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For Canadian Olympic and Paralympic Coaches, Sport Scientists, and Health Care Professionals Volume 1, Issue 1

April 2010

First gold medal on Canadian soil:




The world’s leading sport information resource for coaches, clubs and sport practitioners.

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SIRCuit April 2010



elcome to the first issue of the High Performance SIRCuit. SIRC is Canada’s national sport information resource centre and we are pleased to be working together with Own the Podium (OTP), Sport Canada and leading coaching, sport science and medicine experts across Canada to provide a new electronic, multi-media publication (e-journal) that will highlight some of the latest and most useful resources. To achieve excellence and podium results in sport our high performance coaches need to continue to learn. A plethora of studies and new research are published every day and it is a challenge to know what is available, to locate the material and sometimes the most challenging part is to find the time to read. This e-journal incorporates highly relevant articles as well as video tutorials, interviews and podcasts to enhance the learning experience. To assist in this knowledge transfer Dr. Jon Kolb, Director of Sport Science, Medicine and Technology, Own the Podium, the National Sport Science and Medicine Advisory Council (NSMAC) and the information specialists from SIRC have identified some key topics, resources and conferences that our Canadian high performance experts should be aware of as they train our athletes to compete on the world stage. Of particular interest in this issue you will learn about the Sport Specific Movement Assessment, Nutrition and Body Composition, Maximal Power Output, as well as information on compression garments. The High Performance SIRCuit is intended be a quarterly bilingual publication that will help coaches, sport scientists and sports medicine professionals advance their knowledge and stay in touch with the latest research. We hope you find the information helpful and look forward to receiving your feedback. Best wishes, Debra Gassewitz President & CEO SIRC

Dr. Jon Kolb, OTP, talks with Debra Gassewitz, SIRC, about their exciting new joint venture, High Performance SIRCuit, an interactive experience designed for high performance coaches.

To give your feedback, click HERE Editor Design Director Design team Content Director Contributing Editor

Debra Gassewitz David Roberts Kim Sparling Ryan Harasym Nancy Rebel Dr. Jon Kolb, OTP


Matt Jordan Trent Stellingwerff Bruce Craven

Special thanks

Lane MacAdam, Sport Canada Jaimie Earley, Sport Canada

Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) is Canada’s national sport library, established over 35 years ago.

Contents Performance 4

Maximal Power Output

Sport Innovation 9 9

Streamlining the time trial apparel of cyclists: the Nike Swift Spin project Application of Altitude/Hypoxic Training by Elite Athletes

Competitive Intelligence

Mailing address: SIRC 180 Elgin Street, suite 1400 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2P 2K3 Tel: +1 (613) 231-7472 Fax: +1 (613) 231-3739

Proactive & Preventative Medicine

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.


Copyright © 2010 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.


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12 13 14

The Effectiveness of Compression Garments

Nutrition and Body Composition: Periodisation for Elite Athletes The Sport Specific Movement Assessment

From the SIRC Collection Ask SIRC Upcoming Events 3

SIRCuit April 2010

Performance Training and Design Variables for Performance Enhancement

Maximal Power Output by Matt Jordan, M.Sc.,CSCS


For Matt Jordan’s bio

ower is defined mathematically as the work produced per unit of time and is measured in Watts (W). The power equation can also be written as the product of force and velocity (i.e. Power = Force x Velocity). Scientific investigations and practical experience have revealed that maximal power output is an important strength quality for many sports. Not only is maximal power production critical for shorter more sprint oriented events but it is also important for endurance athletes, as improving maximal power output can positively affect economy of motion. Interestingly, maximal power is also positively associated with functionality for the elderly. In layman’s terms, power is the ability to produce muscular force quickly and this strength quality is extremely important for health and athletic performance.

Athlete Testing for Power Typically, the power generating ability of an athlete is assessed during dynamic movements such as jumping using various sensors that measure force, position or velocity (Video 1). While the differences between the measuring techniques and mathematical calculations are beyond the scope of this article, it should be mentioned that both could affect the data collection process, and should be carefully controlled and understood prior to power testing. In order to make relevant inter- and intra-individual comparisons, power testing is often made relevant to bodyweight. Table 1 provides typical absolute and relative power measurements for elite athletes.

CLICK HERE be required to execute powerful movements with heavier loads (e.g. a suplex) or under lighter load conditions (e.g. the shoot). Furthermore, because power is a product of force and velocity, a loaded power test can help the coach determine whether a resistance training program should focus on the force or velocity end of the equation. Figure 1 depicts a loaded power test for three athletes to illustrate the differences in the shape and slope of the curves. Interpretation of the curves is based on the inverse relationship that exists between the force and velocity produced during a muscle contraction. Careful interpretation of the load power relationship along with consideration of additional training information provides further evidence for biasing a resistance training program more towards the development of maximal strength, power or plyometrics. The loaded power test is a good starting point when designing a resistance training program focused on power development. Not only does the power test provide an opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of the training program but it can also provide helpful information for training prescription. While there has been a considerable amount of information written on program design for power development, there still remains great variation in how training programs are actually designed. The methods used by most strength coaches to improve maximal power output range from the well documented to those, which are less well documented scientifically, but have proven to be extremely effective in a training environment.

The ability to produce maximal power or peak power can further Training Program Variables be evaluated by performing a series of jumps with a progressively increasing external load. This test, which is called the loaded Classically, methods to develop maximal power have included: power test, provides the (1) a combination of coach with information heavy resistance training Body Mass Absolute Peak Relative Peak Gender on the athlete’s ability protocols geared towards (kg) Power (W) Power (W/kg) to produce power under the development of various external loading maximal strength and high conditions. This is velocity movements such as Male 89.8 5852.1 65.1 important for sports in plyometrics (Video 2); (2) which the movements the use of moderately heavy occur under changing loads lifted explosively (e.g. Female 63.4 3700.5 55.4 load conditions such Olympic style weightlifting, as a wrestler who may jump squats) (Video 3); Table 1. A gender comparison of absolute and relative peak power values produced during a squat jump with bodyweight for elite long track speed skaters


SIRCuit April 2010

(3) the use of heavy loads and sport specific high velocity training (e.g. maximal strength development and sprinting); (4) some combination of all of these strategies. It is clear that the adaptations that occur in response to different training regimes are quite specific (Figure 2). A study comparing the load versus power relationship in athletes who train with heavy loads and low velocities (powerlifters), moderately heavy loads and high velocities (Olympic style lifters), high velocities (sprinters), and control subjects demonstrated that there is a significant difference in peak power, peak velocity and jump height depending upon training history (McBride et al., 1999). Sprinters were able to achieve excellent vertical jump heights with a training regime that constituted the use of maximal strength and plyometrics but the Olympic lifters, who consistently trained with high force and high velocity movements, were better able to express peak power at almost all load conditions. Conversely, the powerlifters, who trained primarily with high force and low velocities, scored poorly

on all measures of explosive ability and jump height. Not only does this study provide evidence that training methods to develop power should be closely aligned with the specific demands of a sport but it also provides some evidence on the effectiveness of common training methods for power development.

Design and Implementation When designing a program to develop power, it is useful to have a system to classify the different loading conditions under which power is expressed (Table 2). The program design for power development is best done using a combination of the loading strategies outlined in Table 2. In fact, the true art of power development may rest in the careful choice and sequencing of the loading parameters and exercise choice. The first common design for a power training program is a

Figure 1. A comparison of the loaded power curves for three athletes. Athlete 1 is a typical profile. Athlete 2 requires greater emphasis on plyometrics and loaded power training. Athlete 3 requires emphasis on plyometric training.


