The main purposes of this study were to describe the cardiorespiratory fitness and lower limbs maximal muscle power of a selected group of Olympic Italian male (M) and female (F) judokas. Eleven subjects (6 M, 5 F) underwent 3 different tests. The [latin capital V with dot above]O2max and ventilatory threshold (VT; V-slope method) were assessed during a graded maximal treadmill test. Lower limbs muscle peak power (PP) and mean power (MP) were determined during a 30-second Win- gate test (WIN). Post-WIN blood lactate peak was also measured. Subjects were tested also during a 5-minute combat test (CT), during which blood lactate and heart rate (HR) were monitored. [latin capital V with dot above]O2max (mean +/- SD) was 47.3 +/- 10.9 and 52.9 +/- 4.4 ml[middle dot]kg-1[middle dot]min-1 for M and F judokas, respectively. The VT corresponded to 80.8% (M) and 86.5% (F) of [latin capital V with dot above]O2max. Both PP and MP, measured during the WIN, were significantly higher (p > 0.05) in M than in F judokas (PP: 12.1 +/- 2.4 vs. 9.5 +/- 1.1 W[middle dot]kg-1; MP: 5.4 +/- 1.1 W[middle dot]kg-1; F: 4.3 +/- 0.5 W[middle dot]kg-1). Post WIN blood lactate peak was 6.9 +/- 2.8 mmol[middle dot]l-1 and 6.1 +/- 1.8 mmol[middle dot]l-1 for M and F judokas, respectively (not significant). During the CT blood lactate peak was 9.9 +/- 3.0 mmol[middle dot]l-1 (M) and 9.2 +/- 2.0 mmol[middle dot]l-1 (F); these values being significantly higher than those obtained after the WIN (p > 0.05). In conclusion, Italian Olympic judokas showed high levels of muscle power but accompanied by a moderate engagement of the aerobic metabolic pathway, which is well in accordance with the characteristics of judo. Having these results in top-level athletes may represent a useful contribution to the work of coaches and trainers in optimizing training programs for the achievement of the best performance of the judoka.
(C) 2007 National Strength and Conditioning Association