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The Predictive Value of On-Ice Special Tests in Relation to Various Indexes of Aerobic and Anaerobic Capacity in Ice Hockey Players

Authors:
  • The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, POLAND / Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego im. Jerzego Kukuczki w Katowicach, POLSKA

Abstract and Figures

Purpose: The main goal of this study was to determine the predictive value of the indexes of aerobic and anaerobic endurance in relation to specific on-ice tests performed by hockey players that focus on strength, power, speed as well as speed and strength endurance. Methods: Ice hockey players, who were members of the U20 (under 20 years of age) Polish National Ice Hockey Team, were selected from the Athletic School in Sosnowiec, Poland. Parameters that determine anaerobic and aerobic capacity were evaluated and a special physical fitness assessment was made based on a battery of ice-hockey specific tests. The degree and direction of correlations between the individual parameters of anaerobic and aerobic endurance and the special physical fitness test were calculated. Results: The obtained results found significant correlations between maximal power obtained from the Wingate test and certain aspects of the special physical fitness test, specifically the 6 × 9 turns, 6 × 9 stops and 6 × 30 m endurance tests. Significant correlations of the above-mentioned special physical fitness tests were also observed with the aerobic capacity parameter, VO2max. Conclusions: The obtained results could be considerably useful in training, as well as providing much more information on athletes which can then be suited for more personalized forms of training.
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HUMAN MOVEMEN T
28
THE PREDICTIVE VALUE OF ON-ICE SPECIAL TESTS IN RELATION
TO VARIOUS INDEXES OF AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC CAPACITY
IN ICE HOCKEY PLAYERS
ROBERT ROCZNIOK
1 *, ADAM MASZCZYK
1, MIŁOSZ CZUBA
2, ARKADIUSZ STANULA
1,
PRZEMYSŁAW PIETRASZEWSKI
1, TOMASZ GABRYŚ
3
1 Department of Statistics and Methodology, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland
2 Department of Sports Training, The Jerzy Kukuczka Academy of Physical Education, Katowice, Poland
3 Department Theory and Methodics of Sport, University School of Physical Education, Kraków, Poland
AB STR ACT
Purpose. The main goal of this study was to determine the predictive value of the indexes of aerobic and anaerobic endurance
in relation to specific on-ice tests performed by hockey players that focus on strength, power, speed as well as speed and strength
endurance. Methods. Ice hockey players, who were members of the U20 (under 20 years of age) Polish National Ice Hockey
Team, were selected from the Athletic School in Sosnowiec, Poland. Parameters that determine anaerobic and aerobic capacity
were evaluated and a special physical fitness assessment was made based on a battery of ice-hockey specific tests. The degree
and direction of correlations between the individual parameters of anaerobic and aerobic endurance and the special physical
fitness test were calculated. Results. The obtained results found significant correlations between maximal power obtained
from the Wingate test and certain aspects of the special physical fitness test, specifically the 6 × 9 turns, 6 × 9 stops and 6 × 30 m
endurance tests. Significant correlations of the above-mentioned special physical fitness tests were also observed with the
aerobic capacity parameter, VO2max. Conclusions. The obtained results could be considerably useful in training, as well as
providing much more information on athletes which can then be suited for more personalized forms of training.
Key words: aerobic capacity, Wingate test, special physical fitness tests, ice hockey
doi: 10.2478/v10038-012-0001-x
2012, vol. 13 (1), 28– 32
Introduction
Scoring takes great technique and accuracy, but it also
requires an aggressive attitude, good decision making
and opportunities resulting from solid team play. His-
torically, coaching intervention has been based on sub-
jective observations of athletes. However, several studies
have shown that such observations are not only unre-
liable but also inaccurate. Although the benefits of
feedback and the knowledge of results are well accepted,
the problems of highlighting memory and observation-
al difficulties result in the accuracy of coaching feed-
back being very limited. Nowadays there is a necessity
to apply statistical analyses in sport sciences.
Hockey is widely considered to be an aerobic activity
accentuated with several repeated bouts of anaerobic
exercise [1]. A longitudinal study by Cox et al. [2] gath-
ered physiological data on over 170 players from the
National Hockey League (NHL) from 1980 to 1991. Over
this time period VO2max was found to increase from an
average of 54 ml/kg/min in 1980 to just over 62 ml/kg/
min (N = 635) in 1991 in this group of studied players.
A similar longitudinal study by Montgomery [3]
looked at physiological data, including size, strength and
aerobic fitness of the Montreal Canadiens of the NHL,
beginning in 1917. Compared to players from the 1920s
and 1930s, today’s players were an average of 17 kg
heavier and 10 cm taller with an average BMI increase of
2.3 kg · m–1. Aerobic fitness (VO2max) was also found
to increase from 54.6 to 59.2 ml/kg/min between 1992
and 2003, but the variability of the data made it impos-
sible to determine if this increase was significant.
Green et al. [4] conducted a study on an NCAA Di-
vision I hockey team and how their physiological pro-
files, including VO2max, blood lactate, and percent
body fat, related to their performance. Using a discon-
tinuous protocol in which blood lactate was measured
between three-minute stages of treadmill running,
blood lactate levels averaged 8.9 ± 2.1 mmols · L–1 at
the end of the fourth stage, the last stage completed by
each of the subjects. This stage was tested at 12.9 km· h–1
and a seven-percent grade on the treadmill. Aerobic
fitness (VO2max) accounted for 17% of the variance
in performance, which was based on overall scoring
chances while a particular player was on the ice. It was
concluded that only VO2max significantly predicted
performance.
While some previous literature suggests that in-
creased aerobic capacity would benefit performance
in sports such as ice hockey, which is a game of high
intensity interval bouts of exercise, there is literature
suggesting otherwise.
