771. 12. Cheung SS, McLellan TM. Heat acclimation, aerobic fitness, and hydration effects on tolerance during uncompensable heat stress. Journal of Applied Physiology. May 1998;84(5):1731-1739. 13. Gore CJ, Hahn AG, Burge CM, Telford RD. VO(2)max and haemoglobin mass of trained athletes during high intensity training. International Journal of Sports Medicine. Aug 1997;18(6):477-482. 14. Fortney SM, Vroman NB. Exercise, performance and temperature control - temperature regulation during exercise and implications for sports performancea and training. Sports Medicine. 1985 1985;2(1):8-20. 15. Fraser IS, Warner P, Marantos PA. Estimating menstrual blood loss in women with normal and excessive menstrual fluid volume. Obstetrics and Gynecology. Nov 2001;98(5):806-814. 16. Robinson Y, Cristancho E, Boning D. Intravascular hemolysis and mean red blood cell age in athletes. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise. Mar 2006;38(3):480-483. 17. Jones GR, Newhouse I. Sport-related hematuria: A review. Clinical Journal of Sport Medicine. Apr 1997;7(2):119-125.

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Canadian Sport Institute Calgary

A new home for



n June 26th 2014, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary officially opened the doors to its new state of the art facility at Canada Olympic Park. The 34,000 square foot space is the first and only multi-sport training facility in Canada dedicated to high performance sports. Twelve years ago, former WinSport CEO John Mills introduced the concept of building an “Athletic and Ice Complex” after Calgary lost the domestic bid to host the 2010 Olympic Winter Games. His vision to have all roads to the podium lead through southern Alberta finally came to life this year, when WinSport finished building the last phase of the $220M complex. The new Canadian Sport Institute Calgary location features a 19,000 square foot strength and conditioning area with a biomechanics lab and a strength and power lab; an exercise physiology lab; mental performance and nutritional service capabilities; an athlete lounge; a regeneration room; and access to the WinSport Medicine Clinic. With more than a dozen resident sports now actively training in the new facility, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary has truly been able to deliver world leading and centralized services using the latest technology, equipment and expertise.


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Prior to the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Wrestling Canada held a 3-day camp, with 36 national team wrestlers, that included a variety of strength and physiology testing (FMS, anthropometry, rhiet, yo-yo, vertical jump, agility) and a number of lectures on nutrition, psychology, recovery and regeneration and self marketing. A few weeks later, wrestling owned the podium in Glasgow Commonwealth Games, winning 12 medals for Canada. Still fresh off their Olympic gold medal in Sochi, the women’s hockey team has not wasted any time to get back into testing and training mode and prepare to defend their title in South Korea. The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary has a long-standing relationship with Hockey Canada and has provided an array of services.

in the next generation of Olympians and Paralympians. Agreements with sports such as Alpine has helped development athletes experience elite training alongside national team members. In addition, this has allowed them the unique opportunity to attend life services workshops and learn about topics such as social media, public speaking and combining sport and education. The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary continues to have a very successful model and approach to elevating performance.

More recently, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary experts conducted fitness testing and anthropometry measurements on close to 100 women’s U18 and development players – a crucial first step in the beginning of the selection process leading into the quadrennial for the 2018 Olympic Winter Games. The Canadian Sport Institute Calgary also recognizes the importance of investing

(Strength Area): The strength and conditioning area includes more than track (track and field surface used at World Championships and Olymp


(Regeneration): Athletes can recuperate from training by using the regeneration room that include a hot and a cold tub as well as four recovery rooms for massages and regeneration.

(Kitchen): The athlete lounge offers a fully equipped kitchen that stages cooking workshops and educates athletes on adequate food combination to maximize health and performance.

The foundation of success begins with the team of 58 experts that powers the organization. The team creates a performance environment designed to meet the primary needs of high performance athletes and coaches. With the knowledge and the infrastructures available in Alberta, the Canadian Sport Institute Calgary is now faced with the worthy challenge of elevating performance standards in Canada and creating new Olympic and Paralympic history. ∆ For more information: @CSICalgary

n 20,000 pounds of weights and equipment, and indoor MONDO 100m pic Games) and an IM lifting platform (one of only three in the world).

(Power Lab): The power lab allows strength experts to do advance testing and analysis of muscle function using portable force plates, force handles, movement analysis system and an EMG muscle measurement system.

(HPLab): Canadian Sport Institute Calgary experts collect and interpret the most advanced data including measurement of breath-to-breath oxygen consumption; measurement of EKG during exercise; measurement of heart rate response while training; and analysis of key biomechanical markers used to evaluate the effectiveness of training.


