Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine ( 2008 ) 07 , 210 - 217

Research article
Acute Effects of Self-Selected Regimen of Rapid Body Mass Loss in Combat Sports Athletes
Saima Timpmann, Vahur Ööpik , Mati Pääsuke, Luule Medijainen, Jaan Ereline
Author Information
Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, Centre of Behavioural and Health Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia

Vahur Ööpik
✉ Institute of Exercise Biology and Physiotherapy, University of Tartu, 18 Ülikooli St., 50090 Tartu, ESTONIA
Email: vahur.oopik@ut.ee
Publish Date
Received: 13-12-2007
Accepted: 21-02-2008
Published (online): 01-06-2008
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ABSTRACT

The purpose of the study was to assess the acute effects of the self-selected regimen of rapid body mass loss (RBML) on muscle performance and metabolic response to exercise in combat sports athletes. Seventeen male athletes (20.8 ± 1.0 years; mean ± SD) reduced their body mass by 5.1 ± 1.1% within 3 days. The RBML was achieved by a gradual reduction of energy and fluid intake and mild sauna procedures. A battery of tests was performed before (Test 1) and immediately after (Test 2) RBML. The test battery included the measurement of the peak torque of knee extensors for three different speeds, assessment of total work (Wtot) performed during a 3-min intermittent intensity knee extension exercise and measurements of blood metabolites (ammonia, lactate, glucose and urea). Absolute peak torque was lower in Test 2 compared with Test 1 at angular velocities of 1.57 rad·s-1 (218.6 ± 40.9 vs. 234.4 ± 42.2 N·m; p = 0.013) and 3.14 rad·s-1 (100.3 ± 27.8 vs. 111.7 ± 26.2 N·m; p = 0.008). The peak torque in relation to body mass remained unchanged for any speed. Absolute Wtot was lower in Test 2 compared with Test 1 (6359 ± 2326 vs. 7452 ± 3080 J; p = 0.003) as well as Wtot in relation to body mass (89.1 ± 29.9 vs. 98.6 ± 36.4 J·kg-1; p = 0.034), respectively. As a result of RBML, plasma urea concentration increased from 4.9 to 5.9 mmol·l-1 (p = 0.003). The concentration of ammonia in a post-test sample in Test 2 tended to be higher in comparison with Test 1 (80.9 ± 29.1 vs. 67.6 ± 26.5 mmol·l-1; p = 0.082). The plasma lactate and glucose responses to exercise were similar in Test 1 and Test 2. We conclude that the self-selected regimen of RBML impairs muscle performance in 3-min intermittent intensity exercise and induces an increase in blood urea concentration in experienced male combat sports athletes.

Key words: Wrestlers, karatekas, muscular endurance, peak torque, ammonia, urea.


           Key Points
  • Previous studies have revealed a negative effect of rapid body mass loss on performance. However, there are some performance characteristics that may not change or even improve.
  • The methods used for inducing rapid body mass loss have been prescribed by researchers and not chosen by the subjects in many previous studies. The duration of tests, which have revealed a negative impact of rapid body mass loss on performance have also been rather long (5-6 min) in previous studies.
  • We assessed the acute effects of the self-selected regimen of rapid body mass loss on muscle performance and metabolic response to 3-min intermittent intensity exercise in experienced male combat sports athletes.
  • The results suggest that the self-selected regimen of rapid body mass loss impairs muscle performance in 3-min intermittent intensity exercise and induces an increase in blood urea concentration. Hence, the recent changes in the rules of some events (wrestling), including shortening of the duration of a match, have not reduced the likelihood of the occurrence of a negative impact of rapid body mass loss on athletes' performance capacity.
 
 
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