* Corresponding author.
R. Roczniok et al., Special tests on ice in relation to aerobic and anaerobic capacity
29
HUMAN MOVEMEN T
Each year the National Hockey League (NHL) Entry
Draft Combine tests approximately 110 to 120 players
to determine a variety of fitness measures that may
affect the order of draft selection [5]. Both anaerobic
and aerobic capacities are currently measured during
cycle ergometer protocols [5, 6]. Anaerobic and aerobic
metabolism is often unrecognized in a traditionally
known anaerobic-based task such as ice hockey. As
a result, aerobic power has only been examined over
the past 35 years in ice hockey [7–9] based on physio-
logical data involving, for example, portable gas analy-
sis [7], cycle ergometry [10] and running treadmills [11].
It has been suggested in previous training literature
that to be successful at an elite level in ice hockey, it is
necessary to maintain a highly developed aerobic sys-
tem with a relative aerobic capacity of approximately
50–60 mL/kg/min [12]. This is consistent with recently
published aerobic power values in well-trained elite-
level hockey players [4, 13, 14].
Therefore, measuring anaerobic endurance and ana-
erobic power is of great importance for elite hockey
players based on which training has a greater influ-
ence on the physical performance of hockey players.
The development of an elite hockey training program
should focus on improving each of the fitness compo-
nents (i.e. flexi bility, strength etc.) and include some
on-ice short intervals, multi-directional directional skat-
ing as well as puck, technical skating and movement
skills. These three phases need to be further broken down
into macro-cycles of 2–6 weeks and with micro-cycles
of weekly or daily lesson plans.
Training for hockey players must be developed with
a thorough understanding of the game itself. Players
often go beyond their understanding and knowledge
of the physiology of hockey leading to overtraining,
injury and a decrease in performance. The sport of ice
hockey is physically demanding at the elite level, re-
quiring trained aerobic and anaerobic energy systems.
The sport demands not only significant glycolytic ac-
tivity, which occurs during bursts of intense muscular
activity, but also aerobic power and endurance [11].
Appropriate training and maintenance of fitness levels
may help prevent hockey injuries and the onset of pre-
mature fatigue [2].
Studies on other sports have shown that physiolog-
ical variables can be related to individual performance
[15–17]. Therefore, the goal of the present study was to
determine the predictive value of the indexes of con-
trol of anaerobic and aerobic endurance in relation to
specific tests performed by ice hockey-players in terms
of their strength, speed, power, as well as speed and
strength endurance. The objectives of this research
rested in posing the following questions:
1. Are there any significant correlations between
the parameters of anaerobic capacity and special
physical fitness tests?
2. Are there any significant correlations between
the parameters of aerobic capacity and special
physical fitness tests?
3. What is the strength and direction of these rela-
tionships?
Material and methods
In order to verify the above-mentioned objectives,
investigation was carried out in September 2009, just
before the Ice Hockey U20 World Championships, on
21 hockey players aged 19–20 years from the Athletic
School in Sosnowiec, who were members of the U20
(under 20 years of age) Polish National Ice Hockey
Team. Due to the necessity in obtaining information
on the level of aerobic power among the studied group
of hockey players, exercise with unequally rising in-
tensity was performed on a Cyclus 2 bicycle ergometer
(RBC Elektronik-Automation GmbH, Germany). The
exercise test was based on seven exercise stages, with
the first three stages taking two minutes each using
a load of 1.5, 2.25 and then 3 W/kg. The remaining four
stages took one minute each where the load was in-
creased to 3.5, 4, 4.5 and then 5 W/kg. Some modifi-
cation in relation to the exercise test used for testing
NHL competitors was introduced. Constant values of
power were replaced with load values that correspond
to body mass. This modification was based on the con-
si derable differentiation of the studied group in terms
of body mass reaching 30 kg, which accounted for
30–50% of intergroup differentiation. The assumptions
of the test predicted that the subjects would reach
ana erobic threshold (AT) in the first part of the exer-
cise and the response of the circulatory and respiratory
systems would correspond to the intensity of VO2max.
A fundamental advantage of taking this mo dification
into consideration in an exercise test is due to the typ-
ical nature of performance in hockey (intervals with
frequently changing intensity) and high body mass,
which limits the ability to continue activity for a long-
er period of time.
Blood samples were taken during the exercise in
order to determine the level of lactate concentration
before exercise (LArest), after the 1st increase in load
(LA1), at the end of the exercise (LAmax) and in the 4th
(LA4) and 8th (LA8) minute of recovery.
After 24 h of rest, all of the subjects preformed the
30-secound Wingate test to determine anaerobic capa-
city on a Monark cycloergometer (Monark, Sweden).
A 5-min warm-up was performed with a resistance of
50 W and pedal frequency of approximately 70 revolu-
tions per minute. Next, the Wingate test was performed
with the resistance of the cycloergometer adjusted to
the athlete’s body weight (9% of body mass). All of the
athletes were instructed to cycle as quickly and power-
fully as possible throughout the entire test’s duration.
In addition to the above-mentioned tests, special
physical fitness tests on ice were also carried out. A set
of measurable hockey skills which provide informa-
R. Roczniok et al., Special tests on ice in relation to aerobic and anaerobic capacity
30
HUMAN MOVEMEN T
tion on speed and endurance were used, composed of
the 30 m Forward Sprint, the 30 m Backward Sprint,
6 × 9 m Hockey Stops, 6 × 9 m Turns, and an Endur-
ance Test (6 × 30 meters).
The measured variables, based on a method of di-
rect participant observation, were then subjected to
empirical and exploratory analyses. Descriptive statis-
tics were calculated to include mean ± standard devia-
tion (SD) and min and max values with all of the
variables examined for normal distribution. Normality
was confirmed using measures of kurtosis and skew-
ness. In order to answer the research questions set out
in this study, Pearson’s linear correlation analysis was
also carried out.