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IMPROVING HOW WE THINK ABOUT TALENT: Step 1, stop talking about talent Nick Wattie , PhD - University of Ontario Institute of Technology and Joseph Baker, PhD - York University

KEY POINTS: • Discussions of ‘talent’ have taken on increasing significance in sport. • How people view the origins of ‘talent’ can have a significant impact on athlete development. • Simple dichotomies are insufficient to explain the complexity of athlete development.


erms such as ‘talent identification’ and ‘talent development’ have taken on increasing relevance in discussions of athlete development. Is it time for a shift away from the word ‘talent’? ‘What possible harm or difference can a word make’, you might ask. In this short article, we’re going to argue that the words we use are important.

“ words are the tools with which we work…Everything depends on our understanding of them. ” (Franfurter, 1964). Being concerned about how people use and understand words is not simply an issue of semantics. In the case of ‘talent’, researchers have shown that people generally fall into two camps: implicit theorists and incremental theorists. These two ‘ways of thinking’ essentially describe Nature vs. Nurture beliefs; the belief that an individual’s characteristics and potential are innate/unchangeable or the product of experiences/changeable. Both perspectives can be damaging. People who view athletic ability as predominantly innate usually see ‘talent’ as a gift or an endowment existing from birth. Such beliefs are reinforced by our use of the 12

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term ‘talent identification’. Research from motivation studies indicates that we have to be more careful about the labels and expectation we place on youth, including labelling a youth athlete as talented. For example, labelling high performance youth athletes as talented can attach an expectation that the athlete will be successful at later stages in the athlete development pathway because their ‘talent’ is innate (natural). These expectations may be damaging to youth athletes, particularly given that it has been established that success at one level of sport does automatically lead to success at the next, higher, level of sport (see for instance, Barreiros and Fonseca’s study of the relationship between junior and senior Français

levels of competitive success in Portuguese elite athletes published in the International Journal of Sport Science and Coaching). Hard work and high quality training are obviously important to becoming a high performance athlete. On the other hand, viewing talent as predominantly developable (nurture) can be equally problematic. In recent years the popularized notion that expertise can be accomplished through a sufficient amount of deliberate practice (the colloquial 10,000 hour rule) has taken root among coaches and parents. To those who believe this notion, the term ‘talent development’ can imply that all athletes have equal amounts of talent to be developed, despite some inter-individual differences. The problem is that those who ascribe to this belief may also place unfair expectations on athletes. Furthermore, while this notion may have some appeal, sport is not a meritocracy and the evidence is clear that not all people have the same potential develop into high performance athletes (whether for reasons of probability

or propensity). Practice is clearly necessary, but it may not be sufficient: genes, resources and luck are also important. Both perspectives highlight the problems of seeing something as complex as sport performance as a simple dichotomy. Talent – if we loosely define it as an innate capacity for future success – may exist, but at the moment we do not know how to measure it or what it looks like. Genetic tests are far less valid than their marketing suggests. However, two things seem certain: first, no one gets to the highest levels of performance without working for it and second, practice alone is not enough to account for success in sport (see for example, the recent meta-analysis by Brooke Macnamara and colleagues published recently in Psychological Science). Nothing in human behaviour is ever as simple as “it’s all due to X” and thinking it is can constrain the way athletes and coaches think about potential. While genes undoubtedly have a role (although how big a role is unknown and likely sport and task specific) the ‘big players’ in maximizing an athlete’s potential for sport success include access to high quality coaching and necessary resources, optimal developmental environments, support from family and friends, and perhaps most of all, a long-term commitment to training on the part of the athlete. Such is the complexity of high performance sport -- no room for simple dichotomies. ∆

Nick Wattie, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Kinesiology in the Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Canada. His research focuses on psychosocial and environmental constraints on sport participation and sport expertise, as well as the psychosocial and physical health outcomes associated with sport participation.

Joe Baker, PhD, is an Associate Professor and head of the Lifespan Health and Performance Laboratory in the School of Kinesiology and Health Science, at York University, Canada. His research considers the varying influences on optimal human development, ranging from issues affecting athlete development and skill acquisition to barriers and facilitators of successful aging.


Talent Identification and Development in Sports with York University’s Joe Baker. Podcast from Listen in as Dr. Baker discusses the theory around talent identification and the development of young athletes, based upon his book on the subject.


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ROBIN MCKEEVER An Insight into

Para-Nordic Olympic Preparation


n this video interview with Own the Podium, Robin McKeever, Head Coach of the Canadian Para-Nordic Ski Team shares his perspectives on how the incorporation of an Integrated Support Team (IST) has improved the training programs for his athletes. By creating more focus on training strategies and allowing for efficiencies both in individualized training design and the cost of training, ISTs have had a significant impact on how the Para-Nordic program has evolved.

