An exercise protocol that simulates the activity patterns of elite junior squash.

Kingsley, M. and James, Nicolas and Kilduff, L. P. and Dietzig, R. E. and Dietzig, B. (2006) An exercise protocol that simulates the activity patterns of elite junior squash. Journal of Sports Sciences, 24 (12). pp. 1291-1296. ISSN 0264-0414

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Squash is a popular racket sport that requires intermittent activity with frequent bursts of near maximal-intensity exercise. Consequently, effective physiological and thermoregulatory responses are important contributors to performance during squash match-play. Controlled field-based simulation protocols have been introduced in a growing number of sports, which allow sports scientists to investigate changes in physiology and the efficacy of various interventions in sport-specific contexts. This study aimed to develop an exercise protocol that simulates the physiological requirements of elite squash match-play. Eight elite junior squash players (age 16.2 ± 0.8 years, height 1.76 ± 0.06 m, body mass 61.3 ± 5.9 kg; mean ± s) completed the following in a randomized order: (1) a squash match against a player of similar standard and (2) a squash-specific incremental exercise protocol (multistage squash test [MST]) followed by the squash simulation protocol (SSP). The multistage squash test was continued for 18.0 ± 1.0 min and elicited near maximal post-MST heart rates, blood lactate concentrations and ratings of perceived exertion (198 ± 9 beats · min-1, 5.7 ± 1.7 mmol · l-1 and 18 ± 1, respectively). The SSP was 12.2 min in length compared with mean game length during competitive matches of 10.0 ± 1.6 min (P = 0.27). Peak heart rates were similar during the SSP and match-play (192 ± 11 and 189 ± 6 beats · min-1, respectively; P = 0.44). Mean exercising heart rates were similar during the SSP (180 ± 8 beats · min-1) and match-play (179 ± 13 beats · min-1; P = 0.73). Peak blood lactate concentrations during the SSP and match-play were 3.5 ± 1.5 and 2.4 ± 1.2 mmol · l-1 (P = 0.07), respectively. Peak ratings of perceived exertion during the SSP and match-play were similar (17 ± 2 and 17 ± 2, respectively; P = 0.64). It was concluded that the SSP closely replicated the demands of squash match-play in elite junior squash players. Furthermore, the SSP provides coaches and scientific support staff with a controlled squash-specific exercise protocol that has potential application in the objective investigation of a range of interventions such as training programmes, nutritional supplements and strategies to maintain core body temperature.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Science and Technology > London Sport Institute
Citations on ISI Web of Science:3
ID Code:7300
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Deposited On:16 Mar 2011 09:18
Last Modified:06 Feb 2013 12:34

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