This study was approved by the Bioethics Commit-
tee of Scientific Research at the Academy of Physical
Education in Katowice (Study No. 16/06). It was part
of the framework of “The Multicriterion Optimiza-
tion of Investigative Problems of Sports Training” pro-
ject, headed by the Ministry of Science and Higher
Education in Poland. The authors of this study declare
no conflict of interest.
Results
The average values of the physiological variables
and performance measurements taken in this study
are presented in Table 1. Analysis of the obtained re-
sults on aerobic and anaerobic capacity revealed that
they were similar to the results obtained by other re-
searchers worldwide [3, 5, 18, 19].
Based on the analyses conducted on the measured
variables (Tab. 2), significant negative correlations be-
tween the indexes of anaerobic capacity and the spe-
cial physical fitness tests on ice were observed only
between maximal power (measured in Watts per kilo-
gram) and the variables: 6 × 9 m Stops, 6 × 9 m Turns,
Endurance (6 × 30 m). Correlation was also observed
between LA8’ and the variables: 6 × 9 m Stops and
6 × 9 m Turns. In the case of other variables of ana ero-
bic capacity, no statistically significant relationships with
the special physical fitness tests on ice were observed.
In the case of relationships between the indexes of
aerobic capacity and the special physical fitness test on
ice (Tab. 3), significant negative correlations were ob-
served between VO2max with the variables: 6 × 9 m
Stops and Endurance (6 × 30 m), correlation between
HRmax and the 30 m Backward Sprint, correlation
between LA1 and the variables: 30 m Sprint Forwards,
6 × 9 m Stops and Endurance (6 × 30 m), and correlation
between LA4 and 6 × 9 m Stops. As a side note, LA4 was
previously used as an indicator of aerobic endurance
in Green’s research [4]. Coaches may prefer players who
are leaner and have a lower lactate at a given VO2,
which enables players to play at high intensity without
fatigue. With regard to the other variables of aerobic
capacity, no significant relationships with the special
physical fitness tests on ice were found.
Discussion
The physiological profiles of elite hockey teams re-
veal the importance of aerobic endurance, anaerobic
power and endurance, muscular strength and skating
speed. Although field hockey is played on a similar sized
course with the same number of players and for a similar
Table 1. Physiological and performance measurements
Variables Mean SD Min Max
Special tests
on ice
30 m Forward Sprint (s) 4.63 0.31 4.25 5.36
30 m Backward Sprint (s) 5.66 0.55 4.98 7. 29
6 × 9 m Turns(s) 13.7 0.58 12.73 14.62
6 × 9 m Stops (s) 13.29 0.56 12.45 14.38
Endurance (6 × 30 m) (s) 33.03 1.16 31.9 36.58
Anaerobic
Capacit y
Pmax (W) 1030.83 93.3 814 1378.5
Pmax (W/ kg) 12.97 0.57 11.5 14.1
LArest’ (mmol/l) 2.02 0.82 1.01 3.66
LA4’ (mmol/l) 13.17 1.4 11.67 16.76
LA8’ (mmol/ l) 13.77 1.03 11. 69 15.81
Aerobic Capacity
VO2max (ml /kg/min) 57. 8 8 4.94 45 66
HRmax (bpm) 186.69 9.16 170 203
LArest (mmol/l) 2.18 0.61 1.39 3.39
LA1 (mmol/l) 4.43 1.46 2.53 7.87
LAmax (mmol/l) 10.29 1.29 7. 17 12.17
LA4 (mmol /l) 10.97 1. 58 6.79 12.89
LA8 (mmol/l) 10.06 1.85 5.32 13.75
Pmax ( W) – Absolute peak power, P max (W/kg) – Relative pea k power,
LAre st’ (mmol/l) – Lact ate concentration before the Wi ngate test, LA4’
(mmol/l) – Lactate in the 4th minute of recovery in the Wingate test,
LA8’ (mmol/ l) – Lactate in the 8th minute of recovery in the Wingate
tes t, VO2max (ml /kg/min) – Relative VO2ma x, HRma x (bpm) – Max
heart rate , LArest (mmol/l) – Lactate concent ration before the VO2max
test, LA1 (mmol/l) – Lactate concentration after the 1st stage of load
increase in the VO2max tes t, LAmax (mmol /l) – Lactate concentr ation
after the VO2max test, LA4 (mmol/l) – Lactate concentration in the
4th minute of recovery in the VO2max test, LA8 (mmol/l) – Lactate in
the 8th minute of recover y in the VO2max test
Table 2. Correlations between the indexes of anaerobic
capacity and the special physical fitness tests on ice
30 m
Forward
Spr int (s)
30 m
Backward
Spr int (s)
6 × 9 m
Turns (s)
6 × 9 m
Stops (s)
Endurance
(6 × 30 m) (s)
Pmax (W) 0.13 0.22 –0.42 –0.26 0.27
Pmax (W/kg) –0.20 0.06 0.64* 0. 58*0.57*
LArest’ (mmol/l) 0.15 0.02 0.27 0.03 – 0 .14
LA 4’ (mmol/l) –0.24 0.18 0.08 0.26 – 0.22
LA 8’ (mmol/l) 0.10 0.39 0.48 0.62* 0.34
* significant correlations p 0.05
Pmax ( W) – Absolute peak power, P max (W/kg) – Relative pea k power,
LArest’ (mmol/l) – Lactate concentration before the Wingate test,
LA4’ (mmol/l) – Lactate in the 4th minute of recovery in the Wingate
test , LA8’ (mmol/l) – Lactate in the 8th minute of recovery in the Win-
gate test
R. Roczniok et al., Special tests on ice in relation to aerobic and anaerobic capacity
31
HUMAN MOVEMEN T
duration, it is physiologically closer to soccer and does
not allow for cross-sectional comparison. While game
play is similarly intermittent in field hockey, players
must perform continuously for 70 minutes with just
one 5–10 minute interval. This places a high demand
on the aerobic system and good aerobic endurance is
required to support repetitive bouts of high intensity
exercise [11].