HERE WE SHARE SOME OF THE HIGHLIGHTS: According to McKeever, the key to developing training strategies lies in recognizing the needs of the individual athletes and integrating the athlete’s contribution into their training program and the Para-Nordic program as a whole. In the case of the Para-Nordic team, each athlete has a different classification and a different level, and are therefore completely variable as to their needs from day to day, but these are integrated into the daily training environments.


One of the changes that is considered a critical success factor in the team’s performance, is the addition of a sport psychologist. The impact was felt in two areas: • Introduction of a psychology base for sport-specific performance • Team building team atmosphere

“Along with accountability and professionalism, comes a huge support network behind us that we are, as coach or as people working with the program, become accountable to and that is our IST. It is without a doubt … “Some of the particulars that worked for me coming in to Sochi was working with critical to the success of the Para-Nordic team.” Robin McKeever, Head Coach The Para-Nordic program has incorporated some drastic changes over the last four years to focus on building the achievements of the team. In this video, there are three areas where Robin McKeever credits the IST with having significant impact on achieving high performance success.


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John Coleman our psychologist. With my specialty in biathlon there is a lot of mental side to shooting. Believing that you can hit that shot, knowing that you can hit that shot and then actually doing it. There is a lot of mental thought and pressure within the shot or bout of shooting and John has been a huge help for me to nail that and be at my best at World Cups but also at the Games themselves.” Mark Arendz, Biathlon and Nordic Skiing

Watch the Full Video Interview


A second change was an emphasis on technology and physiological testing that allows for the monitoring of athletes’ states in order to adapt training and competition strategies according to the daily physiological status of the athlete. This can happen with the equipment and training facilities at home, but through technology, can also be carried out when on the road at training camps and competitions and communicating back to the ISTs at home. Monitoring baselines and adaptations is an invaluable training tool. “The IST support that Own the Podium has given us has been instrumental in the success of the whole team. For me, some of the biggest [impact] has been in the exercise physiology department … I think it is fantastic because to me when I hit the start line I know I am as prepared as I possibly could be and that kind of takes care of the psychology as well because I’m 100% confident in the program that [the exercise physiology team] has come up with.” Brian McKeever, Cross-Country Skiing


The third change involves an increasing training component around strength and conditioning. Being able to take advantage of the increased knowledge in the area of strength and conditioning for cross-country skiing specifically has made a huge impact. Robin identifies changes that he sees coming moving into the next quadrennial preparing for the Pyeong Chang Winter Olympic Games. Two of these include:

For the Para-Nordic Team, working with ISTs allows for the professionalized approach to training in their sport. Having access to the specialized skills as provided through the ISTs provides unique opportunities to individualize strategies and get sport-specific insight for both high performance athletes and those in development. All of which is critical to the team’s success. ∆

i. Greater individualization of training. Dealing with more mature athletes means not needing to focus on day to day training, they know what they are doing, but rather creating the program and environment within which they can concentrate solely and specifically on what they need to succeed. With younger athletes Robin is more involved with their daily training and influencing their choices to teach them how to be professionals at what they do. ii. Increased focus on refinement rather than large changes. Specifically the structure around training recovery and health, looking for support through the IST in massage, physiotherapy and osteopathy.


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Athlete Focus BRIAN MCKEEVER Para-Nordic Skiing Date Birth June 18, 1979 Birthplace Calgary, Alberta Residence Canmore, Alberta Height/Weight 1.75m/ 75kg Disability Type Visual Impairment Coach Robin McKeever Ski Guide Eric Carleton Twitter @brianmckeever

BACKGROUND Brian McKeever at the age of 19 was diagnosed with Stargardt disease, which also afflicted his father and is the most common form of juvenile macular degeneration. He started skiing at the age of 3 and began competing at the age of 12. Before being diagnosed with Stargardt’s disease, he had the opportunity to compete for Canada at Junior World Championships in Pontresina, Switzerland. Brian was introduced to blind Para-Nordic skiing by Kaspar Wirz, a coach on the Canadian Para-Nordic program. He has competed at 4 Paralympic games winning 10 gold medals, 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal. He was the first athlete to be named to an Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games team during the Vancouver 2010 games. In his first three Paralympic games, his brother Robin McKeever guided him. In 2012-13 he teamed up with a new guide, Eric Carleton, as his brother had become his coach and the head coach of the Canadian Para-Nordic program. After the 2014 Sochi Paralympic Games, Brian became the most decorated winter Paralympian in Canadian history. Full biography


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2014 Sochi - Paralympic 1km Sprint Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold

Sochi - Paralympic 10km Freestyle Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold Sochi - Paralympic 20km Freestyle Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold

Vancouver – Paralympic 10km Classic Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold Vancouver – Paralympic 20km Freestyle Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold

