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Editor's Message: The Importance of Context and the Upper Regulatory Elements

Kraemer, William J

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: January 2009 - Volume 23 - Issue 1 - p 1-1
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181970a14

Human Performance Laboratory, Department of Kinesiology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, Connecticut

With all of the focus on the cellular and molecular aspects of exercise, it is important to note that almost all of these mechanisms are directly influenced by the upper regulatory elements encompassing the exercise prescription used, environment (e.g., temperature, age, gender, etc.), nutritional status, and psychology (e.g., arousal level). Owing to such importance, it is vital that solid investigations are developed that try to better delineate such overhanging elements that dictate downstream mechanisms. Clear experimental designs should be used that make comparisons, for example, of fasted versus fed conditions for a particular dependent variable, influence of exercise prescription variations on dependent variables, effects of arousal states on dependent variables, etc. Thus, such research will provide cellular, molecular, and genetic investigations with greater context for their work.

The importance of context is then raised as well. What is the context for the dependent variables, even in such upper-level regulatory element studies? What is the training status? What is the nutritional status? What is the arousal status? What is the environmental status? How long was the training program, and what is the rationale for the duration of training? Without carefully documented and justified independent variables, the findings are limited in their interpretation. We all have to work on this and again look to work on important questions in our field.

We are starting our 23rd volume of the JSCR. The intention of this journal was to help “bridge the gap” between the laboratory scientist and the field practitioner, to allow decisions to be made based on some type of direction forged in data. To do this, context is needed for such interpretation. Although practice will never be a step-by-step study guiding the way, it can point us in the correct general direction, and, in some cases, the context may map right on top of the question the practitioner is asking. We need to continue our quest to develop our programs based on scientific findings, and there is a continual need for communication between coaches and exercise/sport scientists to develop questions and find answers with high degrees of importance and relevance to a sport or activity.

Thus, much more work remains to be done, and the world of applied sport and exercise science is exponentially growing because of dedicated investigators around the world, as has been demonstrated over the years by the many investigations published in the JSCR from all around the world. Therefore, be passionate about your research, your sport, or your exercise lines of research, but seek context and relevance to establishing the impact of the upper regulatory elements so that not only the coach or practitioner can benefit from your work but so that it will provide context for the work done on the cellular and molecular levels of study.

I am grateful to the many scientists around the world and our dedicated group of associate editors who make this journal what it is. The support of Dr. Lee Brown and our board of directors, along with our executive director, Mr. Robert Jursnick, has continued a history of support needed to continue our quest for excellence in publishing the world's best applied sport and exercise science. Along with our publishing partner, Lippincott Williams and Wilkins, we will continue to meet your needs at whatever level you use this research journal of the National Strength and Conditioning Association. Let us continue to be dedicated in our pursuit of our understanding of the applied aspects of exercise and sport.

William J. Kraemer

© 2009 National Strength and Conditioning Association