Ergogenic purposeful aids in cyclic sports

Фотографии: 

Dr.Biol., Ph.D. B.A. Dyshko1
Ph.D. A.B. Kochergin2
Ph.D. A.I. Golovachev3
1 LLC "Sport Technology", Sports Engineering Association, Moscow
2 Sports Training Center, Moscow
3 FRC All-Russian Scientific Research Institute of Physical Culture and Sport, Moscow

Keywords: ergogenic aids, cyclic sports, comprehensive breathing simulator, functional capacities of power supply systems.

Introduction. Nowadays the use of ergogenic techniques becomes an important part of modern technologies of improvement of physical working capacity [4, 8-10].

As a reminder, the term “ergogenic” comes from the Greek words “ergon” (work) and “gennan” (to produce), and in essence reflects production of additional energy.

It has been found [2, 3, 6, 8, and 10], that an increase in sports mastery and duration of usage of this ergogenic aid leads to a reduction of its effectiveness, as that of any other training aid. This is due to the adaptation of the body of an athlete to such ergogenic effect in terms of its power, which results in a decline followed by a complete cessation of growth of sports achievements.

Therefore, in the phase of elite sports mastery the issue of developing methodological approaches to using new methods and techniques that produce the ergogenic effect is quite relevant. It is known that the use of unconventional for this kind of sport mechanisms of stimulation of the functional systems of athletes is accompanied by a high ergogenic component [2-4, 8-10].

The modern “methodological revolution” in the training of elite athletes can be seen in the search for the most effective combinations of well-known training methods and techniques used together with new, unconventional, ergogenic aids, that can selectively potentiate the development of adaptive changes in the bodies of athletes, which influence the required level of functional capabilities in a particular kind or event of a kind of sport [2-4, 6, 8-10].

The methodological feature of the work was the fact that the assessment of the "ergogenic nature" of the proposed purposeful technique for the development of functional capabilities should have relied upon the comparative analysis of the muscular performance using at least two breathing patterns:

- using the proposed unconventional aid - comprehensive breathing simulator [4, 6];

- in the common conventional mode - wearing a mask which is used to draw in the exhaled air (standard method when studying the energy of muscular activity [3, 5]).

We believe that the effectiveness of the method of development of functional capabilities of power supply systems can be estimated by the degree of its impact on the immediate, delayed and cumulative effects from the perspective of adaptive responses [2, 3, 6, 8].

It is known that in the majority of cyclic sports the criterion of efficiency of the muscular performance is the sports result itself associated with the display of the high average distance velocity (Vav. → max) or achieved power of performance (W → max). Moreover, their achievement is associated with the readiness of all the power systems to run on the maximum level for the current functional state and, more importantly, the ability of an athlete to work in conditions of poor oxygen supply to the body – under severe hypoxia [3, 7].

It is clear that in this case the hypoxia itself is a “trigger mechanism” that potentiates the ergogenic effect by means of development of man’s power supply systems. N.I. Volkov repeatedly mentioned in his works [3, 4] that it is hypoxia that is the ergogenic factor, or rather “… the non-pharmacological ergogenic training environment in which various techniques and means of training can be used”.

It can therefore be assumed that an growth of the ergogenic effect and, consequently, increased functionality, and in particular physical performance can be due to the use of technical devices that:

– stimulate a greater adaptive response of the functional systems of the bodies of athletes than when using conventional methods [2, 6];

– are applicable both in the static (at rest) and dynamic states when performing a warm-up and the main part of a training session without affecting the motor actions from the standpoint of kinematics and muscular work coordination [2, 4, 6];

– make it possible to adjust the hypoxic-hypercapnic state during training sessions taking into account the individual characteristics of an athlete [1, 4, 6, and 9].

In this connection we focused on the comprehensive breathing simulators designed in Russia by the R&D and production company “Sport Technology”, being widely used in cyclic sports (swimming, track and field athletics, cycling, cross-country skiing, biathlon, speed skating, etc) [6]. The complexity of the impact of these simulators on the functional systems of the bodies of athletes (respiratory, cardiovascular and others) is accounted for by the combined effect of physiological and biomechanical factors: adjustable mechanical resistance to the flow of exhaled air, low-frequency vibration of its flow, adjusted percentage of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the inhaled air.

