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Physiological, Performance, and Nutritional Profile of the Brazilian Olympic Wushu (Kung-Fu) Team

Artioli, Guilherme Giannini1,2; Gualano, Bruno1; Franchini, Emerson2; Batista, Rafael Novaes1; Polacow, Viviane Ozores1; Lancha, Antonio Herbert Jr1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 20-25
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318187687a
Original Research

Artioli, GG, Gualano, B, Franchini, E, Batista, RN, Polacow, VO, and Lancha, AH Jr. Physiological, performance, and nutritional profile of the Brazilian Olympic Wushu (kung-fu) team. J Strength Cond Res 23(1): 20-25, 2009-The purpose of the present study was to determine physiological, nutritional, and performance profiles of elite Olympic Wushu (kung-fu) athletes. Ten men and four women elite athletes took part in the study. They completed the following tests: body composition, nutritional assessment, upper-body Wingate Test, vertical jump, lumbar isometric strength, and flexibility. Blood lactate was determined at rest and after the Wingate Test. Blood lactate was also determined during a training session (combat and Taolu training). We found low body fat (men: 9.5 ± 6.3%; women: 18.0 ± 4.8%), high flexibility (sit-and-reach-men: 45.5 ± 6.1 cm; women: 44.0 ± 6.3 cm), high leg power (vertical jump-men: 37.7 ± 8.4 cm; women: 32.3 ± 1.1 cm), high lumbar isometric strength (men: 159 ± 13 cm; women: 94 ± 6 cm), moderate arm mean and peak power (Wingate Test-men: 4.1 ± 0.4 and 5.8 ± 0.5 W·kg−1, respectively; women: 2.5 ± 0.3 and 3.4 ± 0.3 W·kg−1, respectively), and elevated blood lactate after the Wingate Test (men: 10.8 ± 2.0 mmol·L−1; women: 10.2 ± 2.0 mmol·L−1) and during training (combat: 12.0 ± 1.8 mmol·L−1; Taolu: 7.7 ± 3.3 mmol·L−1). Men athletes consume a high-fat, low-carbohydrate diet, whereas women consume a moderate, high-carbohydrate diet. Energy consumption was markedly variable. In conclusion, Olympic Wushu seems to be a highly anaerobic-dependent combat sport. Low body fat, high flexibility, leg anaerobic power, isometric strength, and moderately high arm anaerobic power seem to be important for successful competitive performance.

1Laboratory of Applied Nutrition and Metabolism and 2Combat Sports and Martial Arts Research Group, School of Physical Education and Sport, Sao Paulo University, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Address correspondence to Guilherme Giannini Artioli,

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association