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Influence of Training Models at 3,900-m Altitude on the Physiological Response and Performance of a Professional Wheelchair Athlete

A Case Study

Sanz-Quinto, Santiago1; López-Grueso, Raúl1; Brizuela, Gabriel2; Flatt, Andrew A.3; Moya-Ramón, Manuel1,4

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: June 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 6 - p 1714–1722
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002667
Research Note
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Sanz-Quinto, S, López-Grueso, R, Brizuela, G, Flatt, AA, and Moya-Ramón, M. Influence of training models at 3,900-m altitude on the physiological response and performance of a professional wheelchair athlete: A case study. J Strength Cond Res 33(6): 1715–1723, 2019—This case study compared the effects of two training camps using flexible planning (FP) vs. inflexible planning (IP) at 3,860-m altitude on physiological and performance responses of an elite marathon wheelchair athlete with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT). During IP, the athlete completed preplanned training sessions. During FP, training was adjusted based on vagally mediated heart rate variability (HRV) with specific sessions being performed when a reference HRV value was attained. The camp phases were baseline in normoxia (BN), baseline in hypoxia (BH), specific training weeks 1–4 (W1, W2, W3, W4), and Post-camp (Post). Outcome measures included the root mean square of successive R-R interval differences (rMSSD), resting heart rate (HRrest), oxygen saturation (SO2), diastolic blood pressure and systolic blood pressure, power output and a 3,000-m test. A greater impairment of normalized rMSSD (BN) was shown in IP during BH (57.30 ± 2.38% vs. 72.94 ± 11.59%, p = 0.004), W2 (63.99 ± 10.32% vs. 81.65 ± 8.87%, p = 0.005), and W4 (46.11 ± 8.61% vs. 59.35 ± 6.81%, p = 0.008). At Post, only in FP was rMSSD restored (104.47 ± 35.80%). Relative changes were shown in power output (+3 W in IP vs. +6 W in FP) and 3,000-m test (−7s in IP vs. −16s in FP). This case study demonstrated that FP resulted in less suppression and faster restoration of rMSSD and more positive changes in performance than IP in an elite wheelchair marathoner with CMT.

1Sports Research Center, Miguel Hernandez University, Elche, Spain;

2Department of Physical and Sports Education, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain;

3Department of Health Science and Kinesiology, Georgia Southern University, Savannah, Georgia; and

4Department of Health Psychology, Miguel Hernandez University, Elche, Institute for Health and Biomedical Research (ISABIAL-FISABIO Foundation), Alicante, Spain

Address correspondence to Santiago Manuel Moya-Ramón, mmoya@umh.es.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.