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Competition Intensity and Fatigue in Elite Fencing.

Turner, Anthony N.; Kilduff, Liam; Marshall, Geoff; Phillips, James; Noto, Angelo; Buttigieg, Conor; Gondek, Marcela; Hills, Frank; Dimitriou, Lygeri
Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: Post Acceptance: September 07, 2017
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001758
Original Research: PDF Only

As yet, no studies have characterised fencing competitions. Therefore in elite male foilists and across two competitions, we investigated their countermovement jump (CMJ) height, testosterone (T), cortisol (C), alpha-amylase (AA), immunoglobulin A (IgA), heart rate (HR), blood lactate (BL) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Average (+/- SD) scores for RPE, BL and HR (average, max and percentage of time >= 80% HRmax) were highest in the knockout bouts compared to poules (8.5 +/- 1.3 vs. 5.7 +/- 1.3, 3.6 +/- 1.0 vs. 3.1 +/- 1.4 mmol/L, 171 +/- 5 vs. 168 +/- 8 bpm, 195 +/- 7 vs. 192 +/- 7 bpm, 74 vs. 68%) however, only significant (p < .05) for RPE. CMJ height, albeit non-significantly (p > .05), increased throughout competition and dropped thereafter. While responses of C, AA and IgA showed a tendency to increase during competition and drop thereafter (T and T:C doing the opposite), no significant differences were noted for any analyte. Results suggest that fencing is a high-intensity anaerobic sport, relying on alactic energy sources. However, some bouts evoke BL values of >= 4 mmol/L and thus derive energy from anaerobic glycolysis. High HR's appear possible on account of ample within and between-bout rest. The small competition load associated with fencing competitions may explain the non-significant findings found.

Copyright (C) 2017 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.