SIRCuit April 2010

polarized approach. In this approach the program emphasizes speed-power and maximal strength development. The general philosophy behind this approach is to directly influence the force and velocity component of the power equation using distinct and separate loading conditions. A second approach is to use high force/high velocity movements that focus primarily on power-strength and strength-power development. This type of training is very comparable to the strategies employed by Olympic style weightlifters, and from the data presented in Figure 2, it is clear this can be an extremely effective approach. The only limitation to this approach is that Olympic style weightlifting is a very technical movement and most athletes require a relatively large amount of coaching and practice before the movements can be executed safely and effectively. An additional strategy to optimize the development of power involves capitalizing on certain physiological and biomechanical responses of the neuromuscular system to brief and intense resistance exercise. In short, a muscle contraction is dependent upon what has occurred in the recent history, and force production can either be diminished (i.e. fatigue) or augmented (i.e. post-activation potentiation). Coaches and athletes may be familiar with potentiation as it is often described as a feeling of extra “snap” or “explosiveness”. Intuitively, many coaches employ potentiating strategies when contrasting loads are used in training (e.g. heavy squats followed by jumps). Post-activation potentiation (PAP) occurs almost immediately following the potentiating activity, which is often referred to as the conditioning activity (CA). PAP occurs in a matter of seconds, and based on the evidence, the optimal time frame to capitalize on the effects of PAP appears to be a matter of minutes to a few hours. While there is some contradiction in the loading conditions and timing between what is observed in the basic science literature on PAP, and what is observed in a more applied setting, it is clear it can augment the production of muscle power (Hodgson et al., 2005).

Figure 2. A comparison of peak power with various loads between Power Lifters (PL: train primarily with heavy loads and low velocities), Olympic Lifters (OL: train with heavy loads and high velocities), Sprinters (S: train with high velocities) and Control (C). (Reproduced from McBridet et al., 1999).

There are several important considerations when employing PAP strategies: 1. The coach should experiment with PAP to determine an individual’s response to this form of training. Typically, athletes with a greater percentage of fast twitch motor units and a more substantial training history will respond better to PAP training methods. In order to determine an individual’s responsiveness to PAP, the coach can simply measure performance before and after the CA. 2. The loading conditions need to be carefully selected. As discussed above, fatigue and PAP co-exist. It is critical that the CA not induce fatigue otherwise performance will be diminished. Most often, the optimal load for the CA is in the intensity zone of strength-power (Table 2).

Table 2. Classification of loading parameters and modalities for development of power. Speed-Power




Maximal Strength

Load (% 1RM)







Jumps, Plyometrics, Med Ball Throws

Loaded Jumps, Loaded Throws, Med Ball Throws

Loaded Jumps, Loaded Throws, Olympic Lifts

Olympic Lifts, Kinetically Modified Lifts

Traditional Lifts













Rest (Seconds)







SIRCuit April 2010

Again, those who are more well-trained will be able to handle a greater number of sets and higher intensities.

3. The timing of the CA needs to be carefully selected. Unpublished data suggest the optimal timing to be a matter of minutes (1.5-2.0 minutes) if using the CA immediately before a high velocity movement or hours (2-6 hours) if the CA is preceding sport specific exercise.

In summary, maximal power output is a very important strength quality for athletes. There are several ways to assess maximal power output, and an assessment can not only provide important evaluative information but also help the coach with training program design. There are some aspects of training program design that are grounded in science however, the true art of optimizing power development requires some experimentation and careful selection of the appropriate loading strategy and loading parameters. Both depend heavily upon an athlete’s training history and sport specific requirements.

For further details

on athlete testing, design and implementation of specific protocols related to enhancing power output, consider the following options: 1. 2.

Consult your team strength & conditioning/physiology expert Contact the Canadian Sport Centre associated with your daily training environment Canadian Sport Centres (Click on the link to go to the Centre)


Hodgson M, Docherty D, Robbins D. Post-activation potentiation. Underlying physiology and implications for motor performance. Sports Medicine 2005; 35(7): 585-595.

• • • • • • •

McBride JM, Tripplet-McBride T, Davie A, Newton RU. A comparison of strength and power characteristics between power lifters, Olympic lifters and sprinters. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 1999; 13(1): 58-66.


Canadian Sport Centre - Pacific Canadian Sport Centre - Calgary Canadian Sport Centre - Saskatchewan Canadian Sport Centre - Manitoba Canadian Sport Centre - Ontario Centre National Multisport - Montreal Canadian Sport Centre - Atlantic

Contact the author of this article.

Maximal power Output video clips Advanced Plyometric Exercise

Loaded Jump Squat Test

An elite speed skater performing a short contact drop jump, which is an advanced plyometric exercise.

Athlete performing loaded jump squat test on force plates with a position transducer attached to the barbell.


SIRCuit April 2010

High performance at its peak

Visit our website to find out more about Canada’s efforts to own the podium


SIRCuit April 2010

Sport Innovation Streamlining the time trial apparel of cyclists: the Nike Swift Spin project Len Brownlie, Chester Kyle, Jorge Carbo, et al. Sports Technology (2009) 2: 53-60 Commentary by Andrea Wooles; Science and Medicine Coordinator, Canadian Cycling Association.


an you lose the Tour de France (or any other race) by a ponytail? It turns out that you can. In the article by Brownlie et al (2009), the impact of aerodynamics on performance is explained clearly, pointing out that in high-speed events about 90% of the resistance comes from aerodynamic drag, and specifically in cycling about 2/3 of that is from the human body. Once an aerodynamic position on the bike is optimized, the biggest remaining reductions in drag can be made by the skinsuit. The authors follow this up with a detailed description of the process they went through to design the Nike Swift Spin suit, which provides some key insights into how they developed a suit that was worn by athletes who set four World records, six Olympic records, and won seven medals. A few key lessons are outlined in this article; 1. Don’t judge a skinsuit by how it looks, make decisions based on well-conducted wind tunnel tests, 2. Custom fit all skinsuits for major competitions, even if they’re not ‘high-tech’ suits, 3. Consider streamlining the aerodynamic profile of clothing even in sports where this hasn’t traditionally been done, 4. Hire a good expert if you are going to try to develop a custom suit for your sport. There is a lot of technical data in this article that will be useful if

you do embark on custom skinsuit design (or other aero clothing or equipment), however an experienced aerodynamicist and wind tunnel engineer will likely be able to help considerably with the interpretation. Through support by Own The Podium’s Top Secret Program, many of our Canadian Winter Olympic high performance sports utilized aerodynamic custom clothing and equipment innovations for Vancouver/ Whistler 2010. Looking ahead to London 2012, Olympic bound Coaches and support teams should consider discussing with Own The Podium the possibilities for performance impact of clothing design on their sport, even (and especially) if this hasn’t traditionally been done in their event. As the authors point out, “resulting improvements in performance require neither changes in the athletic training regime or technique and are in a sense ‘free’ speed”. To order original article CLICK HERE

Application of Altitude/ Hypoxic Training by Elite Athletes Randall L. Wilber Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise (2007) 39(9): 1610-1624. Commentary by Dr. David J. Smith; Director, of Sport Science – CSCC and Professor, Human Performance Laboratory – University of Calgary


he use of altitude training/ exposure began in the 1960’s as athletes and coaches prepared to compete in the 1968 Olympic Games which were held in Mexico City at an elevation of 2,300 m. At the games, the altitude favored short duration events and had a significant predictable negative effect on middle and long-distance running events except for athletes who lived permanently at altitude. However,


coaches and sport scientists recognized the potential use of altitude interventions for sealevel performance. Randy Wilber, PhD, senior sport physiologist, at the US Olympic Training Centre in Colorado Springs, CO, has spent many years conducting research studies on altitude/hypoxic training and has worked directly with coaches who use altitude in preparation of their athletes for international events. The purpose of his paper is to describe the practical application of altitude/hypoxic training as used by elite athletes. Altitude training has always been a controversial topic for providing athletes with the “competitive edge” of 1% or 2% improvement in performance. In this paper, both anecdotal and scientific evidence is presented for 3 primary altitude models: 1) live high/train high; 2) live high/train low; and 3) live low/ train high. Dr. Wilber discusses various environments including natural altitude, simulated altitude, and the use of supplemental oxygen in combination with hypoxic living. This paper is a comprehensive summary of the status of altitude/hypoxic living and training in different environments, but only provides general information regarding effects. The majority of the cited literature report only mean data as to the effect or noneffect of different altitude situations. Furthermore, it does not cover the individual athlete response that is known to occur as well as training protocols used . However, the article will give coaches an excellent understanding of the different approaches to altitude training/hypoxic environments used in preparation for sea-level performance.

