Cardiorespiratory performance and muscle power in the Italian Olympic judoka

Assessment of maximal cardiorespiratory performance and muscle power in the Italian Olympic judoka.

Sbriccoli P, Bazzucchi I, Di Mario A, Marzattinocci G, Felici F.
Applied Physiology Laboratory, Department of Human Movement and Sport Sciences, University Institute for Movement Sciences, Rome, Italy.

The main purposes of this study were to describe the cardiorespiratory fitness and lower limbs maximal muscle power of a selected group of Olympic Italian male (M) and female (F) judokas. Eleven subjects (6 M, 5 F) underwent 3 different tests. The VO(2)max and ventilatory threshold (VT; V-slope method) were assessed during a graded maximal treadmill test. Lower limbs muscle peak power (PP) and mean power (MP) were determined during a 30-second Wingate test (WIN). Post-WIN blood lactate peak was also measured. Subjects were tested also during a 5-minute combat test (CT), during which blood lactate and heart rate (HR) were monitored. VO(2)max (mean +/- SD) was 47.3 +/- 10.9 and 52.9 +/- 4.4 ml x kg(-1) x min(-1) for M and F judokas, respectively. The VT corresponded to 80.8% (M) and 86.5% (F) of VO(2)max. Both PP and MP, measured during the WIN, were significantly higher (p <0.05). In conclusion, Italian Olympic judokas showed high levels of muscle power but accompanied by a moderate engagement of the aerobic metabolic pathway, which is well in accordance with the characteristics of judo. Having these results in top-level athletes may represent a useful contribution to the work of coaches and trainers in optimizing training programs for the achievement of the best performance of the judoka.

J Strength Cond Res. 2007 Aug;21(3):738-44.