For elite ice hockey players, anaerobic power and
anaerobic endurance is of critical importance [2], mak-
ing strength an important part of a hockey training pro-
gram. Although players are not required to meet certain
physical challenges (when compared to other multi-
sprint sports), power is required for acceleration, to
maintain speed and for quick direction changes. Upper
body strength allows players to shoot more power-
fully and pass over a greater range of distance.
All in all, the bio-energetic demands of the sport re-
quire heavy bouts of high-intensity whole-body exercise
characterized by high-speed explosive skating and sud-
den changes of direction, coordinated with spontane-
ous bursts of muscular strength and power [12]. In an
average hockey game, there are typically 5–7 bursts of
maximal skating per shift, leading to an average of
4–6 min/game of high-intensity bouts of maximal ef-
fort [4], and an average heart rate intensity of 70–90%
of maximum heart rate (HRmax). Although intermit-
tent, the game of ice hockey does require approximately
15–20 min of both aerobic and anaerobic energy ex-
penditure per game at a competitive level [14] and re-
peated back-to-back sprints make speed and tole rance
changes in acid-base balance an important cha racte ris-
tic of elite players [15].
In elite level hockey, there has been a long-standing
debate among scouts, coaches, strength/conditioning
specialists and physiologists as to the relative utility
of on-ice tests for aerobic and anaerobic power predic-
tion. Nonetheless, having access to ice-specific special
physical fitness tests, which are good predictors of the
most important indexes of aerobic and ana erobic
capacity, might minimize the number of expensive
off-ice tests and minimize disturbance to training cy-
cles, particularly during the competitive season or
play-offs.
The obtained results allow us to identify the signifi-
cant relationships between the indexes of anaerobic
and aerobic capacity and these special physical fitness
tests on ice. The athletes who were faster in 6 × 9 m Stops,
6 × 9 m Turns, Endurance (6 × 30 m) tests achieved
higher power values in the Wingate test and showed
higher VO2max. Significant negative relationships were
also found between the level of lactate after the Win-
gate test and the variables 6 × 9 m Stops and 6 × 9 m
Turns. These results allow for the conclusion that higher
degrees of acidification correspond to shorter trial times.
Similar results were obtained when analysing the re-
sults of negative correlation between the acidification
in the aerobic capacity test in the 4th and 8th minute and
the variable 6 × 9 m Turns. In contrast, positive correla-
tion was observed for the level of acidification mea-
sured after the first stage of load increase in LA1 and
between the 30 m Sprint Forwards, 6 × 9 m Turns, and
Endurance (6 × 30 m) variables. The higher acidifica-
tion showed by the tested athletes in the first part of
the aerobic capacity test corresponded to poorer results
obtained in the special physical fitness test on ice.
The results presented here are also confirmed by
those reported by other authors [20], which state that
aerobic and anaerobic capacity are important physio-
logical characteristics for ice hockey players [2, 21].
Because of the relatively short but intense work inter-
vals found in an ice hockey game (from 30 to 60 sec-
onds), the ability to produce anaerobic energy might
dictate performance within a given shift when playing
on ice [2, 21]. Although a variety of on-ice skating tests
have been developed, the Wingate test on a cycle ergo-
meter (from 15 to 45 seconds) remains the most com-
monly used test for assessing anaerobic power and ca-
pacity in hockey players [22]. Even if such short shifts
predominate in ice hockey, the physiological demands
are not limited to anaerobic pathways. In fact, aerobic
capacity is responsible for the recovery from such high-
intensity intermittent exercise and, therefore, acts as
a buffer against fatigue and minimizes the attenuation
of power output during subsequent shifts [20].
Conclusion
Ice hockey is a physically demanding contact sport
involving repeated bouts of high intensive effort, with
players’ shifts lasting from 30 to 80 seconds [23–25].
Table 3. Correlations between the indexes of aerobic
capacity and the special physical fitness test on ice
30 m
Forward
Spr int (s)
30 m
Backward
Spr int (s)
6 × 9 m
Turns (s)
6 × 9 m
Stops (s)
Endurance
(6 × 30 m) (s)
VO2max
(ml/kg/min) 0.46 0.32 0.49 0.68* 0.62*
HRmax (bpm) 0.15 0.23 0.10 0.13 0.27
LArest (mmol/l) 0.11 0.39 0.21 –0.32 0.45
LA 1 (mmol/l) 0.60* 0.39 0.31 0. 61* 0 .66*
LAmax (mmol/l) 0.19 0.02 0.19 0.06 0.32
LA 4 (mmol/l) –0.12 0.37 0.15 0.58* 0.12
LA 8 (mmol/l) –0.02 0.34 –0.06 0.47 0.05
* significant correlations p 0.05
VO2max (ml /kg/min) – Relative VO2max , HRmax (bpm) – Max heart
rate, LArest (mmol/l) – Lactate concentration before the VO2max
test, LA1 (mmol/l) – Lactate concentration after the 1st stage of load
increase in the VO2max test, LAmax (mmol/l) – Lactate concentra-
tion after the VO2max test, L A4 (m mol/l) – Lactate concentration in
the 4th minute of recover y in the VO2max test, LA8 (mmol/l) – Lac tate
in the 8th minute of recovery in the VO2max test
R. Roczniok et al., Special tests on ice in relation to aerobic and anaerobic capacity
32
HUMAN MOVEMEN T
Given the anaerobic nature of these sprint-based phases
(69% anaerobic glycolysis) and the aerobic recovery
(31% aerobic metabolism) between shifts and periods,
as well as the physicality of the game, success at the elite
level requires players to develop a well-rounded fitness
level that includes anaerobic sprint ability, a strong
aerobic endurance base, and high levels of muscular
strength, power and endurance [2, 23, 24, 26].