In view of the above said, the purpose of the study was to conduct a comparative analysis of the response of the examined power supply systems during muscular activity using a comprehensive breathing simulator and ordinary breathing.

Materials and methods. 7 athletes aged 16 to 18 years, having the qualification of the 1st category to Master of Sports, specializing in swimming were involved in the study. The subjects were asked to perform two kinds of step load performed up to failure on a mechanical cycle ergometer (Monarch, Sweden) under normal breathing conditions (wearing just a mask to draw in the exhaled air, option 1) and using a comprehensive breathing simulator mounted into a gas mask (option 2).

The initial capacity of the work amounted to 240 kilogram-meters per minute (40 W, 0.5 kp). The load was increased by increasing the capacity of work by 240 kilogram-meters per minute (40 W, 0.5 kp) every 2 minutes. The pace of pedaling was 80 rounds per minute, and its decrease by more than 10% afforded the ground for stopping the workout.

Parameters of exhaled air were analyzed using the Beckman gas analyzer (USA). Heart rate and pedaling pace were recorded using the dedicated pulse monitor S725 (Polar, Finland), that registers the examined parameters every 5 seconds. Capillary blood lactate concentration was measured using the enzymatic method.

It should be noted that step load was chosen due to the fact that such loads are good to study the nature of the adaptation processes while working in different power zones of exercise performance (from moderate to submaximal), bringing the examined systems to the ultimate level of functioning [3, 5, 10].

Results and discussion. The results of the comparative analysis revealed the following functioning characteristics of the examined systems with regard to different types of breathing patterns. Compared with the normal breathing (option 1), the use of the simulator (option 2) from the very first minutes of the step test resulted in a significant reduction in the pulmonary ventilation rate (Table 1).

Table 1. Pulmonary ventilation dynamics during the step load for the examined breathing patterns














Breathing patterns

Test performance time, minutes

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Simulator

36.1

31.9

33.4

35.5

37.5

39.2

42.2

45.3

47.8

49.3

54.5

62.0

σ

5.6

4.3

5.8

4.9

4.2

5.2

5.9

6.4

7.1

6.9

7.4

8.6

Mask

36.8

35.2

37.0

39.1

44.0

51.5

56.0

66.0

77.0

85.4

91.1

118.3

σ

2.9

2.7

2.8

3.0

3.4

3.2

3.7

4.9

5.2

5.8

7.4

9.3

р
differences

>0.1

<0.05

<0.1

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

Note. Here and in Tables 2, 3: in the examined breathing patterns the top line is average value; the bottom line is standard deviation; р – significance of differences.

Thus, at the end of the first phase of the work the differences between the examined breathing patterns were 3.3 l/min (ΔLV 2-1 = -9.4%, р<0.05). It should be noted that the reduction of the pulmonary ventilation rate even at the standard phases of the load (up to the anaerobic threshold level) in the controlled breathing pattern exceeded 10% and was statistically significant at р<0.05. Further increase of the work rates (above the anaerobic threshold level) in the uncontrolled breathing pattern led to a progressive increase of the differences between the pulmonary ventilation indices – from 23.9 % to 47.6 % (Table 1). The detected differences between the examined breathing patterns were statistically significant at р<0.05.

We noticed that regardless of the degree of pulmonary ventilation reduction during the 1st minute of the workout the difference between the exhaled carbon dioxide values (%СО2) in the examined breathing patterns was 17.9 % (ΔСО2 (2-1) = -0.78 %, р<0.05; Table 2). Further muscular work while breathing using the simulator resulted in a permanent increase of the carbon dioxide value (%СО2) from 4.36 % (during the 1st minute of the workout) to 7.11 % (during the 12th minute). The differences in the examined range of work while breathing using the simulator were as follows: ΔСО2 (12-1) = 2.75 % (38.7 %).