To order original article CLICK HERE SIRCuit April 2010

Competitive Intelligence


nowledge can give an athlete the competitive edge. Competitive intelligence equips coaches, sport scientists and practitioners with the latest information that may assist in the quest to put an athlete on the podium. SIRC receives thousands of publications from around the world each year ranging from peer reviewed journals to practical guides and our information specialists are constantly reviewing and indexing the various articles. There have been a lot of questions and research about compression garments in sport and SIRC is pleased to provide a commentary on the recent literature.

The Effectiveness of Compression Garments in Sport


A Commentary on the Literature by Nancy Rebel, Director of Library Services, SIRC

here has been a lot of talk in recent years about the use of compression garments to improve performance and recovery in sport. Whether the intentions stem from style, performance enhancement, recovery or from injury prevention, compression garments have created a new niche in the sporting goods and apparel marketplace. Originally compression garments were designed and developed for use in therapeutic medicine. It was extrapolated that many of its therapeutic benefits were also applicable in the exercise and sporting environment. Research began to show interest in examining the impacts of compression garments for use in exercise. Consequently there is more and more anecdotal and research evidence that suggests that compression garments can enhance exercise performance. However evidence of their effects on sport performance warrants further investigation. This article aims to compile the research in the area of compression garment effectiveness in exercise and sport and to summarize some of the findings. What we can identify from the literature are several common themes in terms of

the applications of compression garments in exercise and sport performance. Areas studied in the research on sport and compression garment use include the following: • muscle physiology (fatigue and power production) • circulation • thermoregulation • recovery from exercise or sport • injury prevention • placebo effect

Muscle Physiology Research examines the effects of compression garments on muscles from two perspectives: performance and fatigue. In general, research seems to indicate that compression garments: warm the muscles and increase their flexibility; decrease muscle fatigue; aid in the generation of power and torque; and dampen muscle vibrations. In terms of performance, one study found that in sports where explosive power is required, fatigued athletes in spandex shorts had a 10 to 20% average improvement in force and power in their legs. Other studies 10

This article is also available as a podcast, click here to listen

indicate that compression shorts enhanced repetitive jump power by reducing muscle oscillation, improving proprioception and increasing resistance to fatigue. It is also suggested that the tight fit and elastic nature of the compression garment aids in torque production around the hip joint in the flexion and extension range of motion during sprinting.

Circulation Traditional uses of compression garments have been in the treatment of various circulatory conditions. Consequently it has been extrapolated that the use of compression garments for circulatory benefits in sport would aid in enhancing performance. Studies have shown that compression garments used in athletic performance increase blood flow velocity and improve blood circulation. Unsubstantiated observations suggest that the circulatory effects (increased stroke volume and cardiac output) of the use of compression garments may improve endurance performance.

SIRCuit April 2010

Thermoregulation Another consideration when investigating compression garments is to take a look at how they are worn. More often than not these garments are worn underneath normal playing attire during sports and exercise. This practice lends itself to an examination of the effects of these garments and layering of clothing on the regulation of body heat during exertion and recovery post-exertion. In studies there seems to be two ways of looking at the thermoregulatory effects of compression clothing. Firstly there have been observations of an increased rate of warm-up to the muscles and skin. Secondly, there is examination of the effects of compression clothing on core body temperature and performance, including a study that investigates whether wearing compression garments as a base layer could possibly increase heat storage. In the second case, findings suggest that during ambient temperatures wearing compression garments as a base layer had no benefits or detrimental effects on core temperature, physiological performance or dehydration. However, there did appear to be higher sweat rates when wearing the added compression garment layer. More research is required before significant conclusions can be drawn. What may be noted was that during the studies on core temperature there was higher skin temperature which may in the end more affect individual preference for wearing compression clothing under playing attire.

Recovery Much of the above described research looks at the effectiveness of wearing compression garments during sport or exercise. Many studies also examine the benefits of wearing compression garments during or during and postexertion to aid in recovery. Often it has

been found that there is no difference in many of the recovery indications (blood lactate concentrations, oxygen consumption, and heart rate) between those who wore compression garments during exercise and those that wore them during and post-exercise. What is also observed is that there needs to be more studies examining the effects of wearing the compression clothing solely during the recovery time period. While it is clear that lower blood lactate concentrations have been observed during exercise and recovery, in general it is still unclear as to the true effectiveness of wearing compression clothing solely for the purpose of aiding or speeding recovery after exercise or sport exertion.

Injury prevention Along with the physiological effects of compression garments on performance observations have been made to support the benefits of tight clothing on preventing injuries. In particular studies have seen less muscular damage associated with compression garment use during and post-exertion. And while there is not significant evidence of improved recovery from fatiguing exercise, there are frequent self-reports of reduced muscle soreness with compression clothing use. Besides the muscle damage and soreness prevention, evidence also suggests that the tight clothing helps in the support of joints and muscles in the prevention of injury to these structures. Finally, skin abrasions and chaffing are reduced with the use of these types of clothing.

Placebo effect An interesting observation has been made of anecdotal evidence of a placebo effect on some athletes. There has been self-reported improvement of skill level, less fatigue, or a general sense of improved performance when 11

wearing compression clothing. Much the same as how technical improvement in equipment often produces perceived improvement in performance, perhaps these observations suggest a need for investigation into the psychological effects of compression garments.

Conclusion While there seems to be evidence that compression garments have their applications in the sporting environment data supporting the use of compression garments for recovery and performance enhancement appears to be in need of further research. In particular it is recommended that sport specific studies and those dealing specifically with the elite athlete population are required to further elaborate upon the physiological impact of compression garment use in this context. References: Chase A. Tight Lines. Running Times. March 2009;(364):46-47. Conrad K. Killer Crossover. Sporting Goods Dealer. August 2009;1(4):30-32. Gustafson R. The effect of compression shorts on time to fatigue. Clinical Kinesiology. Summer 1998;52(2):42-45. Reynolds, Tim (Translator) (2010). Craft’s Speedsuit Will Give Sweden Olympic Medals. Retrieved from the Internet, March 3, 2010 Looking For A Good Squeeze? Windy City Sports. May 2009:42. For more articles on Compression Garments in Sport CLICK HERE

SIRCuit April 2010

From the SIRC Collection When 30,000 articles cross your desk you start to notice trends as well as the research that seems particularly strategic. We are pleased to highlight some of the key articles in various topics that have attracted our attention.

Coaching Mindsets: Developing talent through a growth mindset, Carol S. Dweck (2009)

Olympic Coach (USOC), Winter 2009; 21(1): 4-7.

Developing a self-reliant athlete, Catherine Sellers (2009) Olympic Coach (USOC), Winter 2009; 21(1): 10-11.

Equipment/Clothing Using GPS technology to monitor intensity, speed, and training volume in outdoor athletes, Richard J. Karboviak

(2005) Strength & Conditioning Journal, April 2005; 27(2): 24-25.

General Conditioning The Modern Approach. S. Woolmer (2008) SportEX Dynamics. (16):19-21.

Performance determining physiological factors in the luge start, Hans-Peter Platzer, Christian Raschner & Carson Patterson (2009) Journal of Sports Sciences, February 2009; 27(3): 221-226.

Health & Nutrition Vitamin D: An Updated for the Sports Medicine Practitioner. B. Hamilton and H.

Chalabi (2010) SportEX Medicine. (43):11-16.

Nutrition, sleep and recovery, Shona L. Halson, (2008) European Journal of Sport Science, March 2008; 8(2): 119-126.

Olympic Performance Learning Peaking for optimal performance: Research limitations and future directions, David B. Pyne, Inigo Mujika, Thomas Reilly, (2009) Journal of Sports Sciences; 27(3):195-202.

Talent identification and deliberate programming in skeleton: Ice novice to Winter Olympian in 14 months,

N. Bullock, J. Gulbin, D. Martin, A. Ross, T. Holland, & F. Marino, (2009) Journal of Sports Sciences; 27(4):397-404.

Periodisation ‘Periodisation’ explained. D. French (2008) SportEX Dynamics. (16):6.