The athletes who performed better in the 6 × 9 m
Stops, 6 × 9 m Turns and Endurance (6 × 30 m) tests
achieved higher power values in the Wingate test as
well as showing higher VO2max. Therefore, the most
important findings of this study suggest that the best
predictors of aerobic and anaerobic capacity are the
6 × 9 m Stops, 6 × 9 m Turns and Endurance (6 × 30 m)
tests. Such knowledge might be considerably useful in
the frequent control of training process, as well as pro-
viding much more information on athletes which can
then be suited for more personalized forms of training.
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Paper received by the Editors: September 15, 2010
Paper accepted for publication: November 9, 2011
Correspondence address
Robert Roczniok
Akademia Wychowania Fizycznego
im. Jerzego Kukuczki
ul. Mikołowska 72a
40-065 Katowice, Poland
e-mail: r.roczniok@awf.katowice.pl
... Some researchers have compared off-ice VO 2max to on-ice anaerobic performance and/or recovery, but it appears that there has not been any research that has compared the relationship between on-ice aerobic capacity and power output (PO) during repeated bouts of on-ice sprinting (Carey, et al., 2007;Roczniok et al., 2012). Additionally, it has been suggested that there is a need for further testing of multiple on-ice aerobic testing protocols using professional hockey players and direct gas exchange measurement. ...
... This could further substantiate speculation that aerobic capacity is not requisite to anaerobic recovery due to a higher reliance on glycolytic metabolism. Roczniok et al. (2012) recruited 21 elite level male hockey players from the Polish U20 national team and found significant relationships between off-ice VO 2max (mean: 57.88 ± 4.94 ml/kg/min) with skating agility and stop-and-start skating time (r = -.68 and -.62 respectively; p < .05); however, aerobic capacity was measured via off-ice testing, which lacks the aforementioned specificity of testing. ...
Thesis
Full-text available
There is debate if a high aerobic capacity will improve recovery from repeated bouts of sprinting, which primarily taxes the anaerobic energy systems. The relationship between aerobic capacity and repeat sprint ability in ice hockey players is not well established; moreover, the relationships that have been examined involved off-ice testing protocols, which lack specificity to the ice hockey. Purpose: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between on-ice aerobic capacity (VO2peak and VIIT) and repeated on-ice sprint ability (RISA) via percentage of power output decrement (%DPO), and other measurements of on-ice power output (OPO). Methods: 11 male professional ice hockey players, recruited from an American Hockey League team, participated in two maximal effort on-ice tests. Aerobic capacity was tested via the 30-15 Intermittent Ice Test. Gas exchange was measured directly measured via an Oxycon portable O2 analyzer in four of the participants. OPO was measured via the Repeat Ice Skating Test. The relationship between these variables for nine of the participants was then analyzed via Pearson’s correlational testing. Results: There was no significant relationship between VIIT or VO2peak to %DPO (r =-.036 and .197 respectively; p > .05) or any other measurement of RISA. Discussion: The results from this study suggest that aerobic capacity was not related to RISA. While the results were not statistically significant, likely due to a small sample size, the effect size for %DPO and aerobic capacity (VIIT and VO2peak) was small, indicating that the relationship was nearly negligible. Elite level ice hockey players may not have a better RISA resultant from a higher aerobic capacity.
... As primarily an anaerobic test, the WAnT is more useful and applicable to athletes who are anaerobically trained and compete in an anaerobic sport rather than recreationally-trained individuals. Ice hockey is a sport with a high anaerobic demand, and previous investigators have demonstrated that the WAnT is highly related to on-ice skating performance in both collegiate and youth hockey athletes (10,(15)(16)(17)(18)(19). However, these investigators used MEs for the test. ...
... WAnT data for this athletic group were gathered from tests performed on MEs (10,(15)(16)(17)(18)(19); this is the first study to report WAnT data for ice hockey players using an EE. ...
Article
This study evaluated the test-retest reliability of the Wingate Anaerobic Test (WAnT) performed on a Velotron electromagnetically-braked cycle ergometer (EE) for power-trained athletes and assessed whether a familiarization trial was necessary to achieve high test-retest reliability. Twenty-one male ice hockey players (age 23.5 ± 4.7 yrs, mass 86.3 ± 16.6 kg, height 180.9 ± 7.4 cm) from a collegiate club team (Club = 10) and a recreational league (Rec = 11) performed three, 30-sec WAnTs within 2 weeks, and with at least 24 hours between visits. Mean power (MP), anaerobic capacity, peak power (PP), anaerobic power, maximum RPM, and fatigue index were assessed. Resistance was 8.5% of the participant's body weight. The effect of time on power output was moderated (p < .001, ηp = .24) such that a significant increase was observed after a practice trial, but not between subsequent trials for the Club players; no practice effect was observed among Rec players. Extremely high reliability (ICC1,1) was found between trials after excluding the practice trial (MP = .973, anaerobic capacity = .975, PP = .957, anaerobic power = .890). Club players achieved higher outputs despite no significant differences in body size or age compared to Rec players. Ice hockey players performing the 30-sec WAnT on the Velotron EE had highly reliable data, and using a familiarization trial is recommended to increase reliability and achieve higher power outputs.
