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J Hum Kinet. 2019 Nov 30;70:103-114. doi: 10.2478/hukin-2019-0050. eCollection 2019 Nov.

Changes in Performance and Morning-Measured Responses in Sport Rock Climbers.

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1
Institute of Sport Sciences, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland.

Abstract

The aim of this study was to determine changes in climbers' hormonal, cardiovascular, neuromuscular, sleep and fatigue status, and their relationship with performance and workloads during a sport rock climbing camp. Mean difficulty of individual leading climbing routes (mean Difficulty) was calculated for six male, intermediate level sport rock climbers participating in a 2-week camp in Orpierre. Additionally, each morning climbers were tested for: cortisol (d-Cortisol) and testosterone (d-Testosterone) concentrations, testosterone/cortisol ratio (T/C), heart rate and heart rate variability in supine (d-L-HR, d-L-SD1, d-L-SD2) and standing positions (d-S-HR, d-S-SD1, d-S-SD2), difference in S-HR and L-HR (HR-S-L), maximal voluntary hand grip strength (MVC), sleep duration (Sleep) and the self-perception of fatigue (M-Fatigue). Only M-Fatigue and d-Testosterone did not change significantly during the camp. Changes in other variables were large and significant, especially in the second week of the camp when the mean Difficulty was > 70%. The greatest changes were noted on the last day, when T/C, HR-S-L, and Sleep decreased and d-Cortisol, d-L-HR, and d-SD1 increased. The monitoring of the uncoupling of neuromuscular, hormonal, and cardiovascular markers can be instrumental in determining the level of athletes' morning fatigue and readiness during a climbing camp. An increase in d-Cortisol and a decrease in T/C and HR-S-L are relevant indicators of overreaching in sport climbers.

KEYWORDS:

heart rate variability; hormonal markers; maximal voluntary contraction; sport climbing; workload

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