The basis of modern training process periodization in high-performance athletes for year preparation, Vladimir Platonov, (2006) Research Yearbook; 12(2): 176-180

LTAD Athlete development in ski racing: Perceptions of coaches and parents,

Danielle E. Black & Nicholas L. Holt, (2009) International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching; 4(2): 245-260.

Physiological Changes of the Young Athlete and the Effects on Sports Performance. C. Williams (2007) SportEX Medicine (31):6-11.

For more articles of interest, click here


SIRCuit April 2010


Question: Dear SIRC; I hear SIRC has some great newsletters, how do I sign up to receive them?

To receive the SIRC newsletter sign up at

Answer: SIRC is pleased to provide you with a selection of SIRC newsletters and policy reports containing articles from the over 9 million pages of sport related material located in the SIRC collection. Want to receive more resources on sports and fitness?


Please click the images on the right to see previous newsletters or check out our Online Resources.

Question: Dear SIRC Librarian: I am looking for information on how to identify if my athlete has a concussion and when they can start playing again. Do you have any suggestions on where to look?


Answer: Thank you for emailing SIRC with you question regarding concussion. There is a variety of materials available to you on this topic. The SIRC Concussion Newsletter as well as the injury section in SIRC’s online resource webpage contains informative articles that can start you off. I am also including links to concussion symptoms, return-to-play guidelines, the Canadian Academy of Sport Medicine (CASM) position statement and discussion paper on Head Injuries and Concussions in Soccer, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) consensus statement on concussion, and references to full text research on concussion.


If you would like more documents on this topic or have any questions or concerns, please contact us again.


SIRCuit April 2010

Upcoming Events

For more events, check out the SIRC Conference Calendar. Click on the “month” below to see all events for that month.



The International Multisport Coaching Conference 24 April 2010, Dublin, Ireland

International Sport Science & Sports Medicine Conference 19-21 August 2010, NewCastle Upon Tyne, England


Sport Science and Sport Medicine Conference “Maximising Gymnastics Performance Through Science And Medicine” 29-30 April 2010, Melbourne, Australia

BASES (British Association of Sport & Exercise Sciences) 2010 Annual Conference 6-8 September 2010, University of Glasgow, Scotland



10th Annual International Conference on Sports: Economic, Management, Marketing & Social Aspects 7-10 May 2010, Athens, Greece

Sport Canada Research Initiative (SCRI) Conference October 2010, Ottawa, Ontario

XXXI FIMS Sports Medicine World Congress 19-22 May 2010, San Juan, Puerto Rico

ICST 2010 - 7th International Conference on Strength Training 28 - 30 October 2010, Bratislava, Slovakia

Scholar, Athlete, Activist: A Celebration in Honour of Bruce Kidd Academic Symposium 25 May 2010, Toronto, Ontario

42nd annual meeting of the Canadian Society for Psychomotor Learning and Sport Psychology/Société Canadienne D’Apprentissage Psychomoteur et de Psychologie du Sport (SCAPPS) 28-30 October 2010, Ottawa, Ontario

June World Congress on Exercise is Medicine 1-5 June 2010, Baltimore, Maryland ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) 2010 Annual Meeting 2-5 June 2010, Baltimore Maryland Physical Therapy 2010 16-19 June 2010, Boston, MA ECSS (European College of Sport Science) 2010 Annual Congress 23-26 June 2010, Antalya, Turkey ISSN (International Society of Sports Nutrition) 2010 Annual Conference 24-26 June 2010, Clearwater Beach, Florida

The SPort INnovation (SPIN) Summit 17-18 November 2010, Ottawa, Ontario

November CSEP (Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology) 2010 3-5 November 2010, Hyatt Regency Toronto on King, Toronto, ON 2010 Petro-Canada Sport Leadership Conference - Ottawa 18-21 November 2010, Ottawa, ON



5th International Congress on Science and Skiing 12-19 December 2010, St. Christoph am Arlberg, Austria

NSCA (National Strength & Conditioning Association) 2010 National Conference 14-17 July 2010, Swan Dolphin Resort, Orlando FL

January FIVB Volleyball Medicine Congress 13-15 January 2011, Bled, Slovenia


SIRCuit April 2010

Proactive & Preventative Medicine Nutrition and Body Composition Periodisation for Elite Athletes

By Dr. Trent Stellingwerff, PhD Nestlé Research Center Senior Scientist Physical Performance & Mobility Research Group

Athletics Canada Performance Nutrition/Exercise Physiology Consultant

For Trent Stellingwerff’s bio CLICK HERE

Authors Quote:

“For elite athletes the difference between winning and just making a final is often less than a few percentage points. However, realising optimal body composition (e.g. power to weight ratio, lean muscle mass) is an important factor dictating a best possible periodised ‘peak’ at a major championship. This review will examine scientific data, coupled with practical experiences, to provide a framework with workable examples on the best way to approach this key factor in elite sport performance success.”


onsiderable media attention is given to the hundreds of different purported diet and weight loss solutions, and there are as many studies examining the interaction between dieting and weight loss, but primarily in overweight and obese subjects. There is also considerable cross-sectional

body composition data demonstrating the overwhelming importance of optimising body composition in elite athletes. Across the entire range of sports, athletes’ body types and body compositions are genetically predisposed and adapted via training within the continuum of three main body types of

Figure 1. General overview of different body types, performance characteristics and associated body composition measurements in elite athletes.

BW = body weight; %BF = percent body fat; ** Outlier sports featuring weight class or an aesthetic component Data adapted from: (4, 7, 20)


SIRCuit April 2010

Endo-, Meso- and Ectomorph – and the typical respective sportspecific body weight and body composition standards (Fig 1).

and upright, and who’s neural firing patterns are on the order of milli-seconds, respectively.)

For athletes, realising a very low body fat percentage, an increased power to weight ratio and optimal aesthetics (e.g. synchronised swimming / figure skating) can all lead to significant performance increases. However, for elite athletes and coaches, very little scientific information exists on how best to approach this key factor for performance. This report will examine the limited scientific data, coupled with practical experiences, to provide a framework with workable examples on the best way to approach this key factor in elite sport performance success. It will focus on methods and techniques in assisting athletes and their individual integrated support teams (ISTs) to realise an optimal and lean physique in a periodised fashion.

Thus, for many elite athletes approaching the right side of Figure 1, where a high relative importance of body composition and weight help drive sporting success, a consistent monitoring program should be in place and, ideally, be coordinated by an appropriately trained and educated IST member. By measuring and assessing these parameters over time, one can truly see if they are making ideal periodised changes in their body weight, body fat percentage and in their muscle girths/circumference (Fig 2) to result in optimised performance.

Weight loss versus altering body composition – need for monitoring Although linked, body weight (kg or pounds) is different than body composition (% body fat, height, limb girths etc.) – and these two components should be considered independently. Body weight is self-explanatory, while optimising body composition focuses on loosing body fat, while concurrently maintaining or minimising the loss of lean muscle mass. For example, despite the fact that 2000m rowers and athletics 1500m runners both compete at nearly maximal energy provision for close to the same amount of time (~4 to 6 min), the types of body compositions that dictate success are fundamentally different between these sports. Therefore, rowers and middle-distance athletes are separated according to power endurance (less weight dependant) and strut endurance (more weight dependant), respectively (Fig 1). (N.B. The terminology of power vs. strut endurance athletes capture an emerging vernacular among sport scientists to differentiate between aerobic endurance athletes who are either somewhat weight supported, and who’s neural firing patterns are slower and on the order of seconds, versus strut endurance athletes who are completely weight dependant