... (Chiarlitti et al., 2018;Douglas et al., 2019;Gilenstam et al., 2011) and predict on-ice skating performance (Kokinda et al., 2012;Lignell et al., 2018). Roczniok et al. (2012Roczniok et al. ( , 2016 agree with this finding by identifying key physical attributes that are needed in order to excel. A review by Chiarlitti et al. (2021) shows the scholars' growing interest towards the evolution of such variables in competition and that physical attributes tend to fluctuate according to the rigors of a hockey season, which appeals for the importance of attaining (and maintaining) high fitness standards in order to excel. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to explore relationships between fitness, on-ice physical abilities and game performance among elite junior male ice hockey players. Twenty-one major junior ice hockey players (18.9 ± 1.4 years old) participated in the study. Measures including five fitness tests (anthropometric measures, pull up test, bench press test, broad jump, vertical jump) and three on-ice skating tests (multi-stage aerobic skating test, 44-m sprint test, and backward skating test) were assessed during their pre-season training camp. Game performance metrics (collected during the regular season) were collected using InStat software. Results of the (on-ice and off-ice) functional performance test protocol and on-ice tests were analyzed by evaluating correlation coefficients in multiple areas of game performance: 1) physical implication (body checks), 2) offensive contribution (expected goals for, types of zone entries), and 3) defensive actions (blocked shots, expected goals against). They revealed that performance in the broad jump test was associated with skating speed. Some significant correlations were also observed between on-ice test performance indicators such as received body checks, expected goals and blocked shots. In summary, results indicate that on-ice test protocols were associated with players’ performance in multiple aspects of the game. Partial correlation analyses revealed that some of these relationships were specific to the player's position. Forward skating was associated with forwards’ offensive play, and backward skating was specifically related with defensemen’s performance (offense and defense). The addition of on-ice physical tests appears essential for interpreting the results of ice hockey players' physical tests and integrating these results into players’ physical preparation and the in-season follow-up.
... Hence, longer stride and slower frequency were developed for the height trend, decreasing muscle work to increase sprinting efficiency. 11 Studies also indicate Achilles tendon length is correlated with the power of lower extremities. TC/ LLA×100% indicates the strength of quadriceps and growth of LL. ...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives This study aimed to construct a profile of specific fitness indices for male teenage sprinters on the Chinese National Team to provide sprinting fitness assessments for teenage training. Material and Methods 229 male teenage sprinters at the same level were recruited to participate in this test for the indices. The t- and Kruskal-Wallis tests were conducted for the first selection of fitness indices. In the second selection, principal components analysis was applied to select common factors with greater characteristic values. The fitness indices chosen were height, leg length, measurement B (ankle circumference/heel length×100%) and measurement A (thigh circumference/leg length×100%), hemoglobin, 60m sprint time, 100m sprint time, countermovement jump (CMJ), maximum countermovement jump velocity, CMJ flight time, CMJ maximum force, and CMJ force. Results Thirteen indices were chosen for the specific fitness of male teenage Chinese male sprinters with 3 general categories and 9 subcategories. The weight of each fitness index was confirmed and used to construct a standard fitness assessment scale. Conclusion Anthropometric indices indicate the athlete’s innate limits in the structure of the sprinting motion. Physiological indices indicate the athlete’s potential to expend energy and recover in a short time. Motor indices indicate the athlete’s maximum sprinting ability, lower limb reaction strength, power, and maximum strength. Level of evidence II, Diagnostic studies - Investigation of a diagnostic test. Keywords: Adolescent; Physical fitness; Motor indices; Athletic performance
... Each separate exercise was designed to last 3-15 s with a rest interval of 1:3-1:10 with active recovery (low intensity skating) and was performed 2-6 times in 2-4 sets in a training session that contained 2-6 exercises. The work to rest intervals were selected based on knowledge that ice hockey includes repeated bouts of maximal effort with a mean sprint time of 5 s (Brocherie et al., 2018), alternated with lower intensity activities, and that players can sprint the length of an ice hockey rink (transition between defense and offense zones) in approximately 6 s (Potteiger et al., 2010;Roczniok et al., 2012;Stanula et al., 2014). Players should be able to maintain maximal power output (i.e., sprint performance) during a typical on-ice shift that usually has a work to rest ratio of 1:2-1:10 (Quinney et al., 2008). ...
Research
Full-text available
Agility plays a crucial role in ice hockey training, and it can be developed directly on the ice or by additional office training. Since the effectiveness of on-ice and office training on players' agility have not been previously described, the purpose of this research is to compare the effects of on-ice and office agility training on skating performance. Fourteen ice hockey players performed agility training on-ice for 4 weeks and office for 4 weeks in a crossover design; they were tested before the agility program, after the first month and after finishing both training programs. The players were randomly assigned into one of two groups (n = 7 in each group), either performing the on-ice training protocol first (Ice1) followed by the office agility training or performing the office protocol first and the on-ice training second (Ice2). The test battery included straight sprints to 6.1 m and 35 m and the S corner test, test with break, weave agility with puck test and reac-tive agility test. The magnitude based decision showed the effect of agility training in both groups in the weave agility (Ice1, 2.9±2.8% likely improvement; Ice2, 3.1±2.5% possible improvement) and reactive agility tests (Ice1, 3.1 ±2.5% likely improvement ; Ice2, 1.7±2.1% possible improvement), where the Ice1 protocol resulted in a likely positive change and Ice2 resulted in a possible positive change. The comparison of the training effect resulted in a possibly harmful change of performance in Ice2 protocol (-0.5 ± 8.9%) compared to Ice1 protocol (-1.0 ± 5.1%). On-ice training is more effective in the development of specific types of agility in adolescent U16 players. However, there is evidence that office agility have motor transfer to on-ice agility. Therefore , we recommend developing on-ice agility with additional office agility training during the ice hockey season.