Torino – Paralympic 10km Classic Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold Torino – Paralympic 20km Classic Visually Impaired Men Para-Nordic Skiing Silver Torino – Paralympic 7.5km Individual Visually Impaired Men, Biathlon Bronze

Salt Lake City – Paralympic 10km Freestyle Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold Salt Lake City – Paralympic 20km Freestyle Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Silver

2010 Vancouver – Paralympic 1km Sprint Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold

2006 Torino – Paralympic 5km Freestyle Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold

2002 Salt Lake City – Paralympic 5km Classic Visually Impaired Men, Para-Nordic Skiing Gold


Para-Nordic, Head Coach Date Birth April 8, 1973 Birthplace Calgary, Alberta Residence Canmore, Alberta Paralympic History 2002, 2006, 2010 Olympic History 1998

BACKGROUND - ROBIN MCKEEVER Robin McKeever is the head coach of the Canadian Para-Nordic skiing team. He was also an 11 time Canadian cross-country champion who competed at the 1998 Olympic Winter games in Nagano. In 2001, he began guiding his brother Brian McKeever and officially became his guide at the Salt Lake IPC World Cup final. While guiding his brother Brian, the two won 7 gold, 2 silver and two bronze medals during the Salt Lake City, Torino and Vancouver Winter Paralympic Games. They also won numerous World championships and World Cups together. Following the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games, Robin was named as the head coach of the Para-Nordic team. He is now coaching his brother Brian McKeever. Full biography


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Whole-Body Vibration in the Sport Context: A commentary on the literature Nancy Rebel, MLIS

Director of Content Development, SIRC


n the athletic context, whole-body vibration refers to intentional vibration applied to the body in the training or recovery phase to elicit involuntary eccentric muscle contractions. “Whole-body vibration training involves an individual standing, sitting or laying on a vibrating platform performing static or dynamic exercise at various frequencies” 4.

Vibration is considered any motion that repeats itself after a given period of time. Vibrations can either be random or pre-determined, and are measured by frequency and amplitude. Frequency is the number of cycles per unit time and is typically measured in hertz (Hz). Amplitude is the half difference between the maximum and minimum value of the period oscillation4. It is suggested that to activate the muscles the most effectively, the vibration frequency should be between 30 to 50 Hz. For highly trained athletes, because of their advanced training status and neuromuscular adaptations, the lower range of whole-body vibration stimulus may not produce meaningful benefits. Rønnestad puts forward that trained athletes should aim for training frequencies at the 50Hz level to see effective results, however, any higher than this and muscle fatigue may cause an adverse effect9. Here we will take a look at what the research says about the application of whole-body vibration (WBV) for high performance athletes in the areas of power, strength, and postural control, and as a recovery tool.

Power Overall the research in this area clearly suggests that whole-body vibration is effective for long-term increases in power development for athletes. The first observation to be made is that the use of vertical vibration platforms show better changes in power development than oscillating platforms for long-term benefits 6. Acute benefits showed no positive impact for either type of platform and many claim the need for more research into this. The following parameters were described as impacting factors in the use of whole-body vibration for power development: • There is no significant difference between genders in chronic power adaptations6. • Age is a moderating factor in WBV. Benefits to power were seen most significantly under age 25. • Following most strength and power training principles, periodization and progression training are recommended for power adaptation to fully benefit from the training modality. • Mean training frequencies of 35-40Hz were most effective.


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• While more research is needed on higher amplitudes, long-term power development is most effective in amplitudes between 8-10mmp-p. It is noted however that larger body mass can dampen vibration amplitude and must be taken into consideration. • Total time of WBV training per session is observed to be optimal at the 360720 second range, however, more data is suggested in order to fully understand workout sets and total volume. Strength Much along the same lines as for power adaptations, research has been looking into the use of WBV training in terms of strength development. Much of the Research is still inconclusive or showing inconsistencies due to differing study methodologies. Some observations are being suggested that support the use of whole-body vibration as a complement to strength training. Studies do show that whole-body vibration should not be used as a replacement for regular strength training workouts7. And similar to the conclusion drawn for power adaptations, strength adaptations are seen more in the long-term than as an acute effect. Further studies are suggested before recommending specific training protocols.