There are several methods to monitor weight and body composition highlighted in table 1. The first three are the easiest and most widely used. If a well-trained person who can do skinfolds is available, this can still be an easy and inexpensive way to track body composition. Bio-impedance analysis (BIA) scales can now be purchased at relatively low cost, which will also give a reading of % body fat, along with weight. However, for elite athletes at the extremes of body composition measurements (e.g. extremely low % body fat) the measured % body fat values by BIA scales should be interpreted with caution, as BIA values in elite athletes can be greater or less than actual values by ~5% (19).. It is important when using BIA scales to do measurements at the same time of the day and under similar hydration status. It is of this authors opinion that BIA scales can be valuable in this process, as despite having problems with the absolute value of %body fat, these scales work well to examine relative changes in a given individual over time. However, if available, the most accurate measures of % body fat is determined via underwater weighing and DEXA scanning. Periodising training & body composition throughout the season Although the concept of training periodisation has been around since the 1950’s (initially made popular by Russian

Table 1. Methods/Techniques to monitor body weight and body composition • Weigh scale and tape measure to assess body weight, body height, girths (easy, inexpensive, practical, limited information, accurate information) • Skin-folds to estimate body fat percentage (ISAK method) (more technical, need someone trained, inexpensive, less practical, more information, but lower accuracy) • Bio-impedance analysis (BIA) scales to measure body composition (eg TANITA scale-- easy to use, less expensive, practical for home use, but lower accuracy) • Underwater weighing to measure body composition (very technical, expensive upkeep, impractical, Gold standard for accuracy) • DEXA scan to measure body composition (technical- but easy to use, VERY expensive, very accurate, ‘new’ gold standard)


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sports scientists (2), the concept of coupling nutrition and body composition periodisation with elite athletes is just starting to gain scientific awareness (17).

...One of the main findings was that the athletes in the greatest negative energy balance, actually had the highest % body fat.

Like training and nutrition, body composition should also be periodised over the training year, and athletes should only aspire to be truly at competition ‘performance weight and body composition’ for short periods of time throughout the year. Some athletes aspire to be at competition weight year round— but, this approach can be both physically and emotionally difficult and can lead to risk of injury, sickness and health issues. Figure 2 highlights actual body composition and weight data collected on an elite female middle-distance athlete. Several points to note are the fact that this athlete showed a ~5% change in body weight and a ~4% change in % body fat between “in season” and “off season” measures. Further, there was a complete maintenance of muscle quad girth – which is fundamentally important for a weight-dependant strut endurance athlete. This was primarily accomplished through the targeted use of dietary protein and sport-specific functional resistance based exercise (see next section for specific details). Although decreasing body weight does lead to increases in the power to weight ratio, and in many instances a short-term

increase in performance, constantly pursuing low “in-season” body weight can result in increased likelihood of sickness, injury, over-reaching and over-training (see Fig 3 & Pitfalls section below). A very well done study, in elite female gymnasts and runners, examined the relationship between energy deficits and body composition (6). Interestingly, one of the main findings was that the athletes in the greatest negative energy balance (gymnasts) actually had the highest % body fat. This is in line with previous studies showing that energy restriction can cause a decrease in basal metabolic rate as well as an increase in fat storage from the limited energy that is consumed. Therefore, training for the majority of the season in a situation where ample healthy fuel (calories) can (and is allowed to) be consumed can not only help with maintaining a leaner physique (lower % body fat), but also to optimise recovery and prevent overtraining during high training loads (8). Although there are very little scientific studies examining this concept of periodising body composition in elite athletes, many international sport institutes and Registered Dietitian’s (RD’s) use the approach outlined in Figure 3 (personal communication). Furthermore, most experts in this area recommend a target range

Continued on page 25 Figure 2. Practical example of periodised body composition of an elite female middle-distance athlete (data used by permission).


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Proactive & Preventative Medicine The Sport Specific Movement Assessment What is it and how can it influence the training of Canada’s High Performance Athletes.

For Bruce Craven’s bio CLICK HERE

by Bruce Craven, MSc., Bask. (PT), BSPE, Dip Sport (PT)


uman movement is what defines sport as indicated by the Olympic motto of “Citius, Altius, Fortius”. But it’s not just about any movement. It’s about precise movement. As the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics come to a close we are once again reminded that high performance sport is not about being the best, but rather being the best on the day! As we prepare for the 2012 summer Olympics and 2014 winter Olympics the goal of every coach remains the same, be ready to be your best for those games on the day. One of the cornerstones of a best ever performance is precision movement and precise skill execution. The purpose of this article is to discuss how as a coach you can monitor movement patterns using a Sport Specific Movement Assessment (SSMA) as a means of detecting potential injuries as well as determining when training is altering movement patterns.

culminates in the spectacle of Olympic success. The technique required in all sport has movement precision as its fundamental cornerstone. Technical ability begins with analytical thinking. By concentrating on precision, one arrives at technique; but by concentrating on technique one does not necessarily arrive at precision. Precise thinking becomes prelude to precise action. Success is created upon a foundation of precise movement, strength, and tactical abilities where every component of training has a purpose. Building upon principles of stability, alignment and movement precision, athletic performance is maximized through increased capacity, increased biomechanical efficiency, and decreased injury.

Far too often, coaches and athletes focus simply on movement as enough in itself, living the adage “practice makes perfect”. Practice alone doesn’t make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect; and perfect practice only Background Information comes through purposeful practice of precise movement. Based on the As sport has become more premise that there is the 10 year rule sophisticated, so too has the movement of high performance development requirements of the athlete become to reach the Olympic podium, the more precise. Movement precision repetition of movement is amazing. is what determines success in sport. For example consider the number of It is the accuracy and execution strokes a swimmer takes per week of precise movement patterns that when training Practice alone doesn’t make 10 times per week, and then perfect, perfect practice compound this makes perfect. repetition over the athletes 10


years of development! With all this repetition it is imperative to assure precision movement through-out the

Click on image to see full chart

10 years of the athlete’s development. Aristotle said it best: “We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act but a habit”. The question during practice then must be; are we practicing good habits or acting? Precision Movement: Utilizing the S.A.M. Principle Precision movement requires the presence of three foundation pillars to achieve the desired technical performance outcome. These pillars are Stability, Alignment and Movement; the S.A.M. principle. To apply the S.A.M. principle you simply evaluate SIRCuit April 2010

the stability (internal muscular and external equipment) requirements for the desired movement, the alignment requirements for the desired movement and where the appropriate movement should occur, and what are the prime movers and secondary movers for that movement. This allows a starting point to evaluate the kinematics of the movement and provide some insight into the We kinetics.

segments within the kinematic chain of motion that is initiated by a reflex or a motor pattern. Wainner et al 2007 refer to it as the concept that seemingly unrelated impairments in a remote anatomical region may contribute to, or be associated with, the patient’s complaint. There is literature indicating the use of a “movement system impairment diagnosis” to guide are what we repeatedly do. the development of an Excellence then, is not an act but a appropriate treatment Purposeful precise protocol based habit. movement is that which on the movement occurs at the appropriate dysfunctions present joint in the accurate sequence at the precise movement is to maintain the in the athlete. right time for the desired outcome. normal anatomical alignment during Such movement is pain-free, the movement of the athletes while Dr. Sahrmann is a physiotherapist mechanically efficient, and can be maintaining the stability required to and expert on movement control done repetitively without causing support the movement. and musculo-skeletal health. Her injury. Numerous physiotherapists model indicating the importance have indicated over the years that the Movement is the final fundamental of Base Muskulo-skeletal health, development of skilled movement is pillar for precise movement. To achieve Normal Motor Control, Fundamental dependent on the existence of normal the desired technical performance Biomechanics and Systemic Support joint mobility, proximal stability, the outcome the movement must be are the pillars of precise movement ability to have movement control of present and occur at the appropriate and good musculo-skeletal health. joint segments on their stable base joints at the specific instant required Alterations in any of these pillars can and ultimately the development of for success. If the sequencing of lead to the development of alterations precise skill allowing exploration and movement within the kinematic chain in movement precision and ultimately manipulation of ones environment. is not precise, the movement outcome the development of a “repetitive strain is unlikely to occur. With alterations injury”. A core component of achieving in movement patterns the development precision performance is stability. of movement system dysfunction Dr. T. Bompa in the 1990’s developed Stability does not mean stillness. is likely to occur. There is a well his 4 basic laws of strength training Stability is the ability for the proximal accepted concept called “Regional indicating the need for joint flexibility, or distal segment to be stiff relative Interdependence”, indicating that tendon and ligament strength, to it’s moving parts even when it, each body segment’s movement is core strength and stability and too, is in motion. It’s through such mediated and moderated by moving the importance of developing the stability, particularly as it relates to stabilizers prior to the prime movers. timing, alignment, and movement Bompa’s 4 laws support the importance pattern sequencing, that one achieves of integrating proper strength and precision movement. Instability conditioning programming into the creates inefficient movement patterns development of precision movement. Click on requiring far more energy expenditure Athletes should not simply develop image to than efficient ones for similar results. strength to get strong, but rather see full Increased movement requirements develop strength to support the precise chart result in earlier fatigue and the movement required for their technical subsequent problems of muscular skill’s precise execution. fatigue. Finally, an exercise intervention Alignment is another fundamental model presented in Therapeutic pillar for precise movement. The Exercise: Moving Toward Function body must maintain its normal 2nd Edition by Hall and Brody presents Figure 1: Hall, Carrie M., Lori Brody (2005). anatomical alignment to maximize the importance of three categories: Therapeutic Exercise Moving Toward Function 2nd Edition. Lippincott Williams and Wilkins precision of movement and ultimately 1) Elements of Movement, 2)