... Each separate exercise was designed to last 3-15 s with a rest interval of 1:3-1:10 with active recovery (low intensity skating) and was performed 2-6 times in 2-4 sets in a training session that contained 2-6 exercises. The work to rest intervals were selected based on knowledge that ice hockey includes repeated bouts of maximal effort with a mean sprint time of 5 s (Brocherie et al., 2018), alternated with lower intensity activities, and that players can sprint the length of an ice hockey rink (transition between defense and offense zones) in approximately 6 s (Potteiger et al., 2010;Roczniok et al., 2012;Stanula et al., 2014). Players should be able to maintain maximal power output (i.e., sprint performance) during a typical on-ice shift that usually has a work to rest ratio of 1:2-1:10 (Quinney et al., 2008). ...
Article
Full-text available
Agility plays a crucial role in ice hockey training, and it can be developed directly on the ice or by additional off-ice training. Since the effectiveness of on-ice and off-ice training on players' agility have not been previously described, the purpose of this research is to compare the effects of on-ice and off-ice agility training on skating performance. Fourteen ice hockey players performed agility training on-ice for 4 weeks and off-ice for 4 weeks in a crossover design; they were tested before the agility program, after the first month and after finishing both training programs. The players were randomly assigned into one of two groups (n = 7 in each group), either performing the on-ice training protocol first (Ice1) followed by the off-ice agility training or performing the off-ice protocol first and the on-ice training second (Ice2). The test battery included straight sprints to 6.1 m and 35 m and the S corner test, test with break, weave agility with puck test and reactive agility test. The magnitude based decision showed the effect of agility training in both groups in the weave agility (Ice1, 2.9±2.8% likely improvement; Ice2, 3.1±2.5% possible improvement) and reactive agility tests (Ice1, 3.1 ±2.5% likely improvement; Ice2, 1.7±2.1% possible improvement), where the Ice1 protocol resulted in a likely positive change and Ice2 resulted in a possible positive change. The comparison of the training effect resulted in a possibly harmful change of performance in Ice2 protocol (-0.5 ± 8.9%) compared to Ice1 protocol (-1.0 ± 5.1%). On-ice training is more effective in the development of specific types of agility in adolescent U16 players. However, there is evidence that off-ice agility have motor transfer to on-ice agility. Therefore, we recommend developing on-ice agility with additional off-ice agility training during the ice hockey season.
... The scientific literature does not provide a homogenous picture on this issue. Some studies claim high external validity for office tests (Roczniok et al., 2012;Janot et al., 2015;Henriksson et al., 2016), while other publications doubt the predictive power of such tests for performance on ice (Vescovi et al., 2006;Farlinger et al., 2007;Durocher et al., 2010;Buchheit et al., 2011;Nightingale et al., 2013;Allisse et al., 2017). Certainly, on-ice tests are a more valid way to predict sprinting ability of ice hockey players in the match situation. ...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores whether positioning systems are a viable alternative to timing gates when it comes to measuring sprint times in ice hockey. We compared the results of a single-beam timing gate (Brower Timing) with the results of the Iceberg optical positioning system (Optical) and two radio-based positioning systems provided by InMotio (Radio 1) and Kinexon (Radio 2). The testing protocol consisted of two 40 m linear sprints, where we measured sprint times for a 11 m subsection (Linear Sprint 11), and a shuttle run (Shuttle Total), including five 14 m sprints. The exercises were performed by six top-level U19 field players in regular ice hockey equipment on ice. We quantified the difference between measured sprint times e.g., by Mean Absolute Error (MAE) (s) and Intra Class Correlation (ICC). The usefulness of positioning systems was evaluated by using a Coefficient of Usefulness (CU), which was defined as the quotient of the Smallest Worthwhile Change (SWC) divided by the Typical Error (both in s). Results showed that radio-based systems had a higher accuracy compared to the optical system. This concerned Linear Sprint 11 (MAEOptical = 0.16, MAERadio1 = 0.01, MAERadio2 = 0.01, ICCOptical = 0.38, ICCRadio1 = 0.98, ICCRadio2 = 0.99) as well as Shuttle Total (MAEOptical = 0.07, MAERadio1 = 0.02, MAERadio2 = 0.02, ICCOptical = 0.99; ICCRadio1 = 1.0, ICCRadio2 = 1.0). In Shuttle Total, all systems were able to measure a SWC of 0.10 s with a probability of >99% in a single trial (CUOptical = 4.6, CURadio1 = 6.5, CURadio2 = 5.1). In Linear Sprint 11 an SWC of 0.01 s might have been masked or erroneously detected where there were none due to measurement noise (CUOptical = 0.6, CURadio1 = 1.0, CURadio2 = 1.0). Similar results were found for the turning subsection of the shuttle run (CUOptical = 0.6, CURadio1 = 0.5, CURadio2 = 0.5). All systems were able to detect an SWC higher than 0.04 s with a probability of at least 75%. We conclude that the tested positioning systems may in fact offer a workable alternative to timing gates for measuring sprints times in ice hockey over long distances like shuttle runs. Limitations occur when testing changes/differences in performance over very short distances like an 11 m sprint, or when intermediate times are taken immediately after considerable changes of direction or speed.