Table 2. Carbon dioxide concentration dynamics during the step load in the examined breathing patterns














Breathing patterns

Test performance time, minutes

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Simulator

4.36

4.72

5.22

5.48

5.93

6.03

6.23

6.41

6.9

7.06

7.09

7.11

σ

0.57

0.65

0.57

0.66

0.64

0.67

1.13

1.53

1.64

1.79

1.78

1.88

Mask

3.58

3.72

4

4.16

4.04

3.95

3.87

3.81

3.76

3.7

3.65

3.6

σ

0.27

0.19

0.23

0.27

0.28

0.35

0.38

0.48

0.38

0.54

0.38

0.3

р

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

During the muscular work under normal breathing conditions (with just a mask for exhaled air on) the carbon dioxide dynamics within the examined time range (when reaching the “peak” values) was 3.58-4.16 % (ΔСО2 (4-1) = 0.86 % (13.9 %).

The increase of the oxygen utilization coefficient value (Δ%О2) that in its turn characterizes the ability of oxygen uptake in the muscles (Table 3) serves as a compensatory mechanism of increasing the exhaled carbon dioxide concentration that indicates the growth of hypoxic processes (the buildup of muscular hypoxia).

It should be noted that muscular activity performance while breathing with the simulator compared with the normal breathing during the 1st minute already results in an increase of the OUC (oxygen utilization coefficient) by 0.94 % (Δ%О2=10.7 %, р<0.05). Further execution of the muscular work while breathing with the simulator is accompanied by a steady rise of the OUC value from 5.04 % (during the 1st minute) to 6.49 % (during the 12th minute). The differences within the examined time range while breathing with the simulator reached (at the “peak” values) the following: ΔOUC (11-1) =2.56% (23.6%).

During the muscular work in the conditions of normal breathing the OUC dynamics within the examined range of time at the “peak” values was 3.59-4.50 % (ΔOUC (12-1) =0.91 % (20.2 %).

Hence, the muscular work executed breathing with the simulator as compared with the conventional breathing leads to a more pronounced increase of the OUC value, the maximum level of which, as well as that of carbon dioxide, is reached at the time of the work termination.

Table 3. Oxygen utilization coefficient dynamics during the step load in the examined breathing patterns














Breathing patterns

Test performance time, minutes

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Simulator

5.04

5.24

5.66

5.70

5.86

5.84

5.80

5.89

6.54

6.52

6.60

6.49

σ

0.34

0.41

0.45

0.61

0.48

0.74

0.58

0.61

0.86

1.02

0.97

1.12

Mask

4.50

4.38

4.40

4.36

4.29

4.02

3.92

3.70

3.67

3.61

3.65

3.59

σ

0.45

0.58

0.61

0.59

0.71

0.42

0.58

0.61

0.59

0.71

0.69

0.66

р

>0.1

>0.1

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

<0.05

Based on the findings, it can be stated about the forming positive ergogenic effect caused by the redistribution of the pulmonary ventilation and the oxygen to carbon dioxide ratio when breathing with the simulator as compared with the conventional breathing during the ultimate (its intensity above the anaerobic threshold level) and non-ultimate (up to and at the anaerobic threshold level) muscular activity. Considerable (statistically significant) increase in the carbon dioxide concentration (%СО2) and oxygen utilization (Δ%О2) first in the exhaled air and then by mixing the air in the “dead” space and in the inhaled air for the given conditions serves as a physiological mechanism of this phenomenon. It is this phenomenon that we used to call a “virtual” increase of the dead space volume [6] that affects the efficiency of diffusion processes underlying oxygenation and the release of carbon dioxide from the blood into the lungs [1, 3, 4, 6].

That is why we can assume that the use of the comprehensive breathing simulator when performing strenuous exercise, especially that of high intensity, has an impact comparable to working out in the conditions of middle altitude.

Conclusions.

1. The curremt “methodological revolution” in the training of elite athletes can be seen in the search for the most effective combinations of using well-known training tools and techniques along with new, unconventional, ergogenic aids that can selectively potentiate the development of adaptive changes in the bodies of athletes which influences the required level of functional capacities in a particular kind or event of a kind of sport.

2. Comprehensive breathing simulators designed in Russia by the R&D and production company “Sport Technology” and distributed under the brand of “New Breath” can be used in full for cyclic sports.

3. The comprehensive breathing simulators purposefully increase the functioning efficiency of the oxidation and lactacid energy systems.

4. The simulators fully meet the requirements for ergogenic tools providing a positive effect through the development of adaptive capacities to resist hypoxia throughout the intensity range of the muscular work (ultimate and non-ultimate muscular loads).

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Corresponding author: sporttec@yandex.ru