technical performance. A bodies alignment can be influenced by a number of factors such as congenital abnormalities, muscle tightness or muscular weakness. These factors can lead to alignment dysfunction that is locally at a specific joint, within a kinematic segment or within the global movement pattern. The goal during


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Activities and 3) Dosage Parameters. (figure 1) This model represents the integration of all of the factors that must be considered in programming for movement precision. This model demonstrates the importance of considering the integration of the support system (cardiovascular system), the base system (musculoskeletal system), the modular system (nervous system), biomechanics and the cognitive/affect component of exercise selection. These components are integrated into the posture, mode and movement of the exercise selection. This allows the coach to modify these variables based on the status of the system elements. Finally, the dosage variables of feedback, environment, sequence, frequency, duration, speed intensity and type of contraction are utilized to ensure the desired training effect. In sport we have a good understanding of many of these variables; however, the integration and assessing/monitoring of these interactions is not yet fully understood or developed. In order to establish proper, precise, efficient whole-body movement, muscle patterns of imbalance and impairment must be retrained to restore normal firing patterns, speed, and coordination with other movements. This is achieved through progressive normalization of peripheral proprioceptive structures, normalization of tight muscles, facilitation of inhibited or weak muscles, and finally, coordination of movement patterns with continued focus on stability and alignment to achieve the desired technical performance outcome.

precision becomes critical; perserving the integrity of the patterned movement as long as possible with minimal stress for maximal output and performance. An athlete’s work input to output in any given movement pattern is determined by the body’s mechanical efficiency. In an isolated system, concentrated energy disperses over time, and consequently less concentrated energy is available to do useful work. It is impossible to convert heat entirely into work; there is always more input than output due to the inevitable decay of energy quality through external factors including friction and fatigue, and subsequent conversion to heat. Regardless of efficiency, when thermodynamic work is to be done at a finite rate, free energy must be expended. When a body is not in a state of homeostatis, any energy expended will first be used to return to homeostasis. Consider an athlete who must first compensate for an underlying stiffness prior to engaging in a movement pattern. Compensation results in an increased total amount of work for the task. An athlete with similar amount of energy expenditure minus that stiffness will thus have a higher performance due to being able to direct

the functional limitation affecting that movement. Simply put, efficient movement is all about energy management. The less energy wasted by a body in motion means more energy available to direct towards the desired result. Optimizing energy efficiency requires a concentrated focus upon stability, alignment, and movement precision to maximize output and hence, results. With repetitive precise movement there is the risk of local and global fatigue that will subsequently alter the precision of the movement pattern. The theory that is proposed is with muscle fatigue there is alteration in movement pattern, alteration in recruitment patterns and alterations in proprioception that will lead to abnormal loading and altered stress distribution within the tissues. This can cause an increase/decrease in the loading forces within the tissues leading to tissue stress/strain influencing movement precision and ultimately performance. (figure 2) There is also an entire classification of injury; “repetitive strain injury”, that is associated with this problem. As in any mechanical system, one must remember that there are tolerances for

Click on image to see full chart

Movement Efficiency Optimal athletic performance and success is dependent upon efficacious use of a finate amount of energy available for any given task. Efficiency is based upon producing the maximal amount of energy with the least cost and the greatest output. This is where

a greater amount of their total energy expenditure towards the movement itself and less towards overcoming 20

mechanical or movement variance. It is critical for us to be aware that technique and movement will falter;

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however, our understanding must be increased to determine what variance in technique can be tolerated prior to the development of a repetitive strain injury.

physical activity and the appropriate level of recovery, the term “over-use injury” is not necessarily representative of the problem facing most of our athletes. The problem may more likely be the development of “under-

becoming more localized. The pain is not interfering with his training and not affecting the intensity or duration of the training prescription. The pain is resolved prior to the next training session be that on the same

This sequence of photographs are examples of the corrective exercises incorporated into the warm-up and corrective exercise routine.

There is a need to understand that muscle fatigue is at the root of this problem, therefore there is a need to accurately monitor fatigue and recovery when developing training plans. No longer is training harder the key, it is training smarter! Any coach can make their athlete tired; but it is critical that the coach understand the importance that fatigue is the root of movement system dysfunction as seen by changes in performance technique. Thus, there is a need through-out the training cycle to have the ability to monitor if the training is changing the movement patterns in the athlete. The SSMA can be utilized to assist the coach in this type of monitoring and ultimately assisting in program manipulation to maximize performance outcomes. With fatigue being influenced by

recovery injuries”. This magnifies the importance of developing better monitoring tools for monitoring fatigue and recovery and strategies to monitor both of these. The goal is to ultimately decrease the number of injuries caused by fatigue and underrecovery. I have modified a staging of injuries presented by Dr. Reed in the 1990’s to indicate the symptoms and treatment and timeframe for 5 different stages of Under-Recovery Syndromes. This staging can be used for the staging of the syndrome but also as a guide when returning an athlete to training and their development of symptoms when re-integrating back to training. (Table 1) For example, an athlete that presents to practice or therapy complaining of symptoms in stage two of “Under-Recovery”, indicates that they are complaining of pain during the training that is 21

day or subsequent days. This athlete is definitely on the cusp of developing a musculo-skeletal repetitive strain injury if no action is taken. Simply the intervention at this stage is to ensure the athlete is taking an active approach to his/her recovery and that if required more recovery opportunities are given during subsequent training sessions. It is at this time that the entire sport specific movement assessment or components of it could be utilized to see if the athletes movement patterns are being effected by the training or the pain stimulus. Intervention here will allow the athlete to continue to train at the desired intensity and duration to achieve the consistency of training stimulus, while also managing the possibility of future movement dysfunction and injury potential.

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The Sport Assessment



assessment protocols are presented in Appendix 1.

The Sport Specific Movement Assessment (SSMA) is a tool developed by the sports Integrated Support Team (IST), to add perspective of human movement to the already defined standardized testing/ monitoring program utilized by the sport. The SSMA that was developed during the pilot project conducted by Own the Podium (OTP) consisted of 10 standardized movement tests scored on an ordinal scale from 1 to 3. The foundation of the SSMA was the Functional Movement Screen™ (FMS™) developed by Grey Cook and Lee Burton in 1995. The FMS™ consists of 7 tests: deep squat, hurdle step, in-line lunge, shoulder mobility, active straight leg raise, push-up and rotational stability. There are also 3 clearing tests: shoulder impingement, lumbar extension and lumbar flexion to rule out any pain during these specific provocative tests. These tests can be viewed at www.functionalmovement. com. Three additional tests were then added to the FMS™ that the OTP pilot project research group felt would provide value added information specific to the sports being monitored. The three tests were; seated trunk rotation, dynamic knee valgus during a two foot landing/jumping movement and lower trapezius function during an arm lifting action. The three additional

During the OTP pilot project athletes were tested in men’s gymnastics (n=6), women’s wrestling (n=8), swimming (n=11), Luge (n=9 senior and n=12 junior), Bobsleigh (n=11), Skeleton (n=9) for a total of 66 athletes assessed using the SSMA. The compiled FMS score was used for analysis to evaluate injury risk following the SSMA. Kiesel et al. (2007) reported in the North American Journal of Sport Physical Therapy that professional football players with a lower composite score (<14) on the FMS™ had a greater chance of suffering a serious injury over the course of one season. Based on this, the research team selected a “pass” cut-off point of <14. The data from the pilot project is summarized in Table 2. A total of 47 athletes scored above 14 in the FMS™ portion of the assessment and 19 athletes scored below 14 in the FMS™ portion of the assessment. The sports of swimming and wrestling had the highest number of athletes below the cut off score of <14 on the FMS™.