Studies suggest that use of whole-body vibration after training aids in the prevention of muscle pain post-training for a variety of reasons including: • Stimulating skeletal blood flow 5 • Increasing metabolic waste disposal 2 • Inhibiting pain sensory receptors 8 Using whole-body vibration training before a workout may also help in the reduction of muscle damage. The theory is that by preactivating muscle systems, myofibrillar stress during repeated muscle contractions is reduced. This is evidenced by decreasing plasma creatine kinase levels post-exercise1. Further research needs to be done on the timing pre- and post-exercise to fully understand the most effective application for recovery benefits. Also acute evidence versus long-term benefits still need to be further studied. Postural Control Postural control and proprioception are important factors in injury prevention. Whole-body vibration training is being considered as a potential tool for increasing the effectiveness of training in this area. Early studies suggest positive effects postWBV training showing an improvement in balance and neuromuscular control after the protocol. Initial findings “suggest that WBV could be a good tool to improve the proprioceptive system”3. There are however disagreeing studies, so more research in this area is required. Recovery The human body is built to adapt to a variety of stimulus. Once a system adapts, it can “relax” into that new phase and start to plateau. In order for improvements in performance to occur the body needs to be given unaccustomed movements or intensities in order to challenge its systems. When these unaccustomed movements or intensities are introduced into training, especially eccentric contractions, muscle damage can occur. This is a common process in training principles such as overload, variety, periodization or increased volume (frequency, duration). Many athletes, coaches and trainers are now exploring whole-body vibration in an effort to aid in muscle recovery and the reduction/prevention of muscle soreness and damage.

Conclusion The research is still underway to fully understand the benefits and effectiveness of whole-body vibration applications. More is understood and agreed upon in the area of the long-term benefits of WBV, while acute adaptations still struggle to find consensus. On the whole, researchers admit that there are many variables that have to be tested when studying the effects of whole-body vibration training protocols in order for consistency of findings to be declared. However, as with any training modality, what is known shows that if used to improve the effectiveness of training, whole-body vibration training should be a progressive load, and include a change in training frequency, volume and intensity so as to increase the possibility of adaptation. ∆

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1. Aminian-Far A, Hadian M, Olyaei G, Talebian S, Bakhtiary A. Whole-Body Vibration and the Prevention and Treatment of Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness. Journal Of Athletic Training (National Athletic Trainers’ Association). January 2011;46(1):43-49. 2. Edge J, Mündel T, Weir K, Cochrane D. The effects of acute whole body vibration as a recovery modality following high-intensity interval training in well-trained, middle-aged runners. European Journal Of Applied Physiology. February 2009;105(3):421-428. 3. Fort A, Romero D, Bagur C, Guerra M. Effects of Whole-Body Vibration Training on Explosive Strength and Postural Control in Young Female Athletes. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). April 2012;26(4):926-936. 4. Kosar A, Candow D, Putland J. Potential Beneficial Effects of Whole-Body Vibration for Muscle Recovery after Exercise. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). October 2012;26(10):29072911. 5. Lohman, EB, Petrofsky, JS, Maloney-Hinds, C, Betts-Schwab, H, and Thorpe, D. The effect of whole body vibration on lower extremity skin blood flow in normal subjects. Medical Science Monitor. 2007 Feb;13(2):CR71-6 6. Marin P, Zarzuela R, García-López D, et al. Whole-body vibration as a method of recovery for soccer players. European Journal Of Sport Science. January 2012;12(1):2-8. 7. Preatoni E, Colombo A, Cardinale M, et al. The Effects of Whole-Body Vibration in Isolation or Combined with Strength Training in Female Athletes. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). September 2012;26(9):2495-2506. 8. Rhea M, Bunker D, Marín P, Lunt K. Effect of iTonic Whole-Body Vibration on Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness among Untrained Individuals. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). September 2009;23(6):1677-1682. 9. Rønnestad B. Acute Effects of Various WholeBody Vibration Frequencies on Lower-Body Power in Trained and Untrained Subjects. Journal Of Strength & Conditioning Research (Lippincott Williams & Wilkins). July 2009;23(4):1309-1315.




Video interview:


Robin McKeever & Canada’s Para Nordic Ski Team

Also inside: Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Plan to Win Stop Talking about Talent Whole-Body Vibration Effects of a Heat Acclimation Protocol



HP SIRCuit FALL 2014


HP SIRCuit FALL 2014


MUST READ... Read, Excel, Learn

IST Journal Club The goal of the IST Journal Club is to share ‘must reads’ on cutting edge performance based applications, training/competition variables, and proactive medical interventions, selected by performance service experts representing various professional disciplines associated with Integrated Support Teams. Too tight to give birth? Assessment of pelvic floor muscle function in 277 nulliparous pregnant women. Bø, Kari; Hilde, Gunvor; Jensen, Jette Stær; Siafarikas, Franziska; Engh, Marie Ellstrøm. International Urogynecology Journal. 2013,24(12);2065-2070.