... Furthermore, the 20 s AnWT [14], 15 s AnWT [15,16] and 6 s AnWT [12,13] have been found to be valid measurements of PP and result in the same PP output as AnWT 30 s [13,14,16,17]. Considering that ice hockey includes repeated bouts of maximal effort and that players can sprint the length of an ice hockey rink in about 6 s [18][19][20] (transition between the defense and offense zone), an intermittent version of AnWT using multiple 6 s stages (AnWT6x6) may increase the ecological validity of the test and provide insight into a player's ability to maintain intermittent maximal power output (i.e., sprint performance) during a typical on-ice shift that can last between 30 and 85 s [10]. The use of intermittent AnWT testing has already been applied among National Hockey League players, where a 30 s AnWT has been replaced by a 4 × 5 s test variation in 2005 [10]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Visual feedback may help elicit peak performance during different types of strength and power testing, but its effect during the anaerobic Wingate test is unexplored. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of visual feedback on power output during a hockey-specific intermittent Wingate test (AnWT6x6) consisting of 6 stages of 6 s intervals with a 1:1 work-to-rest ratio. Methods: Thirty elite college-aged hockey players performed the AnWT6x6 with either constant (n = 15) visual feedback during all 6 stages (CVF) or restricted (n = 15) visual feedback (RVF) where feedback was shown only during the 2nd through 5th stages. Results: In the first stage, there were moderate-to-large effect sizes for absolute peak power (PP) output and PP relative to body mass and PP relative to fat-free mass. However, the remaining stages (2–6) displayed small or negligible effects. Conclusions: These data indicate that visual feedback may play a role in optimizing power output in a non-fatigued state (1st stage), but likely does not play a role in the presence of extreme neuromuscular fatigue (6th stage) during Wingate testing. To achieve the highest peak power, coaches and researchers could provide visual feedback during Wingate testing, as it may positively influence performance in the early stages of testing, but does not result in residual fatigue or negatively affect performance during subsequent stages.
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Background: ‪The main objective of this research was to determine a model of the Speed Abilities Development Index (SADI) in selected teams of the top league, the first and the second league in Poland. The indirect aim was to determine the most significant predictors that have the greatest effect on development of this model. Material and methods: ‪The study examined a group of randomly selected 20 athletes (age 24 ± 3years) from four Polish premium league soccer teams, four teams of the first league and four teams of the second league, what amounted to 60 randomly selected players. The following independent variables related to starting and absolute running were considered: 5 m, 20 m, 30 m, 520 m, 530 m, 2030 m. Results: I‪n the group of top league players the model determined the following predictors of speed as most significant: the sprint time of 5 to 30 m segment run, the sprint time recorded between 20 to 30 m and the mean result of the RAST. In the group of players from the first and second leagues, the predictors included: the time of 20 to 30 m run, mean result of the RAST and the sprint time of the 5 m run. Conclusions: ‪A good soccer player should be prepared for both short (5 to 20 m) and longer (30 to 50 m) runs at the highest speed possible.
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Ice hockey is characterised by high intensity intermittent skating, rapid changes in velocity and duration, and frequent body contact. The typical player performs for 15 to 20 minutes of a 60-minute game. Each shift lasts from 30 to 80 seconds with 4 to 5 minutes of recovery between shifts. The intensity and duration of a particular shift determines the extent of the contribution from aerobic and anaerobic energy systems. The high intensity bursts require the hockey player to develop muscle strength, power, and anaerobic endurance. The length of the game and the need to recover quickly from each shift demands a good aerobic system. Physical characteristics of elite players show that defensemen are taller and heavier than forwards probably due to positional demands. Hockey players are mesomorphic in structure. They are relatively lean since excess mass is detrimental to their skating performance. There is a large interindividual variability in V̇O2 during skating. Both the aerobic and anaerobic energy systems are important during a hockey game. Peak heart rates during a shift on the ice exceed 90% of HRmax with average on-ice values of about 85% of HRmax. Blood lactate is elevated above resting values confirming the anaerobic nature of the game. Glycogen depletion studies show a preferential utilisation of glycogen from the slow twitch fibres but also significant depletion from the fast twitch fibres. Elite hockey players display a muscle fibre composition similar to untrained individuals. Physiological profiles of elite hockey teams reveal the importance of aerobic endurance, anaerobic power and endurance, muscular strength and skating speed. Training studies have attempted to improve specific components of hockey fitness. Using traditional laboratory tests, a season of hockey play shows gains in anaerobic endurance but no change in aerobic endurance. On-ice tests of hockey fitness have been recommended as an essential part of the hockey player’s physiological profile. Existing training procedures may develop chronic muscular fatigue in hockey players. Lactic acidosis is associated with the onset and persistence of muscle fatigue. Muscle force output remains impaired throughout the hockey player’s typical cycle of practices and games. A supplementary programme of low-intensity cycling during the competitive phase of training was unsuccessful in altering V̇O2max Strength decrements during the hockey season are attributed to a lack of a specifically designed strength maintenance programmes. On-ice and off-ice training programmes should focus on the elevation of aerobic endurance, anaerobic power and endurance, muscular strength and skating speed.
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To evaluate the physiologic changes in rowing performance during the training season, selected cardiorespiratory variables were measured three times at 3-month intervals in seven collegiate women rowers during incremental exercise on the rowing ergometer. Values for maximal oxygen consumption (VO2 max) and peak power production increased by 14% and 18%, respectively, over the 6-month period. Maximal heart rate was unchanged with training. Oxygen-pulse increased significantly (+ 14%) during the training season, while the ventilatory equivalent for oxygen did not change. Oxygen consumption as a percent of VO2 max and heart rate at the anaerobic threshold (AT) decreased during the first 3 months of predominantly aerobic training, but increased significantly in the last 3 months with greater anaerobic conditioning. The changes demonstrated by physiologic testing corresponded to the particular type of training emphasized during the 6-month period. Serial measurements of VO2 max and AT can be used to assess the benefits of specific training. Based on these results, individual guidelines for aerobic and anaerobic conditioning can be developed using the heart rate response at the AT.