Shoulder Mobility

The role of the SSMA is to be able to detect movement dysfunction prior to the implementation of a training plan. This should be done at the beginning of each training year and at regular intervals through-out the year similar to the other testing/monitoring programs

Inline Lunge


in medicine, physiology, nutrition and psychology. If there are movement insufficiencies identified during the SSMA, the athlete should undergo a “remedial exercise training program” that is developed by the therapist, strength and conditioning coach and head coach. The goal of this remedial program would be during the transition and general preparation periods the athlete would work to normalize their movement patterns. This type of program may require specific therapy intervention to correct the movement patterns as well as modification of the strength and conditioning program to ensure that the desired movements are strengthened appropriately. The coach may also need to modify some of the technical training to allow the athlete to work on integrating the desired movement pattern into the technique. The program would be monitored by all three individuals in the clinic, the training room and in the field of play. The SSMA can also be used as already mentioned when an athlete is beginning to have episodes of pain during training that is becoming localized to a specific musculo-skeletal region. Additionally, the SSMA may be utilized within a training session to monitor if the training is influencing movement patterning; for example, if an athlete can do a deep squat prior to training, they should be able to do a deep squat following training. The

Deep Squat

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goal here is to quickly identify the occurrence of movement dysfunction so that the appropriate measures can be implemented to maximize training consistency and performance outcomes. A simple analogy to support the use of the SSMA is in auto racing. Prior to each auto training session and race there are extensive diagnostics done to ensure that the cars stability, alignment and moving parts are working to maximum efficiency. As anyone knows that watches auto racing, the racing team spends lots of time considering gas consumption and stores, wheel alignment and tire wear, car stability for driving all to ensure a checked flag finish. Do our athletes not require the same attention?

technique was correct to achieve the desired outcome. During the same time as this corrective exercise process, the athlete’s strength and conditioning sessions were modified to provide the athlete with exercises that matched his movement capabilities. For example, the athlete had scored a 1 on the deep squat, therefore, all squatting movements were modified and a series of squat progressions exercises were added to teach the athlete proper squatting technique. Another example would be that his shoulder mobility was limited relative to his trunk control such that all over-head lifting activities were modified to maximize movement Physical Activity Muscle Fatigue Altered



The final video Jeff Deep Squat Comparison illustrates how his movement control has improved over the past year of work. As illustrated, his thoracic and shoulder extension has improved, his core control has improved to allow him to better control his squat. His movement screen is not 100% as of yet, but has improved from a score of 11/21 to 17/21. Summary The key to success is a thoughtful and well executed plan. The athlete being able to execute habitual technical skills with precise movement patterns to achieve the highest of performances. To achieve this the athlete must be able to maintain precise movement control through-out their training career. The Sport Specific Movement Assessment is a tool that can allow the therapist, strength and conditioning coach and coaching staff to monitor the athlete’s movement during different training phases.

proprioception Movement Recruitment To illustrate how the SSMA can be Patterns Patterns utilized by a coach, The following Abnormal Loading is a case study of a current Altered Stress Distribution National Team male wrestler. Increase in Compressive Increase in Tensile Forces The athlete was initially screened Forces using the FMS™ in the fall of Tissue Stress/Strain 2008. His initial score was 11 out The SSMA is an easy cost of 21, putting him well below the effective way of integrating cut off score of <14 on the FMS™. movement assessment into a teams 2: Physical Activity and Fatigue: Influences on Tissue Stress and His major limitations were noted Figure performance plans. Strain to be in shoulder mobility, core For REFERENCES click HERE. control and hip mobility and thoracic extension and rotation. These control and precision of movement Appendix 1: limitations are seen in the video files; in his shoulders and trunk. During Click on the test below for description Jeff deep squat, Jeff Hurdle Step, all of this time all of the exercises • Lower Trapezius Strength Test Jeff Inline Lunge and Jeff Shoulder were monitored to maximize the • Seated Trunk Rotation Test Mobility. opportunity to learn how to move • Dynamic Knee Valgus while standing To address the potential risk for in the desired manner to maximize injury, the athlete was provided a movement efficiency relative to joint series of corrective exercises that were mobility on a stable segment. implemented into his warm-up prior to all training activities. A specific The strength program often consisted of corrective exercise routine was also a variety of single leg stance exercises Please help us developed to be implemented on its with contra-lateral and ipsi-lateral improve the High own as a specific training session. The upper extremity exercises to challenge Performance corrective exercises consisted of a the athletes balance and core control. SIRCuit. series of exercises aimed at improving The exercise routine also consisted core control while doing specific of exercises that allowed the trainer movement patterns involving hip to constantly monitor the athletes click HERE mobility, shoulder mobility and trunk progress and movement control. The mobility. The exercises were taught to foundation of all progressions was the athlete individually and monitored movement control. regularly to ensure that the exercise Modified from Reed


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Nutrition and Body Composition Continued from page 17 of a ~4 to 8% increase in total body weight in training season as compared to peak competition season – any more weight gain than this can potentially cause too much joint loading and increase potential for injury, as well result in too much weight to loose again prior to the next competitive season. Finally, during tapering, when total training load is decreased, it has been shown that ad libitum energy intake is not immediately matched by reduced energy expenditure, as found during the competition phase (18). Therefore, athletes need to make conscious decisions about limiting their total energy intake during this phase to maintain an ideal peak body composition. Accordingly, during the competition phase, daily weigh-ins and monitoring prior to major events is strongly recommended so that small adaptations can be made – ideally this is undertaken in close consultation with an nutrition / physiology expert.

Specifics: How to lose weight while maintaining lean muscle mass Despite many studies being published on weight loss using either dietary or exercise, or combination approaches, the vast majority of these studies have been conducted in overweight and obese population. However, there is actually a real lack of strong scientific research looking at how best to approach common questions regarding changing and optimising body composition in elite athletes while concurrently undertaking extreme training

loads in relation to performance outcomes. Table 2 highlights all of the recommendations, of which the key ones are discussed further below. Decreased energy intake versus increased energy expenditure, or both? It is generally accepted that the most critical factor in determining weight loss is inducing a negative energy balance through less total energy intake (9). However, unfortunately, when energy intake is decreased the basal metabolic rate is reduced by 1530% within 24-48 hours. In addition, decreasing body weight is fundamentally different than altering and optimising body composition. Current textbook knowledge on weight loss suggests that when individuals are in a negative energy balance they will loose both body fat and muscle mass- one just hopes to loose more fat than muscle. This is probably true when the negative energy balance is induced only from a decrease in dietary intake. However, recent data suggests that through aggressive exercise and protein periodisation, muscle mass can actually be 100% maintained while athletes still lose total body weight (with some individual subjects actually gaining lean muscle mass) during a one-week period of a large 40% negative energy balance (12). In this study, subjects utilized a higher protein diet, with resistance exercise, to loose significant weight (~1.5kg; 3.3 pounds), of which nearly 100% of this weight was fat loss, not muscle loss. Therefore, a combined approach