Reviewed by Eugene Liang In line with Ferraro’s article in the Winter 2014 issue of SIRCuit that highlighted the current evidence and training recommendations for pregnancy and athletes, Bø and colleagues tackle a debated issue in pregnancy health. Pelvic floor strengthening exercises is a common prescription for prenatal health by health and fitness professionals. From Kegel to Pilates, some would argue that pelvic floor strengthening has become a movement in the perinatal health and fitness industry. However, there has been recent discussion and debate of the relationship between pelvic floor strength and increased rates of operative delivery or perineal tears. Recent literature has been limited by the objective measure of pelvic floor strength. The authors of the article address this issue by assessing pelvic floor function as three objective measures (vaginal resting pressure, pelvic floor strength and pelvic floor endurance) and comparing them to delivery outcomes.


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New Books @ SIRC SIRC, in collaboration with Human Kinetics, features four books of interest to high performance sport.

Running Mechanics and Gait Analysis Ferber, R. and Macdonald, S. (2014). Windsor, Ontario: Human Kinetics.

Designing Resistance Physiological Aspects Training Programs-4th of Sport Training and Edition Performance. 2nd Ed Fleck, S.J. and Kraemer, W.J. (2014). Windsor, Ontario: Human Kinetics.

The authors’ key finding is that vaginal resting pressure does prolong second stage labor. However, it, along with pelvic floor strength and endurance, has no adverse effect on delivery outcomes. As stated by Bø and colleagues, vaginal resting pressure is warranted for further study. ∆ Effects of 12 weeks high-intensity & reduced-volume training in elite athletes. Kilen, A., Larsson, T. H., Jørgensen, M., Johansen, L., Jørgensen, S., & Nordsborg, N. B. (2014). PloS One, 9(4), e95025.

Reviewed by Leo Thornley Kilen and colleagues looked at substituting some volume training for high intensity interval training (HIT) in forty one senior national level Danish swimmers. The athletes had at least 5 years of 8-16hrs/week of training, with an average weekly volume of 2060km and competed primarily in the 50-200m distance events. The training period was 12 weeks long and the HIT group did twice the high intensity work and half (17km) the volume of the Français

Hoffman, J. (2014). Windsor, Ontario: Human Kinetics.

Plyometrics Chu, D.A. and Myer, G.D. (2013). Windsor, Ontario: Human Kinetics.

control group (35km/wk). After the 12 weeks there was no difference in 100m performance time or physiological capacity between the two groups. This was done mid-season and shows that highly trained swimmers who were used to HIT training gained no additional benefit from this type of training at this point in the season. It also showed that there was no detriment (in 100m time) to drastically cutting the volume. ∆ Neuromuscular response differences to power vs strength back squat exercise in elite athletes. Brandon, R., Howatson, G., Strachan, F. and Hunter, A. M. (2014), Scandinavian Journal of Medicine & Science in Sports. [EPub ahead of print]

Reviewed by Matt Jordan In order to elicit optimal neuromuscular adaptations in the elite athlete, strength and power training is performed using a range of loads. Heavier loads emphasize the development of maximal strength whereas lighter loads lifted explosively may improve rate of force development and mechanical muscle

power to a greater extent. Despite the common practice of including heavy and light loads for improve muscle function very little is known about the acute effects of these different loading conditions on neuromuscular fatigue in elite athletes. To address this gap, this study evaluated the acute effects of heavy, moderate and light explosive back squat exercise on neuromuscular and mechanical muscle function in elite sprint athletes. Subjects performed baseline testing followed by 5 sets of 5 repetitions of back squat exercise with either a heavy, moderate or light load. Muscle measurements were obtained. Subjects then performed a second bound of 5 sets of 5 repetitions, which was followed by post-exercise measurements. Measurements included the central activation ratio, evoked twitch force, voluntary contractions of isometric knee extension and the vertical jump. The authors observed a differential neuromuscular response following back squat exercise using the three different loading conditions that suggests the light explosive loading elicited the least neuromuscular fatigue whereas the heavy explosive loading caused the most. However, the light explosive loading condition did not significantly increase neuromuscular recruitment during the training set. The authors suggest that the moderate loading condition may provide an optimal balance between neuromuscular recruitment and fatigue in the elite sprint athlete. ∆ Mental Toughness in Sport: Motivational Antecedents and Associations with Performance and Psychological Health. McCann S. Soccer Journal. July 2008;53(4):36-38.

Reviewed by Judy Goss The literature has taken particular interest in mental toughness over the last decade. Mental toughness is certainly a quality that athletes and coaches see as not only desirable but essential to high performance. Researchers have taken several different approaches to mental toughness describing it as: inherent and instinctive qualities that some athletes have and others don’t, a compilation of identifiable skills that can be taught, trained and developed and a mishmash of inherent and learn skills. Some researchers have started to focus on the multidimensionality of mental toughness as well as considering motivational and environmental factors such as coaching. This research examined the basic psychological needs theory which theorizes that

to optimize human functioning it is contingent on the degree to which individuals have 3 basic psychological needs satisfied: autonomy, competence and relatedness. The research found that psychological needs satisfaction is positively related to mental toughness. It also confirmed the hypothesis that coaches are pivotal in the environment that fosters mental toughness and that a coaching environment that is autonomy supportive facilitates mental toughness. This extends research that has found that coaching environments that nurture psychological needs is one way coaches contribute to the development of mental toughness. ∆ Considerations for protein intake in managing weight loss in athletes. Murphy CE, Hector AJ, & Phillips SM. European Journal of Sport Science. 2014.

Reviewed by Christine St. Clair In this review Murphy and colleagues highlight some of the recent literature supporting the ingestion of higher protein intakes in athletes to spare fat free mass when energy intakes are restricted. The authors recommend a target of 1.8-2.7g/ kg/day for athletes looking to achieve high quality weight loss, coupled with a moderate decrease in energy (-500kcal/day), and resistance exercise. Recent studies have demonstrated that subjects consuming higher protein intakes in this range show improvements in preserving fat free mass and increasing body fat loss. However, it was noted that this target should vary and depend on the athlete’s body composition, personal tolerance, and training regimen. In addition, the broader nutrition goals should also be taken into consideration. The article also addresses the importance of consuming higher quality protein sources (eg. meat, poultry, fish, milk, eggs, etc), consistent with research showing that 8-10g essential amino acids (20-25g of high quality protein) can stimulate muscle protein synthesis more effectively when consumed evenly throughout the day (4-5 times) . In addition, athletes should consume 0.25-0.3g/ kg of protein with a high leucine content (eg. whey protein or skimmed milk) post-exercise to further promote muscle synthesis. Overall, Murphy and colleagues address

the importance of higher protein targets than previously established to help achieve quality weight loss. However, additional research is needed to support exact targets for protein during energy restriction. ∆ Harnessing and Understanding Feedback Technology in Applied Settings. Phillips, E., Farrow, D., Ball, K., & Helmer, R. (2013). Sports Medicine, 43(10), 919-925.

Reviewed by Mathieu Charbonneau This opinion paper targets the daily practice of many stakeholders in high performance sport. It presents a general summary of challenges and best practice regarding the use and effect of feedback in sport practice. I read it as a reminder for a more informed use of feedback. As an example, they discuss realtime feedback effects on athletes’ learning and performance. The traditional gap between motor learning knowledge and technology development for biomechanical measurements is presented. After data collection and analysis, the next paramount step is to effectively feed athlete and coach with key information to promote integration and positive changes in performance. A good feedback system is presented as a tool to help an athlete to find stability in his own zone of execution and outcome. The individual athlete has to integrate which motion sequence is needed to obtain reproducible success. Accordingly, the message has to be managed depending on: expertise level, type of skill (cyclical/discrete), amount of intrinsic feedback available, objective of training (learning/retention) and even more. Feedback is mainly managed in terms of timing (when, how often) and content (what). Variables for feedback have to be: 1) the key variable related to improved performance, 2) able to be adjusted by the athlete and 3) measured accurately and reliably. Also, feedback technology must be accurate and relevant, appropriately timed and delivered, and decipherable by the athlete.

Read Learn Français

The authors admit that scientific literature on learning outcomes linked with feedback types is still sparse at this point in time. It’s a call for more specific research and integrated work! Sharing methodologies and approaches between sport science specialists will create a more efficient use of data and feedback. ∆ HP SIRCuit FALL 2014


Recommended Readings In our collaborative effort to bring you the latest research in high performance sport, Own The Podiums has selected specific areas of interest to coaches and trainers and SIRC has culled through our resources to provide access to recent research published within these areas.

Anti-Doping Acute Impact of Inhaled Short Acting B2Agonists on 5 Km Running Performance. Dickinson J, Jiu H, Chester N, Loosemore M, Whyte G. Journal Of Sports Science & Medicine. June 2014;13(2):271-279. Influence of Caffeine and Sodium Citrate Ingestion on 1,500-m Exercise Performance in Elite Wheelchair Athletes: A Pilot Study.Leonie Flueck J, Mettler S, Perret C. International Journal Of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism. June 2014;24(3):296-304. Investigation of Urinary Excretion of Hydroxyethyl Starch and Dextran by UHPLC-HRMS in Different Acquisition Modes. Esposito S, Deventer K, Van Eenoo P, et al. Biology Of Sport. June 2014;31(2):95-104. Urination Difficulties during Doping Controls: An Act of Rebellion? Elbe A, Brand R. Journal Of Clinical Sport Psychology. June 2014;8(2):204-214.