Table 2. Recommendations for loosing weight while maintaining muscle mass General Tips • Monitor, monitor, monitor. Take your weight first thing in the morning at least a couple of times per week, and track it. Incorporate % body fat measurements during critical competition phases if needed. Nutrition Tips • Choose a balanced diet that includes more fruits and veggies, and less processed and snack foods, emphasizing nutrient-dense foods (not calorically dense foods) - stay away from excess fat in the diet. • Only eat until about 80% full, so you don’t overeat. Start your meals with fruits and veggies and/or salad, then wait at least 15-20min before, having the main part of your meal. For lunch try eating 1 or 2 pieces of fruit, prior to anything else. • Eat a good sized breakfast, a medium sized lunch and a smaller dinner. Try and do most of your “dieting” overnight. There will be times that you will be a little hungry. If you are really hungry in the evening, only have a small healthy snack prior to bed. • Slightly increase the amount of protein you eat, compared to carbohydrates, to better ensure the ability to be at a slight energy deficit without loosing muscle mass (increase daily protein requirement to ~2 to 2.3 g/kg/day). Incorporation of protein shakes with added fruit are a great way to achieve this. Emphasize having protein (~15 to 25g) in each meal and snack throughout the day (6 to 8 doses throughout the day). • Aim to get your nutrition calories in wholesome food, and your hydration from water. Try to avoid energy dense liquids (e.g. pop, alcohol). • Aim to eat your smaller portions on easy training days (more dieting on easier days). On hard training days emphasize a good sized breakfast and enough recovery nutrition post-training and dinner – but don’t overeat to feeling stuffed. • Learn more about the foods (or restaurants) you are eating. Look them up here: http://caloriecount.about. com/ - by learning more about your foods you can make much better food choices. Exercise Tips • Incorporate more energy expenditure into your training via increased aerobic training, or if you are already an aerobic athlete – coordinate with your coach to implement more cross-training to increase caloric expenditure (this might not be a viable option during peaking, when training volume is decreased) • Continue or increase resistance exercise with protein recovery immediately afterwards to help minimize the potential for losing lean muscle mass.


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of slightly decreasing energy intake, combined with either a maintenance of training load, or slightly increased energy expenditure (particularly functional weight/resistive training), is the best approach to optimising body composition over a ~3 to 6 week period prior to the targeted competitive season (Fig 3) How much negative energy balance is optimal? Currently, most experts recommend ~500 kcal deficit per day for dietary weight loss programs that donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t feature an exercise component (15). But, there is very limited information in whether this deficit is adequate or too much in athletes with hard training loads. It is also recommended that this negative energy balance can effectively be approached through a self-selected ad libitum reduction in fat intake (focusing on limiting fat in the diet and slightly smaller serving sizes). Although this is not studied well in elite athletes, this approach typically results in satisfactory outcomes for those athletes with high energy expenditures and modest reduction goals. This method is also favourable as it is less restrictive, does not compromise carbohydrate intake (and thus training quantity and quality), and is less likely to result in reactive binge eating (Table 2). Key macronutrient: Protein It appears that an essential element in optimising body composition (maintaining lean muscle mass) is the macronutrient protein (PRO). This is due to the fact that turning on protein synthesis requires consuming dietary PRO. In fact, exercise

alone, without protein intake, will results in a negative protein balance and a catabolic state, instead of an anabolic state when protein is consumed around resistance exercise (to inhibit muscle loss). Recent evidence is accumulating that negative energy balance that include diets with higher PRO intakes are beneficial for weight loss, in that these diets can increase the loss of fat tissue, but reduce the loss of lean tissue (for review see: (16)). For athletes training at an elite level, the daily required protein intake is ~1.5 to 1.7 g protein /kg body weight (BW) / day. But during periods of negative energy balance in elite training athletes aspiring to loose weight, it has been estimated to raise this daily PRO intake to ~2.3 g/kg BW/day. However, beyond current daily protein recommendations, there is strong emerging evidence to suggest that the timing and periodisation of this protein throughout the day, and specifically near or immediately after exercise training, has a great impact on efficacy of the protein to increase protein synthesis. In line with this, previous studies have shown that leg protein uptake was significantly greater when post-exercise protein was taken immediately after 60min of exercise versus 3 hours later (10). Despite the fact that body builders have long believed in very large (>40g PRO) post-exercise protein intakes to maximise the anabolic effect (3), recent data suggests otherwise. A very well conducted dose-response study was recently published examining the effects of 5 increasing doses of dietary protein on post resistance exercise muscle protein synthesis (13). This study clearly showed that there appears to be a maximal effective dose of ~20g of dietary protein for stimulating muscle

Figure 3. Generalised recommendations for safely periodising body composition and weight throughout the yearly training and competition calendar.


SIRCuit April 2010

anabolism after resistance exercise in ~75kg subjects, which on a per kilogram basis is ~0.3 g PRO / kg BW. However this study, published last year, opens the door to more questions such as: is this protein amount the same for endurance athletes or athletes in a negative energy balance? Therefore, anecdotal evidence has strongly suggested that to maximise the use of protein during situations of negative energy balance, one should incorporate ~0.3g/kg BW PRO doses (~1525 g, depending on body weight) into each meal, and also in several snacks throughout the day (~6 to 8 doses per day).

Common Pit-falls of an unchecked and haphazard body composition approach As with most training principles and life in general, “more is almost never better” – the same can be said of body weight and body composition. I am sure many coaches are aware, or have seen, the first hand negative (sometimes dramatic) consequences of athletes who aspire to be too light all the time. Figure 1 highlights the ‘approximate’ measured body compositions of elite athletes across different sports. Nevertheless, beyond this ‘ideal’ or normal height, weight and body composition, there are always athletes that excel who do not exactly fit within this mould. A number of athletes (primarily female) are over-mindful of the benefit that low body weight brings to performance, and many believe that more weight loss is better. In many circumstances, further weight loss in already lean athletes actually can cause a loss of muscular power and strength, an increased risk for stress fractures, a decreased immune function and circumstances leading to female athlete triad (11), which all lead to a decrease in performance and a compromised healthy situation. One critical group of athletes requiring special attention are elite adolescent athletes, as 25%

of total bone mineral density is laid down during the teenage years, which can easily be compromised under inadequate energy balance. Ambitious teenage female athletes appear to be especially susceptible to prolonged periods of negative energy balance, causing maturation problems and eventually female athlete triad, primarily caused by a lack of adequate energy intake (11). A common question is what is the lowest percent of body fat (or essential fat) that males and females should seek to optimise performance? This is a very difficult question to answer, as each individual will have a differing metabolism, which will support a differing lowest % body fat, while still being healthy. Some female athletes can be as low as 8 to 10% body fat and still have a normal and functioning menstrual cycle and all normal and healthy blood parameters, while the next elite female athlete might lose her menstrual cycle once she drops below 15% body fat. Ultimately, an individualised approach needs to be taken and only extremely low % body fat values should be maintained for short periods of time (<~2 months/year). Optimising body composition can involve a high degree of emotional and psychological body image stress, which needs to be addressed by a nutritional expert, along with the coach, family and sometimes a psychologist, to ensure no disordered eating arises. Table 3 highlights some of the potential ‘red-flag’ characteristics to watch for in athletes striving for an unhealthy body weight or body image. It is also wise to only undertake body fat and weight reduction via negative energy balance under the supervision and recommendation of an expert dietician / physiologist.

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Table 3. Dangers and characteristics of athletes trying to reach unhealthy body weights • Over obsession and year-round desire to constantly reduce body fat and body mass in the perceived pursuit of enhanced performance(15) • Previous history of dietary extremes, disordered eating, low vitamin & mineral levels, stress fractures and inadequate nutrition attributable to overemphasis on low enery intakes in pursuit of low body mass and body fat level (14) • Lack of significant/normal changes in physique during maturation and adolescence (1) • Chronic obsession with energy restriction causing negative effects on training load, health and long-term growth during maturation (1, 14) • Practical difficulties in consuming sufficient energy and CHO intake during intense training periods and busy lifestyles (5) • Prolonged (>3 continuous months) of menstrual disturbances in female athletes, female athlete triad, low bone mineral density (14) • Athletes in constant states of hunger / skipping meals causing irregularities in training load and quality • Refusal to accept nutritional advice to gain healthy weight • Prolonged % body fat values <~6% for males and <~12% for females • Abnormal eating habits, routines and diets


SIRCuit April 2010

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SIRCuit April 2010


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