Health Canadian Academy of Sport and Exercise Medicine Position Statement: Athletes at High Altitude. Koehle M, Cheng I, Sporer B. Clinical Journal Of Sport Medicine. March 2014;24(2):120-127. Managing the health of the elite athlete: a new integrated performance health management and coaching model. Dijkstra H, Pollock N, Chakraverty R, Alonso J. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. April 2014;48(7):1-9.


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The IOC consensus statement: beyond the Female Athlete Triad--Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport (RED-S). Mountjoy M, Sundgot-Borgen J, Ljungqvist A, et al. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. April 2014;48(7):1-10.

Injury Prevention Challenges in Athletics injury and illness prevention: implementing prospective studies by standardised surveillance. Edouard P, Branco P, Alonso J. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. April 2014;48(7):481-482. Injuries in elite and recreational snowboarders. Wijdicks C, Rosenbach B, Hackett T, et al. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. January 2014;48(1):1-8. Injury rate and injury pattern among elite World Cup snowboarders: a 6-year cohort study. Major D, Steenstrup S, Bere T, Bahr R, Nordsletten L. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. January 2014;48(1):1-6. The evaluation of speed skating helmet performance through peak linear and rotational accelerations. Karton C, Rousseau P, Vassilyadi M, Hoshizaki T. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. January 2014;48(1):1-6.

General Conditioning Coaches’ and Players’ Perceptions of Training Dose: Not a Perfect Match. Brink M, P. Frencken W, Jordet G, P.M. Lemmink K. International Journal Of Sports Physiology & Performance. May 2014;9(3):497-502.


From Heart-Rate Data to Training Quantification: A Comparison of 3 Methods of Training-Intensity Analysis. Sylta Ø, Tønnessen E, Seiler S. International Journal Of Sports Physiology & Performance. January 2014;9(1):100-107. No Association Between tHbmass and Polymorphisms in the HBB Gene in Endurance Athletes. MalczewskaLenczowska J, Orysiak J, Sitkowski D, et al. Biology Of Sport. June 2014;31(2):115-119. The 30-15 Intermittent Fitness Test Versus the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1: Relationship and Sensitivity to Training. Buchheit M, Rabbani A. International Journal Of Sports Physiology & Performance. May 2014;9(3):522-524.

Psychology Mindfulness and Flow in Elite Athletes. Cathcart S, McGregor M, Groundwater E. Journal Of Clinical Sport Psychology. June 2014;8(2):119-141. Moving out of Sports: A Sociocultural Examination of Olympic Career Transitions. Barker D, Barker-Ruchti N, Rynne S, Lee J. International Journal Of Sports Science & Coaching. April 2014;9(2):255-270. Personal Qualities of Effective Sport Psychologists: A Sports Physician Perspective. Chandler C, Eubank M, Nesti M, Cable T. Physical Culture & Sport. Studies & Research. June 2014;61(1):28-38.

Olympic Performance Learning New Genetic Model for Predicting Phenotype Traits in Sports. Massidda M, Scorcu M, Cal C. International Journal Of Sports Physiology & Performance. May 2014;9(3):554-560. The Power-to-Weight Relationships and Efficiency Improvements of Olympic Champions in Athletics, Swimming and Rowing. Stefani R. International Journal Of Sports Science & Coaching. April 2014;9(2):271-286.


Please join us for the 8th Annual Sport Canada Research Initiative Conference


October 30, 2014

Brookstreet Hotel, Kanata, ON Visit for more details


presented by

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Calendar For more events, check out the SIRC Conference Calendar.

October October 24-26

SPIN Summit 2014, Montreal, Québec Ophea Healthy Schools Conference 2014, Toronto, Ontario 2nd International Congress on Sport Sciences Research and Technology, Rome, Italy

October 30

8th Annual Sport Canada Research Initiative Conference, Kanata, ON

October 30-31

12th International Symposium for Olympic Research, London, Ontario

October 7-9 October 16-17

November November 1-3 November 6-8 November 7-9

Making Sense of: Play 3rd Global Conference, Oxfordshire, United Kingdom Petro-Canada Sport Leadership sportif Conference, Ottawa, Ontario Play for Life: One Vision for Quality Sport & Physical Activity, Kingston, Ontario

December December 4-5

ICPESS 2014: International Conference on Physical Education and Sport Science,

December 4-6

Sport and Leisure Management: Tendencies and Challenges, Kaunas, Lithuania International Sports Convention, Geneva, Switzerland The Sport Tourism Conference STC’14, Coimbra, Portugal

December 10-12 December 10-12

Penang, Malaysia

January January 13-15 January 27-29

The 2015 Sports Science Summit, London, United Kingdom Canadian Sport for Life National Summit, Gatineau, Quebec

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HP SIRCuit Fall 2014

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Hpsircuit fall 2014  
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